Nationals Notes: Zimmerman, Rendon, Strasburg, Harper

It's time for some Nationals notes, courtesy of Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

  • "I think I want to play third base until someone is better than me at it," Ryan Zimmerman explained to Kilgore.  The topic comes up because last year's first-round draft pick Anthony Rendon is a third baseman by trade, and if Zimmerman were to be extended, someone would have to change positions if Rendon proceeds to the Majors and is not traded.  On Rendon specifically, Zimmerman said, "If he comes up and plays third and plays second or whatever, then I’m going to be his best friend there. In the end, he’s going to help us win games. That’s the most important thing."
  • Rendon is in big league camp because of his draft contract, but Kilgore thinks he may begin his pro career at Class A Potomac.  The Nationals intend to play Rendon at third base, second base, and shortstop, at least during spring training, but manager Davey Johnson downplayed the extra infield positions, according to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com.  Rendon was deferential to Zimmerman in his comments.
  • The Nationals intend to use Stephen Strasburg until he hits his innings limit and then shut him down, GM Mike Rizzo told reporters.  There's an expectation of a 160-inning cap, and Rizzo doesn't seem to be considering a six-man rotation or skipping Strasburg's starts.  I imagine skipping Strasburg starts while he's in good health could upset some fans who buy tickets specifically to watch him pitch.
  • Super prospect Bryce Harper says he intends to "keep my mouth shut and play," but certainly aims to make the team out of spring training.  Kilgore mentions Super Two considerations for the team, and it's worth noting that the new collective barganing agreement will result in more players getting that designation than in years past.
  • A potential Mike Cameron replacement will come internally, said Rizzo.  Mark DeRosa could play right field if Jayson Werth is in center, while Jason Michaels and Brett Carroll are in camp in minor league deals.  Roger Bernadina may have a leg up as an out of options player, in my opinion.  Here's MLBTR's full list of players who are out of minor league options.


31 Responses to Nationals Notes: Zimmerman, Rendon, Strasburg, Harper Leave a Reply

  1. Jeff Kisamore 3 years ago

    Any idea why they are not interested in Damon? I would think for a one year deal it would be worth a shot

    •  Because he can’t play the OF anymore.

    • kräftig. entschieden 3 years ago

      Because he can’t play anything but LF, which would force Morse to right and Werth to center, guaranteeing the worst defensive outfield in the majors. He’s also not really that good at hitting anymore, would cost way more than he’s worth, and would potentially create a roadblock for Harper at mid-season.

  2. JacksTigers 3 years ago

    Moving Zimmerman would be a huge mistake.

    • Ben_Cherington 3 years ago

      Man, I know im gonna get ripped and I havent looked into detail about a trade.  But something that involved zimmerman and ellsbury might interest both teams.  Nats need a CF and sox will need a 3b.  I would much rather have ells but if he wants to sign else where, what can you do? 

      Any, food for thought.

      • Sox don’t need a third baseman unless they trade Youkilis.  No doubt that Zimmerman is a better 3B, but there isn’t really anywhere else to put Youkilis and they’re both too good when healthy to be sharing time.

      • Mike C 3 years ago

         Although Zimmerman is a great player he has yet to prove he can stay healthy. Granted Jacoby hasn’t been healthy all the time, but I think both of those players can’t be traded. Zimmerman is a team guy and would gladly move position

      • start_wearing_purple
        start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

        Eh. The real problem is Ells is the only real everyday center fielder the Sox have. We have McDonald and Lin but both are back ups. Everyone else in the minors in too far off.

      • Houston_Astros 3 years ago

        Lol. No.

        Use a homegrown guy at third when you decide to make a change . You have a few options coming up. You also really don’t have as much depth in the outfield as you should.

        Also, you might want to see if you can trade for Scutaro or something. 😉

  3. blovy8 3 years ago

    They probably don’t want to be looking at a Damon/Werth/Morse OF, and have to pay 5 million for Damon or 8 million for LaRoche to sit on the bench. Even so, if his price came down to 2-3 million or so, maybe they’d do it. He’s got to still be looking at the AL for more atbats to get to 3000 hits, but if Harper struggles at all, he’d be an acceptable stopgap, and they’ve certainly spent money enough on their rotation, it wouldn’t hurt to improve the bench.

  4. Damon is a defensive liability.  Doesn’t have the speed he used to have and could never really throw.  He’s a DH type, hence why you don’t hear NL teams interested in him

  5. jb1996 3 years ago

    Didn’t the Nationals learn from Strasburg? They shouldn’t rush Bryce Harper. Give him more time in the Minors.

    • Not sure what you’re implying… Strasburg came into the majors and completely dominated.  Injuries are a separate issue, and a much bigger one for pitchers (especially ones that throw that hard).

    • Mike C 3 years ago

       From what I remember Strasburg was pretty dam good… The injury he got was bound to happen sooner or later

    • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

      he has almost 4 WAR in 17 career starts. that would be like harper coming up and hitting like jose bautista

  6. Eugene_in_Oregon 3 years ago

    Master Yoda,

    Respect you a lot I do, but glad am I that not are you the Nats’ team doctor.

  7. Phillibuster 3 years ago

    I wonder if Harper’s sudden turnaround on his “mouth” is the result of getting a bit of a talking-to by his agent/manager.  It seems like just last week he was saying he wanted to model his career after Joe Namath.

    • Lastings 3 years ago

       Joe Namath played baseball or Bryce Harper is looking into professional football now?

      • Phillibuster 3 years ago

        You know of Namath’s off-the-field reputation, yes?

        Harper: “A football player I can name is Joe Namath. … He had that city life and everything like that, but he was one of the best quarterbacks to play the game. I can’t say I’m like Joe Namath….He went out, he played, but he had fun. He had a night life, he had his own place, I think it was called Bachelors III. He had his own thing that he wanted to do….He was in the style, he did all those commercials, things like that. He loved it. I think that’s huge. That’s one side of me that I like. I’m not your typical, ‘Hey, I’m going to be Johnny Good.’ You are a baseball player….I’m going to have fun off the field, too.”

        Or, for the lulz: Harper intends to have the same off-the-field career that Namath had. Presumably they both play the same games there.

        • Lastings 3 years ago

           I know, I was kidding, it was a joke. I really didn’t need the explanation, but I appreciate the long story regardless…

          • Phillibuster 3 years ago

             That being the case, the last paragraph was for you!

        • Jason_F 3 years ago

          Wow.  I hadn’t read that quote.  That’s pretty ridiculous coming from a 19 year old.  Someone should replay the quote of Namath absolutely obliterating his image by propositioning Susie Kolber on national TV.

    • Houston_Astros 3 years ago

      Maybe he got a lobotomy.

      • Houston_Astros 3 years ago

        I wish I could like my own comments.

        Booo! Bryce Harper. Boooo!

  8. LUWahooNatFan 3 years ago

    You don’t move a Gold-Glove, Silver Slugger, from 3B for a PROSPECT.. Put Rendon at SS or 2B(2B would be preferable considering Espinosa’s natural position is SS)

    • Natsfan89 3 years ago

      Rendon is supposed to have a near elite/elite glove at 3B. Assuming he actually demonstrates that I wouldn’t mind moving Zimmerman over to 1st base. No more throwing errors (Zims only knock defensively) and would cut down on injury risks since he wouldn’t have to range so far (Zimmermans oblique tear is worrying).

      This wouldn’t be until 2013 when Rendon should get major playing time and LaRoche is gone. I know there’s Morse, but if Rizzo signs/deals for the CF he wants so bad then I can see Morse getting moved.

  9. NatsTown 3 years ago

     Rob Dibble is that you?

  10. stl_cards16 3 years ago

    Most veterans can’t throw anywhere close to 200 IP their first full season after TJ surgery.  It would not be responsible for the Nationals to expect anything close to that.  Not only is he coming off TJ surgery, he has NEVER thrown over 160 innings in a year.  The Nationals are 100% taking the right approach here.

  11. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

    the nationals have been building for a multi-year run, not a flash in the a pan. taking such a huge risk with their best asset before they are even ready to really compete just because they’re in the wildcard race would be an enormous mistake

  12. Encarnacion's Parrot 3 years ago

    Does he have big ears, green skin pigment and suffer from being vertically challenged also?

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