Kearns is having a good spring, hitting .333 with two home runs and seven RBIs. Do you think he is having success because he's back with his buddy Dunn?
-- David M., Woodbridge, Conn.
No, he's having success because he's not hurt anymore. And whatever Ladson said about his stance and Eckstein and stuff.
Bill, here's your $1 million question: Will the Nationals become playoff contenders in 2009?
-- Alex C., Montreal
No. They still don't have enough pitching. 2010 isn't out of the question and 2009 will be an improvement, but I think .500 is about the most realistically optimistic we can be.
Is Willy Mo Pena still in the running to get on the 25-man roster?
-- David, W., Arlington, Va.
He can't be. His power never returned (1 XBH in Spring Training). He's worthless in the field. Without power, he's nothing, and right now, he is without power.
Jordan Zimmermann is the real deal. He is the savior to this franchise. What are your thoughts on him?
-- Brent N., Hamel, Minn.
ZNN is NOT the savior to this franchise. I'm sorry for being such a Debbie Downer today, but he hasn't even thrown an inning above AA! Why put so much pressure on him? Just let him pitch and call him a "savior" after the season if that's what he ends up being.
If Nick Johnson gets hurt this season, will Dunn move to first base?
-- Jack S., Washington, D.C.
Apparently, Dmitri Young might snag some AB's as well. The team is going to put him back onto the 40-man (Thanks, Bowden). I'm guessing that if Johnson got hurt, assuming health for everyone else, Dunn would get about 65% of the playing time at 1B with Dmitri getting the other 35%. (Side note on Young-I think it's funny that Rizzo is going to honor Young's "handshake agreement" with Bowden, considering Bowden himself probably wouldn't honor it. "(Jeff) Shaw claimed at the time that Bowden had agreed not to trade him as part of a contract that involved Shaw taking less money from the Reds than he could have gotten elsewhere. “We had a handshake deal that he wasn't going to trade me,” Shaw said. “Three months later, he traded me. ... If I had been in the room with him, I would have killed him.").
The Nationals can't possibly go north with Elijah Dukes, Lastings Milledge, Dunn, Kearns, Pena and Josh Willingham on the 25-roster. Who is going to get cut or traded?
-- Bobby M. Gaithersburg, Md.
Cut: Pena. Trade: Willingham