Johnson was a great player and a face of the franchise, but does Aaron Thompson have a chance to make as much of an impact as Johnson?
-- David W., Potomac, Md.
It depends on what you define "as much of an impact" as. I'm pretty sure Thompson will be worth more to the Nats over the next year years than two months of NJ would have been, but at this point he's really just another pitching prospect to stockpile. My guess is he'll end up as a #4/5 starter but the same was definitely said about John Lannan a few years back!
Craig Stammen continues to struggle. They should put Tyler Clippard in the rotation and move Stammen to the bullpen. What are your thoughts?
-- Joshua, Puerto Rico
I think at this point there's no point to switch them. Clippard (admittedly in a small sample size) has only been effective against batters the first time through the lineup. And besides that, after converting him to a reliever, I don't see them reversing it anytime soon. And while Stammen has gotten hit fairly hard in his last 2 outings, I'm not willing to give up on him yet.
What options do the Nats currently have at first base now that Johnson is gone?
-- Mike B., Washington, D.C.
Over the longrun, I think it will be Willingham. He's got the athletic ability to play there. It won't be pretty at first, but after a month or so I'm sure he'll look better than Dunn/Belliard. Once September rolls around, you might see Kory Casto, Mike Morse, Joel Guzman or Jorge Padilla there, depending on how the 40-man roster looks.
How does a player fail a physical for the Nationals and become an All-Star for the Dodgers? I'm talking about Hudson.
-- Peter R., Vancouver, BC Canada
He. Was. Not. Healthy. Enough. To. Give. A. Contract. To. Not sure how this is so hard for people to understand. It is never a good idea to sign someone who fails a physical. Get over yourself and hope they can sign him this offseason.
It has been stated a few times that the Nats will be looking for a shortstop in the offseason, and that Cristian Guzman's defense has become suspect. Were the Nats shopping Guzman before the Trade Deadline?
-- Frank H., Washington, D.C.
I hope so.
Some other links:
Jon Heyman had a few Nats-related snippets today. Don't mistake me for Heyman fan, because I'm surely not...just passing info along.
1-Dunn is likely to clear waivers, Villone might, Willingham won't.
2-Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd and Dodgers GM Ned Colletti both have expiring contracts and could be targets for the Nats' GM job in the offseason. Other potential targets could include former Astros GM Gerry Hunsicker, White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn, Marlins assistant GM Dan Jennings and Red Sox assistant GM Jed Hoyer. Heyman notes that Hunsicker and Hahn aren't locks to accept a job if it is offered.
Daniel Cabrera signed with the Diamondbacks and Corey Patterson signed with the Brewers. Pity their fans.