Entries Tagged as 'nationals'

Strasburg’s progress moving along

Catch every Stephen Strasburg outing in 2012 with MLB Extra Innings on DIRECT TV.

With everyone seeming to be going on the DL these days, it’s nice to hear about someone making some progress.  Stephen Strasburg has been doing well since his TJ surgery and now is beginning to throw curveballs in practice says The Sporting News.

Indeed, he has been throwing fastballs at “full speed” so things are looking up.  It may not be long before the Nat’s schedule a minor league rehab assignment.  Still, it’s still questionable whether he will see major league action this year.

Some question whether Strasburg’s rehab has been moving TOO quickly and if there’s been enough thought put into whether he should change his mechanics due to the Tommy John surgery.

For Strasburg’s part though, it appears that he is handling everything calmly and as maturely as a 23-year old can.

Riggleman quits as Nats manager after winning 11 of 12

What an odd year it’s been in baseball. Derek Jeter is in line to get 3,000 hits at Yankee stadium but gets injured to delay the process.  Then Albert Pujols injures his wrist knocking him out for six weeks. 

Now for one of the strangest stories of the year.  Jim Riggleman resigns as manager of the Washington Nationals immediately after their 1-0 win over the Seattle Mariners.  Indeed, under Riggleman, the Nats have won 11 of their last 12 games bringing their winning percentage to .500 for the first time since May 11th. 

Winning got to him?  Well, it was more of an issue of his long term role in organization.  He simply didn’t have one.  He saw the writing on the wall and that writing told him that he was going to be gone by the end of the year.  According to rumors, team management refused to even meet with him on the matter.

“I’m 58,” Riggleman said. “I’m too old to be disrespected.”  Fair enough.  I feel his pain.  But there are other players (pun intended) in this story.  Let’s think of them, too. 

Players like Nats outfielder Layne Nix…  “I don’t even know what to think. I just know we’re playing well, and we have a game tomorrow.”

Baseball pundits are putting Davey Johnson front and center for replacing Riggleman.  Time will tell. 

What kind of #1 pick will Strasburg be?

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com has a rather interesting article regarding Stephen Strasburg and former MLB first round picks.  His point is simple… we’ve gotten some real goodies with the #1 pick (Griffey, Arod, Chipper, Mauer) but at the same time, there have been some duds, too. 

Crasnick trots out some examples to make his point.  Players like Brien Taylor (who never even made to the majors), Matt Anderson, Paul Wilson to name just a few.  When I take a cursory look at Baseball Reference’s list of first round picks, I come away with the opinion that position players seem to have better luck than pitchers.  Hence the concern about Strasburg.

Don’t get me wrong… this isn’t an indictment by me on Stephen Strasburg’s talent or the possibility he may develop into a first-rate pitcher.  Rather it’s a concern that the media, baseball pundits and fans may expect too much too soon from someone who has yet to pitch in a regular season baseball game. 

This pre-season, the media and other baseball are falling over themselves trying to cover this guy.  I get the feeling they’re also falling in love with him too (sometimes in the weirdest way).  The day of his first start in spring training, everyone was all abuzz (and a-twitter) about it.  I pretty much got an over-excited pitch-by-pitch account of his appearance.  If he scratched his nose, I heard about it. 

Now that it’s been decided that Strasburg will make his debut later this year (some have said “delay”), I’m sure the media will no doubt keep an eye on his minor league development. 

I really would like to see this guy succeed.  So let’s give the guy some room and maybe not so much pressure.  I’d hate to have another Mark Prior on our hands. 

WaTimes dropping sports section

The Biz of Baseball reports the Washington Times is dropping their Sports Section and laying off their 25-person sports staff. 

Here’s a farewell note from staff writer Mark Zuckerman.

When it comes to local newspapers, it’s up to the Post to cover the Nationals now.

Roast Some Chestnuts on the Hot Stove

The Yankees made another move, now I believe, it’s the Red Sox turn.  Righthanded starting pitcher Javier Vazquez & lefty reliever Boone Logan (both with the White Sox a couple of years ago) were dealt to Atlanta in exchange for centerfielder Melky Cabrera, a 19 year old out of the Dominican Republic by the name of Arodys Vizcaino, and lefthanded relief pitcher Michael Dunn.  Vazquez crashed & burned in the Bronx, he did well with the Braves (but that’s the National League), it’ll be interesting to see how he makes out in the Big Apple (with big pressure), one of my happiest days as a White Sox fan  was when Javier Vazquez & Boone Logan were put on a train out of town.  Melky Cabrera, a fan favorite, will move into the lineup as the Braves everyday centerfielder, Dunn has a shot as a lefty in Atlanta’s pen, and the young righthander, Vizcaino, has a huge upside, only time will tell.

Atlanta also added their firstbaseman in the person of Troy Glaus.  Troy was injured last season with the Cardinals.  The hot corner has always been this big power hitter’s position, but he shouldn’t have any problems shifting across the diamond, his real position is BAT.

Darren Oliver went back to where he started, returning to Texas.  This will be Darren’s third go around with the Rangers.  Oliver spent the last three years in the Angels bullpen, the Halos are pursuing Fernando Rodney.

In a move that was kind of under the radar, Jason Marquis was signed by the Washington Nationals.  Marquis showed guts in winning 15 games last season with the Rockies.  This veteran righthander will provide the Nats with just what the doctor ordered, 200 innings & 30+ starts.  Next up Washington needs to secure Mike Capps as their team’s closer.

Hot Stove Starting to Heat Up

OmarVizquelThe White Sox fired up the Hot Stove signing SS Omar Vizquel & Andruw Jones.  Vizquel has been the best defensive shortstop of his time and will tutor Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez.  Omar might be headed for Cooperstown when he finally hangs them up, his numbers stack up with Ozzie Smith, and nobody flashed a better glove at short.  Speaking of excellent fielders, nobody did it better than Andruw Jones, but that was in his day.  Andruw isn’t all that old, but he got old in a hurry, with very old knees.  Jones will not embarrass himself in the outfield with the glove, although he won’t add to the team speed, but he was brought in here for his bat and to provide some outfield depth.

After a career year with the Blue Jays, Marco Scutaro cashed in with Boston, where he’ll be the Red Sox everyday shortstop.  Outfielder Mike Cameron’s new home will be Fenway Park, playing leftfield for the Bosox, which would mean Jason Bay will not be retained.  The Redbirds made a wise investment bringing Brad Penny on board.  Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan has to be licking his chops, adding Penny to a staff that already has Adam Wainwright & Chris Carpenter.  The Atlanta Braves bolstered their bullpen by adding lefty Billy Wagner and righthander Takashi Saito.  By signing with the Nationals, Ivan Rodriguez will serve as a backup catcher & mentor to Jesus Flores.

I’m sure there’s alot more to come, I’m especially looking forward to the Rule V Draft, which takes place on the 10th.

Nationals will charge you less to watch them lose in 2010

With the season they had, this had to be coming.  The Washington Nationals have lowered their ticket prices for many of their seats. 

Here’s President Stan Kasten with the spin:

The Nationals are committed to providing a top-notch, affordable, fan experience for all guests.  We are pleased to lower prices on over 3,300 seats, including over 2,000 in the lower bowl, and will continue to offer season ticket plans for as little as $10 per game. We thank our fans for their continued support of the Washington Nationals as we continue to build towards a winning ballclub in the Nation’s Capital.”

More details at The Biz of Baseball

Electric Violin Hits a Home Run

Glenn Donnellan, 39, a violinist for the National Symphany Orchestra, combined his two loves, music & baseball, and made an electric violin out of a baseball bat, Derek Jeter model, would it have sounded as good if it were a Brent Lillibridge model?  Glenn delighted the fans at a recent game between the Nationals & the Diamondbacks in DC, by playing the National Anthem on his unique instrument.  Yeah but could he hit a home run with his fiddle?

Kearns: former potential star

I had the idea that Austin Kearns was going to be the next superstar when he came up in 2002.

I remember when he was going to be the next Adam Dunn but much better.    He was going to be faster, hit for better average, would be able to field and wouldn’t strike out as much. I remember this because I drafted him as a rookie in my APBA league.

Well, I am lucky because I had the luxury of trading him.  The folks in DC aren’t so lucky.  I guess a few of the fans there are a little tired of him already. 

DC Pro Sports have their say.

Nats plans in the first round of MLB draft

A quick link to an article on mlb.com detailing what the Nationals are rumoring to do in the first round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.

Yes, they are expected to draft San Diego State RHP Stephen Strasburg with the #1 pick but they also have the #10 pick as well.  It looks like they’re planning on choosing a pitcher with that pick as well but acting GM Mike Rizzo is tight lipped on who it will be only saying that he has trust in his scouting staff:

"I haven’t seen the amount of players that I have in the past," Rizzo said. "I’m listening and hearing what the people around me are saying — kind of gathering information and then putting it all together and making a decision. I’ve seen the top 20 or so players in the Draft, but once you get beyond that, you trust your people. We have a great staff over here."

The first comment, however, may be telling about how the Nats fan base feels, though.  In part it says (caps and all):