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Lineups From Wrigley

Washington

Harris -- 8
Guzman -- 6
Zimmerman -- 5
Dunn -- 3
Willingham -- 7
Belliard -- 4
Dukes -- 9
Nieves -- 2
Mock -- 1

Chicago

Theriot -- 6
Bradley -- 9
Lee -- 3
Ramirez -- 5
Fukudome -- 8
Soriano -- 7
Soto -- 2
Fontenot -- 4
Zambrano -- 1

By Chico Harlan  |  August 25, 2009; 4:40 PM ET
 
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Comments

Lineups ... finally.

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

"Your Phoenix Desert Dogs!

Strasburg
Storen
Norris
Marrero
Espinosa

It looks like Thompson was left off, but good on Brian Oliver at NFA.com for getting the other five.

Posted by: sec307 | August 25, 2009"

I believe you are allowed six. Where is the sixth?

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I heard there were two more spots that are TBA. That equals 7 though.

Posted by: sec307 | August 25, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Chico, any word on why Bard hasn't been playing as much recently?

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | August 25, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

nervous,

Per Charlie and Dave yesterday, Bard's being held out a few games due to a mild re-aggravation of his groin injury. He's apparently available to pinch hit, but Riggleman's going to use Nieves for the first couple games of the road trip.

Posted by: faNATic | August 25, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

So where is Tony Plush? Why did he leave the game last night?

Posted by: twinbrook | August 25, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Twinbrook, Morgan was looking a little ragged last night, and 0-4 when he was lifted. I suspect Riggs doesn't want him doing wind sprints all night, with Mock pitching in Wrigley.

BTW, which way is the wind blowing?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 25, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I think Morgan left the game because of a double switch last night. (Seems like Riggleman does alot of them to try to set up relief pitchers to go more than an inning they are effective.). Assume he's just giving him the night off, and giving Willie a few more at bats. I like the way Riggleman is trying to make sure that Belliard, Harris, Gonzales, and Dukes aren't completely relegated to PH duty.

Posted by: Section222 | August 25, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

but at least now it's spelled correctly.

**************
riggs has "caretaker" written all over him.
Posted by: surly_w | August 25, 2009 2:34 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 25, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

"I heard there were two more spots that are TBA. That equals 7 though.

Posted by: sec307 | August 25, 2009"

Brian seem to think it would be six? Oakland has 3. TB has six. Baltimore has seven.

If the roster is 24 there appears to be one slot. If it is 25 there are two?

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

NN, fwiw, he doesn't seem to be wearing a ring. His wikipedia entry is short on personal details.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 25, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Can someone explain why Zimmerman is not playing shortstop? He's their best infielder - shouldn't that be the bottom line for who plays short? What makes him a "third baseman" and not a shortstop? Wouldn't Morse or somebody be OK enough at third, when they might be tragically awful at second or short?

Posted by: nationalsanthems | August 25, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

"can you get me his number? wasn't kidding about the crush. =D

Posted by: NatsNut | August 25, 2009"

Mebbe Riggs needs some of the brochures Scott Boras distributes :))

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

"Can someone explain why Zimmerman is not playing shortstop? He's their best infielder - shouldn't that be the bottom line for who plays short? What makes him a "third baseman" and not a shortstop? Wouldn't Morse or somebody be OK enough at third, when they might be tragically awful at second or short?"

He played 3rd base in college and came directly from college to the pros. Actually the shortstop he played with in college is AZ's power-hitting third baseman. Pro shortstops need range, speed and the ability to turn double plays.

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

> Chico, any word on why Bard hasn't been playing as much recently?

Both the TV and radio announcers have pointed out that Bard has been nursing a groin injury all season, and that he tweaked it a couple of days ago. In light of the travel, he was getting a couple days off to let it heal

Posted by: mvm2 | August 25, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks periculum. "Pro shortstops need range, speed and the ability to turn double plays." I assume you are implying Zim does not have them? My impression is that his range is very good, but it could just be "very good for a third baseman."

Posted by: nationalsanthems | August 25, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

If I have my rules right about the AFL, teams have six full-time spots and one taxi squad spot. The taxi squad player is activated on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

So, I'm assuming the Nationals still have one full-time spot and a taxi spot to go

Posted by: Brian_ | August 25, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

@BobLHead in re Desmond:

2004, 55G, 30E (normalized to 127G=69E
2005, 127G, 39E
2006 128G, 37E
2007 127G, 32E
2008 96E, 23E (normalized to 127G=30E
2009 82G, 27E (normalized to 127G=43E

40 games at SS at Syracuse, 16 errors!
42 games at SS at Harrisburg, 11 errors!
That is 82G, 27E. Normalize to 127G=43E

Let's be strong up the middle.

How does John Desmond help us with that goal?

Trade him, and let's play against the guy.

I understand that his hitting has improved. It's not enough.


@GoingGoing:
I love Mike Morse. He kinda fields like Hamma, though. I cannot find a single game where he has ever played professionally at 2B. Please point one out. Heck, let's give the big galloot (sp?) a try there, tho I like Guz at 2B.

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 25, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Work: My hours are like noon until nine plus a long drive home, so I didn't see or hear a single pitch of the game yesterday--thank goodness.

If I'm posting now (which I seem to be), I must be on a break because some student is absent. They never seem to schedule morning baseball games.

Posted by: ingbermr | August 25, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Elijah Dukes is sticking in our craw right now. Almost the entire lineup has taken Hoss' cue at the plate ('cept Guz) and looks at more pitches. Just watching the guy with the best eye in MLB does that to you.

Elijah has not been more selective, tho he has payed lip service to walks in the past.

Apparently, he can't see the breaking ball.

I want to keep him. He is so strong that like our Big Three, he can hit it out without getting it all. I marvel at Zim hitting them out to right center. Did he use to do that, and I missed it? What a weapon this year he is.

But keep Elijah. He doesn't bother me like Thrilledge did. His father was convicted of murder when he was 12. He has flaws. He won't try to change. What was the name that Plush gave him?

Elijah says he can pop his arms out of their sockets. "The bigger I get, people think I'm not so flexible," he said. "But I'm double jointed, so I'm real loose and fluid."

Remember when they cut his knee a year ago? Keep him, but if his knees start to give way under all of that muscle and sinew, trade him fast! Until his knees start to go. let's enjoy his arm, his stupid baserunning, and his power potential.

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 25, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

With all of the injuries the Mats have had - now including Santana gone for the year - could the Nats actually make a run for fourth place this season? Fifty before Ninety!

Posted by: leetee1955 | August 25, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

nova_g_man: you're kidding me about Desmond's errors, right?? You only get marked for errors on balls you get to. That's why errors are a terrible statistical indicator of fielding ability. If you use Range Factor, which is the number of putouts plus assists per game, and compare Desmond to AAA and AA for 2009, you'll see that he blows away his competition at SS.

I pulled the available fielding stats for 2009 in AA and AAA for every guy who played 20 or more games. The average AAA SS had 4.16 Assists + PO per game. Desmond had 4.75. That's a solid difference. The average AA SS had 4.32, and Desmond had 5.26. That's a MASSIVE difference. Yes, he had more errors, but got them by getting to, and failing to properly field, may more balls than average shortstops do.

By comparison, Guzman has a range factor of 4.57 and an average NL SS has a range factor of 4.34. So he's a defensive upgrade over Guzman. And Guzman would be a defensive upgrade over Belliard. So if you move Guzman to 2b, Desmond to SS, and Desmond can outhit Belliard, you've improved your team considerably.

Posted by: Section406 | August 25, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

nova_g_man,

Dukes needs some coaching in the offseason. Perhaps winter ball? He needs to learn to see breaking pitches, and patience at the plate. He needs to avoid strike outs, and to work pitchers for walks.

His fielding needs work. Stupid base running? He can learn with Nyjer on getting that straight. They can hire guys to help the team with that, seems certain that Rizzo will.

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

They are pushing Espinosa. He's playing in the Perhaps Espinosa at short, and Desmond at second base? Perhaps that's the "plan". AZ fall league roster seems to infer it?

According to Brian Oliver, a *left-handed* OF/IF utility guy has been promoted to Syracuse: Leonard Davis. He has power with 14 homers. Looks like Mike Vento is going, going gone.

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Brian Oliver says there is still a spot for a full-time pitcher available with the Desert Dogs. Perhaps they are trying to coax Thompson into pitching? Plus a "taxi-squad" spot is open.

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

"fwiw (aiam)" seems to be my theme today, but since you brought it up: I think Dukes's problems may be due to taking the wrong approach at the plate. He seems, to my eye, to be hitting "smaller" than he is, just trying to make any kind of contact, and get on base. I can see why he'd do that, but he's not like average guys--he's bigger and stronger and quicker than most, and as Nova-G pointed out (I think), he doesn't need to get it all if he swings at strikes.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 25, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

This guy can play second too, he made the IL All-Star team and he does hit for power:

Baseball America:
BEST TOOLS - Triple-A

2B Seth Bynum - Best Defensive Second Baseman in the International League.

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

So if a guy has a better "range factor" but makes more errors, isn't that a wash? The batter's going to be on first anyway, the only difference is if he scores, is the run going to be earned or unearned?

Posted by: mjhoya12 | August 25, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

"I can see why he'd do that, but he's not like average guys--he's bigger and stronger and quicker than most, and as Nova-G pointed out (I think), he doesn't need to get it all if he swings at strikes."

He's probably been told that he would make a great 2nd hitter on the lineup card at some point. He has speed, but he's a big guy with power. Both attributes make him a #2. Perhaps the approach should be more on trying to get the pitches he wants and can hit? That involves staying away from the breaking pitches, working those walks ...

and there is one more thing ... learning to drop that bunt. He has the speed and those drive pitchers, catchers, and the corner infielders crazy if they are done right. Small ball will make 'em back off from the cute stuff ... and he is one guy that could make it fairly unpredictable.

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Yikes! Harris (.083BA career) over Morgan (.400BA career, .714 in '09) in CF & leading off, and Belliard (.000BA career) over AGonz (.500BA in '09) against Zambrano?

We are doomed - Doomed I say! Cast the women & children over the side of the ship & burn the lifeboats - All is lost!

Posted by: BinM | August 25, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Syracuse is now a very young roster ... compared with 2 years ago and even the beginning of this year? Lots more "prospects" at the AAA level at this point.

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Unless I'm mis-remembering, which is always possible, Zimm's first game started for the Nats was at short. But a great defensive third baseman may be only an ok or worse shortstop. Leave him where he is, let him win a gold glove.

Posted by: markfromark | August 25, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Washington does have 2 TBA's listed on the Desert Dogs roster under pitchers.

Posted by: periculum | August 25, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Zimmerman did indeed play nine innings, one game, at shortstop in 2005, according to baseballreference.com, so you may well be right, mark.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 25, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

So all the Nat's players be on the Desert Dogs, or do they spread them out on the various teams?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 25, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

I'll happily pay 50 cents more per beer at Nats Park if MASN cans Debbie Taylor.

Posted by: AlexVa1 | August 25, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Sec3: Each teams' association is with a single team in the AFL. This year, WSH is assoiciated with the Desert Dogs (last year, it was the Peoria Javalinas, if memory serves). I think the year-to-year rotation keeps management from favoring a single parent-teams' players.

Posted by: BinM | August 25, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

New post up there.

Posted by: HALjr | August 25, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

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