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Strasburg in Viera, and Other Material

I am still of the opinion that The Onion missed a golden opportunity here. It should have dispatched a correspondent to Viera, Fla., to cover the first workout in the professional career of Stephen Strasburg. Just to have a headline like, "Strasburg Dominates in Jogging Session." Sometimes we need to poke fun at our own excesses.

But fact is, attention, for Strasburg, will come with the territory. Sunday, as you can read here in Amy Shipley's story from Florida, a group of journalists and photographers and autograph hounds were all there at Washington's workout complex to observe Strasburg's first true day as a Nat. According to Shipley, Strasburg "did not attempt to hide his displeasure at the scrutiny he received."

Some other key points from the story:

* Strasburg will remain in Florida only until Thursday, when he'll head to DC and spend the next week working out with the big league team, perhaps even watching games from the dugout.

* Strasburg will not throw off a mound until Sept. 19.

* Because everything is better in Viera, Strasburg actually was throwing 135 mph. (Unverified.) (And okay, that wasn't in the story.)

Now, some links from beyond the Florida workout fields.

Ronnie Belliard got traded on Sunday. The Dodgers see him as a part-time fill-in for Orlando Hudson at second, James Loney at first and Casey Blake at third.

The Nats lost their third in a row in the series finale against the Cardinals. Garrett Mock again looked strong. Unfortunately for the Nats, Adam Wainwright looked stronger. Willie Harris said of the St. Louis pitcher, "Adam -- by far the best pitcher I've faced this year." The right-hander, pitching on his own bobblehead day, notched his 16th win.

I am off to San Diego now, where the Nats tonight begin the final series of this road trip. See you on the other side.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 31, 2009; 9:19 AM ET
 
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Next: Lineups From Petco

Comments

Good morning read! Have a great trip to San Diego.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 31, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Hey kid: get used to the scrutiny. More media training, anyone?

Posted by: joemktg1 | August 31, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Watched the YouTube videos of Ronnie's flip and another one of him jiving at batting practice in Viera. That is one funny guy! Good luck in your new gig, land safely and get another World Series photo (after you lose in DC next month).

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 31, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

From Shipley's article: "Once I get into playing games and stuff, it should be able to die down," Strasburg said. "Hopefully it will die down sometime soon. . . . I'm just a baseball player. It's not like I'm the president or anything."

Wishful thinking dingus. It comes with the money: get used to it, and perform.

Posted by: joemktg1 | August 31, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Headline: Umpires Rule Strasburg Deserving of "Super -Strike"

MLB umpires today, after seeing phenom Steven Strasburg pitch for the first time in Viera, Florida decided his pitches are so dominant that a single strike call is not worthy of his pitches. Thus they have created the "super strike" that they will call when Strasburg throws a pitch that is so unhittable, it deserves more than just the normal "strike" call. A superstrike will be the equivelant of 3 strikes and thus an automatic strikeout. Umpire Tony Anthony was quoted as saying " Strasburg's pitches defy the laws of physics, thus we feel justified in defying the rulebook and creating the superstrike."

Posted by: cabraman | August 31, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

great story by amy shipley on the professional debut of "the natsural." if the attention bothers him, it's good that syrasburg is coming to a low-profile market like washington. overshadowed by the snydermen and the caps, he should like it here.

Posted by: surly_w | August 31, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

oh, man. I'm really going to miss Belliard. I LOVE that guy. =(

Posted by: NatsNut | August 31, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

From Shipley's article: "Once I get into playing games and stuff, it should be able to die down," Strasburg said. "Hopefully it will die down sometime soon. . . . I'm just a baseball player. It's not like I'm the president or anything."

Wishful thinking dingus. It comes with the money: get used to it, and perform.

Posted by: joemktg1 | August 31, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse
_______________________________________

Personally, I like the fact that the kid is grounded and not full of himself. That should translate into things like coachability (if such a word exists). The last thing this team needs is some prima-donna who thinks he poops roses. I also think he will adjust to the media just fine. It's not like the media here is like NY.

Posted by: TimDz | August 31, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Belli's A-okay.

Hey, here's an idea for an exercise during the long stretch until game time (at which point I shall likely be in a sound sleep).

Ex-Nats in the hunt, anyone? Let's see, there's Belli, with the Dodgers. Beimel, with the Rox. Wookie, with the Twins. Nick and Gasoline Ayala, with the Fish. Byrd, with the Rangers. Not sure whether the Cubs and Brewers still have a shot at the Wild Card but they have Sori and F-Lop, respectively. Did I miss anyone?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 31, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

The media here: "Say what? Washington got a baseball team? When did that happen? Say, didja hear about Jason Campbell's hangnail?"

---

It's not like the media here is like NY.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 31, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

1a1

didn't you know that the sports media in this town is a wholly-owned subsidiary of daniel m.snyder, propietor?

Posted by: surly_w | August 31, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Sorry-ah-no, how badly do the Cubs want to dump him and that Teixeira sized contract.

As much as it pains me to say it, Stan Kasten was probably right about Soriano and his theory of diminishing returns. Alfonso's Runs scored, OPS and SBs have dropped every year since he left Washington. He set his career high for OBP in Washington too.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 31, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah. That's right. My bad, surly.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 31, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Which sorta make one go "hmmmmmmm..." about that whole "protection in the batting order" thing...
**********
Alfonso's Runs scored, OPS and SBs have dropped every year since he left Washington. He set his career high for OBP in Washington too.
Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 31, 2009 10:37 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 31, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

You missed Nick J.--GO NATS! GO SKINS!

Posted by: ripndot | August 31, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I agree with joemktg. Sure it's good that Strasburg is grounded, but not "attempting to hide his displeasure at the scrutiny he received"... your life as you know it is over, Stephen. Long gone are the days of being a "just a baseball player"; you are not a "normal kid" with "normal kid" aspirations and "normal kid" tendencies (just ask Michael Phelps). And also, I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the Washington media market; I think Strasburg is going to be (un)pleasantly surprised (apparently) at the amount of attention he'll bring to the team and the area, which will probably be a good thing in the long run. Go Nats!

And I, too, will miss Ronnie. Did anyone ever notice the special high-five handshake thing he did with Zim and a bunch of other teammates? Judging from that (and his dancing video on YouTube) he was a good guy to have around in the clubhouse and his presence will probably be sorely missed. Best of luck to him in LA.

Posted by: NatMeg | August 31, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

If I recall correctly, Belli was last seen doing his handshake thing on tape with Dukes after the latter's recent grand slam.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 31, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Wow- I think Rizzo read my mind on Belliard- he sent Belli as far away as he could possibly go in MLB! I'm glad I don't have to see him in a Nats uniform any longer. Good luck to Ronnie, I can wish him well now that he's not wasting one of our roster spots. Hope the PTBNL will be somebody of note, since Luis Garcia appears to be a few years off from making the MLB team (and a little old to still be in A-Ball, IMO). Still, good move by Rizzo.

SS should ask Matt Weiters when the attention will die down. Speaking of Matt Weiters and SS, anybody know if theres a StephenStrasburgFacts.com yet? We could make some good posts I'm sure- including cabraman's superstrike idea.

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | August 31, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Matt Weiters is the bellwether, burger. Think Mark Prior, and the associated attention from the very visible, very publicized contract.

Posted by: joemktg1 | August 31, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

"Strasburg Dominates in Jogging Session." Love it!

Posted by: poncedeleroy | August 31, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"if the attention bothers him, it's good that syrasburg is coming to a low-profile market like washington."

I had to read that at least twice to be sure that it was a typo and not an intentional mix of "Syracuse & Strasburg".
Lol is apropos either way, methinks.

Posted by: shygaard | August 31, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

When SS starts his first Big League game in say Jun of 2010, the local sports media won't even know it happened. I mean they will be to busy covering OTA's.

No don't worry SS, your career here will be as absent to the media as are the faithful 9000.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | August 31, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Here is a link from the Comments section of the Post's article on SS. It's actually on Jack McGeary:

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/newton/2009/08/minoring_in_baseball.html

Posted by: TimDz | August 31, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Still can't get that daggone media player to work for me but here's Belli's walk-off vs. the O's:

http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=3029671

Thanks again, Ronnie! ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 31, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

ahhh ... surly_w,

Ted Lerner is a far more successful entrepreneur than Mssr. Snyder? Snyder got a gigantic multi-million dollar loan from Mr. Mortimer, which he proceeded to lose. He then borrowed tons of money from friends, family etc. to start his "new birth"
"give away" of necessities at local hospitals. Then he succeeded.

Ted and company have more than enough money to buy Snidely lock, stock, and barrel. They own parts of the lez boulez, the Caps, etc. Not just the Nats and huge commercial real estate holdings. They did develop the Wheaton Plaza the very first "mall-ish" creation in the entire DC area.

Ted could squash Snidely. Ted and Mark are just getting into the sports biz as managing owners. Let's see what happens when they get a taste of winning shall we?

Posted by: periculum | August 31, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Yeah well, I hope HE ISN'T throwing 135 MPH. He doesn't need to be blowing out his right arm showing off. And he doesn't need to be Daniel Cabrera. He needs to learn how to pitch, not throw.

Posted by: periculum | August 31, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

And he doesn't need to be Daniel Cabrera.
_______________________________

That has to qualify for the understatement of the season.

Posted by: TimDz | August 31, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Future MASN promo:

Stephen Strasburg. He's not Daniel Carbrera.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 31, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

oops, too much carb-loading in that one...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 31, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Luis Atilano may be on his way up when the rosters expand. They placed him on the temporary inactive list ... but he has been pitching extremely well. After that would be Detwiler and Estrada.

Posted by: periculum | August 31, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

As do I, Tim. But I also like the word "dingus," so I can also see where Joe is coming from.

-----

Personally, I like the fact that the kid is grounded and not full of himself.

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 31, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

It was also his birthday. No foolin'.

-----

The right-hander, pitching on his own bobblehead day, notched his 16th win.

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 31, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

All-

I wrote this in a Baseball Prospectus chat last night, getting the folling response:

HalfStreet (Fairfax VA): The Pirates have blown up their roster multiple times over the years, including this year. Mike Rizzo inherited the failed structure put together by Jim Bowden and MLB's neglect before that, yet says he is "building," not "rebuilding." The Pirates are headed for a record string of losing seasons, but that does not necessarily mean they were wrong this year. Still, I was glad that the Nats held onto Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham. Might Rizzo be onto something here? Could the Nats be Steven Strasburg and a couple of FA signings away from a real advance next year? Returning to the .500 record of 2005 would be the first goal.

John Perrotto: I think Rizzo is definitely on to something. I like the Nats' lineup and their young pitcher. Despite the terrible record, they really aren't that far from being respectable or better. Also, I can't tell you how happy I am that Rizzo got the job there. It would have been absolutely criminal if the Lerners turned to anyone else to be the GM after the way Rizzo quickly cleanup up the mess left behind by Jim Bowden.

After that came the equally encouraging entry this morning on UmpBump:

http://umpbump.com/press/2009/08/31/can-the-nationals-contend-next-season/

Perhaps there is some hope going forward.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | August 31, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

If the Nats win today, they earn their first winning month since 2007.

Anyone staying up?

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 31, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

JiM

Nap time at 7:05 p.m. BTW - has Wookie pitched yet? I don't follow AL baseball at all.

Posted by: leetee1955 | August 31, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Our challenge now....who will we all pick for our future good luck bashing? Perhaps Pete Orr would be a qualified candidate, since he seems to be Bellys replacement. I hope the bald bum can perform in San Diego.

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 31, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Didn't we decide that good luck bashing didn't work, anyway?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 31, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Brian Oliver:

"The other component to the deal is the PTBNL and that could very likely be a player currently on the 40-man roster who needs to clear waivers. We know from Mike Rizzo’s comments that the PTBNL will be a pitcher. Any player I’d highlight would be just a guess at this point."

Mebbe Eric Stultz???

Posted by: periculum | August 31, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

uh oh. Now I'm probably due for a bashing from Scooter. (ducks)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 31, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I will be up to witness closure to August, with hopes of a winning month. Seems right that Livo would get that honor to bring home the curly W.

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 31, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"Didn't we decide that good luck bashing didn't work, anyway?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 31, 2009"

We let up on it when he started to hit and look what happened? Morgan went down, and so has the offense.

Posted by: periculum | August 31, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

It worked for that 8 game streak. Maybe we just wore out Belly and should switch it up now and again.

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 31, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Atilano SP tomorrow?

Posted by: periculum | August 31, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The Wookie go thte win yesterday.

Oh, and there is at least one ex-Nat on an a contender's 40 man roster - Chris Carter, who did not clear waivers and thus has been spared from the Mets for a month.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | August 31, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey Kevin Sheehan on 980 just called us the Nationals Fans ...apathetic!

That there are just no real fans of basball and the Nationals

Sheehan always sounds like he is trying to make the word Nationals into a slur

Posted by: CBinDC1 | August 31, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, y'all have fun with it, anyway.

Thanks to PHS for the link. The umpbump piece was interesting, but that F-Lo was suggested as a pickup for next year makes me wonder how closely the author has followed the team.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 31, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

And Kevin Sheehan would be who now? Seriously, I don't listen to 980.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 31, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

After that came the equally encouraging entry this morning on UmpBump:

http://umpbump.com/press/2009/08/31/can-the-nationals-contend-next-season/

Perhaps there is some hope going forward.

+1/2St.

__________________________

I read that article and noticed that one of the three possible 2B FA's mentioned for the Nats was.....Flop. While the article suggested the Nats could possibly sign Adam Kennedy, it also mentioned that the Nats could sign any one of these three (the one who would sign for 3.5 million plus incentives). I can see NO SCENARIO whatsoever where the National consider signing Flop.

Posted by: TimDz | August 31, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

@1/2 St: I read your comments on the umpbump blog about Flop and they are spot on. Can you imagine the s*** storm that would result from a Flop signing?

Posted by: TimDz | August 31, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Ah, nice pick up on the comments section, TimDz. I hadn't looked at those. Well done, PHS.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 31, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Guzman's going to be the 2B next year, he just doesn't know it yet and the FO is being delicate about it. I think it was Boz in his chat that pointed out that slick-fielding SS's should be cheaper to sign that an Orlando Hudson type 2B. Because of Guzzie's salary, we're stuck with him, but at 2B, he becomes a plus defender as well as hitter. However, I wouldn't mind seeing the team sign Orlando Cabrera for a year or two until Espinosa or Desmond is ready (or Yunel Escobar becomes available from ATL). I think shortstop is the real area of need that needs to be addressed this offseason.

But kudos to Riz and the gang for moving Belliard. I still blame him for breaking Nyjer's hand.

Posted by: sec307 | August 31, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of "second basemen" and "other matters". Both Maxwell AND Morse have now re-appeared on Syracuse's roster. Now with Syracuse only 2.5 games back from both the division and a wildcard perhaps Rizzo has changed his mind?

Uh Chico? Any new words?

Posted by: periculum | August 31, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

It's better to be apathetic than just plain pathetic (ahem).
"No real fans"?? -- what does he think we are, frontrunners? Fignewtons of the imagination? Tulpas from Willie Harris's pre-game meditations? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulpa)
Perhaps he can just slur, generally--with a word or his hands. Whichever. I'm sure he doesn't drink Dos Equis.

*******
Hey, Kevin Sheehan on 980 just called us--the Nationals Fans ... apathetic!

[said] That there are just no real fans of baseball and the Nationals

Sheehan always sounds like he is trying to make the word Nationals into a slur

Posted by: CBinDC1 | August 31, 2009 1:25 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 31, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Sec3mysofa BRAVO

I could not have said that better myself

I just have a hard time not using his name as a slur with a slur attached and then followed up by a slur adjective and verb.

Posted by: CBinDC1 | August 31, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I second the BRAVO and give a heartily strong "Huzzah!" for Sec3's comments, bonus points for the "I'm sure he doesn't drink Dos Equis,"
and bonus bonus points for being educational regarding Tulpas. ("You know, I learned something today")

Posted by: HotNats | August 31, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Ignore the 980 troll. He has fewer fans than the Nationals.

Posted by: natbiscuits | August 31, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Pete Orr should totally be the guy cuz bashing him totally worked.

There was a lotta trash talking about why in the world they'd bring HIM up to replace Morgan, he only hit .245 in the minors, he's only a AAAA player, blah, blah, blah.

That night he promptly hit a lead-off single, stole second base and later hit a sac fly to score a run.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 31, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"However, I wouldn't mind seeing the team sign Orlando Cabrera for a year or two until Espinosa or Desmond is ready. I think shortstop is the real area of need that needs to be addressed this offseason."

I think Ian Desmond is ready. AG is here. And now lefty Pete Orr. That would give you 2 left handed hitters and 3 right handed hitters. (Guz is a switch-hitter, a big reason why he is hard to let go.)

Perhaps with Desmond and AG manning short, Guzman and Orr manning short? Three have recently played second and short. Guz has not but I suppose he could quickly get accustomed to it?

Then you have Morse to back up 1st, 3rd, and outfield and provide some decent offensive fire power. He could backup Zimm, Dunn and Willingham because he does bring a big bat to the table.

Posted by: periculum | August 31, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't consider Orr, AG or Morse to be real major-leaguers. And Desmond is a maybe - he kicks the ball around a lot and has his entire career in the minors.

The FO needs to upgrade the middle infield this offseason and I think Step 1 is moving Guzzie to 2B and Step 2 is sign a free agent SS.

Posted by: sec307 | August 31, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Chico,

Ask Rizzo and Riggleman whether the Nats are going to move Guzman to 2B and give Desmond a tryout at SS in September. They need to improve defensively up the middle, and Gonzalez isn't the answer at 2B, so they need to figure out whether Guzman can earn his $8 million in 2010 where his diminished range won't be as much of a factor and if they need to look outside the organization for help at 2B and/or SS.

Posted by: ericp331 | August 31, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

sec307:

"I don't consider Orr, AG or Morse to be real major-leaguers. And Desmond is a maybe - he kicks the ball around a lot and has his entire career in the minors."

Sure, given his minor league stats, his age, etc. you wouldn't have considered Nyjer Morgan a real major leaguer now would you? Eh?

First Guzman's bat is the only thing making him a "real major leaguer". Morse has one of those bad boys ... he just isn't a switch hitter. Second Morse, Orr and Gonzalez would be backups not starters. Looking at the age of past "backups" and some of their "stats" this could be a major upgrade age wise.

Why buy trouble? From the looks of things Orlando's age is catching up to him. He has been injured more this year than the infamous Nick Johnson?

The short of it? The 16 errors Ian Desmond has. And Guzman's lack of time at 2nd base.

If they are going to go out and get a middle infield it would be best acquired through trades where they can continue to acquire ***younger*** less injury prone "prospects" with a higher ceiling.

Posted by: periculum | August 31, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Leave Guzy at SS and bring in Orlando Hudson as a Free Agent Second Baseman.

Here is your Opening Day lineup 2010:

N. Morgan CF
O. Hudson 2B
R. Zimmerman 3B
A. Dunn 1B
J. Willingham LF
E. Dukes RF
C. Guzman SS
C. Flores C
J. Lannan P

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 31, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"O. Hudson 2B"

He'll likely be on the DR for most of the year given this year and the fact he will be a year older. Then who do you play?

I doubt that Rizzo will go for that. Veteran pitchers maybe but not Hudson.

Posted by: periculum | August 31, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

There is this Free Agent available after the season named Felipe Lopez. He is hitting over .330 with the Brewers and is quite the 2nd baseman!

LMAO!

Where is Jim Bowden when you need him!

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 31, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

2 "older 32 year olds" at second and short ...

Sounds like the way to build a young team. While the Dodger bring up a prospect to replace Hudson. And they are in 1st place? Hmmmm ....

What's wrong with this picture?

Posted by: periculum | August 31, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure Rizzo would tolerate Guz at 2b and Dunn at 1st. That is a fairly big hole for slap hitters to aim for.

Posted by: soundbloke | August 31, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Yeah and FLop is a switch hitter like Guzzie?

That move for Kearns and FLop actually made sense at the time. With FLop it was about attitude. With Kearns the ubiquitous "hidden injury" ... that affected his hitting.

You want attitude? Get someone hungry up from the minors. You want guys without "hidden injuries"? You make it a policy to go younger than 30 and do a thorough medical check.


Posted by: periculum | August 31, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

My reference to Senor FLop was for humor purposes only but Orlando Hudson is still viable (even given that he is in his 30's) and has a very good glove at second.

His .350 OBP and hitting around .290 are a big improvement over what the Nats have had at 2nd base and it improves the right side of your defense plus he is also a switch hitter.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 31, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not sure Rizzo would tolerate Guz at 2b and Dunn at 1st. That is a fairly big hole for slap hitters to aim for."

Guzman would have great range at 2B. I think he would be one of the best 2B's in the NL if he were to move. I actually think 3B would be a good fit for him too, but obviously, we're good to go at that position.

Guzzie will be as good or better than Hudson at 2B, so why pay both guys when Guzzie is already under contract.

But the in-house guys we have for the middle infield are utility guys at best, 4A guys at worst - so we need to upgrade our starters. Moving Guzzie fixes 2B (at least for next year) and I'm willing to give Ian a chance, but without having seen him play, I am hesitant to name him the starter for '10. Not when a bona-fide pro is out there via free agency.

But I'm all for trying Desmond and Guzzie together down the stretch to see what we have. If Ian can get it done, great, but I just don't believe in him yet.

Posted by: sec307 | August 31, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Leaving Guzman at SS is not an option in my opinion. The defense up the middle must be improved and he just can't get it done anymore at short, but at second, he'll be a plus defender to go with being a switch hitting top of the order guy.

Posted by: sec307 | August 31, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"Leaving Guzman at SS is not an option in my opinion. The defense up the middle must be improved and he just can't get it done anymore at short, but at second, he'll be a plus defender to go with being a switch hitting top of the order guy.

Posted by: sec307 | August 31, 2009"

That appears to be the case. Yet Espinosa is fairly close? A lot closer than he was at the beginning of the year?

In the end it appears to boil down to carefully crafted and considered trades? Trades in which young pitching, Ian Desmond, Cristian Guzman and depending ... perhaps Danny Espinosa would be involved?

Or waiting ... and playing the hand that is dealt for another year?

My gut says they have to try to go for rapid improvement now. Without sacrificing the youth movement, while refurbishing the stock of prospects in the minors.

In other words, Riz will have to hire a very capable "peer" to be the asst. GM and soon.

Posted by: periculum | August 31, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Going into Rizzo's first winter meeting, hopefully he will make some deals - and a top notch asst. GM will be key.

Espinosa's coming along, but he's still only in A-ball. Some scouting reports I've read on him project him as a major league 2B or 3B. He has a great arm, but I'm not sure about his range. I think he's probably an entire season away from making any kind of impact though. I trust Rizzo's scouting eye though, so I'd be intereted to hear what he has to say about Espinosa and Desmond. I think the AFL will help Espinosa too.

Posted by: sec307 | August 31, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

oops, too much carb-loading in that one...
______

Hey, that was funny.

Posted by: markfromark | August 31, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090830&content_id=6704256&vkey=news_was&fext=.jsp&c_id=was

Ladson says Rizzo will wait for the minor league season to end before making the September callups. Bill also has some good stuff about who it'll be - with quotes from J Riggs about carrying a 3rd catcher.

Posted by: nattaboy | August 31, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I was waffling on whether or not to stay up and watch all night but now that I hear we can have a winning August you can count me in.

As far as offseason moves: pitching pitching pitching. If we don't make any moves for position players I won't be too broken up, which is saying something because I'm a huge fan of makin moves.

That being said, farewell Belly. Thanks for posting that video - it's neck and neck with Zim Walking Off In The Park That He Built as my favorite Nats memory.

Posted by: nattaboy | August 31, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

"Going into Rizzo's first winter meeting, hopefully he will make some deals - and a top notch asst. GM will be key."

They now appear to have the offensive firepower? The young pitching is still a work in progress, but improving. Will it be enough to acquire the services of a couple of veteran starters (I wonder if that is what will be coming by way of LA?) plus ONE major league shortstop. (Since we have so many 'over-qualified' 2nd baggers including Guzman?)

If you are going for free agent short stops, all are older, then perhaps its a choice between Marco Scutaro and John McDonald? Scutaro can hit?

Posted by: periculum | August 31, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"Ladson says Rizzo will wait for the minor league season to end before making the September callups. Bill also has some good stuff about who it'll be - with quotes from J Riggs about carrying a 3rd catcher."

Again, it looks like Mike Morse has been returned to SYR to help with the now heated playoff race. Maxwell and Atilano (on the temporary inactive list) are likely on their way. Both Maxwell and Atilano are already on the 40-man.

Posted by: periculum | August 31, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"Ladson says Rizzo will wait for the minor league season to end before making the September callups. Bill also has some good stuff about who it'll be - with quotes from J Riggs about carrying a 3rd catcher."

Again, it looks like Mike Morse has been returned to SYR to help with the now heated playoff race. Maxwell and Atilano (on the temporary inactive list) are likely on their way. Both Maxwell and Atilano are already on the 40-man.

Posted by: periculum | August 31, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Glad that you enjoyed my little joke, markfrommark.

You're welcome on the clip, nattaboy.

I'm happy that the Syracuse fans can enjoy being in the hunt with the move to the Nats system. Hope that the winning will filter up here eventually. As for now: Go, Chiefs! Oh, and P-Nats, too!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 31, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Me. I love it when the Nats are in the West, since I don't get off work til 9:15 and then have to drive home. Just hope the hurricane doesn't impact them.
=============================================================
If the Nats win today, they earn their first winning month since 2007.

Anyone staying up?

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 31, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 31, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Too late for me but I'll probably watch the replay tomorrow. shhh....don't tell me what happens.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 31, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back to the west coast, Nats!

Posted by: PattyinSJ | August 31, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

What's the roster limit at Syracuse? The MiLB site lists 28 people on the SYR roster, -2 at 7 day DL = 26. They're over establishment, right?

Posted by: swang30 | August 31, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

gnu toast, btw

Posted by: swang30 | August 31, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

He got the win yesterday! Nathan tried giving it up in the ninth, though.

I agree about AL baseball, though. It's an inferior product.

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Nap time at 7:05 p.m. BTW - has Wookie pitched yet? I don't follow AL baseball at all.

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 31, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

For John and Jon:

http://tinyurl.com/oxyerp

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 31, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

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