The Washington Nationals' "Acting" GM Mike Rizzo On Riggleman, Team Defense And The Second Half...

(ed. note - "Acting" DC GM Mike Rizzo was on Sirius/XM's Inside Pitch with hosts Jeff Joyce and Joel Sherman on Monday to talk about Manny Acta's dismissal, Jim Riggleman's move to "Interim" Manager and what the future holds for the lineup in the second-half... Here are some of the highlights or noteable quotes..."):

 Riggleman's Future...

Rizzo: "I have the greatest respect for Jim, I think he's a great baseball guy, and uh, you know, he certainly would be a candidate for the full-time position. What it's gonna take for him? I just need to see the team play the game the right way. For them to continue to play the game hard, stress fundamentals, be more fundamentally sound, keep the team focused, have the players take accountability for their performance on the field and their preparation, and to continue the developmental process of, specifically, our young starting pitching and our good young core players."

Biggest Disappointment...?


Biggest Disappointment?:

Rizzo: "Well probably the biggest disappointment and the most unanticipated part of it is our poor defense. Even good defensive players such as Nick Johnson and Ryan Zimmerman, who is, you know, Gold Glove caliber at third base, have made their fair share of errors. And it's really tough to put your finger on what it is, uh specifically, it kind of like snowballs on us and we just don't execute at times...but I would think defense has been very troubling, because it not only effects your young core of starting pitching and it effects your bullpen also by's just so tough in this game and especially in the National League East to give up extra outs to teams and we've been burnt many, many times by giving up extra outs..."

What Are You Trying To Find Out In Second-Half...?

Rizzo: "I think you have a young good-looking controllable player in Josh Willingham, he's a 29-year-old player, playing on an everyday basis and really coming into his own, I think he's got a strong future here. Alberto Gonzalez, we have to find out if he's an everyday middle infielder in the major leagues or not. He's hitting .327-ish I think as we speak right now in limited at bats. We have to find what is the role for Anderson Hernandez?...The second-half of the season we're going to be doing further evaluations of our roster...and as the season progresses, Elijah Dukes will be back in the major leagues and we will, we'll certainly see what type of player we have there on an everyday basis. It's an evaluation process, so we can go into the offseason and the winter and make good prudent baseball decisions."

(ed. note - "More later this afternoon...")

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