Rizzo Talks Nationals First Base Outlook

For a six minute segment, Nationals Mike Rizzo provided a lot of good hot stove insight to Kevin Kennedy and Jim Duquette on MLB Network/Sirius XM Radio today.  We've got Rizzo's full thoughts on Cliff Lee here, but here's what else he had to say:

  • Asked about Adam Dunn, Rizzo began his answer by talking about how the Nationals believe "championship teams are built on pitching, defense, speed, and athleticism" – none of which Dunn is known for.  The extended comments about the team's philosophy seemed to be prepping fans for Dunn's departure, but then Rizzo added, "We love Adam Dunn.  We've certainly had interest throughout the year, and he's a guy that we continue to have communications with."
  • Asked about other first base options, Rizzo replied that it's a good year to be looking, with several viable options out there.  He added, "As always, we're looking for a guy that plays both sides of the ball, that can produce offensively and play good defense for us also."
  • Fittingly, Kennedy then recommended Carlos Pena.  Rizzo commented, "We've been Carlos Pena guys here.  He fits what we're doing. He's one of a handful of guys that would give us what we're looking for."  However, Rizzo then reiterated the the team remains in communication with Dunn, adding "He's been our first choice all along."  Pena certainly fits Rizzo's description, while James Loney and Derrek Lee might too. 
  • Rizzo spoke again about his desire to improve the depth and quality of his rotation, whether via free agency or trade.  He noted that he'd like to improve the bullpen as well.

14 Responses to Rizzo Talks Nationals First Base Outlook Leave a Reply

  1. JaySchu 5 years ago

    Dunn had a better UZR than Pena this season. IJS.

    • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

      Yeah…And according to Rizzo, Dunn was asked to pitch, play defense, steal bases, and be athletic…NO! what? Since when does every championship team have 13 athletics players who can steal? Come on…Every championship team has a Ryan Howard type of player…Pena would be a bad fit on the Nats…

      • j6takish 5 years ago

        The Ranger’s didn’t have a Ryan Howard type, but when your center fielder can slug 600 you don’t really need a 1b type.

        • j6takish 5 years ago

          By the way, I do agree with you, Adam Dunn is not what is holding the Nats back, and they need to resign him

        • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

          They had a guy named Bengie Molina, only a guy who had an intrical part in getting them to the world series.

      • Ian_Smell 5 years ago

        I saw him pitch a bullpen session once. Even then, he went 1-4 with a homer and three strikeouts.

    • Devern Hansack 5 years ago

      Don’t overlook the fact that sample size cannot be overlooked when it comes to UZR. It is best to look at UZR in two to four year increments, rather than on a season-by-season basis.

      • JaySchu 5 years ago

        Oh absolutely. I’m not saying Dunn is a defensive stud by any means but pushing for Pena based on athleticism is just laughable. Dunn is one the most consistently underrated players in baseball because he plays on bad small-mid market teams. The fact that he was miscast as an outfielder for years doesn’t help matters. Stick him in heart of the Yankees lineup the last two seasons and his numbers would’ve been off the charts and people would be talking HoF.

        • Guest 5 years ago

          while, his numbers are better than the impact he has…he’s one of the worst clutch hitters around2010 Stats:Runners in Scoring Position: .217 AVG, .427 SLGRunners in Scoring Position, 2 outs: .169 AVG, .366 SLGand he hit .236 in high leverage situations (Baseball Reference Statistic)Of course, he obviously has an impact, based on all those runs he drives in… but a lot of that comes from hitting clean-up (See: Bengie Molina, 2007-2009)he is clearly a below average fielder/thrower/runner who doesn’t come up big when it counts nearly as much as he should, and who’s walk totals fell significantly last year…but I’m sure he brings in a lot of revenue…

          • JaySchu 5 years ago

            And how much of that is predicated upon him swinging for the fences every time there is someone on base because no one else in the lineup can? I don’t know what’s in his head, and he’s not in my market so I only see him play against the Mets, but if I knew my team was bad I’d probably try too hard too.

            That said, RISP stats pretty much define small sample size.

          • Guest 5 years ago

            well, maybe he should learn, and just start hitting singles, and doubles instead of HRs, because it’s certainly not working for him… considering he gets less: doubles, triples and HRs in those situations, compared to Normal-Dunn, so his swinging for the fences isn’t working.and if you want a bigger sample size:2 outs, RISP (CAREER): .214 AVGand he shouldn’t be worried about who’s coming up next with 2 outs, because if he gets out, the inning’s over.

      • Which is why UZR is not too helpful, because typically after three years the player’s ability has changed.

  2. durf81 5 years ago

    As a White Sox fan, I enjoyed this article greatly! Please, please, please pass on Dunn Nats…

  3. LUWahooNatFan 5 years ago

    Farewell Big Donkey, hello Carlos Pena… The only thing that will make up for this blunder will be getting Greinke or Lee…get it done Rizzo

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