Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
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!!
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Besides John Lannan, Jordan Zimmermann and Ryan Zimmerman, who fits in the Nationals' long-term plans?
-- Alex C., Montreal
Flores, Detwiler and Morgan jump out at me. I'm still not 100% sold on Stammen or Gonzalez, but they could easily be added to that list.
Do you think that there would be any benefit to the Nats making an offer to B.J. Ryan? He's certainly struggled this year, but he can't be any worse than what they already have?
-- Richard H., Toronto
Why not? Could he be worse than Julian Tavarez?
J.D. Martin has a pretty good record with Triple-A Syracuse. Why not bring him up to work out of the bullpen.
-- Jeff. H, Washington, D.C.
You're preaching to the choir. He'll start some games in September I bet.
Do you see the Nationals calling up Kory Casto this year? If so, at what position? I remember him playing left field, third base and some first base last year.
-- Patrick S., Fairfax, Va.
I doubt they would, and if they did it would probably be as a super-utility guy. It would be nice to have a legitimate 3B to backup Zimmerman, but I don't think Casto is that player.
I completely agree with sending outfielder Elijah Dukes down to Syracuse to work on his swing. At the same time, Dukes has 10 outfield assists, which leads all Nationals outfielders. So, on that note, do you believe that he's the long-term solution at right field, assuming he gets his swing going again?
-- Harris F., Silver Spring, Md.
I think he's in the team's long-term plans until they trade him. Up to that point, they'll play him once he heats back up.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Who do you think should represent the Nationals at the All-Star Game this month?
-- Joan J., Washington
As great as Lannan has looked lately, it's still gotta be Zimmerman. He's still head and shoulders above the rest of the team in value. I do agree with this Ladson quote: "I want to see the old Zimmerman, who was a complete player in 2006. I want to see him steal bases and bunt for base hits." I'm not usually on Ladson's team, but he hit the nail on the head here.
How do you think Mike Rizzo is doing as an acting general manager?
-- Curtis K., Washington
He's doing well but not perfect. The draft looked nice for a low-budget one, but without much of the upside I had hoped. The trades have been iffy and at times it has looked like he has been a little too honest with the media with snipey remarks on Shell and Cabrera. Still, he's been decent at worst and will be a good GM when they're ready to pull the interim tag off of him. Despite taking small shots at some players, he has calmed many's fears that he would melt in front of the media.
What exactly is "the plan" now for the Nationals?
-- Trey O., Washington
We're halfway there. The pitching is ready once Strasburg gets signed (Strasburg-Zimmermann-Lannan-Detwiler-Martis/Stammen is looking like a good rotation), but we have very little hitting-wise in the minors. Bryce Harper will help, but I think the Nats might need to have a real hitter-heavy draft next year.
Since the Nationals are reportedly talking about limiting the innings of their young starting pitchers, is it possible to go to a six-man rotation instead of shutting them down later in the year? I really liked John Smoltz's remarks about not limiting them at all.
-- Conrad S., Accokeek, Md.
I would like the idea of a 6-man rotation more if our bullpen was better, but it's still intriguing. The team plans on calling up the likes of Mock, Balester and Estrada to fill in holes come September when ZNN and Detwiler are shut down, but won't those guys be near their inning limits as well?
Why isn't Willie Harris playing every day? He has the speed and plays good defense. What do you think?
-- Ron P., Lock Haven Pa.
He should play 3 of every 4 games in my opinion. He's a guy you want off the bench too, don't forget that-on a good team, he's a bench player.
You mentioned that the front office has concluded that both Josh Willingham and Adam Dunn are best suited for the American League as designated hitters. Do you think that the team will be trying to trade both of them?
-- Greg, Washington
If they haven't dealt Willingham yet, I am not convinced they will. That being said, I only expect them to deal one of them. They can handle one poor defensive outfielder, just not 2.