Category Archives: Nats/MLB 2009

ESPN Mag profiles Ryan Zimmerman

Zimmerman mostly unknown commodityESPN The Magazine
Ryan Zimmerman has been flying under the radar as a baseball player and as a man-about-town in the D.C. area since he got here after being drafted in the first round in 2005. Now, he is the best third baseman in the National League and is starting to be appreciated for how good he is but locally he isn’t immediately recognizable when he is out and about. Such is life of the Washington Nationals only superstar, though Zimmerman seems able to deal with the changes that will come if/when the Nats improve and raise the profile in the Nation’s Capital.

One odd thing — he’s never been on the Metro. That’s kind of part of the D.C. experience Zimm.

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Nats: Baseball Prospectus Q&A with Jim Riggleman

Prospectus Q&A Jim RigglemanThe Post
Riggleman answers about 20 questions from David Laurila. All of the answers are a paragraph long and fairly thoughtful. He calls strikeouts “unproductive outs” and talks about how even with restrictive pitch counts, young hurlers sometimes get hurt, among other things. Not mentioned — him being from suburban Montgomery County.

Hat tip to The Nats Blog.

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Thomas Boswell chat 12.24.2009

Ask Boswell: Redskins, MLB, Nats, Caps and MoreThe Post
“Washington Post sports columnist Thomas Boswell will be online Thursday, Dec. 17, at 11:00 a.m. ET to talk about the new Redskins front office and take your other questions about the Nats, Tiger Woods, the NFL and the Caps. “

I didn’t expect to see a Bos chat today. Perhaps he will talk more about the Nats and their recent acquisitions (including reliever Matt Capps apparently) than the dysfunctional Redskins. I really don’t think there is anything else to add on that front.

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New Nats pitcher Jason Marquis introduced; Eddie Guardado next?

Marquis deal is another positive sign for NatsThe Post
New National Marquis grabs mentor roleThe Wash. Times
The Nationals newest starting pitcher and projected #1 starter, Jason Marquis, was introduced to Washington yesterday. Marquis speaks highly of the moves that the Nats have been making in the offseason and by signing Stephen Strasburg. He also got to know John Lannan a little last year in Colorado during the Nats-Rockies series. Marqis wants to be a mentor on the staff. Given that we are not even to the New Year, I’ll take him at his word.

Nats nearing deal with veteran reliever Guardado – Nationals Journal, The Post
Oh how times have changed — back in 2008 when he was pitching for the Texas Rangers, Eddie Guardado was told he was traded to D.C. at the deadline — he was furious. In reality, he was pranked by his manager. Now, he is apparently ready to sign with the team. At 39 years old and a career almost exclusively in the American League, I’m skeptical about this signing and I can’t help but think of Julian Tavarez. I hope my gut is wrong on this one.

Okay, Pirates fan(s), Matt Capps has the Nats as one of the two teams he will sign with soon, how should I feel about him in a curly W cap?

Strasburg lands endorsement deal with Topps – National Journal, The Post
Strasburg signed a deal with the only baseball card manufacturer left — Topps. No word yet one whether it means he’ll be restricted in his autographs like Ryan Zimmerman.

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Nats sign Jason Marquis to boost rotation

Nationals sign veteran MarquisThe Wash. Times
Nationals sign Marquis to two-year dealThe Post
The Washington Nationals brought in veteran pitcher to Jason Marquis to be a workhorse in the rotation. Pending passing a physical, Marquis will be introduced this afternoon at 2 p.m. The deal is reportedly for 2 years, $15 million, less than I would have expected given the Nats record.

Marquis is a 10 year veteran who has pitched for playoff teams every year in the majors. That streak is in serious jeopardy in Washington though. In 2009, he pitched 216 innings for the Colorado Rockies, but was left off the playoff roster. Marquis doesn’t strike out many batters, so he fits in with the “pitch to contact” philosophy that pitching coach Steve McCatty preaches. He shutout the Nats on July 6 in Denver, besting Craig Stammen in a 1-0 duel.

Marquis will probably be at the top of the rotation, followed by John Lannan. Who will follow remains to be seen with Craig Stammen, Shairon Martis, Scott Olsen, Collin Balester, Garrett Mock, Ross Detwiler, J.D. Martin all vying for spots in the rotation. Last year’s #1 pick Stephen Strasburg will hopefully be in the mix next year too. I would be surprised if another free agent pitcher is signed, though if Livan Hernandez wants to come back and probably can if he signs an incentive-laden deal.

Marquis is a solid pick up by GM Mike Rizzo. Moving to #2 in the rotation should help Lannan pick up some more wins too, since he won’t be pitching against the opposition’s #1 every time out.

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Nats: What happened while I was not blogging

Let’s see, what have I missed over the last few days about our Washington Nationals?

2010 tickets information released. No price increases, a few decreases. Here is how The Wash. Times reported it.

There will be no more free parking and shuttle service to Nationals Park from RFK Stadium.

GM Mike Rizzo watched Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman pitch.

Rizzo chatted on nationals.com
Same broadcasting team on MASN next year (nationals.com); Bob Carpenter and Debbi Taylor get new contracts. Another example of bad faith to Nats fans from MASN.

Thomas Boswell was going to chat about the Nats for The Post, but Vinny Cerrato‘s resignation and Bruce Allen‘s hiring by the Redskins dominated the chat. I’m not mad, the Cerrato coup is a huge deal and way overdue. Welcome new Redskins overlord!

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Nats: Olsen brought back, Pudge wants to play a lot

Olsen signs one-year contract with NatsThe Post
Nationals bring back Olsen with one-year dealThe Wash. Times
When P Scott Olsen was non-tendered, denying him arbitration, I though the Washington Nationals were being cheap. It turns out they were being smart — they signed Olsen to a $1 million, plus incentives contract yesterday. He is coming off labrum surgery and only 11 starts last year. He can make up to 4 million if he reaches 33 starts.

Rodríguez: ‘I’m ready to play’The Post
Rodriguez expects a full plate of workThe Wash. Times
C Ivan Rodriguez was introduced on Friday and talked about being an everyday player. That is not what the Nats had in mind, but um, I guess him wanting to play everyday is a healthy attitude.

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Nats: Winter meetings over; Pudge introduction today

Nats’ acquisitions: ‘good starting point’The Post
Nats’ buzz at meetings is change of strategyThe Wash. Times
The Washington Nationals acquired free agent Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, traded their #1 rule 5 draft pick to the New York Yankees for Brian Bruney.

The spin on the meetings was that the Nats were busy and checked off a number of thngs on their list. There are some suggestions that the Nats achieved some more respectability, but in the end I think baseball people thinking “why did they pay $6 million over two years for Pudge?” more than anything.

Rule 5 SelectionsNationals Farm Authority
Here are the Nats Rule 5 picks, all from the AAA portion of the draft.

RHP Arismendy Mota – Chicago White Sox
LHP Michael Wlodarczyk – Tampa Bay Rays
CF Nicholas Moresi – Houston Astros

Here are there loses:

RHP Zech Zinicola – Toronto Blue Jays

AAA portion
RHP Ruben De La Rosa – Toronto Blue Jays
RHP Terrence Engles – Seattle Mariners

AA portion
RHP Johan Figureo – New York Mets

They also released Zack Segovia to make roster room.

THOMAS BOSWELLNats act like they belongThe Post
Guess which D.C. columnist is oversold on the Nats winter meetings effort? Tom Boswell! He’s oversold on Pudge and well, mostly everything the Nats have done this offseason. Is it better? Yes, but the damage done by Jim Bowden won’t go away in just one offseason.

Pudge expected to be introduced by Natsnationals.com
Press conference for the Rodriguez signing at 1 p.m. from Nationals Park. I wonder if Comcast SportsNet will carry it.

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Thomas Boswell chat 12.10.2009

Ask Boswell: Redskins, Nats, baseball hot stove, Caps and moreThe Post
“Washington Post sports columnist Thomas Boswell will be online Thursday, Dec. 10, at 11:00 a.m. ET to take your questions about the Redskins, the Nats, the NFL, the Caps and the latest sports news and his recent columns.”

I expect Bos to be wild and crazy about the winter meetings with long answers and even longer delays between questions.

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Are the Nats waiting for the market to come to them?

Nats seek starting pitchingThe Post
Rizzo: Market won’t deter NatsThe Wash. Times
The Nationals have admitted that they need pitching and are looking for a solid “innings-eater.” The market for that type of pitcher seems to be about $10 million a year and the question is will GM Mike Rizzo go out and sign one of them soon or wait a while and hope “the market comes to them.” That strategy worked last year with slugger Adam Dunn. Historically, the Nats have shown willingness to overpay for position players, but not yet with pitchers, their biggest need.

Other notes:

Pending the results of his physical, C Ivan Rodriguez will be introduced at 1 p.m. on Friday.

When asked about the Rule 5 draft, Rizzo said “we’ll be there” which apparently means they will draft Yankees reliever Zach Kroenke and make him the player to be named later in the Brian Bruney trade. Huh? That just comes off as unseemly — for both teams and I’m a fan of both of them. I don’t want the Nats to become a modern Kansas City A’s and act as the Yankees MLB farm team.

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