Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Of all the trades that were made so far this season, do you think that acquiring Nyjer Morgan was one of the best ones?
-- Bill D., Cromwell, Conn.
Out of all of the trades this year, it has helped the team the most in the short-term, but as FJB noted on Friday, it was a trade that was made for now rather than later.
Any chance the Nats will consider Adam Dunn as part of the long-term solution at first base?
-- Travis M., Alexandria, Va.
Consider? Yes. Seriously consider? I doubt it. I think that if Willingham plays 1B in Spring Training, he'll learn it well enough to be at least league average, which would be a huge upgrade over Adam Dunn at 1B.
Do you think Mike MacDougal and Ronnie Belliard will be back? At the very least, MacDougal could bridge the gap between Drew Storen, and every team needs a versatile pro like Belliard.
-- Dave F., Seaford, Del.
Gut guess: MacDougal-yes and Belliard-no. As Ladson said, Belliard is a big waiver trade candidate over the next month or so. I expect him to go (and will be surprised if he doesn't). MacDougal is interesting becuase he's still under team control for 2 more years. They'll keep him around and try to trade him next year at the deadline I bet.
What are the chances that we see Storen in a Washington uniform this September?
-- Xavier N., Houston
I doubt it. There's no reason to rush him, start his service time, spend a 40-man spot, etc. No need making the Ross Detwiler mistake twice, even though it wasn't really a big deal.
Recent trade rumors about Cristian Guzman and other players have me wondering: When do the Nats trade for some bats? I understand the need for solid pitching, but there were stretches of the season in which the offense was totally dormant.
-- Luke H., Prince Frederick, Md.
I don't see where an upgrade is sorely needed. Dukes, Dunn, Guzman, Morgan, Willingham and Zimmerman are all league-average or better with the bat and Jesus Flores will be solid next year behind the dish. I'm happy with those 7's bats and an all-glove, no-hit 2B in my lineup any day.
Guzman has lost a step defensively. Any chance the Nationals can move Guzman to second base next year and sign a shortstop?
-- Rich R., Slingerlands, N.Y.
This idea has been shut down too many times for me to believe it's possible, but I don't see what the risk of trying something like this in Spring Training for a couple of games is.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
But that being said, what's a blog without some whining? Here are a few things on my mind:
Monday, August 10, 2009
It's Ladson inbox time!
What's the deal with Strasburg? Will the Nationals sign him?
-- Jeff G., Esperance, N.Y.
Without a doubt, yes.
How do you think Adam Dunn is doing at first base right now?
-- Yu-Hung S., Chiayi, Taiwan
He's better than I expected he would be...I'll take him over Dmitri. Still would like to see Willingham get some PT there as well, though, because he might end up being a good defensive 1B rather than the liability that Dunn still is.
The Nationals have been a totally different team after the All-Star break. How has Jim Riggleman changed the attitude and approach of the ballclub?
-- Asher K., Birmingham, Ala.
I'm not going to lie-I'm a fan of managers like Riggleman rather than Acta. It seemed like nobody cared about losing when Acta was around...now the players seem to me like they're more into games and are enjoying winning more than before.
I was surprised by your answer that sticking with Austin Kearns too long was former manager Manny Acta's worst move, even though I totally agree. Weren't you the first to defend him all the time, saying that he was a superstar and could hit 40 homers?
-- Alex C., Montreal
"I never said Kearns was a superstar and could hit 40 homers. I often complimented Kearns for his work ethic. Last year, for example, it always stuck out because there were players on that team who didn't give it their all."
I looked into this and Ladson's telling the truth as far as I can tell. He once said "There is no question that he must produce with the bat this year. I would like to see him hit 35 home runs and drive in 110 runs. I've been told many times by members of the Nats' front office that Kearns is the club's second-best player behind Ryan Zimmerman. Now it's time for Kearns to put up Zimmerman-type stats." I think people misconstrued that to be a prediction rather than the challenge it looks like in retrospect.
How much longer do the Nationals have Nyjer Morgan under contract? I think he's the answer in center field and in the leadoff spot. He could contribute for many years in D.C.
-- Chris M., Springfield, Va.
As Ladson noted, he can be auto-renewed for 2 more years and then is arb-eligible for 3 years after that...so he's ours for quite a while.
I have a great admiration for Bard for playing in such pain. But why do the Nats keep playing him when he is obviously injured?
-- Roy H., Fredericksburg, Va.
They don't really have another option to call up, so I guess they're just doing what they can with what they have. If he says he can play, who are they to tell him no?
I think the Nationals have a nice young core of young starting pitchers. If the Nats could add a veteran through free agency this offseason, who would be a good fit?
-- Bryan A., Fairfield, Conn.
John Lackey, Jason Marquis and Randy Wolf are 3 guys who stick out to me as reasonable candidates. MLBTR has a list of 2010 free agents here.
I was wondering the status of catcher Jesus Flores. How is he doing in his rehab?
-- Roy H., Charleston, S.C.
In his NJ interview from late July, Flores sounded very gung-ho about being back for Winter League, but didn't sound like he would be back this year...so prepare for more Bard/Nieves.
And all I have to say on ZNN-crap. We're pulling for you, Jordan...we'll be ready for you in ST 2011.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
The other deal was for Daryle Ward and Norris Hopper. Both guys are organizational depth at this point, but a) the Nats didn't give up anyone, b) they're not blocking anyone (and its probably more beneficial for most of our guys' development to leave them where they are) and c) Daryle Ward is back! I loved Daryle in 2006 when he had a .958 OPS off the bench for the Nats. He hits righties hard and can play 1B when Dunn turns the circus music off.
Monday, August 3, 2009
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.