What a week! Both Bill Ladson and Tom Boswell doing chats/email inboxes! As I sit here as my flight has been delayed a second time, I find myself with the time to bang out Ladson’s latest inbox.
As always, I write my response here before reading Ladson’s and edit questions as needed for clarity.
Q: With right-hander Dan Haren going on the disabled list, is it possible the Nationals will try and trade for left-hander Cliff Lee or another top-of-the-rotation pitcher near the Trade Deadline?
A: Rumors on the street are that Mike Rizzo is working the phones, hard. That sounds to me like he’s looking for serious reinforcements to try to salvage this “go for broke” season. But somehow I seriously doubt it’ll be Cliff Lee. Lee is owed too much money, he’s already 34, and the likelihood of Philadelphia dealing intra-division seems remote. There’s plenty of other pundits out there reviewing the likely pitchers on the Trade market and there’s some intriguing names out there. But it’ll be a sellers market and the Nats farm system has already been thinned recently. Will they thin it even more in a desperate attempt to keep the 2013 dream alive? I hope not; we’re already seeing how poorly thought out trades by other teams in similar positions have backfired and cost their teams significant prospect depth. As others have noted, Ladson predicts the callup of Taylor Jordan for the time being. Lets hope he comes out of no where and pitches 6 shutout innings.
Q: Does Wilson Ramos remind you a bit of Jesus Flores — a promising young catcher who can’t seem to stay off the disabled list?
A: Yeah, except that Ramos is twice the size of Flores and still can’t stay healthy. That Kurt Suzuki move is looking better and better. Derek Norris has yet to really pan out in the majors for Oakland (hitting below .200 this year and for his career), and Suzuki is holding down the fort for now. That being said, we need Ramos back to spell Suzuki, who seems to be tiring as he catches the large majority of the innings. Ladson doesn’t say much … but says the Nats miss Ramos. Duh.
Q: Is there any chance we might see Ryan Zimmerman at second base?
A: Zero chance. He’s a big dude; he’s not a 2nd baseman. Now, Anthony Rendon looks like a 2-bagger to me. Shorter guy, agile, quick arm, good glove. Ladson agrees.
Q: What do you think of the Nats’ start this year, compared to last? Are they a stronger team?
A: Lots of injuries, lots of under-performing on the offense, and a couple of depressing pitching issues. They’re better than a .500 team but they need to have at least a league-average offense (not one of the worst). Ladson says they need Harper back. Duh.