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Nats sign Bruntlett, Whitesell to minor league deals

The Washington Nationals bolstered their infield depth -- and added one more piece for their middle infield puzzle -- with the signing of first baseman Josh Whitesell and infielder Eric Bruntlett to minor league contracts.

Both players appeared last season in the big leagues, but Bruntlett in particular represents an intriguing possibility given Washington's quest to find options at shortstop and second base. Bruntlett, 31, a seven-year veteran, is a lifetime .231 hitter. He spent the last two seasons with Philadelphia, batting .171 (105 at bats) in 2009. He also turned an unassisted triple play on Aug. 23 against the Mets, just the 15th in major league history.

For his career, Bruntlett has played all four infield positions and all three outfield positions.

Whitesell, 27, is back with the organization for the second time, having been a sixth-round pick in 2003 by the Montreal Expos. In 2009 Whitesell, with the Diamondbacks, had his first significant big league experience, batting .194 (108 at bats) with one homer, 14 RBI and 24 walks.

"I was getting my feet wet," Whitesell said. "I was up and down [from the minors to the majors] three times. I didn't have the success I wanted, but it was a learning experience."

Speaking about his hopes for 2010, Whitesell said, "I come into camp and they'll give me every opportunity to show what I can do -- back up Adam Dunn at first base and be a left-handed bat off the bench."

By Chico Harlan  |  December 28, 2009; 5:27 PM ET
 
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Comments

Still dumpster diving to fill the glaring holes. Obviously Bruntlett didn't get much playing time in Philly but the Nats already have Willie Harris to do basically the same thing. Whitsell and Bruntlett will most likely be roster fillers for Syracuse. Lets hope so!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | December 28, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Bolstered the infield depth? Reaching a bit there Chico.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 28, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

bolstered it on the minor league roster. i wouldn't expect either of these guys to make the team out of spring training.

Posted by: sec231 | December 28, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Chico: Where ya been - I had this one at 1:00 this afternoon... Oh, well - here's a repost.
---------------------
My gut tells me that today's signings are nothing more than insurance policies to be held at SYR. Bruntlett can fill in short-term at 2B-SS-3B, but hasn't ever hit in parts of seven ML seasons; Whitesell is a smooth-fielding 1B who can hit at AAA & could push Marrero to get some of the 'clank' out of his glove.
Posted by: BinM | December 28, 2009 5:35 PM

Posted by: BinM | December 28, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

"...Dunn has also said he is open to staying in DC."

Posted by: SpashCity | December 28, 2009 12:41 PM

**********
Carrying forward the Dunn conversation. Spash, Dunn has said a lot more than being "open" to staying in DC:

http://masnsports.com/2009/12/dunn-excited-about-nats-long-t.html

read my lips: Dunn aint goin nowhere, trade, free agency or otherwise.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 28, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Here's a little something to think about - Currently, the New York Yankees have 24 of their 40 players under contract for 2010. Their total salary commitment so far = $206.7M. Holy Crap, people, that's $8.6M/yr. per player!!

In local contrast, the Nationals are committed to eight players in 2010, for $44.75M ($5.6M/yr per player); The Orioles, 17 players for $52.83M ($3.1M/yr per player).

It's the Steinbrenner's game; everybody else just hopes to get lucky & steal a pot occaisionally.

Posted by: BinM | December 28, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

BinM, LOL. Our payroll is freakin' CUTE compared to NY's.

In other news, Josh Bard and Chad Cordero both signed to minor league deals with Seattle.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 28, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Face it, the economics are way different for the Yankees and to even try to compare their payroll to the Nats is foolish!!
But if you want to be correct, it's more like the Yankees are all in every season and occassionally win it all!!! They have no excuse not to win every year!! Period!!
On the other hand, it's so enjoyable to hear the Yankee fans cry when they go down in flames!!

Posted by: dkidwell61 | December 28, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I could care less whether Yanks fans cry, the fact is the Nats play in a market which yileds revenues well above the level of spending the club puts forth. This is not KC or Pitt or Minn or Oak, this is the 4th-5th largest media market in the country with one of the highest earning populaces in the nation. The park is brand freaking new the division is geographically sexy (short travel times and close to PR/DR).

The Nats have no real reason to suck as much as they do, no real reason to be in the bottom 10% pf payrolls.

Forget how much the Yanks spend or whether they win it all or not, if the Ntas spent in the top 60% of MLB they'd be interesting as Hell, but the Lerners have better things to do with the season ticket holder money. It's a shame.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 29, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Bruntlett was a good signing. The guy can play everywhere, including SS. It's a minor league deal, but I bet he makes the team. And if he's good enough to stick with the Phils the past two years, there's no reason for "garbage heap'' talk.

Posted by: nats24 | December 29, 2009 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Make the team? What? These two have batting averages of pitchers and Austin Kearns.

We have been the worst team in baseball for the last two years. I dont want to even hear about these kind of signings. We have to start spending money and get some players who can really play this game!

If we aquire Adam LaRoche to play first and move Dunn back to the OF, that would be news.

Posted by: Gibbs4Pres | December 29, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

One word: Inventory.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 29, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

This is not the sort of thing reasonable people get upset with. Neither player was signed as Plan A for a starting role. But if another infielder gets hurt at some point during the year, either one of these guys could come in and help. Last year the well ran dry again. The Nats had to use a roster spot on such notables as Padilla, Patterson, and Pitiful.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 29, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Trivia Question. Everyone knows that Adam Dunn is biggest and heaviest player (275) on Nats 40 man roster. "Lumbering" is the word most often used to describe his running style, although he's actually not that slow. Anyway, who is second heaviest, 20 lbs heavier than numbers 3-5? I think you'll be surprised, I sure was.

Posted by: gusgrace | December 29, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

If we aquire Adam LaRoche to play first and move Dunn back to the OF, that would be news.

Posted by: Gibbs4Pres | December 29, 2009 8:25 AM

*******
No, no, no, no, no. A thousand times no. As long as Adam Dunn is on this team I don't EVER want to see him in the outfield again. Ever. Ever, ever.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 29, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

20 lbs heavier than numbers 3-5? I think you'll be surprised, I sure was.

Posted by: gusgrace | December 29, 2009 8:56 AM

Um. Guzzie?

Posted by: NatsNut | December 29, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

OK, I had to look this up... it's Elijah Dukes (6'1", 250).

Posted by: BinM | December 29, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

According to the 40-man roster on nationals.com, Dunn is now up to 285. (Watch out, DYoung!) Dukes is second at 250 (no surprise there), Justin Maxwell (6'5") and Brian Bruney are at 235, and Mock, Flores, Morse and Zimmerman are at 230. So I'm not sure what you're getting at, gusgrace.

Posted by: section309 | December 29, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I predict that the Nats will make a major trade before the end of March. A multi-player deal, at least from our side, involving at least one guy from our starting lineup.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 29, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Not sure if this has been posted but it's a Baseball Prospectus Q&A with Jim Riggleman...

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=9886#commentMessage

Posted by: longterm | December 29, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Adam Dunn @ 1st base = Good.

Adam Dunn in the outfield = BAD BAD BAD BAD. NO. BAD. DO NOT DO.

Posted by: AtomicOvermind | December 29, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Dunn should never play outfield again and LaRoche would be a waste here. Liked the two signings just for depth in the minors plus I hear Bruntlett is a good clubhouse guy - We are not done and that is exciting to me. Look at the difference between this off-season and last. It's exciting to be a fan but I do agree we need to and should do more.

Posted by: sjm3091 | December 29, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

They'll trade Willingham or Dukes - probably Willingham - he can hit but he's a liability in the OF and there are other guys that can hit 20 HRs and drive in 60. Actually, I think Maxwell would do that if they just put him in the lineup and he got comfortable at the big league level. Or they'll but Bernandina in LF. I'd be happy with an Of rotation of Maxwell, Bernadina in LF, Dukes in RF, and Morgan in CF. That would certainly be one of the better defensive OFs in the game.

Posted by: AsstGM | December 29, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Eric Bruntlett, Eric Bruntlett...

Thanks to the Sec320 blog, I guess, for rekindling memories of July 24, 2005, when EB's 3-run HR in the top of the 14th propelled the Astros to a 4-1 victory on an unpleasantly hot Sunday afternoon at RFK.

OK, the losing streak had already started by then but this defeat, wasting great pitching by Patterson and others, sent an unmistakable signal that the party was indeed over for the Nats. Maybe having him in our organization (if not actually in the uniform of the Big Club) means that a new day is dawning in NatsTown.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | December 29, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@longterm -- thanks for the link to the Riggleman interview, good stuff.

My favorite part:

"DL: As a manager, is there a degree of excitement—maybe you could call it a thrill factor—to have a premier player on your roster?

JR: Yeah, but only in the sense that he’s going to help your ball club. I mean, somebody is going to be thrilled when [Matt] Holliday signs, and when [Roy] Halladay is traded. You’re thrilled just to add talent to your organization and to your 25-man roster. It’s a very good feeling to have talent, because ultimately, that’s what wins and loses ballgames. It’s whoever has the most talent."

From Jim's lips to Ted Lerner's ears! Get talent Ted! Go after Holliday, go get him!

Posted by: dfh21 | December 29, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

i'm just trying to stay warm here and i don't know much of anything anymore, but willingham = phil hughes keeps popping in my head.

i know girardi loves willingham and i'd love some more pitching.

Posted by: longterm | December 29, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

was listening to MLBXM today on the way to work and bowden had to go there...

bashing the irod signing, which isn't a bad place to be, in general. but if your name is jim bowden, should you be bashing a GM for signing an old (37) washed up catcher with (his words) a sub 300 OBP and an OPS under 700?

paul loduca the year before he signed with the nats under bowden: 616 OPS, 36 yrs old, $5m/1yr.

then in his next comment, about the braves haul in the vasquez trade, dissing one of the players because he's the kind of guy a scout loves purely for the tools...

hey, jimbo. meet this kettle.

Posted by: sec231 | December 29, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Bernadina. That's right. I don't know why I KEEP forgetting him. He was on fire before he broke his ankle. In fact, I think he was sort of a mini-Nyjer. He'd be a great defensive LF, but he's a quick leadoff guy, which we don't really need. We still need to keep a Willingham-type bat in the lineup.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 29, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I like Adam Dunn, and I would like to believe that he played better than expected defense at first base, and that he might even get better. But the numbers are not helping me out on this point. For example, he is dead last among 1Bs in Ultimate Zone Rating (which is the number of runs above or below average a fielder is in both range runs, outfield arm runs, double play runs and error runs combined) by a wide, wide margin. Cue Fangraphs:

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=1b&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=n&type=0&season=2009&month=0

For those not inclined to make the jump, Dunn is at negative 13.8 runs. The second-worst 1B is at negative 6.7 runs. The best defensive 1B is at positive 10.4 runs.

Here is another article that reaches the same conclusion:

http://bases.nbcsports.com/2009/12/adam-dunn-at-first-base-good-luck-with-that-washington.html.php

We can argue about whether UZR is the right stat to use, but he doesn't fare very well with any of the other fancy alternatives either. Any way you slice it, he gives back about as many runs defensively as he earns offensively.

Don't get me wrong, I love him in the #4 slot, I think he has helped Zimm, and I'm not necessarily advocating trading him, at least not yet. It would help if we had defensive whizzes at second and short, but we don't. In the short term, improving team defense at other positions might be our best hope.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 29, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Another good article:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-new-moneyball-approach/

Posted by: BobLHead | December 29, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

From SI.com:

The best minor moves of the week came in Washington, which signed average starter Jason Marquis and mediocre reliever Matt Capps for more or less what they're worth: Two years and $15 million for Marquis, one year and $3.5 million for Capps. Maybe this makes for new tires on a rusty old Schwinn fished out of the bottom of your grandfather's trout lake, but the Nationals lost 205 games over the last two seasons and looked for a while as if they were going to make a serious run at the single-season loss record in '09. So long as they're not signing players like this to long-term deals, they need any kind of talent they can lay their hands on.


Posted by: dovelevine | December 29, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Dunn will improve at first -- he's never going to be very good, but if Ryan Howard can get decent, so can Dunn. The guy knows that he'll make a LOT of money if he can just be adequate.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 29, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Bobble,
Heh, heh. Did you do Dunn's UZR for the outfield?

We're keeping his bat regardless so whatever position is the least bad is where he stays and my money is on 1B.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 29, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so I did it myself.

Dunn's UZR:

OF: -22.5
1B: -13.8

Lesser of two evils and all that...

Posted by: NatsNut | December 29, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe that Matt Capps is yet listed on the Nationals 40 man roster. Did we ever learn who would be dropped to make room for him? I may have missed it. How long do they have before the move has to be made?

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 29, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

If I recall correctly, Capps was to take a physical after the holidays (and I believe that the deal would not be finalized until that had occurred).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 29, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

1a1: You got it. At this point, Capps has only "agreed to terms".

Posted by: BinM | December 29, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

@Bobble - if you enjoyed the Fangraphs Moneyball article, you may be interested in Rob Neyer's take on it...

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/1869/were-the-fat-scouts-right-all-along

Posted by: Section220 | December 29, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

from rotoworld.com

"According to WFAN's Mike Francesca, the Mets have signed Jason Bay and completion of the deal is only pending a physical.
Mets sources have informed Francesca that Bay's contract will be finalized early next week. It's not yet clear what the exact financial terms are, though the Mets' latest rumored offer was worth $65 million over four years. If they stuck to their guns, it seems like a fine pickup. Bay, 31, hit .267/.384/.537 with 36 home runs, 119 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 531 at-bats this past season and will add considerable pop to the Mets' 2010 lineup."

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 29, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Glass Half Full: The Mets signing of Jason Bay is good as they might knock a few wins off Philly and Atlanta so as to make 90 wins enough to win the division instead of 95. Nats now only have to improve by 31 games instead of 36.

Glass Half Empty: We're doomed, doomed I tell you.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 29, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

So the Mets will now lose games 7-5 as opposed to 7-4.

If your offense consists of Reyes, Wright, Beltran, etc. and your pitching consists of Santana and ? where would the money be better spent?

Posted by: goexpos2 | December 29, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Bruntlett is a great improvement defensively over Willie Harris in the infield. I hope he makes the team.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | December 29, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, but can he take a direct hit to the, um, you know, uh, never mind...

http://www.nationalsenquirer.com/2009/07/ball-breaker.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 29, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

DeRosa to the Giants, per Heyman on SI.com:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/baseball/mlb/12/28/heyman.derosa.giants/index.html

Two years, 12 mil.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | December 29, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

..."little willie" and the twins?

____________________________________

Yeah, but can he take a direct hit to the, um, you know, uh, never mind...

http://www.nationalsenquirer.com/2009/07/ball-breaker.html

Posted by: TimDz | December 29, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Daggone it, will you guys please stop it - Every time somebody references the "Harris cup-check FAIL", I instinctively go into the fetal position for 10-15 minutes.

Posted by: BinM | December 29, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Me too. And I'm a girl.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 29, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for trivia question delay. My point was that I never would have guessed Dukes at 6-1 would be second heaviest at 250 lbs. He clearly has above average speed and is aggessive on base paths but has history of bad knees and injuries. Perhaps, at 6-1, a playing weight closer to 225 would be more desirable for long term sustainability than 250. Of course, the guy is ripped, but perhaps as a baseball player, rather than football, it would be prudent to drop a few pounds. Similar to dameat, it doesn't seem to be an issue with Nats. Anyway, I was shocked that Dukes weighed so much but perhaps others who follow more closely were aware of Dukes "weight" issue.

Posted by: gusgrace | December 29, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Gus, much appreciate your research on Elijah. I think you ought to be the guy who tells Dukes to drop 25 lbs.

Dukes' physical tools are amazing. Now, if he could just lay off those sliders low and away.

I personally think Riggs is the perfect guy for Dukes. Remember, it was Manny who played AK two straight months ahead of Dukes. What does THAT do to a guy's head? When Dukes came back up and played for Riggs, it was like he was a different player. Considering the loss of his dad and his past, I am really pulling for Dukes this year. I think he's a 120 RBI sleeper in that No. 5 slot...

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | December 29, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Out of curiosity, I googled, ideal weight for a man with a large frame and height of 6'1" - it's 168-192 lbs. I have no idea what an optimal baseball players weight might be and am sure there is a wide range, especially for someone as strong as Dukes. Even so, if Dukes is suffering from bad knees and nagging injuries, perhaps it would be beneficial to drop some weight.

Posted by: gusgrace | December 29, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

No way Dawg! Actually, I'm a big Dukes baseball fan and am pulling hard for him. You right, he does need to learn to hit curves and sliders, but I remember a Chico article last year which suggested he was working hard on improving this aspect of his game and I think he was in winter ball this year up to his father's tragic passing. All, in all, this will be a big year for Dukes and just hope he stays healthy.

Posted by: gusgrace | December 29, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Interestingly enough, the ideal weight for a man with a height of 6'0" is 220. I am certain of this because my wife said I was a perfect idiot.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 29, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Dukes is not going back to winterball....seems Licey did not want him back.......that is a bad sign on many levels...he needs to prove he is coachable and can learn to not get picked off first, hit a cut off man and recognize an off speed pitch before it is 2 feet outside. Wish we had a beat reporter....Dukes not going to winter ball is a story.

How about Boz today....every year he gets our hopes up just about his time.....could this really be the year?

Posted by: JayBeee | December 30, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Dukes is not going back to winterball....seems Licey did not want him back.......that is a bad sign on many levels...he needs to prove he is coachable and can learn to not get picked off first, hit a cut off man and recognize an off speed pitch before it is 2 feet outside. Wish we had a beat reporter....Dukes not going to winter ball is a story.

How about Boz today....every year he gets our hopes up just about his time.....could this really be the year?

Posted by: JayBeee | December 30, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Oh and yes I understand his dad died...reports after that had the Nats saying he would be returning to Licey....the fact they no longer want our Starting RFer are the story and the fact that Dukes it seems is not going to get done what Rizzo said he had to do this winter....now what Mike?

Posted by: JayBeee | December 30, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

What is the source of the statement that Licey didn't want Dukes back? I recall seeing an item on a blog (I don't recall which but it was not a newspaper blog or the Ladson blog) where the blogger was trying to translate a Spanish language item about Licey. If I recall correctly, the blogger's initial interpretation was that Licey did not want Dukes back, but a blog reader subsequently posted their own interpretation that Dukes did not want to return to Licey after his father's death.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 30, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Also, thanks for the heads up on the Boz column. Shop 'til you drop, Rizzo!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 30, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Personally I believe it's time to halt the Dukes experiment in Washington. I've rooted for the guy as much as the next Nats fan, but I think it's time for a change of venue. He needs to go someplace (like Millidge did) and have a growth opportunity. The Nationals need a consistent RF to play every day. RF has been a glaring hole for years now. I think someone else deserves a chance.

And I'm not sure why people keep saying Willingham is a liability in LF. 7 errors for a .971 isn't horrible. He has a catcher's arm, and yes, he tailed off with his bat at the end of a brutal season (he did lose his brother if you remember). A solid 133 games too. 24 dingers after doing the 'Manny slide' at the beginning of the year...the errors will come down...

Posted by: dand187 | December 30, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

On Willingham, FWIW, here's the assessment from last year's edition of John Dewan's The Fielding Bible:

"With more time in the field, Willingham's ability to judge flyballs and the routes he takes to the ball will improve, making him an asset in the field."

Will be interesting to see the updated assessment.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | December 30, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I'm OK with Dukes in right but if he isn't a full time starter I can't imagine he'd be good just sitting on the bench. Give him a full year to show what he can do, if not OFs are easy buys on the FA marketplace. As a realistic goal would be .500 next year there is no rush to judgement on RF... as long as it isn't Kearns.

I see us waiting to be bottom feeders on whatever starting pitching is available like Davis... Unless we make a trade I don't see anything but depth moves for AAA.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 30, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

And here's my prediction of the Fielding Bible's comment on Dunn for 2010:

"With more time in the field, Dunn's ability to judge groundballs and the routes he takes to the ball will improve, making him less of a liability in the field."

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | December 30, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

link to dukes story.....http://www.federalbaseball.com/2009/12/10/1194323/washington-nationals-elijah-dukes.....I agree it is still not clear to me if Dukes does not want to return or that Licey will not take him back....would be nice if some kind of beat reporter asked Rizzo the status and the consequences of Dukes not getting any work all winter.......alas....that would take some work and Chico does not really care (never did either)....Maybe Zuckerman will give us a good by gift.

Posted by: JayBeee | December 30, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, JayBee. That looks like the blog posting I was thinking of. I agree, it would be good to see some follow-up on that front.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 30, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"Similarly, the Tigers desisted to bring of return to the American outfielder Elijah Dukes, who left toward the United States by the death of its father, but left planted to the Licey in several opportunities.

"Already to the Licey does not interest to have of return to Elijah Dukes", reported Bust."

Makes about as much sense as anything I've ever seen JayBeee write here. I really don't see what his problem is.

Posted by: section309 | December 30, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh. *sigh*
Just say NO to Babelfish.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 30, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

OK, give me a minute here... the original article doesn't seem to be available, at least from my desk ...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 30, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

ABM,

Point is Dukes has a lot of work to do to be the RF we need. He has always needed to do this work....never has done it....always wants to do it his way which has led to him being a bust.....Rizzo made it clear he had to go to Winter Ball show he has learned to accept coaching and prove he was ready....he did not do it...for whatever reason...I am just pointing out that Rizzo has very little Jimbo pie in the sky soft spots in him.....I predict Rizzo shows Dukes the door just like your boy Milledge this spring.

Posted by: JayBeee | December 30, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

All I can say is (and it is straight from my very young nieces' and nephew's Harry Potter Lego Puppets [UTube] viewing ... ) Dobbey's Socks and Unicorn turds.

Posted by: periculum | December 30, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"Dunn's UZR:
OF: -22.5
1B: -13.8
Lesser of two evils and all that ..."

Dunn, Morse, and Desmond: Birds of a Feather.

Espinosa, on the other hand ...

Posted by: periculum | December 30, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

JayB, this has actually crossed my mind too, about how much leeway he gets with Rizzo.

When Dukes came back up from the minors, I thought it was Foli who made a difference for him, not Riggleman. But either way, there seemed to be a small shift in Dukes for the better.

I understand the difficulty of Dukes returning to winter ball, either on his side or even the team's. In fact, I'm worried he might not be able to bounce back to normal, never mind make necessary improvements. It was HUGE that Riggleman went to the funeral and I hope he was able to reach him somehow.

Anyway, in my own mind, I'm watching carefully to see how his dad's death may have affected him, how missing winter ball may have affected him, and Rizzo's new role/priorities will affect him.

I'm really hoping for the best.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 30, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

p.s. but I also agree that maybe playing him full time will help a lot.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 30, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. Either the server for the team Web site (licey.com) is down, or they've tightened the leash on us at work. I'd like to see the rest of the article.

Busto would probably be Francisco Busto, Licey's assistant GM.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 30, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Dunn, Morse, and Desmond: Birds of a Feather.

Espinosa, on the other hand ...

Posted by: periculum | December 30, 2009 12:56 PM

********

Are you seriously suggesting Dunn is in the same category as Morse and Desmond?

Wow.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 30, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/29/AR2009122902804.html

Ouch! Add my vote to the Bring Zuckerman Here campaign. The only reason I don't read him more is because their website is so clunky.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 30, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I think the main problem with the 2008-2009 edition of Dukes was Manny Acta and Austin Kearns.

In 08-09, Kearns was given (certainly not earned) 568 plate appearances and put up a 209/320/312 line. At least 400 of those should have gone to Dukes.

Posted by: comish4lif | December 30, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I think Rizzo would like to Move Dukes but given that we don't have anyone to replace him and remain in desperate need of a starting pitcher and short stop I can't see him being able to.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 30, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Dunn, Morse, and Desmond: Birds of a Feather.
Espinosa, on the other hand ...
Posted by: periculum | December 30, 2009 12:56 PM
-----------------------------
It would seem that periculum's summer bromance with Morse has ended; How fickle, how sad.

Posted by: BinM | December 30, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

natsnut, i think he's suggesting that they're birds of a feather defensively.

the difference is dunn is a HR/OBP machine and the others can't hit for power or walk.

Posted by: sec231 | December 30, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

and new post.

Posted by: sec231 | December 30, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang....Happy Almost New Year....a question for all of you web researchers: any info or rumors on where our late lamented rf'er Austin "I Stunk" Kearns is heading..or already is? Last I saw was a piece from a Seattle blog site recommending him as a cheap defensive addition. I actually hope he has a bounce back year.....by all accounts he was a great teammate and while I never thought he was a great defensive player, he was certainly above average. Just seemed like he forgot how to hit. It was painful to watch him struggle. I hope wherever he lands the change of scenery gives him a new lease on his baseball life.
On a side note, I have a feeling that JayBay is gonna be a big disappointment for the Mets.
And here's hoping that Elijah has a MONSTER, breakout year.
And J. Zimm comes back sooner-and better-than before.Flores, too..
Well, Gang...those are just a few, but I'd love to hear/see your New Years Nats resolutions/wish lists.
Finally, in that Riggs interview I was happy to see the Mariners brought up.I hope the team says "why not us"?Also interesting to hear Desmond referred to as a "special" player(from Foli).
And....one more time, to ALL of you who contribute here:thanks for making my Naddiction so much more enjoyable. You really add to the already immense pleasure of having a home town team to root/revile for.I look forward to hearing from every one of you in the upcoming year..hopefully the start of a Nationals Decade of Dominance!(Although at this point I'll take decency!)
Go Nats!
Go Nats!
And Go NJ'ers!!!

Posted by: zendo | December 30, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

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