The first bit of Washington Nationals news this winter came out today, with reports at the Nationals Journal, the Times' Chatter blog and the Nationals' official site on Cristian Guzman's appointment to, "...have his right shoulder scoped... by Dr. Weimi Douoguih at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC", as the Washington Post's Chico Harlan wrote this afternoon in a post entitled, "Guzman, Norris* To Undergo Surgery". Washington Times' writer Mark Zuckerman speculated in his article entitled, "Surgery for Guzman, Norris**", that the second surgery on Guzman's shoulder in the past four years, "...might seal the deal as far as Guzman's move to second base goes," but MLB.com's Bill Ladson is done speculating, stating flatly, in his own Guzman article entitled, "Guzman to undergo shoulder surgery", that, "Once [Guzman] is healthy,":
"....Guzman more than likely will be the everyday second baseman, as his career as a shortstop with Washington is over. The team believes he no longer has enough range to play the position."
Mr. Ladson wrote in an "All Nats All The Time", blog post from September 11, 2009 entitled, "Nats ask Guzman to play second base in 2010", about the slightly uncomfortable visit Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo and Interim Manager Jim Riggleman had with Cristian Guzman to discuss a potential move to the right side of the infield to make way for a SS, either from the system, (ahem, whispers, "Ian Desmond."), or the free agent market, (Orlando Cabrera's great, am i right?), with Mr. Ladson reporting that all did not exactly go well, "[Guzman]...did not give Rizzo and Riggleman an answer," and, apparently, "[Guzman] was in shock and told them he never played second base in his life."
DC GM Mike Rizzo talked about the meeting with Washington Post writer Chico Harlan in a Nationals Journal post entitled, "Seven things to know about the 2B/SS Situation", where he admitted that Guzman was, "taken by surprise by [the suggested position change]," but Mr. Rizzo responded by giving the 31-year-old infielder, "...a laundry list of great players who have continued their careers moving from shortstop to second base," while Mr. Riggleman assumed the role of bad cop, telling Mr. Harlan, "As far as [Guzman] being open [to the move to second]...that's really not even a factor. We'll make a call on that; the player doesn't make the call on that."
The only comments from Guzman since then came two weeks after the initial reports in a blog post by MLB.com's Bill Ladson entitled, "Guzman not sure he will play second base," where Mr. Ladson wrote, "Shortstop Cristian Guzman is still not sure if he wants to play second base in 2010,":
"He has talked to his agent, Stanley King, about the situation, but will not talk about his plans until after the season."
• ?'s For The DC Faithful...
-- Did you see enough from Ian Desmond to know that he's your 20-10 SS?
-- Will the new Nationals' Manager take the Frank Robinson no-nonsense approach and just tell Guzman where he's playing?
-- Didn't Mr. Riggleman do a good bad cop?
-- Do you really think Jim Riggleman's the man for the full-time gig?
-- Orlando Cabrera? Marco Scutaro? Orlando Hudson? Miguel Tejada? If it's not Desmond or Guzman, who's DC signing?
(ed. note - " * & ** = The Nationals' catching prospect, Derek Norris apparently broke the hamate bone in his left hand at the Florida Instructional league, and he's going to have surgery to remove the oft-broken bone. I'm officially taking a, "Zimmerman and Desmond both had the same surgery and they're fine" approach to the news...")
• "Should Cristian Guzman Move To Second Like Mike Rizzo And Jim Riggleman Asked?" - Federal Baseball - Ed Chigliak
"During the recent Blogger's Day interview with DC GM Mike Rizzo and team President Stan Kasten, Steven from FJB asked Mr. Rizzo directly whether or not the Nationals were considering moving Cristian Guzman to second since there had been a notable decrease in the 31-year-old shortstop's range..."