Nationals Daily Evolutions 2/7/11

NEW YORK - MAY 12: Roger Bernadina #2 of the Washington Nationals rounds the bases after hitting his 9th inning go ahead home run against the New York Mets during their game on May 12, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

There are going to be a lot of new faces when players meet in Viera for Spring Training in a week or two, and some of the moves have people in the organization feeling pretty good. --Bill Ladson at nationals.com

One thing that has been interesting to watch is the number of guys signed that can play centerfield and the fact that Mike Rizzo took the time to make this point with every signing. --Mark from centerfieldgate.com

One player that can play centerfield, but more than likely will end up in a platoon in left is Roger Bernadina, and recently it has been discovered that he is nicknamed the shark. --DangerNat at natsnq.com

I was going to suggest a group outing to left field with everyone in Shark Boy masks, but it looks like the Nats have already thought this through and have a shark hat ready to go. --Dan Steinberg in The D.C. Sports Bog

And as a follow-up the natsnq caught up with the fans that nicknamed Bernadina and discovered the origin of the shark name. After a Winter of cheering for Karim Garcia, who has played baseball in more countries than Ryu has had street fights in, I can fully get behind fans like this. --DangerNat at natsnq.com

Pudge Rodriguez stole the show at the Caribbean Series by throwing out the first pitch Friday night. --Jesse Sanchez at nationals.com       

The presence of Stephen Strasburg meant extra money to minor league teams (Bryce Harper is expected to mean the same), and since it is hard to predict where top prospects will play teams have to adjust on the fly. --Benjamin Hill from milb.com

Bryce Harper memorabilia is already worth a good amount of money*. --ebay.com

*Because of my new found fandom in Karim Garcia I looked up the price of a Karim Garcia signed baseball, $65, and compared it to a Bob Feller autographed baseball, $45. This is a disgrace, and as much as I hope Harper can live up to the hype and autographed Harper bat shouldn't be selling for more than 10x the amount of a Bob Feller autographed baseball.  

All teams give out minor league contracts with Spring Training invites, but a lot of them are former Nationals. Is it more telling that a lot of an all-minor league contract team would be comprised of former Nationals that were once counted on as starters or that a couple of the so called best minor league contract signings are new Nationals that are going to have to fight to make the team for a bench role? --Dave Cameron at fangraphs.com

Speaking of guys signed to minor league deals that were once promoted as the future of the Nationals, Lastings Milledge has found himself hoping for a bench role in the southside of Chicago. --David Golebiewski from fangraphs.com 

The Nationals resign Matt Chico and J.D. Martin and add Kevin Barker to minor league deals with a Spring Training invite. --Ben Goessling from masnsports.com

Mike Rizzo had bigger plans for this off-season, and while he did do something to improve the team it wasn't enough to earn more than a C+. --Jayson Stark from espn.com

The one big signing the Nationals did get is projected to be beardless by video games. --nationalsenquirer.com

Josh Wilkie is ready to show everyone that he is a major league pitcher with his invite to Spring Training. --Byron Kerr from masnsports.com

It remains to be seen just how many Spring Trainings the Nationals have left on the east coast of Florida. --Ben Goessling at masnsports.com

The Florida Marlins are holding open tryouts and it is likely that anyone that shows up could beat the Nationals, because simply putting on a Marlins uniform makes a player able to beat the Nationals. --Juan C. Rodriguez at sun-sentinel.com

The Nationals farm system is trending up and it has a lot to do with the guys that were added in 2010. --Sue Dinem from nationalsprospects.com

Natstown is hoping that Jason Marquis can have a bounce back year in 2011, but to some he is already a Hall of Famer. --Tom Dowd from silive.com

Mark Zuckerman is the people's champ. Let's just hope the Rock doesn't get wind of this, because I don't like Zuckerman's chances in that contest. --Jenn at natsfangirls.com

General Baseball

I don't pretend to know the Orioles budget or what exactly their plans are for 2011, but if Vlad can be a 1.4 WAR (2.6 in 2010 projected to be 1.1 in 2011) player then he was worth the money, and half the reason the Orioles were so bad last season is they counted on offensive production from young players at traditionally non-offensive positions. The Vlad signing will keep the Orioles from finding out what they have in Reimold and Pie*, and it won't help them finish any higher in the standings, but when paired with the other moves and a surprisingly optimistic fanbase I can imagine this signing actually paying off. Rob Neyer doesn't agree with my thoughts, and thinks it is wasted money. --Rob Neyer at sbnation.com

*At Camden Chat last week they had a column about why the Orioles shouldn't sign Vlad and I shared it with my Braves fan friend and I said just replace the name Nolan Reimold with Scott Thorman and you have read this before.              

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