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Tonight's Lineup

The first Jim Riggleman-produced lineup looks a lot like the final Manny Acta-produced lineups. Which was probably to be expected, given that Riggleman often recommended lineup combos to Acta. So, here's how the Nats will stack 'em up tonight.

Washington

Morgan - 8
Johnson - 3
Zimmerman - 5
Dunn - 7
Willingham - 9
Guzman - 6
Bard - 2
Gonzalez - 4
Lannan - 1

By Chico Harlan  |  July 16, 2009; 3:26 PM ET
 
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Next: Returning (As A Starter, As A Bench Coach)

Comments

Well this is conclusive, Riggleman should be fired for even suggesting this lineup...

Posted by: Section506 | July 16, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please explain to me why Dimitri Young is still on the 40-man roster? He shook hands, fine. Rizzo honored whatever agreement Dimitri had with Jimbo. But what was the point of it anyway? Does Dimitri get any perks from being on the 40-man? Or is it just to assure him that he is still in the picture? If someone knows, please share.

Posted by: dclifer97 | July 16, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Young is still on the 40-man because right now the Nats have no reason to take him off. they are stringing him along on his "rehab" assignment until the time runs out, then will either release him or promote him to be a pinch-hitter after they trade Nick Johnson for pennies on the dollar.

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | July 16, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

what a lineup! Ol' Riggs is def on his way to being MOY!!

Posted by: sect104 | July 16, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"Young is still on the 40-man because right now the Nats have no reason to take him off. they are stringing him along on his "rehab" assignment until the time runs out, then will either release him or promote him to be a pinch-hitter after they trade Nick Johnson for pennies on the dollar."

I've heard that Young is on the 40-man until he reaches the 10-year mark in service? No one is going to sign him if they release him ... and the Rule 5 draft is coming up.

Have to assume that something will be done about this by Rizzo in the very near term to protect a prospect who may otherwise be drafted under rule 5. He and Kasten did go to Potomac to watch him play the other night.


Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

ladies and gentleman.

offensively, this is the lineup of a middling offensive team. Take into account that the same lineup must play in the field? A lower 1/3 team....take into account the pitching????

26-61

Posted by: nattylite88 | July 16, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

According to the farm authority webmeister the following are eligible for rule 5: (If you are interested in what Mike Rizzo has to think about this week.)

Zach Zinicola (relief pitcher AAA Syracuse)
Erik Arensen (starting pitcher AA Harrisburg)
Adam Carr (pitcher A Potomac)
Cory Van Allen ( pitcher AA Harrisburg)
Hassan Pena (pitcher GCL Nats)
Cole Kimball (pitcher Potomac)

Sean Rooney (catcher just promoted to AA
Harrisburg)
Robert Jacobsen (Hagerstown)

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Nick Johnson may find that he is more valuable to the "Natinals" than he would be to any other team.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Riggleman - starting Lannan to start the second-half! (oh wait, that was Manny's idea too)

Posted by: lowcountry | July 16, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

OK - quick question: a what point does Kearns become "safe enough" to put through waivers so they can send him to Syracuse to work on his swing?

Posted by: lowcountry | July 16, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

periculum, the Rule 5 draft is held at the end of the winter meetings in December, so that's a non-issue right now.

somehow, i think there will be plenty of roomon the 40-man roster by mid-December for whomever they want to protect.

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | July 16, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

lowcountry,

I believe the answer to that question is:

April 2009.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 16, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Snark aside, why would anyone think the line-up would look any different? They changed managers, not players (at least not yet). It's not like Manny got fired for burying an All Star on the bench. Riggs' got the same 25 guys to work with, and no one can seriously believe that -- other than the pick 'ems (Bard/Nieves; Hernandez/Gonzalez) -- there is any bench player that would fundamentally change the line-up. Let's hope the change, if any, comes in the players' approach, focus, attention to detail, etc... I'm not saying anyone quit on Manny per se, but I think the culture of losing certainly led to some "slow down" in effort.

Posted by: cdstej | July 16, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

This could spell the beginning of a 55 game winning streak.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | July 16, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, but you could mix 'em all up, cdstej. Put Gonzalez behind the plate, move Johnson to LF, and park Morgan at first, for example.

Also, Lannan should lead off, Morgan should hit cleanup, and Zimmerman should be dropped to ninth.

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 16, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine Kearns would clear waivers. He is a useful corner outfielder for a team looking for a defensive option. He's not good but, he may prove useful to someone.

It is one of the reasons no one would pay for him. Why trade for Kearns, Belliard, Young or Villone. They will almost certainly be released in August 1st, so there is no reason to give anything up for them.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 16, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

That was my thought 505203- give or take a day either way.
______________________
I believe the answer to that question is:

April 2009.

Posted by: Section505203

Posted by: lowcountry | July 16, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Dmitri Young has already done his 10 years service time. ML service: 12.008

Posted by: NatsNut | July 16, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

This managerial move was made to change to mind-set of the team. A good manager can get more from less. This appears to be in the case with this lineup.

Posted by: Tom8 | July 16, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm really excited by this 'new look' Natinals!

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | July 16, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Trading Johnson for "pennies on the Dollar"? That guy does not have huge value -- a slap-hitting, good OBP, 1B with questionable hands and a fragile frame, who is going to be unrestricted at season's end? None of the true contenders has a real need for his skill-set, so whatever they can get for the guy is likely to be whatever he is actually worth in a trade.

I think Kearns would not have to accept a demotion, so in effect he'd just be cut loose. Which is fine with me, they have guys they can call up to play as poorly as Austin has played and maybe those guys will develop; he is toast for this club anyway and no one is taking him in a trade.

On the lineup, I would have liked to see Zim hitting 5th with Guzman and Johnson hitting 2-3. Showcase Johnson some and make Ryan earn the 3-hole that they inked him into 400 games ago without real cause.

Posted by: dfh21 | July 16, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

But he has absolutely no value to us. We don't have after this year, and it's not like we're going to win. So if we trade him a AA pitching project we still come out ahead.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 16, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I meant:

"But he has absolutely no value to us. We don't have HIM after this year, and it's not like we're going to win. So if we trade him FOR a AA pitching project we still come out ahead.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 16, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Soundbloke -- A club would have to PAY Austin Kearns the remainder of his contract if they picked him up on wiavers, same with Belliard, etc. That is not going to happen. No club needs a RF defensive replacement bench guy that they'll pay several Million Dollars for a couple of months of work.

Posted by: dfh21 | July 16, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

At least Riggo moved Fat Boy down to the 6th slot. I wonder how long it will be before he benches him for swinging at the first pitch in RBI situations.

Posted by: Brue | July 16, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Fair point. Especially when they could probably get him on a minor league contract once he's cut on August 1st.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 16, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

"There is no real evidence that [batting order] matters. What matters is having good hitters. Who hits second and who hits sixth...there is little evidence that it makes any difference."

~Bill James

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 16, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

dfh21: i should have said "percieved" pennies on the dollar.

i agree with you that Johnson's value is over-inflated with Nats fans.

FWIW, i don't think anything's wrong with Johnson's hands. he still looks good around the bag on scoops, etc. it's elevating or going backwards he's having trouble with, in my observations.

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | July 16, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"At least Riggo moved Fat Boy down to the 6th slot. I wonder how long it will be before he benches him for swinging at the first pitch in RBI situations."

This is such a hanging curve ball that I don't even have the heart to snark.

Guz has an OPS of .935 on the first pitch (as opposed to his overall .726).

If anything, they ought to fine him for taking a first pitch anywhere near the plate.


Posted by: joebleux | July 16, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm certainly rooting for Riggleman to be successful for many reasons including similar childhoods in the DC suburbs but the same lineup as Manny sure doesn't seem like a good start. Oh well, maybe he at least spent yesterday teaching them how to line up a relay throw and talking about being more aggressive all around. Then if things still don't go great, perhaps he will at least be open to moving Zim out of the three spot when he is struggling and not throwing your two lefties back-to-back in the rotation and a hundred other little things. Gotta give the guy a chance...

Posted by: truke | July 16, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Hasn't Guzman been hitting sixth since the Nats acquired Nyjer? Why aren't there any trade rumors involving Guzzie? I'd love for the Nats to dump his no-fielding, free-swinging self.

Posted by: combedge | July 16, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh, are do we hate Guzman again? I've been away a couple of days, I missed it!

Posted by: Section506 | July 16, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

The reason no one will trade for Guzman is that right now there are better options on the market. Guzman won't go until teams feel they cannot get Escobar.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 16, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I do not see Guzman moving out of Dodge, which is Ok with me. The guy has hit like a champ and the bad fielding, well neither Zimmerman nor Johnson (both supposed glove men) have done so either. His contract is really not so bad, all things considered, and he has outplayed, even with the bad glove, Furcal, Renterria and Rollins.

Posted by: dfh21 | July 16, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

seriously? I didn't get the memo either. I'm confused. Guzman, one of a couple guys hitting over .300? THAT Guzman? Fat Boy? Wow, this place is getting wacked.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 16, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"The reason no one will trade for Guzman is that right now there are better options on the market. Guzman won't go until teams feel they cannot get Escobar."

Also, because whoever takes him now has to pay him next year, too.

Posted by: Section506 | July 16, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Unless we pay him next year for them. Which seems unlikely.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 16, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

But Guzman and Escobar are apples and oranges. Guz is a guy to help now while Escobar is a building piece, and a cheap one at that (under control for years). The list of clubs looking for Escobar may include the Nats.

Posted by: dfh21 | July 16, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Nick's trade value, from NESN.com (linked via MLBTradeRumors):

"I expect Nick Johnson to be the biggest name traded other than Halladay. Johnson’s a free agent after the season, but he probably won’t place high enough under the Elias rankings system for the Nats to receive compensation picks when he signs elsewhere. This means their chance to get something for Johnson probably disappears if they don’t trade him.

"He’s a valuable commodity; his 52 walks place him seventh in the league and he has a .305 average. He’s traditionally been a good defender and is relatively affordable at $5.5 million. The Giants could upgrade over slick-fielding first baseman Travis Ishikawa by trading for Johnson, the better hitter. Whether it’s the Giants or somebody else, Johnson figures to be available, since it’s the surest way for the Nats to get something of value back."

What makes him attractive is that you are only buying injury risk this year, he is extremely good and consistent at getting on base, and he's cheap. A wonderful trade chit.

If you do not trade him, then he is free to go anywhere. If he's willing to take a deal that pays bonuses based on active roster time, he could make a good chunk of change. Figure a $3m base with $30K/day active, and that is $8m+ at a low risk to the signing organization.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | July 16, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Not hating, just facts for the Guzman. Went
to one of those Body Mass calculators. Guz is 6 ft. weight of 210 and 31 years old. This is what it says.

You have a BMI of 28.48. This BMI puts you under the body classification of "Overweight" according to the CDC (US Center for Disease Control & Prevention).

Your risk for the following health conditions is: High


Hypertension
Dyslipidemia
Type 2 diabetes
Coronary heart disease
Stroke
Gallbladder disease

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

The only problem with the NESN guy's take is that the Giants are likely to grab a corner OF and move Kung Fu Panda to first, with Uribe manning 3B, before settling for a 1B. There are plenty of options out there, and they need a slugger more than they need anything.

Posted by: dfh21 | July 16, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"Guz is a guy to help now while Escobar is a building piece, and a cheap one at that (under control for years)."

Is Escobar not arb-eligible? That makes him equivalent to a loaner, but with the added bonus that you can change your mind. Akin to the Willingham situation.

Posted by: Section506 | July 16, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

the guzman body mass thing is idiotic, muscle weighs more than fat, plus everyone has a different body structure regardless of height similarities he's nowhere near that reading you got

Posted by: bford1kb | July 16, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Also most people don't work out as often as the average professional athlete.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 16, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

"OK - quick question: a what point does Kearns become "safe enough" to put through waivers so they can send him to Syracuse to work on his swing?"
funny as hell, you're really worried someone would claim him? the man is a bum and he is done here, I'd be shocked if he cracked a major league roster for a full season ever again

Posted by: bford1kb | July 16, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Ringle, how would that thing ring up Miguel Tejada at 5'9" and 215 at 37 years old?

Guzman has been more plus for this club than minus, cut him a break.

Posted by: dfh21 | July 16, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Ringle, I've enjoyed having your voice here. Glad you jumped in.

I'm curious how lots and lots of professional athletes would score on a simple BMI thingie. They tend to have larger bodies than the average bear, plus, you know, the steroids.

Strength coaches.

I meant to say "strength coaches."

Posted by: Scooter_ | July 16, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

OK, then why are you guys calling him fat?

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

You have a BMI of 31.75. This BMI puts you under the body classification of "Obese" according to the CDC (US Center for Disease Control & Prevention).

for Tejada. Not saying it's true but they keep yappin about BMI

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I never called him fat and if someone did they're refering to the fact that as a pro athlete he carries a few extra pounds but hardly fat or anywhere near the obesity line you put him next to

"BMI is a reliable indicator of total body fat, which is related to the risk of disease and death. The score is valid for both men and women but it does have some limits. The limits are:

* It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build.
* It may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle mass."

Posted by: bford1kb | July 16, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

P.S. mine ain't that great either.

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

'"OK - quick question: a what point does Kearns become "safe enough" to put through waivers so they can send him to Syracuse to work on his swing?"
funny as hell, you're really worried someone would claim him? the man is a bum and he is done here, I'd be shocked if he cracked a major league roster for a full season ever again'

The concern is not that Kearns would not make it through waivers, I've got to believe, since SOMETHING would have to be traded for him if he was claimed. The concern is that he would refuse his assignment and be a free agent, with the money he is owed for the rest of this year.

I would, wouldn't you?

If Dukes finds his groove again in Syracuse, look for a Kearns DFA.

Posted by: Section506 | July 16, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

DFH21: Thank you for defending Guzman i swear he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't, PLEASE!! the guy's hit three hundred all year he's no Eddie Brinkman with the glove but given the fact that he was batting out of position(leadoff) i think he's done just fine and lets not go there on situational hitting because the culprits on this team are too numerous to name.

Posted by: dargregmag | July 16, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I got nothing against Guzman except for a while there I got the idea he wasn';t putting in the full effort but then I think he cleaned it up and maybe with the new guy he will shape up his act. I don't care about his body shape I just was looking for some objective measure. Maybe the govt should have a seperete table if you are an athelete.

Posted by: Ringle | July 16, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

the money is already owed to kearns, he hurts our team if he gets even one at bat, the mistake has been made, his roster spot is more valuable than keeping him on the team so that the four million isn't completely wasted, kearns should already be out of work

Posted by: bford1kb | July 16, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

There's no doubt that Guzman is easily the best hitter on this team, which in my mind makes him more culpable with men in scoring position. He's only got like 23 rbi and he's had a his fair share of chances. He has a soft batting average because he doesn't look at enough pitches or think about what he has to do with people on. It's that thing that took over under Manny - the 'identical hitting approach' no matter what situation it is. The whole team does it. Except maybe Willingham. But as far as I'm concerned, Guzman is guilty as hell, but that's only because he can hit his ass off.

Posted by: Brue | July 16, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm still rooting for Guz, too. Also, he gave the team a discount when he probably could have commanded more $$.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 16, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I admit that I have a soft spot for Guzman b/c the guy gave the club a discount (both in $ and years) coming into FA to make up to some extent for his two awful/injury years prior to 2008 when he exploded.

Posted by: dfh21 | July 16, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Wow, snatsfan, great minds think alike (and so do ours).

Posted by: dfh21 | July 16, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

The concern is not that Kearns would not make it through waivers, I've got to believe, since SOMETHING would have to be traded for him if he was claimed. The concern is that he would refuse his assignment and be a free agent, with the money he is owed for the rest of this year.

I would, wouldn't you?

If Dukes finds his groove again in Syracuse, look for a Kearns DFA.

Posted by: Section506 | July 16, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

***

You can always pull a guy back from waivers if another team is interested. It's irrelevant though -- Kearns is a vet and even if he cleared waivers, the Nats would have 10 days to designate him for assignment, at which point he could refuse an assignment to Syracuse and elect to become a free agent. This debate is moot, too, because the Lerners are damn well going to get every last dime of time from him if they're paying him $8MM.

Posted by: cdstej | July 16, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

"There's no doubt that Guzman is easily the best hitter on this team, which in my mind makes him more culpable with men in scoring position."

I disagree ... he likes hitting at the front of the batting order ... check out the number of walks ... just seven I think.

Right now the best hitters are Nick, Zim, Dunn and Willingham. Nyjger could do with taking more base-on-balls.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

>"There is no real evidence that [batting order] matters. What matters is having good hitters. Who hits second and who hits sixth...there is little evidence that it makes any difference."

~Bill James

Posted by: JohninMpls

What if you don't have good hitters? You better believe it matters then. You have so many ways to go catastrophically wrong if you have a bunch of guys who can only do certain things with the bat. You don't follow a speed guy with a power hitter, I mean, you could, but the power hitter would only generally have the chance for the one rbi. If there's a line drive hitter next, he has a good shot at putting two on base, and probably being an average hitter, will have the advantage of hitting with a man on base and from the stretch. Now, if you get a guy after that with a propensity for homers, he now has two rbi out there.

Posted by: Brue | July 16, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Rule 5 Winter meetings ... check ... :) sorry.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Kearns won't be DFA'ed. They will find someone to option or release first. I see them releasing Belliard and trading Harris. Then Dukes, and maybe Morse.

Posted by: periculum | July 16, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Can we add Kearns to the macro?

He's not going to "work on his swing" in AAA. That IS his swing--the problem is not his swing, it's his head.

No one is going to trade even a bag of clean baseballs for him, even if the Nats pick up his salary beyond the MLB minimum. Why would they? This is a team of beer goggles and he can't even crack this roster.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 16, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

oh, and

"I'm not an athlete, I'm a baseball player."

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 16, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

If Dukes finds his groove again in Syracuse, look for a Kearns DFA.

Posted by: Section506 | July 16, 2009 5:31 PM

IMO E.D. never sees the inside of the Nats clubhouse again.

Posted by: sjt1455 | July 16, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

What I should say is that he's the best swinger on the team. The most consistent swing. I also think that Nick has a blind spot inside, I think you can get in his kitchen on a consistent basis.

Posted by: Brue | July 16, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Questions that answer themselves:

"Why aren't there any trade rumors involving Guzzie? I'd love for the Nats to dump his no-fielding, free-swinging self."
Posted by: combedge | July 16, 2009 4:47 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 16, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Ryan Zimmerman seed to think Dukes was not coming back which suggests he knows something we don't.

Also, Dukes could be traded. You never know...

Posted by: soundbloke | July 16, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Sadly this is the best lineup we got, maybe willy instead of hernandez but rigs doesnt have much to work with.

I sure hope that bryce harper kid is eligible for next years draft.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | July 16, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Too much here to respond to everything, but I agree we shouldn't read too much into a familiar line-up. It is the same roster, after all.

About Guzman, his BMI is not quite as high as mine. But if I turned up on the field, there would be many taunts far less charitable than "fat boy."

And the idea that he gave the team a hometown discount is, although perhaps arguable, disingenuous. He had a historically bad season for an everyday position player in his first year and his one "good" year still hasn't made up for it. This year, he is below par in the field, has not hit well situationally, and has not performed as a lead off hitter should. Somebody said he was batting out of position, but he's complained about being elsewhere.

Through the years, I've fallen into the rut of complaining about Bowden, Kearns, and Guzman. You can't take Guzzie away from me.

Posted by: NatsPark408Byrd306 | July 16, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Just to add, despite my obvious lack of fondness for Guzman and the objective measure of the BMI, I don't think the characterization is appropriate. Plenty of baseball grounded criticisms to be made, hence no need for name calling.

Posted by: NatsPark408Byrd306 | July 16, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

A new post is up.

Posted by: NatsPark408Byrd306 | July 16, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Except for those of us here on NJ. Right, soundbloke? I know that I normally get quite a few sets in hitting the refresh button all day :)
_________________________________
Also most people don't work out as often as the average professional athlete.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 16, 2009 5:25 PM

Posted by: lowcountry | July 16, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

!!

---

And the idea that he gave the team a hometown discount is, although perhaps arguable, disingenuous

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 16, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

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