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Bullpen sessions, full-court shots, etc.

Want a sign that this year's Nats camp has a little more harmony? Already 58 of Washington's 60 spring training invitees have arrived at camp. Position players don't report until tomorrow, but already I've spotted every last guy except for Elijah Dukes and Josh Willingham. So no visa issues, no travel headaches, no Odalis-Perez-like holdouts.

*

Stephen Strasburg threw his second bullpen session of the spring this morning, and though his first performance drew more attention, his latest 10 minutes of action drew raves. "I thought he threw real good the other day," Manager Jim Riggleman said, "but today he was off-the-chart good."

How many different ways can one proclaim greatness? Well, Boz arrived in Viera today, and he's collected some incredible stuff on Strasburg -- observations galore, from guys who've spent decades in baseball watching thousands of pitchers. Check for his column in tomorrow's paper.

Strasburg threw today to Pudge Rodriguez. Also, Strasburg was observed by his mother, his wife, and his newest family member -- a three-pound, 10-week-old Yorkie.

"Oh it was unreal," Strasburg said, and here he was talking about Pudge, not the Yorkie. "He's a future Hall of Famer, and especially the first couple throws I was just trying not to throw one at his knees. I kind of settled down and just kind of went back to basics. He was out there working with me. He got me nice and relaxed and I was able to get a nice workout on the mound today."

*

Today's episode of Incredible Tricks from Nats Pitchers: Check out this video of J.D. Martin sinking a full-court shot. He pulled the trick one night over the winter at his old high school. His brother and nephew can be seen off to the side.

Most amazing part of the video is what happened beforehand. Martin and his brother were at the gym that night because it was raining hard, and Martin wanted to play some catch with his brother. The school's athletic director let them into the gym. But after a while with the baseball, the Martins started messing around with the basketball. That's when Martin sank a full-court shot. Too bad it wasn't on camera. So Martin, now with the cameras rolling, took three more attempts -- all misses. Then he sank the fourth, which is what you just saw. So basically, Martin made two of five full-court shots.

*

The Nationals, at first glance, are already overloaded with pitchers. They have 35 in camp, 32 of whom are healthy. Nineteen of those healthy pitchers have started major league baseball games. Four of them -- Scott Olsen, Jason Marquis, Shawn Estes and Miguel Batista -- have started more than 100 games.

But as the Nationals begin the process of finding their five-man rotation, General Manager Mike Rizzo is still open to the idea of adding arms, not eliminating them. According to a source, Washington is monitoring several remaining veteran free agents, including Livan Hernandez and Braden Looper.

The Nationals have reason to want such security, especially given the hip injury earlier this week to Ross Detwiler, a 23-year-old with the inside track for the No. 5 rotation spot. Right now, two spots on the staff are wide open, and that could become three spots if Olsen doesn't appear fully recovered from shoulder surgery. A healthy Olsen may dissuade the Nationals from signing a last-minute veteran; an unhealthy Olsen may force it.

"I think at this point if that happens we'll welcome that addition," Riggleman said, "but if it doesn't I'm comfortable with the guys we have right here."

By Chico Harlan  |  February 23, 2010; 2:50 PM ET
 
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Next: Boz on Strasburg

Comments

Wow, note who posted the video ... John Lannan. I've made 1/2 court shots but never a full court and the guy did it twice in one night.

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

You would think (hope) that dukes would come in early; has a lot to prove.

Posted by: swanni | February 23, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Not a good sign in either case, Willingham or Dukes. Bowden's little "so you wanna be a GM" series can't have helped with Dukes. Willingham may be happy to be trade bait ... if its a contender.

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Peter Angelos would like to thank all Natinal fans and their MASN money the kick in every month via their cable subscriptions.

Big Pete just bought a restaurant in Little Italy and it's certain he used some of his MASN money to help purchase said.

hahahahahhahahahahahahahahaahha

http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/real-estate/bal-bz.angelos19feb19,0,4064721.story

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 23, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey Poopy-O's Exec is back, now go away, fool.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 23, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Nobody is late reporting. The due date is tomorrow. He said he hasn't spotted Willingham and Dukes - not that they are not there. And even if they are not there yet, it is hardly a bad sign. Give them at least until noon of reporting day before you go to the "not a good sign" knee jerk commentary.

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 23, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

MASN = YES Mid Atlantic.

MASN is broadcasting more Yankees games this spring (6) than either Nats (4) or O's (4).

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 23, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Once again peri you look for the worst with Willingham and Dukes. Every post. It must get tired being so pessimistic.

As for the arms in camp, I think its an issue of quantity not quality and some of the fodder will be shown the door rather quickly. No need to waste time on Estes and Batista if they aren't going to make the 25 man roster.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | February 23, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

BTW, if you had not seen this, Wilkerson signed with the Phillies.

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 23, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Poopy,

Angelos just likes to eat for free ... so he buys a restaurant just so he can feel like he gets a free lunch every day ... next he will buy a bar in Fell's Point so that he can get free drinks ... mebbe he will run for Mayor and then governor ... just what we need another governor of Baltimore.

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Just say no to Livo.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 23, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Dukes come in early last year?

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Nobody is late reporting. The due date is tomorrow. He said he hasn't spotted Willingham and Dukes - not that they are not there. And even if they are not there yet, it is hardly a bad sign. Give them at least until noon of reporting day before you go to the "not a good sign" knee jerk commentary.

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 23, 2010 3:39 PM
_______________________________________________________________

Well said. Dukes has made his bed, so to speak, and he has to lie in it but, let's give the guy the benefit of the doubt before we call him out. He's not late and maybe he prefers working out on his own until it's time to show up. And Willingham, I mean, the guy's a pro, he works as hard as anyone.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 23, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how I'd feel when I found out that the guy who brought me in told ownership that "I would either be in jail or the All Star game 50-50 but given my price tag I was worth a shot".

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not sure how I'd feel when I found out that the guy who brought me in told ownership that "I would either be in jail or the All Star game 50-50 but given my price tag I was worth a shot".

Posted by: periculum"

I'd be OK with it knowing if I wasn't playing baseball I'd probably be unemployed with a boatload of spousal and child support to pay. Even Dukes knows the statement is true if not the nicest thing to hear.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | February 23, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

@SCNatsFan,

I hope you're right and the "Dunn as trade bait" faction instead ends with a new contract for the guy. Then at least they would be alright at the corners just needing to work on pitching and the middle infield.

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

for those worried about Willingham: his wife is VERY pregnant and I'm sure he has the team's blessing to be with her right now.

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | February 23, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

For those who hated the Pudge signing (although they don't seem to be able to articulate how the Nats would be able to get through the season without him or someone not nearly as good), if I had, maybe, the best pitching prospect of the decade in his rookie camp, why wouldn't I want to have him throw to the best catcher of his generation? Signing Pudge wasn't a good move, it was almost perfect.

BTW, bet Pudge makes the call as to whether Super Steven starts in A, AA & comes up in June, or starts the 8th of April against the Phils.

Also @BF10...Willingham's wife can't be very pregnant. You either is or you ain't. You may be due momentarily, but pregnancy is a yes or no call.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | February 23, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Dukes does worry me -- wish the team would make him compete for the position; afraid he's taking starting for granted .

Posted by: swanni | February 23, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey peri... just in case you didn't notice, Wilkerson signed with the Phillies 'cause the Lerners are cheap.


Posted by: KilgoreQTrout | February 23, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

"Dukes does worry me -- wish the team would make him compete for the position; afraid he's taking starting for granted ."

@Swanni,

They sent him to Syracuse last year to ensure that wasn't the case. He knows well that he if he still has options they will do it to him again. They may not be top prospects but they do have guys on this team that want his job. What happens if Chris Duncan (okay its a pipe dream?) starts playing the way he used to ... he may not last an entire season as a starter but surely he could be worked with a Roger Bernadina? Desmond could also potentially play right field?

Its pitching where they have real issues to resolve. That and what to do about Adam Dunn who they should have signed long-term when they had the chance.

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Hope Wilkerson does well.

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"That and what to do about Adam Dunn who they should have signed long-term when they had the chance."

They still have the chance. And they will extend him. Bank on it.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 23, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

They still have the chance. And they will extend him. Bank on it.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 23, 2010 5:07 PM
_____________________________________________________________

Uh oh. Here we go again.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 23, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

@An Briosca Mor,

Would you like to predict whether Scott Olsen is on the roster after the 1st day of spring, March 22nd as well?

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you should ask that question somewhere where this An Briosca Mor actually posts. Which ain't here, in case you hadn't noticed.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 23, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I am guessing that Dukes will be fine, if he can stay healthy. This is a big year for that guy. He knows it. He can establish himself as a legit MLB talent and make some money or he can squander an opportunity.

I'll venture that he hits .270/.375/.485 24 HR, 75 R 85 RBI 15 SB.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 23, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Big Pete just bought a restaurant in Little Italy and it's certain he used some of his MASN money

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 23, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

MASN money? I could buy property in that peasant town with the change underneath my couch.

Posted by: Kev29 | February 23, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

dfh21: "I'll venture that he hits .270/.375/.485 24 HR, 75 R 85 RBI 15 SB."

Fifteen SB, but how many CS? If it's more than 5 or 6, he'd help the team more by staying put.

Posted by: gilbertbp | February 23, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Covering as much ground as possible...
> I'd hardly call 35 pitchers in camp "overloaded" after the cattle-call in 2007 (61), but whatever.

> Regarding Dukes & Willingham, they're not late - As long as they either walk into camp tomorrow, or contact the team, they're covered. Willingham may have already been in touch, as his wife is reportedly due to deliver any day now.

> @505203: What is with this obsession you seem to have for associating & calling out current posters with older "non-de-plumes"? I'm not just talking about nunof1 (although you two seem to live for chances to goad one another), but others as well. Just give it a rest, willya? I'll promise not to poke sticks in either JayBeee's, or Brue's cages in return.

Posted by: BinM | February 23, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Well, if he nabs 15, he'll likely get caught 4 times or so. Last year was horrible, I have no idea how he managed to get picked off and caught so much. Morgan seemed to help the guy and he has the speed.

I think that Riggleman is going to run with this club a lot. Kennedy stole 20 last year in less than 130 games, Morgan is going to run every time. Taveras and Harris will get into the lineup and will also be taking off. Might even see Guzman grab 10 again. Should be fun to watch.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 23, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I think Dukes got picked off a lot because baserunning isn't about being fast 1st to second, it's about reading pitchers, and he isn't very good at it (yet). Being fast helps, but lots of very fast guys are not good at it. It's really encouraging that he seems to be learning from Morgan, who may not know more than, say, Rickey, but he doesn't have to--he only has to more than Elijah Dukes.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 23, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

BinM,

Why would you care is probably the better question?

Don't sweat it. If you don't like it, simply scroll past. No skin off my backside.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 23, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

And if he only steals 15 for 19, he's not running enough.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 23, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

505, normally I'd agree with you on that, but lately, the ad hominem stuff is taking up half the real estate in here.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 23, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Hey Poopy-O's Exec is back, now go away, fool.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 23, 2010 3:36 PM
--------

You just love trying to keep pushing that angle don't ya fella. Maybe if (like your idol Glen Beck and Sean Hannity) if you repeat the lie enough, people will start to take it as truth.

Now, go back to Fox News, fool.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 23, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

@505203: What is with this obsession you seem to have for associating & calling out current posters with older "non-de-plumes"? I'm not just talking about nunof1 (although you two seem to live for chances to goad one another), but others as well. Just give it a rest, willya? I'll promise not to poke sticks in either JayBeee's, or Brue's cages in return.

Posted by: BinM | February 23, 2010 7:11 PM

You know what the really sad thing is, BinM, is that section3203040303 isn't even right with his "calling out" of posters.

But that's never stopped him (like his Fox News idols) from continuing to do so.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 23, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

I would still like to see Dukes bat second. Right after Morgan.

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Looper did go 14-7 last year for the Brewers and pitched close to 200 innings but he had a 5.22 ERA and we all know how bad Livo is, are these guys really better than Martin, Mock, Martis, etc.?

Pedro Martinez is the only starter out there still worth a damn but there is no way he can start a whole season, he will sign with whatever contender needs a starter come July or August.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | February 23, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I guess Noah Lowry is still a free agent but we already have enough pitchers coming off of surgery so he would defeat the purpose of a FA starter.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | February 23, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

That's 2 idols.
**********
Maybe if (like your idol Glen Beck and Sean Hannity)

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 23, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

A couple of points regarding Dunn & 1B...

If he looks to be coming toward middle-of-the-pack defensively this spring, I'd hope Rizzo could work out a 2-yr +option deal w/Dunn & his agent by July; An initial offer of $32M ($16M/$14M/$2M buyout) would be a fair starting point, imo, and would carry Dunn to age 33.

Marrero is still young,

Posted by: BinM | February 23, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Poopy-O's Exec,

Since you put it out there, I'm more of a Bill O'Reilly guy myself, not to big on Beck or Hannity. If I had to guess I'd say you're a Bill Maher or John Stewart guy.

In any event, I agree with PeteyWheat, Pedro is the only starter worth a damn and he ain't coming here. Looper is an innings eater and at this point, I say why not, if the Nats can get him on a 1 year deal.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 23, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Sec3, the less-experienced reader might come away with the impression you think there may be someone on the planet who knows more* about baserunning than Rickey.

Care for an opportunity to expand and clarify?

* significantly more, I mean

Posted by: Scooter_ | February 23, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

"Marrero is still young,"

Can't help but think he is still mending/rehabbing post broken bone and synergistic atrophy. He is more than young enough to
heal from it. Let's hope for the best.

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Oops, premature submit.

Marrero is still young, but is unproven at high levels - He might work as AL trade-bait (posing as a 1B-DH), should Dunn pick up some of the defensive nuances around 1B. From what little I've seen (admittedly a small sample in POT), Marrero strikes me as Eric Karros, minus the glove.

Posted by: BinM | February 23, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Nope sorry section343343.

Maher is a pompous azzhat. If he ever stopped whining about religion, meat-eaters, or even how bad GWB was he might be watchable. I don't mind Stewart it's just that his show comes on opposite The Simpsons so I watch that instead.

And no, I don't watch/like Olbermann, Matthews, or Maddow.

Of course O'Reilly isn't much better. I don't need someone in a no-spin zone to tell me my opinions.

Of course what does it say when a recent poll showed people think Stewart is the most honest newscaster around? Doesn't bode well for the Fox News crew.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 23, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

As for the Natinals maybe this year they'll lose less than 100 games and will have correctly spelled jersey's for all 162 games.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 23, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

And maybe Poopy McPoop will not be too busy making fun of other people's spelling to learn that the plural of "jersey" doesn't take an apostrophe.

Posted by: Meridian1 | February 23, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Maybe, just maybe Meridian1 I think that irony is funny.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 23, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Poopy

I married a Red Sox fan, for whom my tales of a smug Orioles fan are a constant source of hilarity. Love of the absurd and all that...

Thank you sir. Being a Nat's fan can be tough but, you bring a little joy into my house.

Posted by: soundbloke | February 23, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Before every game he plays, Henderson stands completely naked in front of a full length locker room mirror and says, “Ricky’s the best,” for several minutes.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 23, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

hmmm...the full moon is still four days away, I see...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 24, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Oh, dear. And now I'm left to wonder whether 1a's was intended as a direct response to Sec3's, or that's just an unfortunate juxtaposition.

Posted by: Scooter_ | February 24, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Although I love Livan, I would sign Braden Looper just because he has one of the "great names in baseball." Of course, I liked Wayne Terwilliger and Ken Aspromonte, too.

My adult daughter, who is Downs Syndrome, has spent almost her whole lifetime in an intense personal quest to learn to read. Last year when we were playing the Rockies she saw the name of their catcher flashed on the screen, and she got a puzzled look on her face. She asked me "Daddy, what is 'Yorvit Torrealba?' pronouncing it absolutely correctly. I have been proud of her many times in her life but seldom more proud than I was then.

I love great names in baseball.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | February 24, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

What is up with these folks from B-more? The Colts leave and they hate Indy for taking them yet they steal the Steamers from Cleveland. They won't support the Skins but we get the O's jammed down our throat and support them. Then they don't want us to have the Nats because they know we support the O's. Yet somehow the O's fans think they are superior even though they get smacked by the Bankees and Green Sox every year. Maybe they are upset that DC took the Buzzards from them.

Posted by: markjd1 | February 24, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

LOL, Scooter. It's the latter. I thought about posting a clarification, but didn't think anyone would be here to read it.

---

Oh, dear. And now I'm left to wonder whether 1a's was intended as a direct response to Sec3's, or that's just an unfortunate juxtaposition.

Posted by: Scooter_ | February 24, 2010 10:35 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 24, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

These wO's fans are too funny!! They try to knock the Nationals...talking about the blind making fun of the deaf. The wO's have finished in last place forever. I'd much rather finish dead last and collect #1 picks than brag about my team...and finishing 4th worst in the league.

Posted by: Redskins2Win | February 24, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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