Rizzo On LaRoche, Zimmerman, Johnson, Harper

The Nationals are looking to contend in 2012 after finishing the 2011 season with an 80-81 record. GM Mike Rizzo discussed his offseason plans with Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com. Here are the highlights of their conversation: 

  • Plans can change, but the Nationals are currently comfortable with Adam LaRoche at first base and Michael Morse as a possible alternative. Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols loom as MVP-caliber options for teams willing to spend.
  • Rizzo said he’d like to improve the offense and explained that LaRoche could help the Nationals score by returning to his career norms in 2012.
  • Rizzo said the Nationals will look to “tweak” their lineup this offseason and suggested a major signing is not particularly likely. 
  • The Nationals will make “every effort” to keep Ryan Zimmerman long-term. Rizzo expects to try to hammer out an extension with the third baseman, whose contract expires after 2013.
  • The Nationals feel “pretty confident” that manager Davey Johnson will remain in place for years to come. However, they’re holding off on making official announcements about Johnson's 2012 status until after the World Series because they haven’t completed their due diligence regarding other candidates.
  • Bryce Harper’s timeline hasn’t changed. The top prospect’s arrival in the Major Leagues depends on how quickly he develops.


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13 Comments on "Rizzo On LaRoche, Zimmerman, Johnson, Harper"


wickedkevin
3 years 10 months ago

Bryce Harper’s development…flippin the bird instead of blowing kisses.

Janet Coats
3 years 10 months ago

I am a HUGE!!!!! Adam LaRoche fan but how do you tell Michael Morse he has to be a BACK UP??? I mean he made a half season’s numbers look like a full season of Adam LaRoche and Adam is pretty much a half season player anyway. I LOVED him in Atlanta and I am a resident of Pittsburgh and LOVED him while he was hear while everyone else was ready to run him outta town but I am STILL confused by the choice of LaRoche over Morse!!

sjberke1
3 years 10 months ago

After Chris Marrero was called up, he played first for almost all the games while Morse played RF. That was partly to showcase Marerro, partially to let Morse get used to playing right In anticipation of LaRoche’s return next year. That is what seems likely–Morse will play RF until LaRoche is traded and/or Harper comes up.

3 years 10 months ago

Morse played LF and will play LF next year unless Werth is moved to center

Aaron Haker
3 years 10 months ago

80-81, last time I checked there were 162 games in a year… lol

Aaron Haker
3 years 10 months ago

Never mind, saw the rain out against the Dodgers after the fact.

LUWahooNatFan
3 years 10 months ago

IF LaRoche can stay healthy and can put up good numbers(OPS around .850) it would be a big boost to the offense, with Morse shifting over to LF and Marrero being used as a backup 1B

If Rizzo isn’t going to sign a big time offensive free agent, then extending Zim this off-season would be suffice IMO

Hopefully Davey Johnson can better manage the bullpen then how he did at first when he took over managing duties

Earliest that Harper sees D.C. is sometime in September, and that’s if and only if he adjusts quickly to AA and AAA ball the way he did after a bit of time in A.. In all likelihood, I think he’s in D.C. sometime in July, 2013

kräftig. entschieden
3 years 10 months ago

I think you’re underestimating him. The biggest jump a minor leaguer faces is from A ball to AA; once he starts mashing against AA, AAA won’t be much of a challenge. If he starts in AA and kills it until June, he’ll be a callup as soon as Super 2 is out of the question.

LongTimeFan1
3 years 10 months ago

He never should have been promoted to AA when he was slumping badly in Low-A.

If I were in charge I’d have him start the season in Advanced A and only promote him to AA late in the minor leauge season if he dominates Advanced A. He should not even come close to the majors until 2013 at the earliest. The book is out on him and he’s been struggling since.

ejs1111
3 years 10 months ago

slumping badly in low A?  what are you talking about?  Over the final 2 weeks before his callup he ‘slumped’ and still batted .300!

He finished low A batting .318 with a .423 OBP and .977 OPS…  those are pretty darn good numbers.  And he had 44 walks, which is a great number… and was among the league leaders in HR/RBI/etc…

Did anyone honestly think he was going to hit .400 the entire time?!?

ejs1111
3 years 10 months ago

I would also say that Harper was beginning to ‘get it’ in AA before his injury that ended his season.

over his last 16 games…  he was 17/56 hitting…  thats a .304 BA

Obviously, he still had trouble in the field, etc…  I’m just talking about his adjusting to better pitchers.

NatsTown
3 years 10 months ago

Laroche has one season of .850 OPS. So fat chance

LUWahooNatFan
3 years 10 months ago

2008- .841
2009- .843

That’s close enough for me