With Jim Riggleman at the helm, I was wondering if you could familiarize Nats fans with Riggleman's style of managing.
-- Dean C., Washington, D.C.
From Ladson: "Riggleman is the type of guy who will not tolerate lackadaisical effort. When Riggleman was managing the Padres, I saw him take Phil Plantier out of the game at Shea Stadium for not hustling on the bases. When he was with the Cubs, Riggleman was not afraid to get in a player's face for doing something wrong on the field.
I think we'll see Riggleman try to manufacture runs and not wait for the three-run home run. It needs to be more than just Nyjer Morgan stealing bases and bunting for base hits. The way the team is going, I believe he'll need to be innovative if he's to scratch out a few extra victories."
What are your feelings about Manny Acta being relieved of his duties as manager of the Nationals? Do you really think Riggleman can win more than 26 games with this roster during the second half?
-- Gil B., Rochester, N.Y.
The point of the move isn't to win more games this year-that doesn't matter as much. The point is so that players will continue to develop. Like Ladson said, the players weren't responding to Manny anymore. A change was needed to get these guys going towards their peak.
Do you see the Nationals signing first-round Draft pick Stephen Strasburg by the Aug. 17 deadline?
-- Craig D., Delmar, Md.
If the Nats cannot trade Austin Kearns by the July 31 Trade Deadline, do you think he will be released?
-- Rich R., Washington, D.C.
Doubt it. Not enough other options in the system for them to dump him-they'll keep him for his defense and dump him after the year. Makes no sense in my opinion to call up a guy like Maxwell or Bernadina (assuming health for the example) to have them sit on the bench. Don't stunt anyone's growth by stuffing them on the bench and wait to call someone up in September.
What happened to Anderson Hernandez's playing time at second base?
-- Ray U., Shrewsbury, Mass.
Gonzalez was playing well enough to warrant starting time.
I've been a huge JD Martin fan from the get-go when I named him #4 on my list of guys the Nats should go after out of the minor league free agent market. The Nats in the last week have done a good job rewarding guys with great recent success in AAA-Martin, Mock and Kensing. Hopefully they can get some quality innings out of them. Kudos to the Nats for finally calling up JD and to JD for sticking around so long in the minors to finally get a shot!!