Thursday, January 10, 2008

John Patterson 2005-07

John Patterson

2005-2007 STATS

Games: 46, Games Started: 46, Wins: 11, Losses: 14, Saves 0, CG: 2, SHO: 1, IP: 269.4,

Hits: 247, Runs: 118, ERuns: 115, HR: 28, BB:96, K: 242, ERA: 5.01, BA: .260, WHIP: 1.41

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Dmitri or Nick at 1st base: Bill Ladson chimes in

What is the status of Nick Johnson? Is he the starter, or does the position belong to Dmitri Young? -- Kevin A., Philadelphia

I have received a lot of e-mails about first base. There are fans who want Young to remain the starting first baseman and others who want Johnson back at the spot. I had an interview with general manager Jim Bowden last week, and here is what he said: "As we walk into Spring Training, Dmitri Young is our first baseman. He deserves it. He finished in the top 10 in hitting. He improved defensively and his leadership skills in the clubhouse were phenomenal. So he is obviously the first baseman.

"I talked to Nick Johnson and he is healthy. He is already running the bases. He is doing extremely well. He feels great. I think we can all be optimistic there is a good possibility that he comes into Spring Training at 100 percent, which will create good competition. It's healthy for a club."

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Christian Guzman: From the Official Nats Site

After missing the 2006 season due to injury, re-established reputation on the field but was again done in by injuries...hit .328 (57-for-174) with 6 doubles, a team-leading 6 triples, 2 home runs and 14 RBI for Washington, but was limited to 46 games due to left hamstring strain (sustained on Opening Day, April 2 vs. FLA) and a torn left thumb ligament (suffered while tagging Josh Barfield out attempting to steal, June 24 vs. CLE.)...missed 108 games while on the DL...had surgery to repair the thumb, performed by Dr. Richard Barth at Sibley Hospital in DC, on June 25...notched 4 hits, including 1000th of career, in a 4-3 win on June 1 vs. SDP...1000th career safety was 5th-inning infield single off Jake first game at Metrodome since departing following the '04 campaign, went 4-for-5 with double, RBI and 3 runs scored to trigger an 8-5 win on June 8 at MIN...posted 3 more hits the next night in a 3-1 win at MIN, June 9...hit first home run at RFK since signing with the Nationals on June 22 vs. CLE...hit .369 in 29 games at RFK...recorded 17 multi-hit efforts in 42 starts (40%)...batted .299 in May and .373 in June...tied for 12th in the NL with 6 triples despite playing in less than 50 games. Game-By-Game Highlights: Was reinstated from the DL following the May 6 series finale at CHI...returned to the lineup on May 7 at MIL and went 1-for-4...posted 2 hits and 2 RBI in a 6-4 win, May 13 vs. FLA...3-walk effort on May 18 vs. BAL was first since April 11, 2000 at BOS (2593 days prior)...2-hit, 2-RBI performance on May 22 at CIN included game-tying 7th-inning RBI single game eventually won by the Nationals, 8-4...went 2-for-5 and scored the game-ending run on a Solomon Torres 9th-inning wild pitch in a 6-5 win vs. PIT on June 6...posted 3 hits, including a double and triple, and 2 RBI, June 18 vs. DET...was reinstated from DL on September 21.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Jin Bowden Spells in out for 2008

Nice Interview by Bill Ladson that let's jim Bowden spell out what 2008 will be in his mind:
I was truly hoping for major FA aquisitions to go into the new ball park with a playoff run immediately to a World Series ala a Wayne Huizenga / Marlins "buy it right now". But Trader Jim is building for a decade. I'll take a playoff apprearance.

Q & A with Jim Bowden's Bill Ladson interviews the Nationals GM
By Bill Ladson /

Bill Ladson sat down recently with Washington Nationals general manager Jim Bowden and asked him a broad range of questions, ranging from the state of the Nationals to the affect of the many moves the organization made this offseason.';

General manager Jim Bowden has made every effort to improve the Nationals this offseason. During a 12-day period, Bowden made eight roster moves. The biggest one came on Nov. 30, when Bowden acquired outfielder Lastings Milledge from the Mets for catcher Brian Schneider and outfielder Ryan Church.

The Nationals are hoping that Milledge can help improve an offense that finished last in runs scored in 2007. Bowden also added more leadership to the roster by signing Aaron Boone and Paul Lo Duca to free-agent contracts. Will these moves mean that the Nationals will have a better record than they had last season? Only time will tell. caught up with Bowden recently to talk about the Nationals' offseason and what he expects when Spring Training begins. You were one of the busiest GMs this offseason. How do you feel about the Nationals going into Spring Training?

Jim Bowden: I think we continue to make progress at all levels in our organization. We continue to add good young players to build the franchise for the long term. How does the 2008 Nationals team compare to other teams you had in the past?
Bowden: Very difficult to really see what the team is going to look like until we get to Spring Training because it's such a young club. We have question marks with a lot of young players as well as players coming off injuries or surgeries, so it's going to take a while for the team to develop. I've been with teams that were young and didn't have high expectations, but they won a lot of games. The one thing is, our team continues to improve, not just in development and scouting, but the Major League team as well. How much has the offense improved?

Bowden: I think between Paul Lo Duca, Milledge and a good year from [Cristian Guzman or Felipe Lopez], we should improve a lot, which would certainly mean better pitches for other players in the lineup. I also think we built up a good amount of depth, which will help us when there are injuries or when players are slumping. We will always have competition at almost every position except third base. There will be competition at all times. What do you think of your starting pitching?

Bowden: It's very young and developing. That was our plan all along. I think we have some depth. We have some young pitchers that will be given a legitimate chance for the first time in their careers. We also have some guys who are starting to establish themselves. They have a chance to have breakout years. As we head into Spring Training, Shawn Hill, John Patterson, Jason Bergmann, John Lannan and Matt Chico are the five starters on our board. We have other pitchers -- Tim Redding pitched well last year and he will be able to compete for a spot on the team. Other young pitchers such as Tyler Clippard, who we acquired from the Yankees, Collin Balester, Garrett Mock, Enrique Gonzalez will be given opportunities to make our staff as starting pitchers. The competition is good. We have some depth and we are willing to give young guys opportunities and give them the ball and develop them. Let's go around the horn and tell us where you see the players at each position.

Bowden: Obviously, with our bullpen, we feel it's one of the better ones in the National League. Chad Cordero has more saves at his age than any other pitcher, except for Francisco Rodriguez, and that's an amazing accomplishment. With Jon Rauch, Luis Ayala, Saul Rivera, Jesus Colome, Chris Schroder and a healthy Ryan Wagner, our bullpen will be one that will keep us competitive.

Behind the plate, Lo Duca will be the No 1 catcher. Jesus Flores is going to be the No. 1 catcher down the road.

As we walk into Spring Training, Dmitri Young is our first baseman. He deserves it. He finished in the top 10 in hitting. He improved defensively and his leadership skills in the clubhouse were phenomenal. So he is obviously the first baseman.

I talked to Nick Johnson and he is healthy. He is already running the bases. He is doing extremely well. He feels great. I think we can all be optimistic there is a good possibility that he comes into Spring Training at 100 percent, which will create good competition. It's healthy for a club.

The way Ronnie Belliard played last year, Manny Acta has made it clear that he goes into Spring Training as the starting second baseman, and rightfully so, because of the job he did.

Cristian Guzman, who hit over .300 until he got hurt, will come into Spring Training as the shortstop. That being said, we all know Felipe Lopez has the potential to be better than both Belliard and Guzman. Whether or not Lopez does, it's up to him. He has to do it on the field. He can't get playing time based on potential.

Certainly, Lopez has the potential to be a good leadoff hitter. But he is coming off a very poor year, but he is only 27. There is no reason why he can't rebound, but he has to do it on the field. He will be given very opportunity to beat out Belliard or Guzman. The best players are going to play to win.

Ryan Zimmerman is obviously going to be our third baseman for a long time. His wrist his healing well. We think he will be 100 percent by Spring Training.

Obviously, Austin Kearns goes into to Spring Training as our right fielder. Hopefully, this will be his breakout year where he puts all of his potential together. He plays the game the right way.

Milledge will be given every chance to be the starting center fielder. Manny has made that very clear. We think he has tremendous upside. We think four or five years from now, he will develop into a middle of the order bat.

Wily Mo Pena is finally going to get his chance. We think he can be a 30 to 40 home run threat if he plays every day.

Elijah Dukes has the potential to hit 30-40 home runs and steal 30 bases. He will be given every opportunity to win a spot in the outfield. If not, there certainly enough at-bats for the four of them.

As far as the bench goes, Aaron Boone brings depth to us at first base and third. He gives us a right-handed bat off the bench. He is a clutch hitter. We have a winning player with a winning attitude. He makes us a lot better -- depthwise.

Willie Harris had eight triples, 17 stolen bases and hit .270. He gives us speed off the bench. He gives us another good makeup player off the bench.

We feel we have a good bargain in Rob Mackowiak. We think he is one of the better extra players in the game. Obviously, he can play third, left field and center. He plays the game hard. He has some pop.

We still have Ryan Langerhans, who is coming off a bad offensive year, but is a good defensive player. We also have two Rule 5 Draft guys in Matthew Whitney and Garrett Guzman. We are looking forward to seeing them in Spring Training with an open mind. After you acquired Dukes and Milledge, there were questions about their characters. What was your reaction to this criticism?

Bowden: I was surprised by Lastings because I have known him since high school. But the one thing I have learned in this game: In this day and age with media and the Internet, when you make mistakes in your life, they are magnified. Everybody reads about the mistakes a lot of times and then people begin to say this is a troubled person. We read where Lastings made a mistake when he was 17 years old and we read after he hit a home run, he was high fiving fans at Shea Stadium. [The critics read] that and they came to [negative] conclusions based on two incidents in his life. Most of the people who say this have never sat down with Lastings. They never met his dad, mom and friends.

Elijah's case is a little bit different because he has made a lot of mistakes in his life. He earned the criticism he gets. He understands that. He is a man and he is taking accountability for the mistakes he has made. He is trying to correct them. We are going to do everything we can to help him become a really good person.

I never met a person who didn't like him. Whether you talk to Carl Crawford or Don Zimmer or Delmon Young, they all say very nice things about him. Elijah is trying and we are trying to help him. We care about people. You are known as a person who likes to give people second chances. Why are you giving one to Dukes?

Bowden: He has never had direction or discipline. He never had someone take him aside and really care about developing him as a human being and helping him learn about things off the field.

This player on the field is dedicated to winning. He never talks about himself on the field. He talks about moving runners. He talks about what he can do to help the team win. He is a winner on the field. His problems have been off the field. I think, in this world, when we are blessed to be in a game like baseball, part of our responsibility is to try and help young people improve their lives -- not just as players but as people.

This is a tremendous challenge. I would call it my biggest challenge of my career, but one we are going to put a lot of time and effort into. If we can help him off the field and on the field, he will play in an All-Star Game. How much fun are you having putting the 2008 team together? You seem like you are enjoying yourself?

Bowden: I had the most fun this past year because I felt we were very blessed with a good Draft. That was because we put together a good scouting staff, which I'm very proud of. To have such an impressive Draft, trade for young players -- Pena, Milledge and Dukes -- who have tremendous upside, I think our process of getting where we want to get to was expedited this past year beyond what I thought would have been realistic to do.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Aaron Boone: article

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Nationals continue to show how much they want to win in 2008. On Thursday, they signed infielder Aaron Boone to a one-year, $1 million contract, Wily Mo Pena to one-year, $2 million contract plus an option and Ryan Langerhans to a one-year, $500,000 contract.

Boone will most likely be the first option off the bench. He can play all infield positions and provide some pop with the bat. Last season, Boone played in 69 games for Florida and hit .286 with five home runs and 28 RBIs. He was playing on a regular basis at first base before a left knee injury in late June put him out for the rest of the season. Boone's knee is now considered 100 percent healthy.

Boone will be reunited with his former general manager, Jim Bowden, and his father, assistant general manager Bob Boone. All three worked together in the Reds organization.

"He fits our plan. He will be our right-handed hitter off the bench. He is a guy that could play first and third. He could play second if he had to," manager Manny Acta said. "He is very important for the leadership of our clubhouse and the development for our young players."
Boone is best remembered for hitting a series-ending home run off right-hander Tim Wakefield in the 11th inning of Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series to lift the Yankees past the Red Sox.

Boone has incentive clauses in his contract that will earn him $50,000 each if he plays 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 130, 140 and 150 games.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

AYALA & HILL Updates

Ayala Expects to Recover from Hunting Injury

By Barry Svrluga Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, January 5, 2008; E14

Washington Nationals reliever Luis Ayala was accidentally hit in the upper left forearm by a shotgun pellet during a holiday hunting trip, the club and Ayala's agent said yesterday. Though the pellet is still lodged in his arm, doctors believe Ayala will be ready for spring training.

"He's very lucky," Joe Longo, Ayala's agent, said yesterday by phone. "The doctors told him, 'Luis, a couple inches difference, and we would have had trouble.' "

Longo said Ayala and some friends were hunting Dec. 26 in the right-hander's home town of Los Mochis, Mexico. The accident, according to Longo, occurred when the gun of one of Ayala's companions went off as the group was taking a break.

Ayala, who turns 30 next week, notified the Nationals and then traveled to Los Angeles to see noted orthopedist Lewis Yocum, who performed ligament replacement surgery on Ayala in 2006. Yocum and Steven Shin, an upper extremity specialist, elected to leave the pellet in Ayala's arm.

"That's what they typically do," Longo said. "I guess it's more trouble than it's worth to take it out. They can do that later on. Now, he just needs to get through the trauma."

Ayala had a follow-up appointment Thursday, and Shin said he should be ready for spring training. Ayala, who missed all of 2006 after the elbow surgery, went 2-2 with a 3.19 ERA in 44 appearances in 2007 and will be counted on to be a key setup man in the upcoming season.
But Longo had one message for his client.

"I said, 'Luis, that's it. No more hunting,' " Longo said.

Hill Healing

The moment is roughly three months away, but right-hander Shawn Hill -- surgical procedures on each arm more recent than his last pitch -- can't help but think of the possibility. Someone will get to throw the first pitch when Nationals Park opens March 30.

"I would love to be the one," Hill said yesterday by phone. "If you had asked me before last spring training, I would have said there would be absolutely no shot. But now? If everything goes well, you could say there's a legitimate chance. That's where half the excitement comes from."

Hill, 26, has other reasons to be excited. Yesterday, he threw off a mound -- a "nice, light" session, he said -- for the first time since he underwent surgery in October -- first on his right elbow to deal with a nerve problem, then on his balky left shoulder.

"With the shoulder, I've still got a little bit to go," he said. "I've got to get more of my range of motion back, and the strength back, but with the time between now and spring training and then the time between when spring training starts and the season, I should be back. I think I'll be 100 percent."

Hill was limited to 16 major league starts in 2007. He first hurt his shoulder in April, which he believes affected his mechanics. He went 4-5 with a 3.42 ERA and showed the ability to be the Nationals' best starter -- if he can stay healthy. The only problem with his pitching elbow, he said, was itching of the scar left over from surgery.

Hill said he initially could be limited swinging the bat and taking fielding drills when spring training starts next month. But after that, "it should be a pretty natural progression."
"Thinking about that stadium," he said, "I will be ready."

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The 2008 Nats Outfield

The Outfield has a mixed bag with the potential to be awesome in 2008! It is definitely potential though. There are question marks with undeniable top side. The Players are:

Starters only: Wily Mo Pena, Lastings Milledge, Elijah Dukes, Austin Kearns Possible Players: Justin Maxwell, Willie Harris, Chris Marrero

Wily Mo: I like him. He showed up, and he unleashed his bat. And it caught up with the ball on ocassion. In fact, statistically, his bat caught up with the ball much better than it did in Boston. Trader Jim loves Wily Mo and I love a free swinger. If he hits infront of Belliard in the 6th hole, see the projected lineup in my last post, Wily Mo sees enough strikes to get into the 30 HR club. If the new stadium is friendly (which it just might be), Wily may be a 40 guy. I like his upside, and I don't think we surrendered much for him. He will strike out. And it will cause a hurricane! And they will look ugly too. But the upside may be some great streaks all summer that may carry us to some long string of victories.

Lastings Milledge: He's a player. New York is a tough place to develop. He has the potential to be a 5 tool guy or atleast a 4. I'd take 3. Speed and average would be enough for me and add in some adequate defense and let's say we've finally got a centerfielder for 5 or more years. I like him much more than the Rocco Baldelli idea. With the sure hand of Manny, Lastings could become a great one. Manny knows him from NY. He's got the inside scouting on him. Let's take the ride here because he's a much better chance than Nook was.

Elijah Dukes: Remember all the trouble Julio Lugo was in two years ago. He was destine to the scrap heep of wife beating and lost opportunity / talent. Well Boston took a flier on him and he turned into the starting shortstop for a World Champion. I say we take the diamond in the rough here and maybe we get the great lead off hitter we need. Certainly, Dukes has the speed. has a great article today how Barry Larkin and Elijah are joined at the hip right now. I say we put Felipe there too! After Dmitri's revival last year, we can become the refuge of lost souls for all I care...The Oakland Raiders of the National League...The Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your weary, your huddle masses, your wretched refuse from your teeming shores..!" Send me another Ichiro!!!! for now, Let's give Elijah a chance. To quote Barry Larkin, "After watching Dukes, 23, work out and hit, Larkin believes that Dukes could be a 30-30 player one day. " I'm rolling the dice.

Austin Kearns: .266, 16 hrs and 74 rbis just ain't cutting it for me anymore. I want new blood or more numbers like .280, 30 hrs, and 90+ rbis.

Justin Maxwell: The potential is there. I don't know with all the offseason moves if the team is committed to him. Although he is young, so are the players that the Nats have brought in. Then again, production is the name of the game. Ask Ryan Church.

I've copied the article below from Federal Baseball. It is excellent on Chris Marrero and our other prospects. Kudos to E!

By e chigliakPosted on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 06:07:17 PM EDT
When's writer Aaron Fitt published the list of the Washington Nationals Top 10 Prospects last January 12th, right-handed starter Collin Balester was ranked no.1 overall in the Nationals system. When Mr. Fitt again produced the list of the top prospects on November 7th of this year, Balester had fallen slightly in Baseball America's assessment, to no.3 overall, replaced by outfielder Chris Marrero and the Nationals #1 overall pick in the '07 Draft, left-handed starter Ross Detwiler.
Collin Balester, Montreal's 4th Round pick in 2004, was coming off a (5-5) season between Class-A Potomac and Double-AA Harrisburg, where he had thrown 137.1 innings with a 5.20 ERA in 22 starts at Potomac, and put up a 1.83 ERA in 8 starts at Harrisburg, as a twenty-year old, in his second full pro season, when he was ranked the number one prospect in the organization by Baseball America.
In 2007, Balester was (2-7) with a 3.74 ERA over 98.2 IP at Harrisburg, and the right-hander finished the season with Triple-AAA Columbus where he went (2-3) and posted a 4.18 ERA in 10 starts and 51.2 innings, allowing 49 hits and 27 runs and striking out 40 while walking 23 for the Clippers.
Chris Marrero had moved ahead of Balester as a result of the Washington Nationals 1st Round pick in '05 having hit .280 with 23 HR's and 104 RBI's in 147 games over two seasons in the Nationals' system. 34 doubles, 3 triples, 156 hits in 558 at bats, for a 6'3'' 210 lb outfielder who won't turn nineteen until July of '08.
Ross Detwiler started the 2007 season as a twenty-one year old, third-year, left-handed starter at Southwest Missouri State University where Detwiler went (4-5) with a 2.22 ERA in 14 starts during which he allowed just 22 runs in 89.0 innings while striking out 110 and walking 38.
That was enough to convince the Nationals to select Detwiler with the 6th overall pick in the 1st Round of the '07 Amateur draft and what the lefty did at two stops in the Nationals' Minor League system...
...(0-0) in 4 starts with a 2.25 ERA for the Gulf Coast Nationals in Rookie ball, and (2-2) with a 4.22 ERA in 4 starts with Class-A Potomac, with 28 K's in 33.1 IP...Convinced the Nationals to give the rookie a crash course in the Majors, where Detwiler pitched one inning of relief and recorded his first Major League K, just three months after the Nationals had taken the 6'5'' 185 lefty with their top pick.
...and in fact...four of Washington's Draft picks after Detwiler in the '07 Draft, 18-year old pitcher Josh Smoker, 18-year old outfielder Michael Burgess, 21-year old pitcher Jordan Zimmerman, and the Nationals' 6th Round pick, 18-year old Jack McGeary, all find themselves listed in the Nationals' Top Ten already, so at least Baseball America agrees with DC's recent drafting decisions.