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Lineups From Nats Park

Still waiting on the Philadelphia Nine.

Washington

Maxwell -- 8
Guzman -- 6
Dunn -- 3
Zimmerman -- 5
Willingham -- 7
Dukes -- 9
Bard -- 2
Gonzalez -- 4
Mock -- 1

By Chico Harlan  |  September 9, 2009; 3:05 PM ET
 
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Next: You Play... To Win... The Game

Comments

yesterday i was driving home and the "sports reporters" were complaining about lack of redskins coverage in the wapo. laughable.

Posted by: longterm | September 9, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Guzman -- 6

::sigh::

Posted by: Brian_ | September 9, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

longterm: Of course they were - the station they work for is owned by the Danny.

Posted by: BinM | September 9, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"yesterday i was driving home and the "sports reporters" were complaining about lack of redskins coverage in the wapo."

Why? Do they all keep very large birds with cages that need to be lined?

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | September 9, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Re: Managing to Win vs. Managing to Develop Youth

There are plenty of levels of professional baseball to develop young talent; the major leagues are to compete and win. I think a big problem the baseball culture here in DC has is the Acceptance of Losing - that 2013 and '14 are more important than '09 and '10. Nobody can guarantee that they'll be alive when Marrero is ready to make an impact. Don't get me wrong, the minor league talent is important and building for the future should be a top priority for all organizations, but the point of developing young talent is to Win the Games. Desmond, Detwiller and Estrada need to learn that their job on the big club is help the team win. If they need work on their change-up or curveball recognition, then tough - they should have learned that in SYR. There needs to be pressure at this level that there hasn't been. If we're truly grooming our young players to be stars of the future, they're going to have to learn how to handle pressure and it's the manager's job to maintain intensity and urgency thru-out the long season. If his lineup card underminds his message, then he'll lose the team and we're back to the old cycle of losing.

This season is not over and everyone from Adam Dunn to Ian Desmond needs to know that in DC, every game matters and we play to win. Desmond has to earn his way onto the field like everybody else. It's Foli's job to develop youth; it's Riggleman's job to win games. If Rizzo does the job most of us are expecting, we'll have a roster capable of .500 ball next year. So I see nothing wrong with instilling a 'play to win' mentality now.

Posted by: sec307 | September 9, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Brian_: I'd almost rather see Desmond starting in CF, but Cliff Lee would probably eat him alive; Not that Maxwell offers much hope at the plate.

Posted by: BinM | September 9, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Should Willie Harris be insulted that he has a great game yesterday and can't even buy a start today, either in CF or at 2B? Maybe Riggleman's not playing to win any more since y'all don't like that.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | September 9, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

sec307 - you have a good point about "that's what the minors are for", but there is also the point where you need to give your players the final "can you play in the bigs" test. And they can't take that test in AAA. so you might as well see if Desmond can hit or if some other other guys can get real major leaguers out.

Posted by: Section406 | September 9, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"Should Willie Harris be insulted that he has a great game yesterday and can't even buy a start today, either in CF or at 2B?"

Maybe he isn't "veteran" enough?

Posted by: Brian_ | September 9, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I am all for playing to win every game in a given season as my post on the "Harper Watch" has shown. Playing to win is not inconsistent with starting Desmond at Short and Guz at 2nd. Maxwell is a better CF than Harris. Staying with veterams too long got Jack Pardee fired.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | September 9, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Good point on the MLB 'test'. With Guzzie's foot problems, I think Ian will get a shot... I just see nothing wrong with playing Guzzie if he's healthy.

But ultimately, whether Desmond has success or not, it won't matter much at this point - the sample size will be too small. A real 'test' would be a July call-up due to an injury where he is given enough at-bats to give you a glimse of his talent. Maxwell impressed a couple Sept's ago, but has since proven that it didn't really mean anything.

Now if the Rigglemonster wants to go ahead and shift Guzzie over to 2B for the last month and give Ian the starts at SS, I'd be all for that. I don't really see that quality SS's coming on the free agent market and I think Guzzie is as good as any free agent 2B (yes, even Hudson) and is already under contract. But I digress...

Posted by: sec307 | September 9, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Well said, 307. It's important to end this season on a positive note going into 2010. Ian Desmond committed 28 errors in 2009 at Harrisburg and Syracuse. Why is he even here? Riggleman is justified in starting those guys that give us the best chance to win. Our long-suffering fans deserve that.

I have tickets for most of the remaining games and I want to see some disappointed Phillies, Mets, and Braves fans.

Posted by: longhorn64 | September 9, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

So do I longhorn, I just feel that goal can be achieved with Desmond at short and Guzman at second (provided he get out of his six week slump) than having Alberto Gonzalez anywhere in the line up.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | September 9, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

We don't have a ton of flexibility with position players with the callups, but if Riggleman's whole speech about "playing veterans" is true then why is Justin "i'm hitting .139 right now" Maxwell in center while Harris is hot? Guzman's not moving to 2nd in september; maybe in feb/march of next year but not right now.

I want to see what comes out of the bullpen tonight before passing judgement. If he rolls out the same mid 5.00 era clowns who have been blowing games for us all year (Rivera, Bergmann, etc) then its time to raise some discussion.

As for those who think we need to "end on a good note" or "keep trying." Really? In April 2010 when Strasburg is scheduled to throw his first pro pitch do you think anyone is going to care that we were 9-20 in september? At this point we might as well keep losing, wrap up the #1 overall pick again and test out some players.

Posted by: tboss | September 9, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

More than likely the best scenario would be Espinosa at short and Desmond at second base. Espinosa appears to have some power and is purported to be the slick fielding shortstop.

But that may be a year or two away? Expected arrival may correspond to Marerro's and Norris's. Perhaps Kobernus as well?

Right now having a switch hitter that does find a way to hit over .300 at second makes sense. **NOT** batting second ... unless he learns how to a whole heck of a lot more walks. Right now Dukes is looking more and more like the perfect #2 set up man. Or perhaps #3 with Dunn and Zimmerman following kind a like the Phillies.

Guzman appears to be a #7, #8 hitter.

Posted by: periculum | September 9, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"As for those who think we need to "end on a good note" or "keep trying." Really? In April 2010 when Strasburg is scheduled to throw his first pro pitch do you think anyone is going to care that we were 9-20 in september? At this point we might as well keep losing, wrap up the #1 overall pick again and test out some players."

Lezzz see okay there's Pete Broberg, David Clyde, Ben McDonald.

NO!! UNLESS RIZZO IS BRAIN-DEAD Strasburg will not start off the year in a Nats uniform. In fact it may even be best for him to start off in AA Harrisburg with his future closer Drew Storen. And then follow him to Syracuse ... if he looks like he is ready for AAA ball.

Posted by: periculum | September 9, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman definitely looks "interim" to me.

Posted by: periculum | September 9, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Let's not uncomplicate this too much. There is much to learn in September.

1. Can Riggles keep everyone's attention? Remember that a decision needs to be made about his future.

2. Who is likely ready to make be a part of a contending team in 11 or 12? Despite what you hear, on the platitude circuit, it's not about "exposing them to life in the majors." It is about getting a read on who might be totally hopeless against big league pitchers.

3. Where is there nothing on the horizon? We know that 3rd & 1st are locked in for 2010. We assume that Morgan will hold down CF. What F/A outfielders are available? Do we need 1, assuming that Willingham is solid? Do we need 0, if Dukes is a long term answer? Can we survive with Nieves & Bard, if we can get something prime for Flores, pick up a piece next year, and wait for Harper (personally, even with a year and 1/2 in the minors, I'm not convinced a 20 y.o. can run a pitching staff in the Majors) to mature?

Posted by: Catcher50 | September 9, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

@peri - Re: Strasburg, what if he pitches a dozen or 15 scoreless innings in ST next March? Or has just a few walks with an ERA under 2 or 1? Still send him to AA? If he shows he can hack the MLB level, then he's a better option to start in the rotation than JZimm or Martis were this year. And maybe a better option than anyone except Lannan or a healthy Olsen.

If he starts off shaky, then, sure. But if not, let's see what he's got!

Posted by: TheBorg | September 9, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

@Periculum,

I agree with you about Storen and Strasburg except for one point, don't worry about Syracuse. If they are doing well at AA bring them up when they are thought to be ready. AA is the new AAA. AAA is for AAAA players (lol).

Posted by: WashOut | September 9, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Jack Pardee???


(Yes, I know who he is--I was born and raised in Chicago--but Bourbon Lambada Jitterbug?)

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 9, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the numbers racked up by players in September after callups or during spring training are as meaningful as what scouts and other baseball pros can see. Is watching Desmond in DC going to be so much more informative than watching him in SYR? I don't think so, but I'm ready to be educated by the knowledgeable folks here.

I think playing the callups a lot would send the message that W/L doesn't matter. I'm with 307, the record does matter. The job of the team is to win the games.

Look what happens to teams when they trade front line players away during the season. Tampa Bay is 1-8 in the last 10 days after trading Kazmir, a prime example (of course playing NYY DET and BOS is a grind). I think playing the minor leaguers now would send the same message to the Nats.

Posted by: utec | September 9, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

What are they supposed to learn, if not how to win? Which they can't learn by watching the team give away at-bats, innings, games, or seasons.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMk5sMHj58I

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 9, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

@TheBorg: Strasburg's initial proving ground will be the AZL in late Sept/Oct. Regardless of his performance there, or in ST 2010 (unless he's absolutely lights out), it is in the Nationals best interest to start him in either HAG or POT in 2010; Don't make him over-throw early (JZimm's outcome is a lesson to be learned, imo).

Posted by: BinM | September 9, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

@307, catcher50, utec, and others: Agreed that the Nationals have games to win, but they also have an opportunity to see if some of their minor-leaguers can play (and succeed) at the major-league level.

In spot play, I have no problem with any of the callups trying to prove their worth at the ML level - Let's see what they've got; The FO (& the fans) don't learn anything with them sitting on the bench.

Posted by: BinM | September 9, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

"@peri - Re: Strasburg, what if he pitches a dozen or 15 scoreless innings in ST next March? Or has just a few walks with an ERA under 2 or 1? Still send him to AA? If he shows he can hack the MLB level, then he's a better option to start in the rotation than JZimm or Martis were this year. And maybe a better option than anyone except Lannan or a healthy Olsen.

If he starts off shaky, then, sure. But if not, let's see what he's got!

Posted by: TheBorg
@Periculum,

I agree with you about Storen and Strasburg except for one point, don't worry about Syracuse. If they are doing well at AA bring them up when they are thought to be ready. AA is the new AAA. AAA is for AAAA players (lol).

Posted by: WashOut | September 9, 2009"

I don't think its worth the risk for Rizzo. How many innings does it require before one is major league ready? And I suspect, given the competitive nature of SYR's season in AAA that the benefits of AAA ball *** with a good manager and pitching coach *** should not be downplayed.

I suspect 1/4 with Harrisburg with Storen and then the rest with SYR with a late season call up.

As we seem to have seen slow but sure wins the race with these young pitchers.

Posted by: periculum | September 9, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

1. Maxwell - 8.
2. Guzman - 6.

::sigh::

No walks, no one trying to get on base. Strike outs. Now the pitcher can concentrate on Zimmerman, Dunn and Dukes.

What's this about trying to win? We've already lost. Please explain the difference between playing a Maxwell over Harris (who appears to be very hot right now) and playing a Desmond either at short or second Riggleman?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: periculum | September 9, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

To be fair, though, Peri, Cristian Guzman *does* try to get on base. He just always tries to do it via a base hit, rather than The Most Exciting Play In Baseball, the walk.

Posted by: Scooter_ | September 9, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

"To be fair, though, Peri, Cristian Guzman *does* try to get on base. He just always tries to do it via a base hit, rather than The Most Exciting Play In Baseball, the walk.

Posted by: Scooter_ | September 9, 2009"

That's fine for a pitcher or #8 hitter. The walk can require more than 10 pitches from a pitcher unless it is intentional or he has lost all control. If you foul pitches off it requires even more. Those add to the pitch count.

More often than not Guzman never requires more 3 or 4. Its almost always a single. As one pitcher put it, single's don't hurt. His kind of single can also end up as a ground out. Walks are guaranteed on base and they do seem to hurt a pitcher more.

Posted by: periculum | September 9, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

I can see both side of the coin on this one and clearly Riggs and Rizzo are trying hard to change the Acta Jimbo culture of losing expected. That approach produced nothing but unwatchable baseball and a huge hit to the fan base.

I tend to think anyone but Guz at SS gives this team the best chance to win. I have been at the last two games and he can barely move left to right. So is Ian D the guy.....I don't know but if he puts up errors at the rate he has his whole career then Riggs is going to pay the price. What would you do?

Posted by: JayBeee | September 9, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

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