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Nyjer Morgan's trip to the disabled list

Morning roundup

The Nationals placed outfielder Nyjer Morgan on the disabled list late Thursday night at his clear objection. The Nationals say Morgan has inflammation in his right hip. Morgan says he feels fine and "it sucks" to have to miss the time. He politely - and wisely - asked reporters if he could wait a day to further address his status "so I don't say anything stupid."

For Morgan, going on the DL will mean missing two weeks he does not feel he should miss. The move also has a ripple effect beyond him.

The Nationals, evidently in conjunction with the Morgan move, placed J.D. Martin on the 60-day disabled list. Aside from effectively ending his season, here's the upshot: It creates another spot on the 40-man roster, a sign the Nationals will likely call up a player from the minor leagues.

The Nationals have not announced who will temporarily replace Morgan on the roster. They don't necessarily need an outfielder with Justin Maxwell and Willie Harris already on their bench.

"Whatever move we make will probably be more towards a bat-off-the-bench type of thing more so than an outfielder," Manager Jim Riggleman said. He also pointed out the Nationals don't really need an infielder, either, since they have three middle infielders and Harris can also play second and third.

Riggleman did not dismiss Wilson Ramos, the highly touted catcher the Nationals landed in their trade of Matt Capps to the Twins. He and General Manager Mike Rizzo had not spoken about Ramos as a potential candidate before they left late last night for Los Angeles.

"I don't think three catchers would be the way we would go with it right now," Riggleman said.

Reading between the lines, Class AAA Syracuse outfielder Kevin Mench, despite subpar stats this year, seems most likely to get a few days in the sun before Morgan comes back. If the Nationals are making a professional bat off the bench a priority, he'd be the best choice. He has 2,335 at-bats over 702 major league games. At Syracuse this season, Mench has three home runs with a .660 OPS and a .246 batting average.

Immediately, Roger Bernadina will play center field and Michael Morse will finally have a chance to prove whether or not he can translate his powerful performance as a bench player into a starting role. Morse is hitting .330 with a .961 OPS and seven home runs in 103 at-bats.

Bernadina came up in the minor leagues as a center fielder, but since he became a regular right fielder this year, "I got kind of used to it," Bernadina said. He said he'll have to adjust to reading balls from center field, and he also realizes it will be a temporary position.

"It's Nyjer's spot," Bernadina said. "I'll come in every day and see what the lineup is and go from there."

FROM THE POST

The Nationals played sloppy behind Ross Detwiler again in an 8-4 loss to the lowly Diamondbacks, squandering four solo home runs.

NATS MINOR LEAGUES

Syracuse 8, Rochester 2: Jordan Zimmermann allowed no hits and a walk in three innings, striking out three. Wilson Ramos went 1 for 5 with a double. Kevin Mench went 2 for 5 with two doubles.

Harrisburg 7, Binghamton 1: Tom Millone struck out 12 in 6 1/3 innings, allowing one run on seven hits and no walks. Josh Johnson went 3 for 5 with a home run. Jesus Valdez went 3 for 5 with a home run.

Potomac 7, Myrtle Beach 1: Tyler Moore went 2 for 5 with two home runs and six RBIs. Adrian Alaniz allowed one run in eight innings on four hits and two walks, striking out four.

Hagerstown 8, Lexington 3: Justin Bloxom went 1 for 4 with a home run. Adrian Sanchez went 2 for 4 with a home run. Shane McCatty, Steven's son, allowed no runs in three relief innings on one hit and two walks, striking out two.

Auburn 7, Vermont 4: David Freitas went 2 for 4 with a home run. Ronnie Labrie went 2 for 4 with a double.

FROM AROUND THE WEB

Nationals Enquirer has photographic evidence of Willie Harris celebrating a hit off of Stephen Strasburg in a simulated game.

Jordan Zimmermann talks about his comeback with Lindsay Kramer of the Post-Standard in Syracuse. One interesting note: Zimmermann says he wishes he iced his arm more in college.

The Nationals were just plain bad last night, Ben Goessling writes.

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 6, 2010; 2:04 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Nyjer Morgan to be placed on disabled list
Next: Nationals promote Danny Espinosa to Syracuse

Comments

What happened to the "sign out" link?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 6, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

I hate to be mean but I don't think any of the fans will be holding thier breath until Morgan gets back out on the field. Also, Willie Haris is a joke for celebrating a hit during SS's simulation. He makes Mendoza look like a good hitter. Can't wait for JZ to get back up to the bigs. Strassburg, Maya, Zimmerman as the front 3 starters will be great. If we could get one of our young pitchers to really step it up with Livo at the 4 and 5 starters that would be huge!!!

Posted by: MaxnDC | August 6, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Well, all the Nats fans screaming for Mike Morse to play regularly have gotten their wish. He's started 4 of the last 5 games, and, as predicted by me, he's been awful, 2 for 13, with most of those ABs coming against what is arguably the worst pitching staff in baseball. This will provide you folks with an object lesson in the difference between a marginally capable ML regular position player like Morgan, and a career minor leaguer whose only useful role is in coming off the bench against certain types of pitchers.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | August 6, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

'"I don't think three catchers would be the way we would go with it right now," Riggleman said.'
I agree. So send Nieves and his .177 avg. to Syracuse and bring up Ramos. Did we deal our All-Star closer for a AAA catcher? The foot-dragging this organization demonstrates in promoting young talent and demoting washed-up has beens (or in some cases, 'never wasses') is maddening.

Posted by: NATurallyYours | August 6, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Fairfax6, I'm very proud of you.
Of course, if Morse hits well in the next few games, I'm doubting you'll write about how you learned an object lesson in humility.
But obviously, with 3 games of evidence to back you up, you are completely correct.

Posted by: Sunderland | August 6, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

NATurallt, I agree. Nieves may be a nice guy and a great story but, unless the plan if for Ramos to play every day because he needs that, I don't see the logic of leaving him in the minors.

Morse, say what you want about him but he does sting the ball. For a guy who came up as a shortstop you wonder if there hasn't been some thought of seeing if he could solve our 2B woes, but to be fair I have no idea if he was any good defensively as an infielder.

If I'm Morgan I'm watching every game to see if Bernadina can handle CF, knowing if he can do a capable job then the value of Tony Plush plummets.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | August 6, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I think we'll miss Morgan a lot more than some realize. I also think this is an example of why some athletes are unwilling to report their various aches and pains to the trainer/team. You report that you have pain and you get put on the DL just when your getting into a groove. He may have just wanted an asprin. Over generalization I'm sure, but still what lesson are Nyger and his teammates likely to learn from this? We'd like to think they learn that the team really cares about their long term health, but they might also learn that telling the truth will rob you of a shot at incentives, or long term value....

Posted by: natbiscuits | August 6, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Just read on MLB.com that Dunn has been claimed off waivers. Those cheap idiots at Nats Park better not trade him. That kind of power and consistency is extremely rare in the post roid era.

Posted by: futbolclif | August 6, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Fairfax6, you are a joke. Learn something about sample sizes. Morse will be fine. He won't have a .900+ OPS like he does now, but he will be a solid contributor.

Posted by: OldNumber3 | August 6, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Adam Dunn has been claimed off waivers. The front office better not trade him. That kind of power and consistency is extremely rare in the post roid era. Pay the man what he wants already. I guarantee it'll be significantly less than Howard or Pujols makes, both of whom he is currently ahead of in HR's coincidently.

Posted by: futbolclif | August 6, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Sunderland,

Morse has been a professional baseball player for 11 years. This is his third organization. Even mediocre talent evaluators can see that he's not up to snuff, and completely inadequate to the task of holding down a job as an everyday position player. What he can do is come into situations where he's facing certain relief pitchers (who by definition will have a more limited repertoire than a starter), frequently with men on base (which means the hurler is forced to throw strikes, i.e., better pitches to hit) and succeed often enough to have some value as a pinch hitter/late inning substitute. People who understand baseball can look at his highly unimpressive career history, his age, and the fact that a talent-depleted organization keeps him on the bench and figure out why. People like you and OldNumber3 can provide everyone else with your brand of ignorance-based unintentional humor.

As to the aforesaid OldNumber3, take a look at Morse's minor league stats and see that in fact he won't be fine, unless he's again relegated to the bench. That's all the sample size you need to contemplate.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | August 6, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Some observations, since I've finally found some time to post:

"The foot-dragging this organization demonstrates in promoting young talent and demoting washed-up has beens (or in some cases, 'never wasses') is maddening. "

How different from a year ago! The complaint we all had then was refusing to go out and find established major leaguers and instead putting too much hope in young bucks that may or may not pan out. No judgment, just noting.

"Adam Dunn has been claimed off waivers."

Of course he has, that was the point. It's like fishing, you put him out, see what bites, and then decide if you want to keep it. In fact, the entire Adam Dunn situation has been handled exactly right.

+) Mike Rizzo refused to take him off the table, in case of a great last minute offer, especially after trading to two of the White Sox division rivals.

+) Adam Dunn whined about not wanting to be traded, driving up his value with the Nationals fan base

+) Neither side has agreed to a contract before knowing if Dunn's career offensive numbers are for the whole season, or will slip. They determine his value, after all, so why sign unless you're positive they will stay the same?

+) Rizzo has couched everything in terms of "only if it's equal to what Dunn means to us", communicating to fans and Dunn that he has a high value.

I predict a three year deal signed sometime in September.

Posted by: Section506 | August 6, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"Morse, say what you want about him but he does sting the ball. For a guy who came up as a shortstop you wonder if there hasn't been some thought of seeing if he could solve our 2B woes, but to be fair I have no idea if he was any good defensively as an infielder."

Yeah, he can hit certain types of relief pitchers who face him in situations where they have to throw more hittable pitches than a starter does. Now that he's facing hurlers with the luxury of pitching him anyway they want (and throwing types of pitches than he's unable to handle), his inadequacies are starkly visible.

His failure as an infielder in the minor leagues is not likely to convince Knots management that he's the answer at second base. The fact that's he's 6'4" tall is a clue regarding this -- you generally don't want someone that tall playing middle infield positions that require someting akin to balletic grace because chances are they don't possess it. Anyway, both the White Sox and Mariners tried to make him a shortstop, and he was awful. Seattle also tried grooming him at 3B and 2B, experiments that were also abandoned. Bottom line, he can't play any of those positions.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | August 6, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

There are only 10 days left until the deadline to sign the 2010 draft picks. I would hope that the majority of Rizzo's time is being spent trying to work out deals with Harper, Solis, and Cole, instead of which extra bench bat gets brought up from Syracuse or how much playing time Morse should or shouldn't get.

Of course Dunn got placed (and claimed) on waivers. It's all just a matter of procedure for the Nats. But I would guess that Rizzo will not really start thinking about negotiating with Dunn's agents until after the August 15 deadline to sign the draft picks.

Hopefully all 3 of those guys will get signed, maybe even before midnight on the 15th. Maybe Adam can find out how the negotiations are going? Maybe.

Posted by: SpashCity | August 6, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

natsbiscuits: At least someone on this blog knows the game this team will miss Morgan, and NO! Bernadina is not the answer at the leadoff spot,yes he's ok as a spot starter at leadoff but not on a regular bases. Nyjer is a very good leadoff batter maybe the "stats" don't support that statement, but over the course of the year he'll do just fine and by the way i think Bernadina is the regular RF'er on this team,Morse is fine with the bat but RB is a much better fielder and he can hit also.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 6, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Re: Morse
Fairfax6 believes that Morse is only successful against relievers and with runners on base. I don't have time to look at all of his hits this year, but he has 7 home runs, only 2 of them have been hit off a reliever: June 10 off Brendan Donnelly and August 4 against Esmerling Vasquez. And only one of those seven homers was with runners on, July 23 against the Brewers.
Seems to me he is doing damage against starters and with no one on base.

Posted by: jiji1 | August 6, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

"Seems to me he is doing damage against starters and with no one on base."

The only damage he's done recently is to the Nats.

Just as an addendum to everything else I've written, if a pitcher in his 11th year of pro ball (the vast majority of it spent in the minors) suddenly proved himself adept at getting ML hitters out as a late inning setup man, would you Morsemaniacs extrapolate from that that he belonged in the starting rotation and could win 15-18 games a year?

Morse is a marginal ML player. Three years from now, he will probably be out of the game. Either that, or hanging on with some Double or Triple A team that needs someone to fill a hole in their roster.


Posted by: Fairfax6 | August 6, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Fairfax6, if I may enter the debate...

You could be right, Morse could end up being a flash in the pan who gets exposed when he plays on a regular basis (which hasn't really happened yet, BTW). But consider this, given your question, "if a pitcher in his 11th year of pro ball (the vast majority of it spent in the minors) suddenly proved himself adept at getting ML hitters out as a late inning setup man, would you Morsemaniacs extrapolate from that that he belonged in the starting rotation and could win 15-18 games a year?"

Here's a pitcher, at the age of 33. He has a career record of 59-76 and an ERA of 4.50. He's pitching pretty well for you out of the pen. Based on your thinking, you would say he doesn't belong in the starting rotation.

Which means you just passed on Jamie Moyer.

Now, how about this guy: 28 years old, parts of four years in the bigs, 721 AB, .245 BA, 25 HR's, 232 K's(!), and he's coming off an injury. Not much reason to believe this guy would be much of anything (he's not even as good as Morse).

That guy is Jayson Werth.

My point is, you don't really know what a guy can do until you give him a try. It's why Balester's getting a shot in the bullpen and why Detwiler deserves a few more shots before we start calling him a "punk" (like some have already done). It's also why Strasburg wasn't worthy of the All-Star Game.

There's no reason not to give Morse a greater chance to play, especially with Morgan out. My hunch is he'll end up somewhere between the star he's looked like so far and the "marginal NL player" you think he is. But we'll see.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 6, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

BTW, forget Kevin Mench, the guy we need to bring in to play CF is
Masato Akamatsu...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaxpAkOWNM0

Posted by: baltova1 | August 6, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Is the the root of the Dunn action??

Kevin Youkilis out for season
http://sports.espn.go.com/boston/mlb/news/story?id=5440748

Will the Red Sox go after Dunn aggressively, or just count themselves out at this point?

Posted by: Kev29 | August 6, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

@Kev29

In a word, no. There is no way Dunn got claimed by Boston. That would mean that every single NL team passed on him, including Colorado, San Francisco, and San Diego, all of which were known to have interest at the trade deadline. Then every AL team that is has a worse record than Boston would also have to pass on him, including known Dunn-lovers Detroit and Minnesota.

The injury to Youkilis is definitely a blow for the Red Sox, and while they may want Dunn for the same reasons as the other contenders (he is awesome) there is just no way he made it that far through waivers.

All of that being said, I don't think it matters which team claimed Dunn. Rizzo will just pull him back off of waivers unless he is "blown away" by an offer of multiple major-league ready prospects, either starting pitchers and/or a position of need for the Nats.

Posted by: SpashCity | August 6, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

baltova1,

You need to recheck Moyer's stats. By the age of 33, he'd started over 170 ballgames. He'd had only one season as a relief pitcher, 1990. He came out of the pen pretty frequently in 1996, but was still primarily a starter (21 starts in 34 appearances). He's also a lefty, and they're notoriously late bloomers. Not at all comparable to a failed, aging middle infielder.

As to Werth, he had one very good season last year. If Knots fans want to think Morse is a comparable find, well, the fans of 15 other NL teams would be very happy to wish you and entire roster full or Morses.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | August 6, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Recheck yourself: from Wikipedia, "Moyer started the 1996 season in the Boston bullpen, but made seven starts for the Red Sox by year's end." He was then traded to Seattle where he went back to being a full-time starter and saw his career blossom. He had also been released three times, so he was a little bit more than a "late bloomer."

As for Werth, before his "one very good season last year," he hit 24 HRs and 67 RBIs while batting .273. He would have been the Nats' team leader in HR's and RBI's that year. He's also having another very good season right now, so your "one very good season" point is, um, pointless.

The main point remains. We don't know if Morse will be a good everyday player. But he's done enough to be tested.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 6, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"Nyjer is a very good leadoff batter maybe the "stats" don't support that statement, but over the course of the year he'll do just fine"

Then how come over the course of this year - which is over 2/3rds done now - he's been way, way less than fine?

Posted by: FeelWood | August 6, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

BTW, according to natsfarm.com, the Nats have promoted Danny Espinosa to Syracuse...

Posted by: baltova1 | August 6, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Just a thought, but the promotion of Espinosa to Syracuse could open the door for Chase Lambin in DC.

Posted by: BinM | August 6, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Section506

Great analysis of the Dunn situation. You are right on.

Posted by: Tom8 | August 6, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

baltova1,

Wikipedia? Please.

Try baseballreference.com and you'll discover that by the end of the 1996 season, Moyer had appeared in 250 ML ballgames, of which he'd started 198. He split that '96 season between Boston and Seattle. He appeared in a total of 34 games that year, and started 21. Yes, he had 13 relief appearances in 23 games for the Sox, but once he got to Seattle he was exclusively a starter. So the point you're trying to make is incorrect. At that juncture he'd been holding down a ML roster spot for 11 years, unlike Morse or the hypothetical yourneyman hurler I used as an example, and in no way, shape, or form could he be described as a relief pitcher. The vast majority of the innings he'd pitched came as a starter.

As to Werthen being the top Knots power hitters in 2008, Jeez, we're setting the standards awfully high, aren't we? Those numbers don't rate anything better than pretty good, and if he had been with the Knots, he would have been hitting in a far less potent lineup, and would certainly have failed to get even close to those totals -- not to mention he gets to hit in that little bandbox in Philly. So he's got last year and this one that you can brag about. Morse isn't going to produce numbers even remotely comporable to that, but as I say, if you've that much of a desire to see the Knots sink into the Anacostia, that's your business.

Morse doesn't play regularly because he can't play regularly. Simple as that.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | August 6, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

@Fairfax6 -- I completely agree with Baltnova's examples, they are right on.

It is ridiculous to act as if anyone here (or anywhere) definitively knows what kind of player Morse will be. Like I said in my initial post, he will most likely not be the .900+ OPS guy we see right now, but there is no reason to simply conclude that he can't be a 25 HR decent OBP guy.

Looking at his minor league stats, I see a guy who over his past two complete minor league seasons has an OPS at about .850; I would argue the past two seasons plus 110 PAs this season are more indicative of his future as a player than his performance 5-6 years ago. I understand that he is not a star, but he has earned a tryout as a ML outfielder.

Posted by: OldNumber3 | August 6, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Willie Harris Nieves need to go! Putting Morgan on the DL was a cowardly way to bench him. I would've sat Hammer for a while instead -- rotate him with Morse or Bernadina. The catcher slot is a problem and Nieves is obviously not the answer. Need to bring in Ramos ASAP! Pudge has been awesome but is fading and needs a good back up -- someone he can mentor: Ramos. Now! Harris is not the bat off the bench or the glove in the field, for that matter. Maxwell is a huge disappointment. Desmond is a bat off the bench, once he is benched in favor of Gonzo. Another one? Mench? Marrero? Harper?and why wait? Any of them can do better than the two Mendozas!

Posted by: finfive | August 6, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Okay, one more try...

Moyer: "in no way, shape, or form could he be described as a relief pitcher..." except at the beginning of the '96 season which is what he was doing with the Red Sox, which is what I wrote in my first post. Yes, he was a starter almost exclusively before that. The reason he wasn't starting at the beginning of the '96 season was because nobody wanted him to start anymore. At that point, he'd been released three times, and had been in professional ball for 13 years, which is pretty close to your hypothetical 11 year journeyman pitching in the bullpen. I suspect if there was a blog in 1996 taking posts from Red Sox fans, someone (probably named Foxboro6) would have written in, slamming the Sox for putting Moyer in the rotation.

As for Werth, the reason I cited his 2008 numbers is because you said, "If Knots fans want to think Morse is a comparable find, well, the fans of 15 other NL teams would be very happy to wish you and entire roster full or Morses." I think Morse MIGHT be a comparable find and it's safe to say fans of this team in 2008 and a lot of the other NL teams would have been very happy to have a roster full of guys hitting 24 homers and driving in 67 runs, especially a team that didn't have anybody who did that.

Again, no idea how good Morse is. But he's done enough to warrant a further trial, and three games isn't it. "Simple as that."

Posted by: baltova1 | August 6, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I think you morons who doubt Morse's ability will very surprised. Lets see after he plays on an everyday basis how he fairs. GO MIKE

Posted by: chiro1623 | August 6, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"Just a thought, but the promotion of Espinosa to Syracuse could open the door for Chase Lambin in DC."

How on earth will we be able to contain the enthusiasm? :-)

I do hope you're being sarcastic.

Yet one more aging career minor leaguer (just turned 31!) who's already been dumped by two other organizations as well as having flopped in Japan, a middle infielder/third baseman with stone hands (in other words a man without a position), hey, I'm ready to do cartwheels over the prospect of his ML debut!

Posted by: Fairfax6 | August 6, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Fair to say that we'll see how Morse fares, chiro. Name-calling doesn't advance the debate, imo.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 6, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

BTW, that Kevin Mench that Kilgore mentions as being likely to "get a few days in the sun" while Morgan stews on the DL? He's 32. Granted, he actually has played well in the big leagues, but seems to have lost whatever ability he once possessed. He also flopped miserably in Japan last year, which given that the Japanese leagues are sort of Quadruple A level ball is not a hopeful sign.

Speaking of which, this is about the most hopeless organization I've ever seen up close. Any team that's got the likes of Mench and Lambin playing regularly at its AAA farm team is desperately short of talent.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | August 6, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"As to the aforesaid OldNumber3, take a look at Morse's minor league stats and see that in fact he won't be fine, unless he's again relegated to the bench. That's all the sample size you need to contemplate."

Dear Fairfax6, clearly you don't understand baseball, nor do you have a "good read" on minor league stats? In fact do you even read them at all? After Morse's 2008 campaign AT THE MAJOR league level due to season ending shoulder surgery what did he do?

2009: 472 at bats: .322/.383/.894 with 26 doubles, 3 triples, and 16 home runs. All in AAA ball.

Now in 2009 what did Jason Heyward do mostly in AA (which as any baseball expert might tell you IS BELOW AAA???):
[He spent some time in A+ and a little in AAA}

The #1 prospect in the minors last year in AA went:

362AB and 472PA: .323/.408/.963 with 25 doubles, 4 triples and 17 home runs. That's the #1 prospect in all of baseball.

Please PUT ON YOUR glasses and look carefully and compare ... especially to top prospects in the Nats system like Marerro and Espinosa?

In 2007 in parts of a major league/minor league appearances Michael Morse, again in AAA went .304/.367/.818

Justin Maxwell who is about the same age has never, ever come close. Nor has Bernadina?

Dude you don't know jack about baseball if you think Morse could not be a full time major leaguer if he proves himself?
For further reference please look at Jayson Werth's stats through 2008 and compare to Morse ..

My god and he acts like he knows something about baseball? I doubt fairfax6 ever played???

Posted by: periculum | August 6, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

"Speaking of which, this is about the most hopeless organization I've ever seen up close. Any team that's got the likes of Mench and Lambin playing regularly at its AAA farm team is desperately short of talent."

Yes, Mr. Know all and see the obvious. Mike Rizzo (do you even listen to his interviews or read his blog ... no probably not he might say something you would think lacks baseball expertise no doubt) that this franchise was worse off in 2006 than the Arizona Diamondbacks when they first came into existence as an expansion team. Worst. This has to tell you something ... such as how badly the rest of the MLB and Jeff Luria rifled through this franchise stealing anything that couldn't be nailed down.

Get with the program. It usually takes 6-7 years to rebuild from scratch for an expansion team!?

Posted by: periculum | August 6, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Mistake up above for Morse's 2009 stats: 425 at bats, 479 plate appearances.

Posted by: periculum | August 6, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

baltova1,

Re Moyer, he'd been a ML for many years by the time the 1996 season came along. As I made clear, my hypo hurler was a career minor leaguer who'd just managed to post some nice numbers in a very limited number of ML innings. You can't use Moyer as a comparable example, he was a veteran starting pitcher with over a thousand ML innings behind him. So stop trying to make this argument or come up with another example.

As to Morse being another Werth, keep on dreaming as his BA falls. I guess it's better than pinning your hopes on Chase Lambin and Kevin Mench. When your talent pool is a pile of road apples, I guess every peanut you find looks like a diamond.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | August 6, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

@zendo
I was over at Federalbaseball.com earlier today and somebody mentioned a comment from a user named zendo in response to me on one of the earlier Adam Dunn threads.

Here's his post:" Hey Gang-nothing to say, per say, for the moment. But in keeping with my appreciation for you all, I came across a nice piece on Adam Dunn over at Fangraphs. In the comment section, there are some great comments from Souldrummer, who used to grace this blog regularly...so Soul-where you been? Come back to the Gang! (same for you, dove!)Here's the lik, in case you're interested:
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/adam-dunn-what-now/
Go Nats!!! "
-------------------------------------------------
Here's my response which I also put in the comments to that article:
@zendo
Basically, I got frustrated with the WaPo interface. There's no threads, there's no real profiles for users, there's no interaction from Kilgore, and there's not too much of a way to control trolls.

The simple reply features of mlbtraderumors.com and the like feature for comments leads me to their comments some times. The reply features of fangraphs.com leads me there. Natsfarm.com attracts more of a niche/hardcore audience so I check the comments there as well. I spend most of my time at federalbaseball.com and I actually write some pieces for them and comment over there a bunch. When someone at one of the sites I read more links back here, I'll check out WaPo but even then the comment interface makes me feel that I'm launching random missiles in the dark half of the time.
---------------------------------
I still drop in here from time to time and there's a lot of good comments. I hope that WaPo will respond to more user feedback because on other sites there's fatigue with the interface. If they want to be competitive in the interactive coverage world, they've got to radically improve this interface or folks will wander away. But if you're looking elsewhere in the Natmosphere I'm sure you'll find me just like I see some of the folks here (sometimes under other handles?).

As always, GO NATS!!!

Posted by: souldrummer | August 6, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

@souldrummer ...

Ben Goessling's site offers a bit more insight into the Nats ... periodically Ben gives up tid bits of interesting insider info. Plus I guess another blogger Byron Kerr has been covering the minor league franchises ...

Posted by: periculum | August 6, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"Get with the program. It usually takes 6-7 years to rebuild from scratch for an expansion team!?"

Oh, this is so, so easy . . .

Arizona won 100 games and made the playoffs in their second year of existence. They won the World Series in their 4th.

The Florida Marlins won the WS in their 5th year as a ML franchise.

If you're looking for a better analogy with the Knots, look at the Tigers. In 2003 they lost 119 games. Three years later, they won the AL pennant.

As to reading Rizzo's blog, do you actually think a GM is going to give you an honest analysis of the state of this pathetic franchise?

Yes, you probably do. Silly question.


Posted by: Fairfax6 | August 6, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"As to reading Rizzo's blog, do you actually think a GM is going to give you an honest analysis of the state of this pathetic franchise?"

Stating that the farm system was worst than the expansion team he used to work for just starting out? When he first came on board? About as honest an assessment as I've ever seen?

His comments about the lack of clean baseball and fielding were less than charitable ... and his comments about being tired of watching a certain pitcher pitch ... so he released him?

Dude, you are a troll who probably follows the Phillies.

Yeah he is pretty straight forward and honest for the most part. Riggleman less so ...

Posted by: periculum | August 6, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

@Fairfax6 -- Nobody here is saying that Morse is a lock (or even likely) to become the next Werth. We are simply pointing to a player who significantly improved later than usual, and when given a chance to perform, did just that. Morse deserves a full-time trial at the ML level, it's well within reason that he could be a decent outfielder.

You sound stupid when you try to make it seem like us in the Morse trial camp think he is the solution to all of the Nats problems. Nobody is saying that.

Posted by: OldNumber3 | August 6, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

periculum,

So again, how many years does it take an expansion franchise to build a contender from scratch? Maybe Frankie R knows the answer. :-)

Posted by: Fairfax6 | August 6, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@periculum
Goessling's stuff is okay and I read it sometimes. The "awaiting approval from moderator" stuff seems to be self-destructive. Once I post stuff under the same handle put it up immediately. MASN seems to be confused about whether there a gamethread environment, comment setup, or another reporter outlet with Goessling. I think he'll eventually get it right, but Zuckerman's independence gives him a leg up for me. Plus I'm frustrated with MASN's TV side and I'll admit that may bias me against their blogging side a bit.

Posted by: souldrummer | August 6, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@Fairfax6 -- I'm not sure what your point is in bringing up the Nats farm system. I think most intelligent readers here would agree that it is still in miserable shape. That being said, it has come a long way in the past couple years and appears to be getting stronger (sign Harper). Rizzo has undoubtedly improved it yet recognizes that it is still weak. Considering he really hasn't made any bad moves in his time as GM, I think we as fans should give him more time. Of course, the lack of bad moves will only keep him in place for so long, eventually he'll need to make some seriously good ones.

Posted by: OldNumber3 | August 6, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"You sound stupid when you try to make it seem like us in the Morse trial camp think he is the solution to all of the Nats problems. Nobody is saying that."

Maybe you don't, but plenty of others have. As to who sounds stupid in these threads, well, anybody making the case for the likes of Morse (or Alberto Gonzalez, another castoff a lot of Knots fans insist is a diamond in the rough) as potential productive everyday players certainly doesn't sound smart to anyone who can view this awful team with anything like an objective viewpoint. Instead of wasting time fantasizing about these bits of baseball flotsam turning things around start checking out what available free agents might be enticed to come here, and start letting management know you want them. I doubt that will change anything w/r/t to how these cheapskates operate, but it can't hurt.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | August 6, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I believe that all major and minor league players are "aging" except the ones who are dead.

Posted by: markfromark | August 6, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not sure what your point is in bringing up the Nats farm system."

The fact that it's awful state means the team is doomed to even more years of miserable play. This is an especially dire situation since the everyday ML roster is full of players 30 and older. With Desmond obviously being an inadequate SS, that leaves one excellent young position player (Zimmerman), and one youthful question mark (Bernadino).

BTW, to say Rizzo has improved the farm system but that it's still in miserable shape doesn't make a lot of sense. As to whether he's made any bad moves, probably not, but then he hasn't made any good ones either. Anyway, I'm not saying he should be fired, just observing that people are being asked to pay ML prices for a team that features Double and Triple A talent. If that doesn't bother you, that's fine, enjoy last place, you'll be spending a lot of time there.


Posted by: Fairfax6 | August 6, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Fairfax6, you really are getting annoying. There is a difference between debate and arguing.

BTW, as for this:

"Oh, this is so, so easy . . .

Arizona won 100 games and made the playoffs in their second year of existence. They won the World Series in their 4th.

The Florida Marlins won the WS in their 5th year as a ML franchise.

If you're looking for a better analogy with the Knots, look at the Tigers. In 2003 they lost 119 games. Three years later, they won the AL pennant."

Yes, and the Mets took seven years to get to the World Series. The Astros took 18 years to get to the playoffs and 43 years to get to the World Series. The Angels took 18 years to get to the playoffs and 41 to get to the Series. Tampa took 10 years to get to the Series. The Mariners took 18 years to get to the playoffs and still haven't gone to the World Series.

That would seem to indicate the examples you cited were the exceptions, not the rule. But that's not really a surprise...

Posted by: baltova1 | August 6, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

No matter what Morse can or can't become, he's the best current prospect to give pitchers a reason to worry about part of our order outside of Zim-Dunn-Ham.

Posted by: 202character | August 6, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

"I believe that all major and minor league players are "aging" except the ones who are dead."

Except Willie Harris, markfromark. He stands still while time moves around him.

And 1a, are you suggesting that a sizable sample side over many different situations might yield better results than what we see with our own eyes in a single at bat through the teevee? Preposterous!

Posted by: Section506 | August 6, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

@Fairfax6 -- responding to both your posts here. Alberto is clearly a bench/utility guy, no problem using him as such, not a ML starter though. I believe we're in agreement there.

Morse is not an all-star, but he could be a productive RF. He should start in RF the rest of the season, rack up another 150-200 PAs, and show the Nats whether he can or cannot play. His past 2.5 seasons at all levels indicate that he has progressed, it's time to find out how far.

When Rizzo took over, the farm system was dead. He brought it back to the point where it was on life support, and it's now awake but on bedrest (maybe walking around if Harper signs). Still miserable, but in better shape.

The reason I (and others I presume) care about Morse getting the opportunity is that it could change who the Nats target in FA. If Morse can in fact be productive, I would be comfortable with an OF of Willingham, Bernadina, Morse next year. Of course, if Morse flames out, they should grab a 2-3 yr replacement in RF. I'm not sure who is available for 2B, but that is the most glaring need as I see it. You need to see what you have before chasing free agents willy nilly. That is why (in a year where playoffs hope are done) getting players like Morse significant PAs matters.

Posted by: OldNumber3 | August 6, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Lest we forget, (amidst all this talk about building from scratch) Washington has won a World Series more recently than have the Cubs.

Posted by: lowcountry | August 6, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Fairfax6, wouldn't it have made more sense to criticize the Nats' farm system BEFORE:

--They produced the best pitching prospect in the game who's already in the big leagues
--Produced another excellent prospect, who's ready to return after Tommy John surgery and is expected to be a starting pitcher next year at the age of 24
--Produced a potential closer who's already performing well in the big leagues one year after being drafted
--Produced three other starting pitchers under the age of 26 who have shown they can pitch competently in the big leagues
--Drafted (and presumably will sign) the best hitting prospect in the game in the last 10 years (maybe more)
--Signed a top international star who will be available immediately, has years of top level experience and is only 28
--And traded for one of the best catching prospects in the game who's weeks away from joining the big league team?

Don't you think your timing's a little off?

Posted by: baltova1 | August 6, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

We all know what they say about trolls and their nutritional intake, right? Okay, then. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 6, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

just a side...morse can be in the lineup until his avg. drops below .250(morgan's avg). nyjer needs to hone his base running technique while on the dl(stop getting picked off in the 1st couple of innings IF he gets on). if morse hits adequately, then you have choices. in september, those players having mediocre season, will for all intents and purposes have ended their season on the field. so how good morse is or isn't, is not the point. it's whether the fans can be patient until the complete overhaul of the franchise can take place.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | August 6, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Knots fans? Sounds like it came straight from mommie's basement.

Posted by: Brue | August 6, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

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