Ladson's at it again! Inbox time!
I've been a fan of Hill's since he made his debut with the Expos in 2004. I don't understand why the Nationals released a man with his great work ethic. The team has had patience with first baseman Nick Johnson. I think you will agree Hill had tremendous upside.
-- Ben F., Suffolk, Va.
To be honest, Hill's time was up with up. He might be a great pitcher somewhere else, but we just couldn't count on him anymore. The team was better off moving on, in my opinion.
How is Johnson looking this spring?
-- Lou L., Sacramento, Calif.
Numbers are decieving (and pretty much pointless in Spring Training), but from what I've heard so far, Nick the Stick is looking decent. Here's to hoping he can play 130 games this year.
Do you think that the Nationals are going to miss Perez? Last year, he ate up a lot of innings and had a decent ERA. I never understood why the Nats didn't reward him with a Major League contract.
-- Phil I., Rockville, Md.
No. He was league average, yes, but they have a lot more pitchers this year capable of doing so. And I don't think it's good to have 3 LHP in the rotation, either. Olsen is his replacement, and at least Olsen has upside.
You said recently to not get ahead of ourselves when talking about right-hander Steven Strasburg -- but how can we not? He is the greatest prospect to come along since right-hander Mark Prior, and we have the No. 1 pick. Are you saying the Nats aren't going to pick him?
-- Michael S. Richmond, Va.
Look at what you just said..."the greatest prospect to come along since right-hander Mark Prior." Remember what happened to Mark Prior? Don't get ahead of yourself, there is no such thing as a known quantity in college baseball (or really in any kind of baseball).
Right-hander Jason Bergmann has yet to give up an earned run. I think he is really making a case to make the team and showing how much he wants to stay in the Majors. What are his chances?
-- Alex C., Montreal
He'll make the team as a middle reliever...a 75% chance.
Is Jesus Colome still alive in the competition to make the bullpen? You don't have his name listed on the depth chart.
-- Joseph M., Westwood, NJ
Also a 75% chance. For both of them, we'll see them anyways so it's not a huge deal if they don't make the initial Opening Day roster.
I would like to see the Nationals hire Frank Howard as a hitting coach. Is this possible?
-- Alan N., Washington D.C.
As a hitting coach, no. He should be hired somewhere in the system, but not as the hitting coach. Think "special instructor" type roles. Team Ambassador? Something like that?