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Justin Maxwell sent to Syracuse again

The Nationals optioned outfielder Justin Maxwell to Class AAA Syracuse in order to make room on the roster for Saturday starter J.D. Martin. Maxwell has been the victim of having an option left, having been moved up and down twice already this year.

The Nationals called up Maxwell on Sunday to replace Scott Olsen, who had been placed on the disabled list. Maxwell gave the Nationals the luxury of an extra bench player, but he was also expendable once the Nationals regained a fifth starting pitcher.

In his latest stint with the Nationals, Maxwell appeared in four games, starting the last two. He went 0 for 7 with two walks and two strikeouts.

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 29, 2010; 2:09 AM ET
 
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Comments

Adam, appreciate the post, but are you on the west coast right now? That'd be the only reasonable explanation for your posting at 2:09 AM...

As for my responding at 2:45 AM, well, I can only blame my friendly bartender. All hail Memorial day weekend...

Go Nats, let's get the 2nd one (heck, 3rd one too, perchance to dream) from the Pads!

Posted by: HotNats | May 29, 2010 2:46 AM | Report abuse

I'd blame Maxwell's poor performance (.121 avg) more than the fact that he has no option left.

Posted by: comish4lif | May 29, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

"Adam Kilgore said...Maxwell has been the victim of having an option left, having been moved up and down twice already this year."

Maxwell has been the victim? No, Nats fans have been the victim watching his 2010 season.

They even go as far as to set him up in Lefty/Righty matchups 2 nights in a row, and he still couldn't muster a hit.

Oh, yah, VICTIM.

Posted by: dmacman88 | May 29, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

He just wasn't able to hit major league pitching. Even with his new prescription glasses.
Such a shame...

Posted by: M20832 | May 29, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

A couple years ago I thought Maxwell was going to be a star. Kind of like Kwame Brown. Unfortunately, not.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | May 29, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

To "catch" last year's record, the Nats would have to go 1-42.

Last year 26-66 on July 20.

Now 25-24 after win on May 28.

Or you could say they'd have to have a 42-game losing streak to get back to last year, because, of course, you end a losing streak with a win. (Or 0-42 + 1-0 = 1-42.)

Posted by: Thomas_Boswell | May 29, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

And what a game/win last night. These guys are going to give me a heart attack before they're done.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | May 29, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Adam:

Any update on CMW or Detwiler?
If CMW could possibly be his old self by July, we could keep this interesting all season long.

And while I do understand that Maxwell's bounced back and forth tween SYR and NatsTown a few times, dmacman is spot on about who the actual victim is.

Really feel bad for Maxwell. He's got to be doubting himself. I kinda hope the Nat's release him, because the only way he's gonna develop any further is to do something different than he and the Nats are doing now. We'd love to see the local boy make it. He needs a change of scenery. (not that it did Milledge much good)

Posted by: Sunderland | May 29, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Package Maxwell as a throw-in for Roy Oswalt. Good guy, all the tools but lets be honest position players have to hit in order to stay in "The Show". At 26+ y/o this UofM product has probably worn out his welcome.

Hey here is one for Mr. Bozwell:
Look at it this way, Capps pulls the rabbit trick and just keeps on ticking. 365 days ago "The Acta" would have made 4 pitching changes in that scenario and the Padres would have still won 6-5. Thank You Mr. Rizzo!

0-41 I don't think so!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | May 29, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Sunderland - Don't release him because if the Nats are in the hunt in September then Maxwell can help out with expanded rosters playing defense and pinch running as he can at least fortify the bench.

With any luck he may catch the lightning in a bottle he had in September 2009 and help out offensively.

The shame is that Rizzo really tried to hand him the RF position several times after the release of Elijah Dukes.

He needs to go back to Syracuse and work his butt off with no feeling of entitlement and earn his way back.

Posted by: dmacman88 | May 29, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

You should check out all the howling at Cleveland.com in the comments section for the game article Tribe vs. Yanks. I admonished them for being blindsided about Acta. I also posted Boswell's comment about them having to go 1-42 to match last year's record. Seriously, imagine being marginally employed, having to live in Cleveland, AND having Acta as your manager?
Riggs is manager of the year. Hands down. What Bud Black's done is through superior pitching, which we don't have. The Nats don't have superior anything, but he seems to make it work. Well, maybe a superior 3rd sacker...

Posted by: Brue | May 29, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Justin seems to be a good kid, and I feel sorry for him, but he's nobody's "victim."

Nor is Willie Harris "victimized" when he "has" to start against tough righthanders.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | May 29, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Maxwell stands too far off the plate and that swing, yikes! i wish F.Robby were still with this club in some capacity,i truly believe he could make this club and it's minor league system better no disrespect to Riggleman or Rizzo, i'm of the belief you just can't have enough good baseball people in your orginization.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 29, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

>>You should check out all the howling at Cleveland.com in the comments section for the game article Tribe vs. Yanks.

"Acta's nonchalance in regards to results along with his lame sitting in the dugout instead of firing up his team when horrific calls are made.."

Hmm, sound familiar? Been there done that.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | May 29, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Maxwell stands too far off the plate and that swing, yikes!

Posted by: dargregmag

The guy is too tall for his skill level, which is low anyway. He's 6'6", so he's got a huge strike zone, and his arms are really long, so he can't get them in tight enough to get the fat part of the bat around on an inside pitch. Plus he's got a slider-speed bat. Just get him looking away, then bust him up under the hands, or even right down the middle, and he's toast. The same way they dealt with Kearns last year. Low and away, then back under the hands with a fastball. See ya>

Posted by: Brue | May 29, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Before disparaging Maxwell too much it might be worth considering that he has the fifth highest OBP on the team (it was second until his last two starting performances), despite his anemic batting average. I believe he also leads the team on #P/PA, which helps wear out pitchers. Ironically, he might make a good lead-off batter.

Posted by: gnatman | May 29, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Brue: good observations about Max wonder if Eckstein is paying attention, really worried about Morgan he seems lost at the plate not the guy we saw last year,now i think it's in his head and he's pressing every time he's up.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 29, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Today's most optimistic post goes to tippycanoe for this gem:

"Package Maxwell as a throw-in for Roy Oswalt."

Yeah, with a package that would likely include Jesus, Zimm, Zimm-nn, Dunn, Goozie...

Let's face reality: we're going to have to pay somebody to take Maxy off our hands.

Nice kid, great tools, blahblahblahblahblah...

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | May 29, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

> really worried about Morgan he seems lost at the plate not the guy we saw last year,now i think it's in his head and he's pressing every time he's up.

Posted by: dargregmag

Morgan's a part-time player, that's the reality of it as far as I can see. You need to match him up against certain pitchers. He just can't hack it every day. Number one, he's too thin, so he wears down as the season goes on, and all of his 'bunting on his own' is just a measure of his insecurity and confusion at the plate. He knows he has trouble handling certain pitchers, but he's got to play the part that he's the 'catalyst'. He was never a great base stealer anyway. So if he's not getting on, and he's not stealing bases when he gets on (50% or whatever), then he's just in the way by batting first every day. They've only got one full-time major league player on the roster who's an outfielder and that's Willingham. It was a major blunder to get rid of Dukes and not replace him. Decent hitting outfielders should be the easiest thing to pick up. Instead, they have two infielders playing out there (Harris and Guzman). Rizzo goes out and wastes a roster space on Kennedy when he's already got Gonzalez, Guzman and Harris, but forgets to get any outfielders. If you have a depth chart, it would become obvious that Rizzo blew it when he put the roster together. He's asking people to do things they can't do.

Posted by: Brue | May 29, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Hello Nats Fans! Personally, I think Nats management is playing the hand dealt real well, and their strategy is to see how things shape up after All-Star break, when the rotation should start to show high cards and aces with our phenom coming up soon, and the re-hab guys coming back or joining in (Wang). Management is going call, raise, and fold until September, then we should have a line up ready for a run of ace high straights! Go Nats! Pat from Bowie

Posted by: patsgrill4U | May 29, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

nyjer needs to be moved out of the leadoff spot in a bad way and the next time we call someone up as a position player it should be lambin not maxwell, you still think lannan's a bum brue?

Posted by: bford1kb | May 29, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

dmac - I hear you re: Maxwell.

I want him released or traded for his own good. Syracuse is not going to do anything for him. Whatever he's been doing won there, and whoever he's been doing it with, it ain't working.

As for September, if we need Maxwell, we're not in the hunt.

I just want the kid to have another chance, and Syracuse ain't gonna help him anymore.

Plus, with Maxwell not in Syracuse, we can get more playing time in the outfield for Chase Lambin, who's hitting .323, OPS of .937, and has been playing 3B in SYR most of the time, with an occasional start in LF.

Posted by: Sunderland | May 29, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I think I'm with most of you regarding Maxwell; He's pretty much done in DC. It's a shame, because he's very good defensively in the OF, has speed on the bases & shows patience at the plate. But for whatever the reason, he hasn't been able to hit his weight in the bigs.

If Rizzo can find a trading partner, make the deal. I'd hate to see him either released, or DFA'd & claimed for nothing in return.

Posted by: BinM | May 29, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

>nyjer needs to be moved out of the leadoff spot in a bad way and the next time we call someone up as a position player it should be lambin not maxwell, you still think lannan's a bum brue?

Posted by: bford1kb

Moving him to a different spot in the lineup isn't going to solve anything, you'll still have the same problems with him. They don't have any outfield depth, so they're stuck. They could move Bernadina to CF, at least he has some extra-base power, but it wouldn't really solve the production problem. Not sure what you mean about Lannan, he's a .500 pitcher at best, and he carved up the worst lineup in the league, although Knight was right when he said that his sinker looked much better last night. They'll never be a real contender with him as even your #3 starter. He's a #5 guy and 'hope for the best' every time you send him out there. Everything's got to work perfectly otherwise he gets shellacked. Ideally you want someone who throws harder than he does.

Posted by: Brue | May 29, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

@Brue:
Concerning overstocking the Nats with infielders: the way we're using Harris this year, it's apparent that he is considered primarily as an outfielder. He only player 3rd a couple of times when Zim was injured. Adam Kennedy has been a welcome addition to this ballclub.

Posted by: bertbkatz | May 29, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

The one that got away:
Chapman's fastball reaching 103 mph. Getting ready for the call-up. Cheap bastards lol

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=5232020

Posted by: Brue | May 29, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Erratum:
Make that "played 3rd" (not "player 3rd").

Posted by: bertbkatz | May 29, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

>@Brue:
Concerning overstocking the Nats with infielders: the way we're using Harris this year, it's apparent that he is considered primarily as an outfielder. He only player 3rd a couple of times when Zim was injured. Adam Kennedy has been a welcome addition to this ballclub.

Posted by: bertbkatz

Harris came up as an infielder and has been one for almost his whole career. He may play a decent outfield, but outfield is generally a power spot in the lineup, and not for a utility infielder. They also have asked him to play too much, and he's gotten exposed because he's not really that good. This is what I mean by asking people to do what they're not capable of. Kennedy is alright, but Gonzalez has at least as much sting in his bat, and doesn't have that uppercut that kills a lot of what Kennedy tries to do at the plate. Kennedy thinks he's bigger physically than he really is. I think it goes back to when he was in college and had some power with the aluminum bat, and never accepted that he should be hitting the ball on the ground. So now you have Guzman, who's leading the league in hitting(!) fighting for at-bats. Bad move, imo. They always knew Guzman hit for a higher average than Kennedy before they picked up Adam anyway. You have Gonzalez (2B by trade), Kennedy (2B by trade), Harris (2B by trade), and NOW you want to put Guzman at 2B. But no right-fielder. It adds up over the course of the year and it hurts the club, imo.

Posted by: Brue | May 29, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

moving him out of the leadoff spot could very well help the team without helping him by getting better production in front of our guys who drive in runs and I fail to see why you dislike the guy that's been our best pitcher over the past couple years despite his obvious shortcomings

Posted by: bford1kb | May 29, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

>I fail to see why you dislike the guy that's been our best pitcher over the past couple years despite his obvious shortcomings

Posted by: bford1kb

Perhaps you dislike my observations. No big deal. He's been the best pitcher on rotten teams, and if they want to go to the playoffs, he'll have to drop down, or get left off entirely. That's how teams get better, they don't hold onto sentimental favorites. I'm too old to have attachments to players who've made an impression at some point, I just look at what they're working with, and try to see whether it will work for a successful franchise. It's one thing to have some success, it's another to be successful. It's like Stammen - he's had some success, but his ERA is still way up there because his stuff isn't consistently good enough, whether that means he has a bad inning, or a bad outing, or a string of both, it doesn't matter - it's the end result over the course of a season that matters. The big leagues is littered with guys who can get people out, but can't do it consistently enough to become winners. Both Stammen and Lannan have to rely on cutting action (sinking) in order to be effective, because neither of them has a fastball or breaking ball consistently good enough to get hitters out. So if their sinker works, everything's fine. If it doesn't, they get pounded because they really only have that one pitch. Lannan has a nice changeup, but a changeup has to be set up by other pitches, and if you don't have the other pitches, the changeup won't even work. Neither of them will be around when this team gets really good.

Posted by: Brue | May 29, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

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