Saturday Ramblings

Nationals tickets went on sale at 9 AM! It took me 5 minutes to get 2 games (Opening Day and April 5). Sure, I paid an additional $17 to do this at home but it’s easier than braving the cold and maybe standing in line. I’ll do walkup for the rest of the games! I’m impressed! Behold the power of the internet!

WUSATV-9 reported last night that Travis Lee and Larry Broadway are the two candidates Manny Acta is considering for the starting first baseman’s job when the season opens April 2.

I was hoping Dmitri Young would be given a shot even if he has a huge challenge ahead of him of getting in baseball shape in about 5 weeks. Young could get his shot during the season if Lee or Broadway fails to produce. But Young needs to get back into shape and really play well when he gets the chance. Lee is the strong defensive first baseman with not much pop and Broadway is the minor leaguer who hasn’t seemed to break through yet. Either option has question marks. The Nats were among the league’s worst defensive squads last year and Lee at first would be a nice stopgap until Nick Johnson comes back (whenever that is). Acta, though, has placed his confidence in Broadway, who is getting his best chance to win a starting job after being in the Nationals minor league system for five years.

So the starters heading into spring training games are as follows:

C-Brian Schneider

1B-Travis Lee/Larry Broadway

2B-Felipe Lopez

SS-Cristian Guzman

3B-Ryan Zimmerman

LF-Ryan Church

CF-Nook Logan

RF-Austin Kearns

On the bench player front, I could see it like this
Jesus Flores-C

Ronnie Belliard – backup infielder

Escobar/Chris Snelling-reserve outfielder role

Fick: He can catch, backup at first and play outfield. His versatility will keep him around especially with Flores’ inexperience and his Rule V status.
I’m not sure about the last spot. I don’t think it’s a given the loser of the Lee/Broadway battle will stay with the big club. Belliard is a solid enough player that he should stay with the Nats. I’m wouldn’t be surprised too see Womack there even though I think the Nats could do better. Ask Yankee fans about Womack, they liked a lot (obvious sarcasm). Like Fick, Womack can play a couple positions and the Nats need some versatility. This is the risk of going with a larger pitching staff in that the Nats reduce the amount of position players on the roster but considering how few off days the Nats have in April, the need for a 12-man pitching staff is paramount especially with such an inexperienced starting rotation.

The bullpen seems to be squared away with one spot open. Emiliano Fruto, who was picked up in the Vidro trade, is in the mix for the final bullpen spot. Fruto is generating buzz with his strong winter league season and his four-pitch repertoire. Still, Fruto must show that his control is better if a bullpen spot is to be his. The current bullpen lineup is as follows:

RHP-Luis Ayala

RHP-Jon Rauch

RHP-Ryan Wagner

LHP-Ray King

LHP-Micah Bowie

Closer-Chad Cordero

It’s been almost 6 weeks now and there’s still no official deal with DirecTV and MLB regarding the Extra Innings package. It’s been neat to see the widespread sports media attention this has gotten. Now, the FCC is requesting more information about the deal according to Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. Thanks to dcrtv.com, who posted the story. I’ve read for a month now that they are close to a deal. Click here for the entire story courtesy of tvpredictions.com.

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