Thursday, December 24, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
How much playing time do you think Ivan Rodriguez will get? I think it would be a waste if he gets only the amount of playing time Wil Nieves had last year. Pudge can still provide some serious offense besides his defensive skills.
-- Alex C., Montreal
He'll get more than that just because Flores is so injury-prone. I have a feeling that Flores' injury might be worse than we think...if that's the case, Nieves might even get as much time this year as he did last year.
How much interest are the Nationals showing in Aroldis Chapman? It looks like his upside could be as high as Stephen Strasburg's and, if signed, would give the club an outstanding top of the rotation for years to come.
--- Jeff O., Victoria, Texas
I'm not expecting them to make a big run for them, and I can't really blame them. Chapman has a lot of talent, but he is nowhere near the polished prospect Strasburg is. A team that doesn't spend a lot of money throwing $15 mil at a guy who isn't a sure thing doesn't pass the smell test to me.
Would Felipe Lopez be a good fit at second base for the Nats?
-- Sean B., Washington
Absolutely not. What a friggin' bum. Whoever signs him is going to be disappointed-his BABIP in 2009 was almost 30 points higher than it had ever been before. He'll come back down to earth and make somebody else's fans miserable in 2010.
What happened to all the John Smoltz buzz? It seems like ages ago that we've heard anything about the Nats trying to acquire a starting pitcher. If you were in Rizzo's shoes, which free-agent pitchers would you sign?
-- Scott W., Onley, Va.
I agree with Ladson that Smoltz and the Nats have mutual interest, but more in terms of a each side having a backup date to prom. I think the Nats might chase Jon Garland but end up with Doug Davis. I'm always wary of both for some reason (I guess I just expect the bottom to fall out sometime soon), but if we could get either on a one-year deal in the $5-7 mil range, I wouldn't be opposed to it.
What are the Nationals' options if Cristian Guzman can`t play second base?
-- Ryan L., Dunn, N.C.
Gonzalez and Harris are the likeliest options, but a dark horse could be Mike Morse. He played 19 games at 2B for Tacoma in 2009. Reasonable FA options include Orlando Hudson, Mark Derosa, Kelly Johnson and even Ronnie Belliard.
What are the chances of bringing Vladimir Guerrero back into the organization?
-- Kelvin A., Rockville, Md.
None unless they trade Willingham or Dunn. Guerrero is not a good fit for an NL team anyways-he only played 16 innings in the field in 2009.
What's the status of Chris Marrero? Can we expect him in the big leagues anytime soon?
-- Colin W., Germantown, Md.
To be honest, I have no clue. Marrero is at the age where he can either catapult through the system and end up in DC in September (fairly likely) or bottom out completely and be done with baseball (highly unlikely). He didn't look very good in 84 PA's at Harrisburg, but that's a very small sample size. We'll know for sure when the ASG rolls around whether or not he can hack it in AA.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Who do you think will be the Nationals' Opening Day shortstop?
-- Patrick S., Chantilly, Va.
Ian Desmond. I honestly don't think the Nats will make a run at an ML-worthy 2B or SS, leaving them with Desmond at SS and Guzman at 2B.
It seems odd that the Nationals would offer arbitration to right-hander Jason Bergmann. Likeable as he is, he's an average pitcher at best.
-- Mike H., Washington
Average at best, yes, but what else describes the Nats bullpen? I'm surprised they didn't non-tender him and try to bring him back at a cheaper salary, but to be honest, it's not a truly cost-prohibitive decision.
What do you think the rotation and bullpen will look like on Opening Day next year? I expect Stephen Strasburg and Drew Storen not to be on the roster until later in 2010.
-- Keith C., Greenbelt, Md.
Rotation: Lannan, Detwiler, Olsen, Garland, Marquis
Bullpen: Bergmann, Balester, Burnett, Clippard, Mock and Bruney as the Closer.
Strasburg and Storen will not be in the Majors until at least a month in, I bet.
If the Nationals are unable to land a "Big Time" starter this offseason, do you see any potential trade packages that could land Blue Jays right-hander Roy Halladay?
-- Michael L., Williamsburg Va.
Well, I obviously missed the boat on this one, but such a deal would cost some sort of a combination of Norris, Storen, Desmond and Marrero (plus maybe some pitchers like Detwiler and Mock), and I don't think the Nats could (or would even want to) match the Phillies' offer.
Will Clippard get a shot in the rotation? He's deadly against left-handed hitters. Just ask Bobby Cox, who would like to have him.
-- Brandon D., Muncie, Ind.
Deadly against lefties, yes, but he still had a .207 BABIP last year. Expect plenty of regression, and further bullpen relegation.
Not too long, it was reported that the Nationals were shopping Josh Willingham and Adam Dunn because they are defensive liabilities. Why? There bats are crucial parts of the lineup, and with Nyjer Morgan, Willie Harris, Roger Bernadina and Justin Maxwell in the mix, the defense is solid.
-- Ben F., Suffolk, Va.
The problem with the defensive whizzes is that only Morgan and Zimmerman are actually starters. The team, in my opinion, has 2 plus fielders in Morgan and Zimmerman, 2 minus fielders in Willingham and Dunn, 2 average fielders in Rodriguez/Flores and Dukes and 2 average fielders with a bigger potential to fall into the lower category than the higher in Desmond and Guzman.
I still like the potential of left-hander Matt Chico. Based on his progress in rehab, what do you think his chances are of being with the team in 2010?
-- Todd B., Smithsburg, Md.
I'm admittedly not a big fan about Chico. He had a below average, yet still lucky, year in 2007. I don't think he'll be back for good, unless he comes back with control and durability.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Terrible for Arizona, good for Detroit, great for the Yankees.
One of the following RP's at 1 year/$1-2 mil: J.J. Putz, Joe Beimel, Bob Howry, Octavio Dotel