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The Baseball Show: Is Span’s Nats career over?

Sep 1, 2015, 11:53 AM EDT

USA Today

The Nationals are coming off a bad loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, one that puts them in jeopardy of losing the momentum they had built over the previous 12 games. But although they were winning before they traveled to St. Louis, it was a tough week in regards to their overall health.

Denard Span went down for the season, Reed Johnson and David Carpenter suffered setbacks, and Stephen Strasburg was removed from a game after having a setback of his own. Mark, Joe Orsulak and host Sebastian Salazar break it all down, plus other topics, in the videos below. You can also see my segment this week on Span, Johnson and Carpenter, in particular.

Does Span’s injury mean the end of his Nationals’ career? (For more on that, click here)

Strasburg’s injury yet another scare for the Nats

Max Scherzer has not been the same in the second half

Why is the Nats’ record so much better with Danny Espinosa in the lineup?

A week ago the Nats were getting healthier, now that is not the case

  1. Mrsb loves the Nats - Sep 1, 2015 at 11:56 AM

    Nostalgia wants to say No… I hope he can sign a 1/2 year prove it deal or something…

    But realistically, I (unfortunately) think so…

  2. langleyclub - Sep 1, 2015 at 12:45 PM

    The Nats record is better with Espinosa in the line-up because of defense. The Nats are bad defensive team. Yunel is a below-average at 3B, and Rendon is inexperienced and not the strongest 2B. The Nats best defensive IF has Espi as 2B and Rendon at 3B. Yunel’s marginally better bat doesn’t make up for the defensive loss.

    BTW, Jason Werth is a huge liability in the OF at this point. Realize that his bat is coming around, but he shouldn’t play from the 7th inning on in any game that the Nats lead (particularly with the roster’s now expanded).

    • therealjohnc - Sep 1, 2015 at 12:58 PM

      The Nats record is better with Espinosa in the lineup in part because of defense, and also in large part because he had a lot of playing time when Bryce Harper wasn’t merely playing at an All-Star level, he was playing at a Ruthian level. Which had nothing to do at all with Espinosa. Correlation =/= causation.

  3. jd - Sep 1, 2015 at 12:59 PM

    Langleyclub. I agree about the defense.its untenable.The fact that MW didn’t make the obvious defensive moves last night was the biggest gaff by far.

    Last night was a perfect example why I don’t post during games. My first inclination like most of the people who posted was to blast MW for his bullpen moves in the 7th inning. IMO and upon reflection we would be wrong and !W would be right.

    Let’s review: the Cards had 2 outs and a man on 3rd with left handed hitter Carpenter at bat. The outcry was to bring in Rivero but this ignores 2 important points. One is hindsight and it speaks to the fact that Rivero gave up hits to the 2 left handers he faced so why are we assuming that he would have retired Carpenter? The second point is that the Cards had 2 right handed hitters behind Carpenter. So Jansen pitched around Carpenter and made great pitches to both righties but got beat. As it turns out Rivero is the one who got hit hard.

    There are plenty of reasons to criticize MW and I actually called for his head aftrer the SF series. I just don’t think last night’s bu

    Pen management falls into the category of poor decision making.

    • sec112 - Sep 1, 2015 at 1:16 PM

      I’ve been thinking exactly this all day. I’m not sure what people wanted MW to do – Rivero was hit hard. Thornton has been blasted here for no longer being effective. Storen is obviously not a sure thing. Trek an gave up 2 hits in the 8th. We can be frustrated with the outcome, but pitcher selection wasn’t the problem here.

      That said, if you’re going to use janssen, a guy who pitched to contact and does not throw very hard or have a large differential in speed between his pitches, against a lineup that tends to focus on contact, you really should have your best possible defensive alignment on the field behind him. And that is where I think MW made a mistake.

      But – despite all that, Janssen covers first and we’re having a very different conversation.

    • raleighnat - Sep 1, 2015 at 1:28 PM

      I don’t agree. Storen is no sure thing but this really was a MUST win game. We had the lead and once again losing without using your best relief pitchers at the most critical moments was a mistake. Again Storen wasn’t a sure thing but he’s about as good as we’ve got. It was just so obvious Jannsen was struggling. To me Storen was the move.

      All the defensive comments are dead nuts on.

      We’ve got some retooling to do this offseason.

      • sec112 - Sep 1, 2015 at 1:54 PM

        Not sure I agree he was struggling. What he was was Janssen – former closer who ought to be able to pitch a clean inning (and mostly has). He might have been a poor choice against this lineup- but he mostly made the pitches he wanted to make. He made a poor fielding play and Piscotty went and got a good pitch.

        At least recently, Storen doesn’t strike me as a big upgrade vs Janssen and though in the moment I wanted Janssen gone because – well he was losing the game – in retrospect, I don’t know what the better thing is that MW could have done with the pitching. But he clearly could have made better defensive choices.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Sep 1, 2015 at 4:30 PM

        It seems clear Rizzo doesn’t think much of Storen. Maybe Matt has lost confidence in him, too, and is casting around for a different straw to grab at.

  4. Doc - Sep 1, 2015 at 3:28 PM

    Span? Don’t see anyone offering him a long-term contract.

  5. TimDz - Sep 1, 2015 at 3:36 PM

    Any word on the September call ups?

    • alexva6 - Sep 1, 2015 at 3:46 PM

      is Casey Stengel on the 40 man roster?

    • natsjackinfl - Sep 1, 2015 at 3:58 PM

      The minor league seasons don’t end till next Monday. Then you’ll hear about the call ups.





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at Click here for past audio clips.

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