Beltway Baseball: An eventful first week
CSN Washington dot com. Well they're -- fans welcome the CSN Washington dot com and another upset about way baseball -- presented by The Washington Times. I'm chases with mark Zuckerman we're gonna bring a man to come back. In on the phone and just a minute here. Nationals played four games in the middle of second series and we're in we're learning a few things about the team. Good luck we'll get them -- 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 before the game saying that your story and 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 before we bring them and in mark we saw this. Well Davey Johnson said that the nets fear that can be bone chips and soundness of 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 going 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 -- generally you're talking two to three months recovery for us that's what it was for Jason Marquis was almost exactly three months. You're talking half the season at this point the all star break and it's -- really unfortunate thing especially considering that storm. Spent most of spring training and noticing some elbow issues they shut them 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. Detectives a 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 -- come back. -- -- -- -- Yeah -- done most of kind of quite a surprise yesterday when David Johnson broke that news about -- stolen. From them. What all those -- guys that have done anything different to avoid -- thing. No I don't think not meaning winning that initial admire our program on Torres. I think it -- actually -- NBC. I'm big solid body in his elbow object you know Pedro very hot bit. Not especially among their shirts and he could -- -- you're done so that they did see it there are aware that. But they thought that obviously 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'm obviously Iraq and that. -- it -- it we. Can't try to ramp up to eight hitters and you know who knows that. That was but that -- it could had a that -- got a -- somewhere else. Whatever happened out I don't think he could have prevented it what's going on right now the clay the most prudent course and you you know -- -- -- eight order just brake tests right figure is there another route. Now last night -- so far we've seen they're gonna have Brad Lidge and Henry Rodriguez kind of trading off in his place both accomplished the same game so far. Last night though Henry Rodriguez had a really rough ninth inning kind of bizarre sequence with a throw to first there mark. -- 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 Al well stranding a runner in scoring position when he sat down for a few minutes and then came back out for the ninth and that's when things kind of fell apart. That's something they may who need to be a little bit concerned America that's Penner have recurring thing from last year. In general. If you're talking about lidge vs Rodriguez I understand -- and Johnson trying to do here. Want to rotate between them he -- having when he calls a bullpen is deep bullpen and they sort of alternate days. But in this case if soreness out for a long long period of time. Lidge has the experience factor and didn't I don't care how good of an army under Rodriguez has I don't how care how good pitch this spring. It's a different situation when you take the mound in the ninth inning and 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 probably air on the side of experience in this case I don't man how you feel about that. Think that staring at me between them in the terrible and yet. You know again I mean it's typical U well the -- he hasn't done something that you really need to get and I think an opportunity. To allow him to -- he -- exceeded our -- I think he has shown that he had that's on you know he'd been very few high pressure -- situation. -- -- you did last night was maybe a test in that situation 'cause it seem like the kind of brought someone in. The crowd -- -- yet you know he didn't need very many pitches on to get to get a lot petty. That you got it with a high eight beeping at me early in the top of the guys they would rap outfit on the I think that fourteen that either they're trying to figure out what the cat but as far as filling the hole -- dark black. You know I think that the lead in the ninth inning. And then arrogant blew it then maybe we -- talking about something else you're back there that there -- a -- like a sore spot and not you know he -- -- But I think gotten I think right now I mean (%expletive) that's different picture and I think one of the main our reasons why they are probably gonna share commodity. Opportunity is that Bradley had had a lot of help -- in the past. He didn't hear your -- to it you know and and wearing him out is not a good idea -- So you know I really keen on even terms aren't sharing from big opportunity but it won't let that -- that he went along beautifully help anyway but I think that part of the reason why. They're gonna look a couple little is done. Don't let either that wears out. I'm mark in hindsight this Bradley lidge deal looks. Pretty Smart they're really going to need a -- oh absolutely and I mean like a man who was saying regardless of the story is healthy they want to have as many backup options there has. As many guys -- those high leverage innings as possible because. They know they overused story and -- last year and as young pitchers you can only hold on for so long before 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 bullpen. That was a a key point emphasis in the offseason and something that adversity is gonna pay -- benefits from them. Now let's move on to lineup 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 he'll play a different Italian he's seeing the ball well. I think -- -- -- probably pretty big key on but yeah I think his power stroke having your own I showed up the way it is for a couple of games. It's such an encouraging I -- -- opening -- he -- back to the upbeat that. And you know that -- really didn't get fair -- to show the type of player he isn't watching and because of that injury. On many people that you're number ten -- the guy -- -- -- something lots here on it really didn't have that Howard easily cat. I think you know I think that you anything about how -- great fielder -- that the other thing. And not you know -- -- don't Prince Fielder even pretty good hitter hit out right that he intriguing power hitter right. On the having -- that can't early on it either I think you'd. And the great meet their cleanup hitter yourself. I'm you know and he cannot come through -- that he -- not Michael Morse returned healthy and you get back at that cleanup spot we're going to be the number I got out. -- -- -- you that pivotal that they even a pivotal spot in the lineup and he's extremely important part of it but as the treatments each candidate for the national contest. Early this speed that it's and I you know right there and just doing it right and it does. Now they've let you mentioned they've gotten production out of their cleanup spot. -- 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 -- Johnson yeah well. I think in this case it. You say as -- from the walks and all that but I think Ian has said in the nationals have told him. Being yourself just because you're hitting leadoff doesn't mean you have to change your approach that and that's when sometimes you start falling into 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 intermediate the very first pitch this season. First single in Chicago and an aggressive all the way through so far it's working the -- 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 they 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 and Grossman 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 yeah. But it was his first hit this season -- talk about his struggles of four. Yeah -- weren't I think what he's really not got soccer start specifically that you like and not keep me even last night. You know we hit -- ball. But Eddie came up three other times with runners on base than that he can't compete and they for the national media gave it really well a game of squandered opportunities for that. Just anything going through this so I'm yeah I think I expect. Were you all you we have to look at everything. Heckled on the course with last year money. Typical not to get on him immediately. On but you know I have a 148 so I think. I think he didn't give them a little odd couple -- they can get into the night right now you tell I mean he needs -- start predicting more than he would especially that number by. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- He's getting a lot of RBI opportunities and the problem. From my vantage point it seems like he gets in some of those spots and he's looking for a walk is not looking to drive the run and and that's a little bit discouraging because I'm -- that's just his approach. Or his mind maybe not a whole lot of confidence in himself to come through with it -- spots he has had some big walks and have helped. It's rallies don't 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 gotta 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 and monstrous spring. I think if someone told you he he would struggle this this badly starting up the season you would have been surprised. He absolutely the I mean they're not just hit batting average on base percentage this sooner but it Spragan and -- it worked -- -- yet. If he didn't buy it on you need a batter out but he ain't too down on himself to our Alley. It's so typical day after sport is what -- being aware not being on need to. In the spring training activity is being broken record -- -- -- -- So I mean you know he -- continue to get an awful lot of playing time and -- -- -- a lot to work his way out of that that -- get up I that they say. On it but I I agree actress Brittany had you know it it's really excited he would. I'm richter and all over it many thought that he had. Earlier people on it but you know I won't be we'll see how it will come back in a week it -- In February got -- -- Great stuff -- thanks we appreciate it thanks -- And you. -- mark let's move on to more -- killer on the subject of the lineup both guys are out as of now but both seem like they're gonna return soon. How close are both of these guys coming off the disabled -- 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 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 well welcome home for him and I'm very -- ovation from the crowd. That make a big difference having him back obviously he goes right back in the middle lineup. Behind her and Adam LaRoche and a bomb's worth Dallas spot and so if a guy is going to be struggling. And be nicer to have him down you know in the six spot that fifth spot and may need Morse on the growth can drive in some of those runs at the moment Werth isn't. -- and Hank hill's case I think they're shooting for Saturday which is first and he's eligible he's 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 housing -- -- -- doesn't play every day and 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 even move worth. To center field and start -- and 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 from those. Now staying in the minor leagues smother bad news this week I was in Cameron don't suffered a 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 is right angle and torn ligaments. We know about the shoulder problems this specific injury though how long do we think he'll be out and how might. This delay his progression to -- yeah it's tough to say because they really wanted to wait for the swelling go down they wanna wait a couple plays and 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 center. And went down and keep according people who side 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 am feeling. Given. In the winter nationals are talking about and also given the fact that they actually went out and signed a player to take his spot so it wasn't in the organization and to know 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 amounts of felt the need to sign another player picked that spot suggest to me they believe he's going to be out for quite awhile and -- that it's gonna -- his progression because here's a guy. -- -- top college position player. Was looking at a fast track in the big leagues not only one years old yet 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 he could handle it. He did well there I think you would seeing him had double late in the second half the season. I think you probably have to throw that all out the window at this point and say -- it it you know if he misses. Take two months that's two months down the road that he that would delay is progression in the big leagues. Now hitting is obviously going to be a factor in those guys can hit. But he's going to be trying new positions wise -- -- and he wasn't able to play much defense last year in college because of a -- he can throw his basic relegated to a designated hitter. Now he's gonna miss a lot of time in in the field learning new positions and with an injury that affects this field. Yeah I mean obviously you can't work on your footwork at second base hit not a bad ankle so -- that could delay things too because. I'm -- 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 and so what are you doing after the third base and you got runs -- 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 them to move them along and helped save the team -- coming out. Let's move on to reader questions we wanna thank you guys again for your suspicion got a lot of good questions this week. The first one is by paid a play and a lot of others is is I comments questions that we end Welker and the pain a -- and -- were -- And it ties in with our discussion earlier about Morse and -- -- Who gets removed from the roster when these guys return because Chad Tracy and if -- the guys are making an pretty tough decision. Yeah I mean what the the funny part of all this is that Tracey was the last -- that can probably only made it because of and he'll go on on the DL. But the fact and he came through what he's 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 want to risk losing other guys. A gallon Xavier Nady who was a surprise to make the team in May 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 -- that can scoop him up immediately if they transcend 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 -- job with Rick Ankiel. But once David starts talking about moving Werth to center and losing Nady in right. It seems that kind we've Carroll on the outside looking -- haven't used it yet other than pinch running so that kind of says to me that that he can be on the output in. And the other guy we haven't seen a whole lot of and I think could be in danger of losing his job -- Steve -- I was. Who all spring they talked up and he kept saying I want him in the big leagues that they can 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. Present -- I don't know that you really want to -- they're all playing. If he can't get enough playing time and -- 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 lumber as he has an option left because they wanna get him as much playing time as possible I would not be surprised if he's actually on the guys that goes down. Against UC Lombardo is in triple -- conceding get a whole lot of time there last year he was in Dublin from us the in the front of the triple -- 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 love to get him out there every day it in the big league level with him and he can do but when you've got guys ahead of him and especially guys who to this point are performing. You know I think the media wise course to send them back Syracuse let him play every -- they'll they'll find a spot from here some point. Okay I'm living on the second reader question is from that -- 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 than 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 they had in them Mike Rizzo can prefer to have as mild interest that there have been in this guy. All spring and then he goes out there -- a five runs in two innings in his first start. I can only imagine. Mentally emotionally where it was going in that game and I'm sure he wasn't. Didn't have a competitive fire and and and you know you would normally expect -- 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 -- to 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 depth 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 I think back to last summer when Jim -- walked in his office said. Either talk about a contract extension for me or I'm not getting on the bust -- what was -- those spots. So on Syria might present not the type attitude to take those kind of threats and and that succumbed to them so. I understand what -- was doing understand why from his standpoint he wanted to request a trade. I don't think it's -- necessarily going to help his cause and although I think the best thing for him to do right now is go around -- -- 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 in the making -- off before. Dusty get a Lannan by sending them down they obviously chose rust that Wyler and his 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 while are all long the the one question as a starter has been Kenny go deeper in the games can get through a lineup the third time we've seen dominate. For four innings in five innings and then can't quite get it once 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 the corner. Last September. So we'll see. The Mets actually don't have bad lineup especially defense 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'd hope. For six innings. You know quality start but I wouldn't be surprised -- feeling those five given. The lack of innings -- got spring training in the fact that Damian Johnson seems to be taking things easier with the starters the 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 its 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 -- strikes outline. Jayson Werth strikes out -- -- even Ryan Zimmerman strikes and he's not Adam LaRoche strikes out a lot. I don't know you can suddenly changed these guys are but you've assembled a lineup full of guys who are capable and -- the park in. And for the fences also capable of swing municipally Morse you know strike out a decent amount but as a call from any computer here. You know. As much as you want it sounds like -- -- struck got a lot this year and you know with -- last night and -- Dempster struck out ten times on opening day some margin struck out a bunch -- his start. He 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 in 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 and it. Hitters. It's not all that surprising you've seen the best. You know number one number two starter when now you're finally getting in the back end of rotations. So we'll see that number should get a little better but. This -- team full of guys that strike out now and 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 those moments when you have a chance right at Bagram. Nomar before -- wrap this up I've got kind of an interest in 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 Vegas Lance Berkman said that he -- he would be surprised if 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 and cannon 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 play -- -- 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 yeah. Nothing in left center field might be affecting the -- Kearns or anything I don't know I'm I'm really gotten to see it go off yet because Evan hit the ball out of the park. I -- 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 in the nets 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 and bring the antidote about a twelve feet there I mean it was dramatic he watched that game I think to see where the new fences vs the old and it's it's dramatic. -- been helping hitter does not help their pitching staff the whole season. In the national's case. Built more on pitching then on offense and maybe actually helped their cause as long and move those fences and before that if there and give me. Yeah we'll see that we'll know a lot more about the nationals and the Marlins by then yeah. And -- certainly know a lot more about the park. Tonight the nationals continue their second series of the season against 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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