I like Ladson‘s Inbox. He takes questions that the “everyman” Nats fan seems to be asking. They usually hit upon the big issues facing the club. On the downside, they usually address issues we’ve already covered more than once in posts and comments. For those repeat questions we’ll try to use links elsewhere and short answers. Here’s the 5/23/13 edition. Lets see what we got this week.
Q: Manager Davey Johnson is not worried about Ryan Zimmerman’s throwing errors. Do you think it’s an area of concern?
A: Definitely territory we’ve covered. Short answer: yes i’m worried, no there’s no place to move him thanks to LaRoche locking up 1B for this year and next, so the Nats are basically stuck. Ladson says some things that I have a problem with. He says that he’s not concerned (disagree) and that Zimmerman’s shoulder “isn’t 100% healthy.” I call utter Bullsh*t on that; the team clearly stated at the time of the surgery that it was just a few weeks of healing (easily google-able). Yet here we are at the end of May, some 8 months onward from this surgery and he’s still not healthy?? No way; that’s an excuse we need to shelve. Lastly Ladson says that “nobody else can play 3B like Zimmerman.” Oh, you mean nobody else can throw away simple routine plays over and over like Zimmerman?? Anthony Rendon is a known defensive wizard, every scout knows it, and more than one have said the team should make the switch sooner than later. You know, “scouts” as in “professionals who watch the guys play baseball” and are paid to know these things. *sigh*
Q: Danny Espinosa had a lot of strikeouts last year and is below the Mendoza Line so far this year. Do you think Steve Lombardozzi could take over the starting spot?
A: More oft discussed territory. Short answer: Yes Espinosa needs to be benched. No Lombardozzi isn’t the greatest replacement; he’s significantly weaker in the field, has far less power and isn’t hitting at all in 2013 either. I believe the team needs to D/L Espinosa and fix his shoulder and call up Rendon. Ladson says more things I disagree with, saying that Espinosa defense is so good he should stay in the lineup. Sorry; he’s a 2nd baseman. You can sacrifice offense at some positions on the field but not at 2B in the modern game. He also thinks Espinosa is going to turn it around (I don’t). He also says he “likes” Lombardozzi in left field. I don’t; that’s a waste of a position that should be providing 25-30 homer power for this team. You know, power like what Michael Morse or Josh Willingham provide. Oh those guys; yeah they were run out of town because they were suspect defensively and Mike Rizzo is hell bent on fielding a team of track stars. *grrr*
Q: Do you think Tyler Moore could benefit from getting regular playing time with Triple-A Syracuse?
A: A good question. I am in the “relatively surprised” camp to see how badly Tyler Moore is hitting this year. How do you go from a 125 OPS+ to a 5 (as in five) OPS+ in a year’s time?? He’s not helping the team, he’s wasting a bench spot at this point, and yes he needs to go to AAA to sort things out. He’s 8 for 66 with 27 strikeouts; he’s not an option off the bench at this point. Call up Chris Marrero or Micah Owings if you are looking for some LF pop. Uber positive Ladson also thinks Moore is going to turn it around. I guess he thinks that EVERY Nats player who is hitting poorly right now is magically going to turn things around. We should just continue hitting .220 as a team waiting for everyone to get out of their slumps. You have AAA teams for exactly this reason; to allow younger players who are struggling to work out issues playing full time, instead of getting 1-2 ABs/week like Moore is getting right now.
Q: Do you think it’s appropriate for the Nationals to play Michael Morse’s walk-up song, “Take On Me,” as a seventh-inning stretch song? Is that a bad omen?
A: I think its a very nice tribute to a player in Morse who was a fan favorite and who a lot of us didn’t want to see go. Nothing inappropriate there. In fact, I hope the Mariners come back to Washington to get the fans here a chance to pay him the respect he is owed for his contributions here. Ladson answers the question without even mentioning Morse?? There’s a reason that song is played right now and it isn’t because its a cool 80s song.