Beltway Baseball: An eventful first week for Washington
CSN Washington dot com. Well they're nets fans welcome the CSN Washington dot com and another upset about way baseball -- presented by The Washington Times. I'm chases with mark -- we're gonna bring them and come back in on the phone and just a minute here. Nationals played four games in the middle of their second series and we're we're learning a few things about the team. Lot organ and some specifics later of course we got to start with some unfortunate news Davey Johnson kind of drop the bomb on reporters that New York yesterday for the game saying that -- story and I experienced a setback on Sunday throwing a simulated game with his elbow. And is going to see a second opinion from none other than doctor James Andrews which is not a good sign. First it before bring an -- in mark we saw this. Irwin Dana Johnson said that the nets fear that can be bone chips and we saw this a few years ago Jason Marquis. He was up for a few months with the timeframe is and is it different for a starter and closer. Now I'm probably not that much different for closer in the conference if it is bone chips and again he's gone down a doctor -- to get that second opinion and decide if number one if that's what it is and number two if it needs to be surgically repaired not removed. If it does the time for and generally are talking to the three months recovery for us that's what it was for Jason Marquis was almost exactly three months. You're talking half -- season at this point the all star break and it's -- really unfortunate thing especially considering that stormed. Spent most of spring training and noticing some elbow issues they shut him down. Gave him an MRI they kept saying while the ligament looks fine so we're not worried about that. You wonder could they maybe have. Detect this little earlier you hope that he's not gonna lose any time. On the back end of this because they were little. Delaying before the panic at the conclusion. Was that will bring in Amanda Coleman. How's -- -- Amanda. Yeah. Yeah and most of come as quite a surprise yesterday when David Johnson broke that news about -- stolen. From him. -- I was the guy that's had done anything different to avoid dusty thing. I don't think Gagne nailing me that we initial marathon grab on Torres on regular check TPC. I'm big solid body in his elbow object you know you can copy it. It especially among -- shirts. And he could -- -- you're done so that they did see it there are aware of it should debate about that topic it was so small and obviously. -- know at that point not a huge huge. That they thought would rest and medication they'd probably be able to treat it I think -- -- and that. What do it but it we -- to not try to wrap up to -- hitters I don't know that. That was not -- -- it -- a good had a but we got a lot somewhere else. Whatever happened -- I don't think we could have prevented it what's going on right now they play the most prudent course and you you know L affiliate order just brake tests bright figure if -- another route. Now last night -- so far we've seen they're gonna have Bradley agent Henry Rodriguez kind of trading off in his place both players the -- game so far. Last night though Henry Rodriguez had a really rough ninth inning I kind of bizarre sequence with a throw -- first there mark. That the nationals could be without their closer for half a season what do we learn about Henry Rodriguez last night well. You know it's only one game you don't read too much into it and it wasn't a save situation. The game was tied but we did see one thing that came up sometimes last year which was. When Henry is asked to pitch more than one inning in that second inning often he struggled. He came in the eighth got a big -- well stranding a runner in scoring position went and sat down for a few minutes and then came back out tonight and that's when things kind of fell apart. That's something they may do we need to be a little bit concerned -- that's Penner have recurring thing from last year. In general. If you're talking about lidge vs Rodriguez I understand Davey Johnson's trying to do here. Wants to rotate between -- he likes having many calls as a bullpen is deep bullpen in this sort of alternate days. But in this case if soreness out for a long long period of time. Lidge has the experience factor and -- I don't care how good of an army under Rodriguez has I don't how care how good as the spring. It's a different situation when you take the mound in the ninth inning of a regular season big league game protecting a one run lead which has done it many times the past. Rodriguez hasn't done it. If it's me I'd probably air on the side of experience in this case I don't -- how you feel about that. I'm I think that sharing out the scene between them in the terrible and -- You know again I mean it's typical -- well the guy because he hasn't done something -- you really need to get and I think an opportunity. Do you allow him is he's he can succeed at -- I think he has shown that he -- that's content you know he'd been very -- -- -- I -- -- situation to. You did last night was maybe a test in that situation 'cause it seemed like the kind of brought someone in. Wouldn't let -- much yet you know he didn't need very many pitches on to get to get a lot out of me. And yeah that you got hit with a high heat beeping at me early in the copilot and I they would wrap up outbid on. I mean I think that the -- that either they're trying to figure out what they have -- -- is filling the hole historic collapse you know I think to the lead in the ninth inning. And then arrogant blew it then maybe we can be talking about something else here we're out there that -- -- lock my -- spot. And you know he wasn't able bullet. But I think not to think right now mean that there's a different pitcher. And I think one of the main -- what they are probably -- share among the opportunity is that Bradley. Has had a lot of help -- in the past. Keep it here you're at it you know and and wearing him out is not a good idea EX. So you know I do it seemed to teenagers aren't cheering -- the opportunity -- It won't look back at that -- want I want you to really help anyway. But I think that part of the reason why they're gonna look a couple deal is done it either somewhere out. I'm mark in hindsight this Bradley lidge deal looks. Pretty Smart they're really going to need -- mark oh absolutely and I mean like Amanda was saying regardless of this story is healthy they want to have as many backup options there has. As many guys to pitch those high leverage innings as possible because. They know they overused -- and -- last year and as young pitchers you can only hold on for so long for something happens and who knows and that was the case was -- but certainly doesn't help going out there pitching as much as he did so by stocking up with as many reliable. Power arms -- back and -- and that was a a key point emphasis in the offseason and something that adversity is gonna pay off benefits. -- on the road. Now let's move on to line -- we've seen some -- encouraging and discouraging signs kind of a mixed back to their first four games. Amanda first of all Ryan Zimmerman Adam LaRoche dropped to great starts Adam LaRoche has shown no. Ill effects from his shoulder problems from last season. An injury that really affected his hitting last year. And he's off to a great start which is uncharacteristic even when he is not coming off a surgery like that. Yeah I mean at -- and he's he'll -- -- in a different Italian he's seeing the ball well. I think for and that's probably pretty picky. But yeah I think his power stroke having your own I showed up the way it did in the first couple of game. It's such an encouraging sign that perhaps opening if you think back to the -- being that and you know that I really didn't get their shaky -- the type of player he isn't watching and because of that injury. I'm in people that's your number and I think I didn't want something like here I really didn't have that power that easily cat. I think you know I think bet you anything about how old Prince Fielder at that the other thing. And not you know I Rickie you know Prince Fielder he's a pretty good hitter that they'll write it he -- power -- right. On the having -- and that can't early on it either I think it shouldn't. Right now meet their cleanup hitter yourself. I'm you know and he cannot come -- -- why not Mike Morse returned healthy and you get back exactly blocked -- -- -- -- number I got dealt. I -- are you that pivotal that they even a pivotal spot in the lineup. -- -- extremely important part of it what is the treatments each candidate for the national contest early this speed that it's and I you know Ryan Parent is doing it right it does. Now -- like you mentioned they've gotten production out of their cleanup spot. They're also getting production off the out of the leadoff spot with Ian Desmond he's had a pretty good stories he's batting 333. It can get a few more walks years not on base percentage to go a bit hard to talk about what Ian Johnson yeah well. I think in this case that you say as -- from walks and all that but I think Ian has said in the nationals have told him. Be yourself just because you're hitting leadoff doesn't mean you have to change your approach that and that's when sometimes you start -- -- trouble. We've seen and he comes up there and as you like to say c'mon they're ready to party. Swinging at the first intervening at the very first pitch this season. First single in Chicago and has been aggressive all the way through so far it's working it would be nice to see him get that bunt down. In the top of the ninth inning last night that something of the leadoff guy you'd like me it would to do. But if he can keep this up and and that makes a huge difference. For these guys setting the stage for Zimmerman on the -- and whenever -- comes back. Now -- this lineup has looked very good times and also has struggled at times. Last night you witnessed Jayson Werth first tendencies and it was and the very nice. But it was his first. And this season -- talk about his struggles the four. -- -- weren't I think what he's really not got soccer cart is typically -- your life and not keep me even -- night. You know we hit -- ball. But Eddie came up three other times with runners on base -- achieved it. Indeed going to be for the national media gave it really a game of squandered opportunities that just secret gotten through this so I'm yeah I think I expect. -- you'll -- we have to look at everything. Would echo down the court with last year money. Could typical not to get -- and immediately. On but you know I have a hundred or even though I think. I think he didn't do that a little odd couple greens they -- get in the -- a night right now you know I mean he needs the are predicting more than he would especially at number. Thought with a -- that we didn't answer the tournament and the roads are hitting really well and I can't keep getting a lot of opportunities don't need to tag -- it. Yeah he's getting a lot of RBI opportunities and the problem. From my vantage point is it seems like he gets in some of those spots and he's looking for a walk is not looking to drive the Runyan. And that's a little bit discouraging because I know that's just his approach or his mind maybe not a whole lot of confidence in himself to come through with it and those spots. He has had some big walks and -- help. It's rallies going and even drove in a run in Chicago but. If you're going to be hitting fifth or sixth in this line up and those guys and you getting on base. You got to drive in runs that's what you're their. Now Amanda got one final question for -- we let you go. Still hit list is Mark DeRosa after a monster spring. I think if someone told you he he would struggle this this badly starting up the season you would have been surprised. Absolutely the I mean they're not just hit batting average on base percentage -- sooner or Spragan and he -- -- working -- yet. If he didn't buy it -- you -- the batter out but he ain't too down on himself to -- -- Obviously it's so typical day after sport is what we're seeing what we're -- on the just and the spring training activity is being broken record. -- -- -- -- -- -- I'm -- I mean you know he weakening continue to get an awful lot of playing time and be a lot of work his way out of -- and it ended up -- that they say. I I agree it is Britney that you know it it's like it's I think -- -- it. Not turn it all over it about that he had. Earlier this evening. And you know I won't be we'll see how they will come back -- -- -- -- -- in February that's -- point. Great stuff -- thanks we appreciate it thanks and an. Active. Our mark let's move on to Morse and Ankiel are on the subject of the lineup both guys are out as of now but both seem like there good return soon. How close are both of these guys coming off the disabled list I know Michael Morse could come off this in his today. Actually eligible to come off today and it's not gonna happen he's at at Hagerstown actually now finishing up his rehab but things have gone well he played eight innings in the field yesterday and I know that was an important thing for me to play a full game. Out there for the -- column back. It sounds like all systems are go for him to be activated in time for Thursday's home opener and -- nice that well welcome home for him and I'm -- -- nice ovation from the crowd. That'll make a big difference having him back obviously he goes right back in the middle lineup. Behind -- are in ahead of LaRoche and a bomb's worth Dallas spot and so if a guy is going to be struggling. Be nicer to have him down you know in the six spot and said that spot and may -- Morse on the growth can drive in some of those runs at the moment Werth isn't. I and Hank hill's case I think they're shooting for Saturday which is first and he's -- is also looked very good on the rehab so far as homered. For Harrisburg. And defense we never have to worry about this guy is one of the best in the game. It will be influenced him once and still comes back -- fit in in doesn't play every day I know Davey Johnson talked about going to platoon with him against left handed starters. Who is at and he's Brett Carroll in center field or do you even move worth. To center field and start a guy like Xavier Nady in right field so he does have some options I think once and still comes back but more certainly the moment he steps back in. Clean -- spot left fielder and he's not moving those. Now staying in the minor leagues smother bad news this week I was in -- and don't suffered a -- a bad ankle injury to his left ankle he's injured his right angle before. Ankle before this is a bad sprain he's broken his right angle and torn ligaments. We know about the shoulder problem -- this specific injury though how long do we think he'll be out and how might. This delay his progression to assist yes it's tough to say because they really wanted to wait for the swelling to go down they wanna wait a couple of -- to check it out but it was described as a badly sprained ankle. And in some ways that can almost be worse. Than other injuries that might sound more severe because it takes a long time to heal from the east and through rounding third base. And just double. In the previous at bat was trying to score and a base hit to -- And went down and keep according people who saw it and goes down for several minutes before they helped him off the field and did not put any weight on the ankle and all. We could be talking in terms of months not weeks in this case I have a feeling. Given. And the way the nationals are talking about and also given the fact that they actually went out and signed a player to take his spot somebody wasn't in the organization and fill that spot. That's not the kind of thing you do he's only gonna miss you know two weeks three weeks you promote someone from the level behind -- You know fill in from elsewhere. The fact that one ounce of felt the need to sign another player take that spot suggest to me they believe he's going to be out for quite awhile and get as there was on his progression because here's a guy. As a top college position player. Was looking at a fast track to the big leagues not -- one years old. Yeah not not saying that you know opening yanks here he was that necessarily a candidate to make the team -- anything bad but. They want to see him how he did this year early in the season that at high A it was kind of reach to put whomever they thought it could handle it. He did well there I think we've seen him at double -- for the second half the season I think you probably have to throw that all out the window at this point and say that it it you know if he misses. Take two months that's two months down the road that he that would delay his progression in the big leagues. Now -- obviously going to be a factor in those guy can hit. But he's going to be trying new positions wise on my legs and he was able to play much defense last year in college because of a shoulder he can throw his basic relegated to a designated hitter. Now he's gonna miss a lot of time in in the field wearing -- positions and with an injury that affects this field. Yeah I mean obviously you can't work on your footwork at second base hit -- a bad ankle so yeah that could delay things too because. Obviously Ryan Zimmerman is locked up for quite along time now third base. I think we talked on the past what could they do maybe Yzerman could move to first base. Maybe Rendell moved to second base or left field or something like that. They want to use this year to work on some of those things and give them a shot at shortstop and second base. Obviously the market they'll do that for awhile now and it's unfortunate. But it is why you always say. You know when the draft who's -- what are you doing after the third -- you got -- Aaron and and you worry about what's gonna happen. You always have to account for all these different possibilities you never know what's gonna happen. And at least they won't feel rushed to get him back on the field and did not like they need him in the big leagues as soon as possible because they have to have somebody that if you can't quite well. Right at least there's no sense of urgency -- to move them along and helped save the team yet. Coming out let's move on to reader questions we wanna thank you guys again free -- station got a lot of good questions this week. The first one is by pay to play and a lot of others is is I comments questions -- we yeah well credited to pay to play but other harassed me. And it ties in with our discussion earlier about Morse and Ankiel. Who gets removed from the roster when these guys return because Chad Tracy and if you're the guys are making it pretty tough decision. Yeah I mean what -- the funny part of all this is that Tracey was the last animated human probably only made it because of -- going on the DL. But the fact he came through twice the first two games of the season. All of a sudden they can't dump him to the curb you know their film pretty good about him. This thing to keep in mind here I think are going to be who has options and who doesn't. And you hate to say that it comes down -- that but sometimes in the case like this you don't wanna risk losing other guys. I got in Xavier Nady who was a surprise to make the team and made benefited from some of these injuries. Number one they like him number two the fact is helping the shown that he can hit a little bit I think in other -- scooped up immediately if they try to send down. I could take him out of the equation. The guys I would look at to be honest I think -- Brett Carroll. Who initially figured to be the center field platoon sharing a job with Rick Ankiel. But once -- -- talk about moving Werth to center and losing Nady in right. It seems that kind of leave Carroll on the outside looking in they haven't used -- yet other than pinch running so that kind of says to me that that he can be on the outspoken and and the other guy we haven't seen a whole lot of and I think could be in danger of losing his job to Steve -- I was. Who all spring they talked up and he kept saying I want him in the big leagues that they didn't give him 300 at bats. Well he's only got a couple of at bats so far he's only played in left field it and even used him on the infield yet haven't done anything to bench Espinoza Desmond. Preserving I don't know that you really want to the winner all playing. If he can't get enough playing time up here there's not a lot of good having him here you want him getting at bats on a daily basis. I think they can get by in the middle infield even though they don't have a true backup infielder Derosa could play second base. Espinoza can slide over shortstop if they needed if something happened and Desmond. I would not be surprised because -- Rosie has an option left because they want to get him as much playing time as possible I would -- be surprised if he's actually on the guys that goes down. Against UC Lombardo is in AAA conceding get a whole lot of time their last -- years and -- from us the in the front of the AAA he played even better than he did and doubling just. If you look like he didn't belong there he belonged in the big leagues sure. He did and and you'd love to get him out there every day and in the big league level seem ready to deal but when you've got guys ahead of him and especially guys who to this point are performing. You know I think in May be a wise this course to send him back Syracuse let him play every day you know they'll find a spot from here some point. Okay I'm living on the second reader questions for nets -- one day. John Lannan trade rumors are out there but the market doesn't seem to be there when things can happen when John Lannan. And -- reader points out that his start in Syracuse and I didn't exactly help. I know it didn't at all and it. There was already kind of some question about what kind of trade value had in them Mike Rizzo can prefer to -- as mild interest that there had been in this guy. All spring and then he goes out because of five runs in two innings in his first start. I can't imagine. Mentally emotionally where it was going in that game I'm I'm sure he wasn't. Didn't have a competitive fire and and and you know you would normally expect if he was in the big leagues. But it's up to him now. To do that if he really does one out and he's formally requested a trade his only hope this one pitch really well he didn't do that in his first start you hope -- come back in the next one. I just don't know number one how much trade value there is number two. What motivation Mike Rizzo is gonna have to move him you know. They want to have as many pitching pitchers as possible they need the -- they know guys are gonna go down there needs some eventually and they like -- to be that guy. And number two Mike Rizzo isn't the type to take those kind of threats. And -- to them you know think back last summer when Jim -- woman walked in his office said. Either talk about a contract extension for me or I'm not getting -- -- more what was -- spots. So on so you might present not the type attitude to take those kind of threats and and have succumbed to them so. I understand what land was doing understand why from his standpoint you want to request -- trade. I don't think it's naslund necessarily going to help his cause and although I think the best thing for him to do right now is go around for blade. Pitch as well as you possibly can and hope that either the Mets need you again at some point or that by pitching well somebody else out there as well and -- good off before. SP get a -- by sending them down they obviously chose rust that Wyler and has potential. Over John -- tonight we're we're gonna get our first glimpse of him right against the New York Mets. What what would you define as the expectations form. Well it's a good question because he wasn't stretched out that much in spring training I think he went five innings and in turn -- forgot to eighty year even 85 pitches. The thing with that -- are all long -- the one question as a starter has been Kenny go deeper in the games can get through a line -- the third time -- seem to dominate. For four innings in five innings and then can't quite get it -- it's the sixth or seventh now late last season he kind of flip the switch and start doing that. And that was a big reason why they wanted to get him in the rotation now because he seemed to have turned -- corner last September. So -- The Mets actually don't have a bad lineup especially with offense has drawn and how -- city field and facing some tough right handed hitters and David Wright. Jason -- not off to a great start but. I think you hope. For six innings. You know quality start but I wouldn't be surprised if he only goes five given. The lack of innings he got the spring training in the fact that David Johnson seems to be taking things easier with the starters this first time around. Okay it will our final reader questions from day. Regarding the high level of strikeouts for the national so far it's like four games but it was a trend we saw last season. And it seems to have continued. What are your thoughts on this trend and it's potential long term effect well. They do strike out a lot they did last year and I think this kind of a fact of life this is who they are you know Danny Espinoza strikes so Jayson Werth strikes out even Ryan Zimmerman strikes that he's -- Adam LaRoche strikes analyze. I don't know you can suddenly change through these guys are but you've assembled a lineup full of guys who are capable and -- the park and swing for the fences also capable of swing and basically Morse you know strength at a decent amount but talk openly -- computer here. You know. As much as you want it sounds like this they struck -- a lot this year and you know eight last night and -- Dempster struck out ten times on opening day some margin struck out a bunch -- his start. They actually. They're strikeout rate is 23 point 2%. So far this season which is not good. But there are. Five teams worse than them and Major League Baseball at the moment so it is an epidemic you know they're not the only team doing this and also remember that early in the season pitching is going to be added. Hitters. It's not all that surprising you've seen the best. You know number one number two starter -- now you're finally getting in the back end of rotations. You'll see that number should get a little better but. This -- team full of guys that strikeout and I don't think that suddenly gonna change. Over the course of the season you're just gonna have to hope that the strikeouts come at times when. There are guys on base and not in those moments when you have a chance drive at Bagram. Nomar before we wrap this up I've got kind of an interesting question I think. Regarding Marlins park we just saw Marlins park for the first time and it took just one game. For a player in opposing players complain about how big is Lance Berkman said that he -- he would be surprised -- they don't bring the fences and within the next year to it would seem. Kind of counter to that the team they had you know Hanley Ramirez young Carlos standard going to be kind of they're gonna have to play gap to gap. Speaking as far as the nationals is this park that might help the nationals when they played well I mean. If they're built on pitching to ensure that might help their cause. I'm not sure that Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth and Michael Morse would prefer that because they like they have bought I'm wondering if that big giant you know Chiquita banana. Nothing in left center field might be affecting the wind currents or anything I don't know I'm -- really gotten to see it go off yet because Evan -- the ball out of the park. I mentioned to see it myself you know it's that it's one series you don't wanna read too much. Into it but we saw what happened to the Mets I mean look at David Wright Jason Bay's power numbers the last couple years. Straight down the window. What happens they complain about it they bring antidote about a twelve feet there I mean it was dramatic you watch that game last night to see where the new offenses vs the old and it's it's dramatic. Yet and help the hitters that -- and help their pitching staff the whole season. In the national's case. Built more on pitching than on offense may -- actually helped their cause as longs and move those fences and before -- get there and give me. Yeah we'll see that we'll know a lot more about the nationals and the Marlins by then -- and wolf certainly know a lot more about the park. Tonight the nationals continue their second series of the season in the Mets C rust -- that while -- like we mentioned earlier. Will be back next week for all your nationals coverage gonna CSN Washington and that's insider dot com. 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