Monday, February 15, 2010

Inbox and Thoughts

I'm going to start today with this week's Inbox and move along to some other thoughts afterwards.

How good can outfielder Elijah Dukes be if he plays up to his potential?
-- Jake T., Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.

Dukes can be a perennial All-Star if he plays up to his potential. He can hit 30 HR and steal 20 bases while reaching base consistently and playing decent defense. But I do believe the likelihood of Dukes playing up to his potential is waning each year; he still hasn't proven he can hit consistently well on a major league level.

If they stay relatively healthy, are the Nationals possible playoff contenders or will they finish below .500?
-- Jeff H, Washington

Possible? Sure. Probable? No. The Nats need both health and luck to finish .500 or above.

I notice that you get a lot of heat for getting on Adam Dunn's defense. How do feel about the criticism you get for it?
-- Ken J., Washington

Ladson doesn't have anything to apologize about. Dunn's defense is below average at 1B and worse in the outfield. He has to work extremely hard to get his glove in line this year, or else the Nats could be in big trouble with Zimmerman and Desmond throwing to him at 1B.

How many at-bats do you think Ivan Rodriguez will get this season? I really think he wants to make a run at 3,000 hits, and I'm sure the Nats are aware of this.
-- Dave, New York
Wait...Ladson says “Jesus Flores will be out for quite some time after right shoulder surgery.” ACK! He'll still be out for quite some time once the season starts? If that's the case, the Nats need more than Wil Nieves and Jamie Burke to fill Flores' void.
I do agree with Ladson that the Nats need to ease Flores into things when he's healthy enough to play. No need in rushing him back; I'd rather see him play the whole span of a season, even if he ends up playing in fewer games total. Think long-term with Jesus.

Now on to the actual question: 400. I don't think he'll be in position to hit 3,000 hits until 2012, if he's still around.

I wanted to know what your thoughts were about possibly bringing in Gary Sheffield as a big bat off the bench for the Nationals?
-- David H., Laytonsville, Md.
Ick. I don't know what is with people asking about washed up veterans in the mailbag, but it's starting to get old (just like Gary Sheffield). His bat is declining fast and he's even more of a DH than Adam Dunn.

Now on to some bullet-point thoughts:
  • I would like to thank DC Sports Report for their yearly review of Nationals blogs (check out last year's list here). I'm proud that their authors bumped me up from a 3 star blog last year to 4 this year. All of the blogs I link to regularly got at least 4 stars as well, so congrats to NFA, NationalsFanboyLooser, FJB and Nats News Network and everyone else!
  • MLBTR has the current list of borderline roster players across the league that are out of options. The Nats have one of the longest lists, with at least 9 players: Bergmann, Bruney, Burnett, Chico, Clippard, Morse, Slaten, Walker and Willingham. My guess is that 7 of the 9 stick, with Chico and Slaten getting outrighted (and I'd guess that they'd accept being sent to AAA because they have as good of a chance at getting back to the bigs with the Nats as with anyone else).
  • Nationals Journal has their guess at the Opening Day 25 man roster posted. Here's mine (so far):
PITCHERS (12): Batista, Bergmann, Bruney, Burnett, Capps, Clippard, Lannan (Opening Day starter), Marquis (#2), Olsen (#3), Speier, Stammen (#4) and Walker.

I think Mock will be the #5 starter but he won't be needed until April 19, so I think they'll carry an extra reliever in Batista/Speier until then. When they're ready to call Mock up, they'll DFA whichever of the two is doing worse.

CATCHERS (2): Nieves and Rodriguez (OD Starter at C).

Like Chico, I'm not willing to bet that Flores will be around for Opening Day. I certainly hope he will, but I'm not expecting it.

INFIELDERS (6): Desmond, Dunn (OD Starter at 1B), Guzman (OD Starter at SS), Kennedy (OD Starter at 2B), Morse, Zimmerman (OD Starter at 3B).

Yes, I do think the Nats will break camp with Desmond on the 25-man roster. No, I do not think he will be an Opening Day starter. And no, I do not think having him on the bench is a good idea. I think that this would be a decent distribution of PT for what it's worth: Desmond-30% at 2B and 40% at SS, Guzman-60% at SS and Kennedy-70% at 2B. Obviously not scientific, but I think something like that would be feasible.

OUTFIELDERS (5): Dukes (OD Starter at RF), Duncan, Harris, Morgan (OD Starter at CF), Willingham (OD Starter at LF).

I don't know why, but I have a feeling Chris Duncan makes the squad on Opening Day. His lefthanded bat certainly helps his cause.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Sean:
    Completely OT - but -
    We're coming to DC on Wed and are looking for Nationals Fans.
    Is it possible to post this on your blog?
    We would really appreciate it.
    Thank you,
    Sam Gish

    The Philadelphia Casting Co. Inc. is looking for:
    Nationals fans!
    Paid job!
    Please forward to anyone in the DC area who is a Nationals fan!
    Auditions in DC- Wed, Feb 17** (see schedule below)
    Thank you,
    Sam Gish

    It’s a unique opportunity for Nationals fans to demonstrate their passion for their team.
    MASN, the cable network of the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals, will continue its popular Defining Moments advertising campaign for the 2010 baseball season.
    Last season hundreds of fans auditioned for the opportunity to appear in the 2009 campaign.
    This year 15 lucky Nationals fans and 15 fortunate Orioles fans will be chosen to appear on-camera in promos promoting Nationals and Orioles games on MASN.
    Defining Moments is the definitive display of devotion. The chance to show everyone why you are an Nationals fan.

    Spots airing on MASN and Balt/DC local tv and cable & Balt/DC radio & Internet.
    Pay is $150 if chosen for a callback in Baltimore.
    $350 for shoot date, March 1, 2, 4, or 5, TBD.

    All ages, 18-80.
    Family combinations are good. Dad and son, Mom and daughter, etc.
    People should have a natural passion for the Nats.
    People should have strong knowledge of their teams and players.
    People with strong/outgoing/unique, friendly – personalities seem to work well.
    No actor or model looking people. Real, friendly, charactery welcome.

    Interview Schedule: (choose one)

    On Wednesday, Feb 17th from 4:00-6:00 p.m. we'll be at the:
    Wooly Mammoth Theatre Company.
    641 D Street, NW (7th & D)
    Washington, DC 20004
    For Directions: on Plan your visit and then directions.
    **Please do not call the theatre for directions!
    Please email us at if you are coming to the theatre, and we'll give you an appt. time.

    After that, we are hoping to go to the Rocket Bar, and Buffalo Billiards....but this is not officially set up yet...

    Then we'll head over to:
    Crystal City Sports Pub
    529 23rd St. South
    Arlington, VA. 22202
    We'll definitely be here on Wed. night, but don't have the exact time yet....probably arrive somewhere between 8:30-10:00 p.m.

    Please DO NOT CALL any of those places for directions!
    Hope to see you!
    Sam Gish
    The Philadelphia Casting Co. Inc.


Please leave your questions and/or comments here and I'll get back to you ASAP!