Spring Training - Game Thread: Washington Nationals vs New York Mets.

The 2009 Lineup Takes Shape...

When asked, in his most recent edition of the "Inbox: What's different with Kearns?", whether Adam Dunn was second in line at first if Nick Johnson were to be injured again, MLB.com's Bill Ladson responded, "You are going to think I'm crazy, but don't count out (Dmitri) Young," (as Johnson's backup)...and a little less than three hours after Mr. Ladson published his article, Washington Post writer Chico Harlan checked in with a Nationals Journal post entitled, "Nats Intend To Add Dmitri Young To 40-Man Roster" which made Mr. Ladson's intuition appear possibly prescient.

(ed. note - "I'll hold off on commenting on giving a not-quite-ready-to-play DY this spot until the player who's left off the roster to make room is identified...")

In an article entitled, "Nationals to carry an extra position player", yesterday, which announced (in its title) the fact that the Nationals would carry an extra position player in place of a fifth starter due to the scheduling in the first weeks, which provides two off days, MLB.com's Bill Ladson speculated that the final roster spot could go to:

"Kory Casto, who is out of options...He can play the corner outfield and infield positions."

Does the decision to honor what is reported to be an agreement the Former DC GM had with DY, to bring him back from Triple-A, mean the end of Kory Casto's time with the Nationals then? If you believe the Nationals' Depth Chart as it's currently configured at the Nationals' Official site, Casto's third in line at third and fourth behind Nick Johnson, Josh Willingham and Adam Dunn at first, and not even on the map in the outfield, which doesn't bode well for the former Montreal Expos' 2003 3rd Round pick...

And What About The Bullpen...???

Here's how the Nationals' official site's Depth Chart has it:

"Wild" Joel Hanrahan (CL) - (WBC - (0-0), 6 G, 5.0 IP, 1.80 ERA, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K's)

Joe Beimel - ('08 - (5-1), 71 G, 49.0 IP, 2.02 ERA, 50 H, 11 ER, 21 BB, 32 K's)

Saul "Sa-ool" Rivera - (WBC - (0-0), 5 G, 3.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 H, 1 K)

Jason Bergmann - (Spring - (0-0), 7 G, 9.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 1 HR?) (ed. note - "Someone tell me how that works...even if Bergmann came on with bases loaded and gave up a HR the 4th run would be the new pitcher's, right? I'll assume it's a rare MLB.com error.")

Steven Shell - (Spring - (0-0), 8 G, 10.0 IP, 4.50 ERA, 12 H, 5 ER, 1 HR, 3 BB, 4 K's.)

Garrett Mock - (Spring (0-0), 10 G, 12.0 IP, 1 SV, 5.25 ERA, 16 H, 9 E)

Julian Tavarez - (Uh...visa issues?)

Back in the article by Mr. Ladson entitled, "Nationals to carry extra position player", Mr. Ladson wrote that the roster decision meant that the Nationals would carry just 4 starters and 7 relievers on the Opening Day roster. That's seven above, with the four starters, John Lannan, Scott Olsen, Daniel Cabrera and...Jordan Zimmermann or Shairon Martis, presumably, but still undecided...and that leaves Ryan Wagner, Terrell Young, Will Ledezma and Mike Hinckley out of the picture, though I'd imagine one of the two lefties, Ledezma or Hinckley might step in for Mock, (who has struggled this Spring), as the LOOGY...

And Speaking of Stephen Strasburg...

Sports Illustrated writer Lee Jenkins' article entitled, "Stephen Strasburg Is Ready To Bring It", is now available online. (ed. note - "Mr. Jenkins was also kind enough to answer a few question I had about Strasburg the other day, you can view the email exchange HERE.")

ESPN's Baseball Tonight did a segment on Stephen Strasburg today with Buster Olney narrating a highlight package, and speaking in studio...some of the highlights: (paraphrasing of course)...

Buster Olney - "Strasburg is not like any other pitching prospect, this year or perhaps in any year...and according to scout's he's better than Mark Prior...David Price...Todd Van Popple or Brien Taylor...and better than A.J. Burnett is right now...Lots of movement on his fastball, a cutting action, above average slider and change. 74 K's and 7 BB in 34.1 IP so far with SDSU...Mr. Olney then calls Strasburg, 'The Lebron James of the upcoming baseball draft'...(but Mr. Olney cautions)..."This is going to be the toughest negotiation of the year in baseball...it's gonna be drawn out and it could get ugly."

ESPN's Peter Gammons - "My only question is, 'Is Strasburg gonna end up in the majors in Japan?'"

Strasburg's on the road against Texas Christian University Friday night. 

You remember New York Newsday columnist Ken Davidoff right?

In a "Ken Davidoff's baseball insider" article with the SEO-friendly title, "Miguel Tejada, Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, Pat Venditte, Jimmy Gobble and Anderson Hernandez", Mr. Davidoff writes that he:

" • Bought a copy of the Washington Post while in DC, and laughed when I read this story: Anderson Hernandez might be the Nationals' starting second baseman? Ay yi yi."

C'mon, that's 164 characters, trim it down a bit and save it for a Twitter post! Why the virtual eye-roll for Anderson Hernandez? Just because he never panned out in NY? Enjoy Luis Castillo...

Speaking Of New York's Hated Mets?

GAME THREAD - Washington at New York - 7:10 pm EST from Tradition Field, Port St. Lucie, Florida.

John Lannan vs Johan Santana. It's on MLB.tv. Friday night baseball...

Who's Watching The Nationals? 

MAKE SURE YOU READ THIS...

Doghouse, our in-house statistician just published the most recent edition of the Federal Baseball.com community W.A.R. Effort...and your participation is mandatory, by which I of course mean, welcomed and appreciated.

"IN AD 2009 W.A.R was beginning."

Who's Watching The Nationals?

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