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Marrero Not Thinking Ahead

If plans -- or The Plan -- goes according to form, some of the seven Nationals playing in the Arizona Fall League could be part of the big league club's nucleus by 2011. Chris Marrero, whose name has long been appended with "first baseman of the future," said he and his Phoenix Desert Dogs teammates aren't thinking that far ahead.

"You don't really think about that," said Marrero, who placed a homer to left-center field in the fifth inning Tuesday for the Desert Dogs. "When it's your time to play it's your time to play. I just want to go out here and have a good month and get back home and get some rest."

Marrero, a 6-3, 210-pounder selected in the first round of the 2006 draft, will not play winter ball this year, but he's enjoying this extra month of work. He is living in a house with shortstop Danny Espinosa and minor league pitching coach Paul Menhart, the Nats' representative on the Phoenix coaching staff.

And what about being the first baseman of the future? Is that what Marrero thinks?


(He's a man of few words.)

Marrero, who stroked some lofting line drives to the outfield during batting practice Tuesday, said he is not focusing on one single aspect of the game. Asked who is working with him on hitting, he said, "Mac and Moe." Their last names? "I don't know, I just call them Mac and Moe."

Moe is Moe Hill, a field coach for the Class AA Bowie Baysox last season who is familiar with Marrero from his time at Class AA Harrisburg, where he hit .267 with a .732 OPS in 23 games.

"He's got a lot of ability," Hill said of Marrero. "He swings the bat well. I saw him swing the bat well against us. We're just right down the road from them and he hit our pitches out pretty good. ... Somebody else in the Nationals organization sees something there, too."

"I'd love him be an Oriole," Hill added, laughing. "You never know, it could happen."

Speaking of Marrero and his six fellow prospects, Menhart said, "This is an excellent opportunity for them to showcase themselves and play against top-notch individuals from other organizations."

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 13, 2009; 5:30 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Hello and Welcome to Opening Day!
Next: Thoughts from Day 1 in AZ


Looks like Marerro already has a home run today on a pitch inside.

Live gameday is available for AFL games:

Posted by: cassander | October 13, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Tracee , I know you are far from the source but I have not been able to find a result of Guzmans' procedure last Thursday.

Posted by: aspenbubba | October 13, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, cassander. Looks like it's a slugfest.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 13, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Hi Tracee,
I'll be in Pheonix next week and am hoping to catch a game or two. Is there a site where rosters for the day are posted, or a schedule for the starting rotation? I'd love to see Strasburg and Storen pitch.

Posted by: msolem | October 13, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Am enjoying the Gameday and Tracee's tweets... wish I could be there, but that's looking very iffy this year.

Posted by: Hendo1 | October 13, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

TWO posts in one day - I'm happier than a pig in mud!
I hope Marrero was just being glib, or what he thought was funny with you - He's always had the bat, what he needs is to hone his glovework, IMO. A decent-fielding player with some legitimate "pop" in his bat will find more Major-League opportunities than just a bat without a position.

Posted by: BinM | October 13, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

msolem: Baseball America has the League Rosters posted here (, and TimDz posted the AFL schedule in the prior post (

Day-to-day lineups / pitching matchups might be available in the local papers, or here (

Posted by: BinM | October 13, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

TRACY or anyone: carryover from the last post:
Strasburg is apparently scheduled to go Friday--will he pitch every fifth day, meaning next start is Wednesday (home against the Peoria Javelinas)?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 13, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

and BinM: the Dogs' schedule is at

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 13, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

even on blogs, the Tracy rather than Tracee spelling is not acceptable ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 13, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Opening day summary, with a Nationals-centric bent. Mesa beats the Desert Dogs 10-6, with Daniel Espinosa(SS) & Chris Marrero(DH) starting, and Josh Wilkie coming on in relief in the 4th.
Offensively, Marrero had a solo home run in the 5th, finishing 1 for 3 with a walk, while Espinosa had a 2-run single & a SF-RBI later in the game (1-4, 3RBI).
It was however, an Espinosa error that fed Wilkie's 4th inning line of 1IP, 3H, 4R, 0ER, 2BB, 2K.

Posted by: BinM | October 13, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Saw on mlbtraderumors that Steve Phillips, not the best source but hey, said that the Red Sox will dangle Papelbon this winter. What do you think the Nats make a trade of Dunn for Papelbon and prospects this winter? Is Papelbon worth Dunn? Is Dunn going to be with the team in 2011?

Posted by: wrw0601 | October 13, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse


don't give us so much so soon. we tend to get greedy when fed this well.

Posted by: surly_w | October 13, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, BinM.

(Not only greedy but also surly. :-))

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 13, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of feeding, I think it's time for a Devil Dog.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 13, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Tracee, my sincerest apologies.

1a, It's a fair cop. But society's to blame.
even on blogs, the Tracy rather than Tracee spelling is not acceptable ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 13, 2009 7:24 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 13, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

no telling whether Dunn will re-sign after next year, or whether the Devil Dogs will move to Tasmania. But I think Red Sox Nation is probably ready to dangle Papelbon right now, if you catch my drift and I think you do.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 13, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

But to actually get Papelbon (which I do not advocate), it would take waaaay more than Dunn + prospects. Maybe they could throw in a draft pick? (ducking)

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | October 13, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

wrw: Two, no three things, IMHO - 1) the source (Steve Phillips), even by your own admission, is flawed, 2) The thought that the RedSox would "dangle" Papelbon only points to the fact that he is an Arbitration-eligible player in line for another BIG payday ($6.25M in 2009), and 3) Dunn wouldn't even be the starting point for negotiations with the RedSox (They still have "Big Papi" until 2011 at $25M total). The cost for Papelbon would start at RZim + Storen + a LH pitching "prospect".

They'll try to dump Wagner long before they ever let go of Papelbon.

Posted by: BinM | October 13, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Furthermore, a "lock-down" closer is only critical to a pennant contender; The Nationals, as currently comprised, are not ready for that. A combination of MacDougal, with Storen added later in the season in 2010, could be a step in that direction, however.

Posted by: BinM | October 13, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

No to a trade of Dunn for Papelbon. Yes to Dunn being on the team in 2011 and beyond. He wants to be here, they want him here. He'll be extended.

Posted by: nunof1 | October 13, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

i remember hill when he played in the royals system about 25 years ago. pretty good minor league hitter, but as an outfielder he couldn't catch a bus while standing on a corner. there was one apochryphal story about some fan brought a sign to a game that said "you can't make a mountain out of moe hill."

Posted by: surly_w | October 13, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

nunof: In my mind, one of three things happens in 2010. Either 1) Dunn agrees to an extension, 2) either Dunn or Willingham get traded at the 2010 deadline, or 3) Marrero either gets called up or traded in 2010, based on the outcome of #1 or #2.

Posted by: BinM | October 13, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

i remember hill when he played in the royals system about 25 years ago. pretty good minor league hitter, but as an outfielder he couldn't catch a bus while standing on a corner. there was one apochryphal story about some fan brought a sign to a game that said "you can't make a mountain out of moe hill."
Posted by: surly_w | October 13, 2009 9:16 PM
Ladies & Gentlemen, Your Phoenix Desert Dogs coaching staff & the Post of the day.

Posted by: BinM | October 13, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Your story chilled me to the bone. I'd still be pretty freaked, even after all those years. Big pat on the back for getting that out. I mean, wow.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 13, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

McDougal hip surgery? Where did THAT come from? This is the website of a *NEWS*paper, right?

Posted by: NatsNut | October 13, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Dunn for Paplebon is a terrible idea for the Nats, even if the Red Sox would consider it (and I personally think they would--Big Papi and Lowell are close to finished there, and Dunn is their kind of offensive player). And consider this: Dunn is just one year older than Paplebon. So what do the Nats get out of such a trade? A closer they don't need unitl they win more frequently? Just a bad idea all around.

Posted by: jcj5y | October 13, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Make that Papelbon. He's still just a year younger than Dunn. Not worth it. And to repeat what I've said before, I hope that Marrero is the first baseman of the future, but I'm just not seeing greatness in his .732 OPS in AA (or any of his other minor league numbers).

Posted by: jcj5y | October 13, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

According to, McDougal had hip surgery. My guess is that it was "wildly sucessful"

Posted by: chris88 | October 13, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse


there is only one local team that this news organization obsesses about and it's not the one that uses balls and bats.

Posted by: surly_w | October 13, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

if no. 54 wore burgundy and gold - or maroon and yellow - and was a third-string linebacker this newspaper would be all over the story about his surgery.

Posted by: surly_w | October 13, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

sec3, my objection wasn't so much to the point raised as to the timing and tone. As for copping and society's role, I offer the following plea:

We are sick, we are sick,
We are sick, sick, sick,
Like we're sociologically sick!


Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 14, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

no no no no! You do not break up the 3-4-5 of Dunn Zimm and Willingham. Papelbons can be found easier than meat of the order hitters. don't turn us into the Pirates, trading pieces every other day!

Posted by: 1of9000 | October 14, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Your column was more than a little frightening and makes me most thankful that my children have gotten past the stage where they might be prey for someone like that. Only problem is that now I have grandchildren. I hope that others get the danger involved in this issue and understand that these situations are real and being a "hero" is a losing proposition. Tell friends. Tell the authorities. Don't go through years of hell.

Comment on baseball to follow.

Posted by: Catcher50 | October 14, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Dunn for Papelbon is not about to happen. What you are seeing is the inevitable response of Saux Nation to a loss in the playoffs.

Theo Epstein is not likely to make such a deal and, frankly, the Nats are not and won't be in a position to need a shut down closer for a couple of years. Such a commodity is much rarer than some, here, think.

OTOH, right now, the 3-4-5 set up that we have has a reasonable amount of pop for the next couple of years. Ironically, both Dunn and Marrero probably have more value to an AL team than to a NL team, since neither is a finished product at first. Personally, I'd try and extend Dunn, keep Marrero at first (remember he is still very young) at Harrisburg in '10. If he progresses in the field, he becomes prime trade bait or can slide in for Dunn, should we get a good enough offer for the big guy. What you need to think about, though, is that, if we are going to be serious about closing in on a playoff spot in '11, Marrero would need a number of ML at bats before he can really fit into a contender's lineup.

Posted by: Catcher50 | October 14, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Everyone is all over the MacDougal hip surgery. Everyone except the Washington Post, that is. I even heard it reported on WJFK as I was driving into work today, and normally all they ever talk about there is how bad Dan Snyder is. What's up with the Post anyway? Have they abandoned covering baseball altogether? Sheinin covers game 1 and 2 of the Phillies-Rox series and then goes MIA for four days. They send a columnist out to the Arizona Fall League and she files a report about a 30-year-old stalking incident and not a word about baseball. Meanwhile Steinberg is apologizing for actually having the effrontery of taking one day off in the midst of his 24/7 anti-Snyder blog barrage. As far as baseball coverage goes, stick a fork in the Post. They're done.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 14, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Via the MadDog:

Roy Clark has informed the Braves that he is leaving to take the As. GM spot vacated by Rizzo, and Kris Kline will be promoted from as. scouting director to scouting director, replacing Dana Brown.

Also, trading a 40-homer, middle of the order bat for a freaking closer who's career will be over any day is absolutely crazy. Dunn is worth WAY more than silly little Papelbon - who we don't need. Dunn would have more homers than Papelbon would have save chances with us. Let's get that notion out of our heads immediately.

There are plenty of relievers in the FA market we can get, like Rafael Soriano - who I'd rather have over Papelbon anyway.

Posted by: sec307 | October 14, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Besides all the good arguments about the value of Dunn vs. Papelbon and all the reasons trading Dunn for him would be a bad idea, blah, blah, blah, all I'm thinking is, sheesh, can't we just KEEP a player for a change? Someone who's consistent, liked, and actually produces for us? Why we gotta always talk about trading guys just because he has a little value? Believe it or not, Dunn actually fills a need here.

Posted by: NatsNut | October 14, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Thank ugly incident beatifully covered.
I'm with Cather50, if someone is facing a similar situation today, tell the autorities and do not take indifference for an answer. Do not be a hero or heroin.
Vicitims are not to be blamed.
My daughters and grand daughters face a better wqorld because of courageous women, like yourselve, who have shinned a light on this dark presence.

Now, let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | October 14, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I think NatsNut's comment on keeping players is precisely on point. The baseball media commonplace that the Nats are a bottom-dwelling team that should trade every asset it has to somehow rebuild its system in the hopes of contending someday rests on at least two very flawed premises: (1) that he Nats can never afford to bring in quality free agents, when in fact the team can, in theory, afford to spend a lot more on payroll; and (2) that trading players like Dunn can bring back high-level prospects, when in fact few teams today are willing to trade such prospects. Thankfully, the Nats seem to be ignoring this advice and focusing on improving the current roster, rather than dismantling it by trading the best pieces. Which is why Dunn should and likely will get an extension.

Posted by: jcj5y | October 14, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Too many typos on my previous post to count. Hopefully the thought got through.

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | October 14, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Loud and clear, SlowPitch. Well said.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 14, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

NBC Sports is reporting Roy Clark has been raised from the dead, has grabbed his g-tar and is heading our way.

Looks like Mad Dog Russo XM-144, NBC and MLB Homeplate XM175 all beat the local media to the punch. Oh thats right we are now in the 6th week of the Zorn Death March, no need to worry about anything else. Pitiful

Posted by: TippyCanoe | October 14, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Yeehaw! See y'all in the new post(s).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 14, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

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