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Nats Lose Game, Acquire C Jamie Burke

The Nats went down again on Thursday night, 4-2. I'd summarize things thusly: Ross Detwiler was good, Cole Hamels was great, and Washington's offense made him look even greater. The Phillies' ace, dominant with that classic fastball-change combo, took a perfect game into the sixth. He ended up with an eight-inning, one-run, five-hit night, striking out 10. On the same night the Nats lost their 96th game, they also gained a player. Catcher Jamie Burke.

Here's the deal...

Just before 8 p.m. Thursday, as catcher Wil Nieves limped back to the dugout, slowed by a hamstring injury, the Washington Nationals had a problem -- and it caused general manager Mike Rizzo to pull out his cell phone. At that moment, the Nationals had three catchers on their 40-man roster, and even the healthiest -- Josh Bard -- was hobbled because of a groin injury. Nieves? He'd just pulled his left hamstring sprinting down the first base line. Jesus Flores? He'd undergone labrum surgery earlier this week.

To make matters worse, catcher is Washington's thinnest position at the Class AAA and Class AA levels.

The Nationals needed a temporary back-up catcher, and, according to Rizzo, "we didn't have any in-house candidates."

Within the hour, Rizzo had a solution. In exchange for cash considerations, the Nationals acquired Burke, 37, from the Seattle Mariners. To make room for Burke on the 40-man roster, Washington placed Flores on the 60-day disabled list. Burke will meet the Nationals on Friday at Citi Field in New York.

"With Wil a little gimpy -- we don't know how long it will be; probably a couple days -- and with Bardo a little gimpy, we needed another guy," Rizzo explained. "Jamie Burke is a guy that Jim [Riggleman] knows well. He's a complementary back-up guy."

Burke, a career .282 hitter in the big leagues, had just finished up a season with Class AAA Tacoma. In 2008, Riggleman managed Burke briefly at the big league level.

As Burke was on his way east, Nieves was walking around the postgame Washington clubhouse, optimistic that he'd miss only a few games. The injury occurred in the top of the third, as Nieves, who has been splitting playing time with Bard, ran down the first base line.

"I think I just pulled it a little bit," Nieves said. "Right now it just feels tight because we put so much ice on it, so we've got to wait until [Friday] to see how it feels. But I can walk normal."

By Chico Harlan  |  September 17, 2009; 11:11 PM ET
 
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Next: En Route to New York

Comments

Next post: "Nieves out for the year"

Posted by: inthestreetindustry | September 18, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

The team's quit. Riggleman's toast. These guys can't even pay attention when they're on the bases. When they get on, of course. They've got 40 players up and still no bench. Next year is gonna be brutal. But at least Chico's articles have some life to them. Although I'm beginning to think he's doing straight rip-offs of Shirley Povich, because Povich used to use boxing analogies too (in this corner, etc., you know, back when boxing was big). But at least it's better than reading something from Sheinin. At least he's trying, unlike the team.

Posted by: Brue | September 18, 2009 7:12 AM | Report abuse

As I'm watching Dukes hit last night, I'm continually amazed as to how he continually attempts to pull the outside pitch! Seriously, at what point is he going to go the other way. How old is he that he still hasn't figured this out?

Until he makes this significant change, he will always hit .250. If he starts going the other way, he's a .300+ hitter, otherwise he can continue to expect everything outside, esp. the off-speed.

Ponderous, man, really ponderous.

Posted by: joemktg1 | September 18, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

This is great. Rizzo sure didn't waste any time. I so can't wait to see what he does in the off season.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 18, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Also, Zimmie leading on web gems with 16. His tarp attack was number 1 again last night. I'm so proud!

Posted by: NatsNut | September 18, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Luke Montz must be really bad, to get DFA'd from a team that has no organizational catching depth at a time when there was no compelling need to DFA someone. I guess he's not even good enough to be inventory.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | September 18, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

In light of Weymouth's recent announcement that the Post's advertisers will not support "depressing" stories, at what point do the Gnats become unworthy of coverage?

96 losses ought to be considered fairly depressing, especially in light of last year's 102 Ls. It just seems there's no end to it. If that's not depressing, what is?

And, of course, that raises the question about what they would have to do to get back into print? Is the lift and hope of a prospective season enough? Or would they have to achieve a meaningful standard, such as win some games?

Posted by: MartinZook | September 18, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

We've got our 2009 starting catcher ... (kidding).

Posted by: natbiscuits | September 18, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Aaron Crow: got only $3M and signed a year late. Hope he gives his agent a big thank you. Signed for less than the Nationals offered him and missed out on a chance to speed up his service time. Frankly, we are better off with Storen, and its nice to see how greed does not always win out.

Posted by: natbiscuits | September 18, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Rizzo's on it.

I had a feeling that would be a web gem, NatsNut. I couldn't believe that Zimm came up with that one!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 18, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Aaron who, now?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 18, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

... Ponderous, man, really ponderous. ...

Is Don on the phone? . . . . Okay, I want a GDamned concerted effort to come, come out of a record that isn't an effin uptempo record every time I do a GDamned *death* dedication! Now make. . . and I also want to know, what happened to the pictures I was supposed to see?

Posted by: mistermuleboy | September 18, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Well, the good news is that the tragic number for the Nats to clinch Bryce Harper is down to 11.

Posted by: twinbrook | September 18, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

For the last 30 days, Dukes is hitting .310, with an obp over .400. Maybe he has made some adjustments.

Posted by: markfromark | September 18, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

In other news, Nats w/o TP = 4-14.

Get well, Nyjer. We miss you.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 18, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Man, I find it hard to believe that Morgan's only been gone for 18 games. Feels a lot longer, don't it?

Posted by: Scooter_ | September 18, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Back to discussing next year's roster. I'm still pushing for free agent SS John Macdonald, incredible defensively and wouldn't cost a lot so the team can spend it's dough on pitching. Check out this article on Johnny Mac from the Toronto Star

http://www.thestar.com/sports/baseball/article/697491

Posted by: slopitchtom | September 18, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"The Nationals needed a temporary back-up catcher, and, according to Rizzo, 'we didn't have any in-house candidates.'"
--------

Here's hoping the remaining catchers on the Nats' AAA and AA (and heck, even high-A) rosters use those words as an incentive to work their butts off during the offseason...

Anybody know who those remaining catchers are?

Posted by: Juan-John | September 18, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

But my first reaction was, "What the [RF], we've lost another catcher?!?" :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | September 18, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I wonder whether it might be a factor of the minor league season being over, and none of those catchers having been on the 40-man roster, Juan-John.

My own first reaction was "What the Chase Utley is going on with our catchers?"

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 18, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

The team's quit. Riggleman's toast. These guys can't even pay attention when they're on the bases. When they get on, of course. They've got 40 players up and still no bench. Next year is gonna be brutal. But at least Chico's articles have some life to them. Although I'm beginning to think he's doing straight rip-offs of Shirley Povich, because Povich used to use boxing analogies too (in this corner, etc., you know, back when boxing was big). But at least it's better than reading something from Sheinin. At least he's trying, unlike the team.

Posted by: Brue | September 18, 2009 7:12 AM
------------------------------

Brue - I find myself agreeing with you on most levels.

The team lacks emotion and again when your middle order guys are in a slump, it will happen plus the greatest thing a guy like Nyjer Morgan brought to this team was emotion.

There are still some milestones to be met and a few guys fighting for the 2010 roster.

Of interest is Dunn getting 40 HRs which will put him at 100 RBIs and 30 HRs and 100 RBIs for Zim.

Then you have how Desmond will perform the rest of the season and Maxwell is still a question mark. Morse has been solid.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | September 18, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@Juan-John: I've been working on some system-wide lists by player position - I'll try to post my catcher synopsis this evening in whetever thread is open.

Posted by: BinM | September 18, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Jamie Burke, in his best Jake Taylor impression:

Is that you, Tolbert? This isn't very funny, ya know. I'm hung over. My knees are killin' me. If you were gonna pull this %$#@, you could've at least said you were from the
Yankees.

Posted by: bryc3 | September 18, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Let me get back to you, will ya, Mike? I got a guy on the other line asking about some white walls.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 18, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Good thing Bowden is gone, or the Nats would have brought back Do Luca.

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | September 18, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

What about signing Bengie Molina in the offseason? Sure he's 35, but he can still hit (18 HR), can still field (.994 fld) and knows how to handle a pitching staff (Lincecum, Cain, Johnson, heck even Zito). Sign him to a 2-year deal. He starts the year as the starter (banking on Flores not being 100% until June). Then, if Bengie hasn't stunk up the joint and Jesus comes back completely healthy, the Nats could trade Molina at the deadline for prospects.

Posted by: erocks33 | September 18, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

The Giants would never part with Bengie - he's an institution there.

Posted by: PattyinSJ | September 18, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

The Giants will absolutely part with Bengie. He's a free agent and they have Buster Posey groomed to take over. Bengie is going to want a multi year deal that pays him as a starter. The Giants won't do that with Posey moving up.

Posted by: natbiscuits | September 18, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Brue,Gone, i'm with you on Riggs indicated as much in my post the last few days,and i must say i'm confused, why would you play so poorly and basically kill your chances for next year if you are a Maxwell or any player on the fence? These last ten games have been a little disheartning and the relief pitching is a joke. Any thoughts on a managerial candidate for next year? I think Tim Foli deserves a shot but that's just me like to see some input.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 18, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

And Bengie will improve our team speed :)

Posted by: natbiscuits | September 18, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

This team is anything but America's Top Forty, MrMB. But a nice reference.


*********************
... Ponderous, man, really ponderous. ...

Is Don on the phone? . . . . Okay, I want a GDamned concerted effort to come, come out of a record that isn't an effin uptempo record every time I do a GDamned *death* dedication! Now make. . . and I also want to know, what happened to the pictures I was supposed to see?

Posted by: mistermuleboy | September 18, 2009 8:43 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 18, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Just noticed the following on Phil Wood's MASN blog (reposted here in case somebody might be out that way this evening and interested in attending):

Completely off-topic, please join Frank Howard and me at the Glory Days Grill in Sterling, VA tonight from 6-9pm. Hondo will sign autographs and Glory Days will have copies of my book "Nationals on Parade" available (Frank is pictured in the book), plus the Nats-Mets game on the TV's. When we use vintage Washington baseball photographs on "Nats Xtra" they're usually from the book.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 18, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Indeed. It's like when my manager had to explain why I wasn't starting, when we only had 9 players.
Either that, or he figures his career is better served not being on this team.
Seriously, I wonder what the deal was, there. Rizzo can't have gotten tired of watching him already, can he?
********
Luke Montz must be really bad, to get DFA'd from a team that has no organizational catching depth at a time when there was no compelling need to DFA someone. I guess he's not even good enough to be inventory.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | September 18, 2009 7:24 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 18, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

In other news, maybe the Nats could ask Bernard to come, take fear from bats:

http://masnsports.com/2009/09/post-35.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 18, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if this has been posted here, but a friend of mine sent me this link.

http://deadspin.com/5360945/the-2009-washington-nationals-a-season-of-bigger-failure/gallery/?skyline=true&s=i

Posted by: twinbrook | September 18, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Do you think Bernard can give the bats lasik?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 18, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

That's interesting: Bengie Molina's BaseballReference.com page has a sponsor, but Adam Dunn's doesn't.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 18, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Maybe that would help with seeing-eye hits, sec3.

So, who's going to step up and sponsor the big guy's page?

In other news, new post up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 18, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I should have known there'd be a Bog failure connection...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 18, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Well, the good news is that the tragic number for the Nats to clinch Bryce Harper is down to 11.

Posted by: twinbrook

Alex, give me Permanent Catching Solution for $1,000 please

Question: Who will have a higher batting average for the Nats than Brian Schneider next September?

Posted by: Brue | September 18, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

What,Hobie Landrith wasn't available?

Posted by: djorl | September 18, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I like Desmond, Morris and Maxwell guess that means that none will be on the 2010 Opening Day roster.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | September 18, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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