Nov 022010
 

Three Nats bats saw time in yesterday’s game, which saw the Scottsdale Scorpions’ winning streak snapped with a 7-4 loss to the Peoria Javelinas:

  • Derek Norris caught and batted sixth, going 1-for-4 with a double, two RBI, and two strikeouts. He also committed two throwing errors and allowed a stolen base
  • Michael Burgess played RF and batted eighth and went 0-for-4 with a strikeout
  • Steve Lombardozzi played SS and batted ninth, and also went o-for-4 with a strikeout. He committed an error as well

Sammy Solis is scheduled to make his fourth start tomorrow. Solis was one of several pitchers recently featured in The Hardball Times which contains some video but it’s from the spring, not this fall.

Also on our radar is the 2010 AFL Rising Stars game, which will be broadcast on Saturday night on MLB Network and streamed on MLB.com. Rosters have not yet been released, but one would strongly suspect that they will find a way to make Bryce Harper available.

Nov 012010
 

Here’s a look at how the Nationals fared over the weekend in the Arizona Fall League…

FRIDAY
The Scorpions stung the Solar Sox by a 9-1 count.

  • Steve Lombardozzi played shortstop and batted from the two-hole, walking twice, scoring two runs while doubling once in three at-bats.
  • Michael Burgess played RF and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Brad Peacock allowed a run on two hits over two innings, but walked none and struck out one.

SATURDAY
A five-run bottom of the eighth gave the Scorpions their third straight win with a 13-9 decision

  • Steve Lombardozzi led off but still played shortstop and went 2-for-5 with a double, a RBI, and two runs scored. He also committed a throwing error.
  • Bryce Harper homered in his first at-bat (pictured above), singled in his second at-bat, and doubled in his third at-bat but struck out in at-bats nos. four and five to post a 3-for-5 afternoon with 2RBI
  • Cole Kimball pitched a scoreless ninth, but gave up two hits while striking out one.

With 17 games in the books, the Scottsdale Scorpions lead their division by two games with five games scheduled for this week. Cumulative stats for the… wait for it… Nats:

BATTERS

PLAYER G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG SB
Lombardozzi 11 44 11 10 6 0 0 3 8 3 .227 .364 .364 1
Burgess 10 37 4 10 2 1 0 7 3 13 .270 .317 .370 1
Norris 9 26 7 8 2 1 3 6 9 7 .308 .486 .808 2
Harper 4 17 1 6 2 0 1 4 0 5 .353 .353 .647 0

PITCHERS

PLAYER W L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO WHIP HLD GF
Solis 0 0 0 5.40 3 11⅔ 14 10 7 5 7 1.629 0 0
Peacock 0 0 0 2.00 6 9 6 2 2 2 13 0.889 2 0
Kimball 0 0 1 1.29 6 7 5 1 1 1 7 0.857 0 6
Carr 1 0 0 3.86 5 7 5 3 3 2 4 1.000 0 2
Oct 292010
 

Scottsdale snapped its three-game losing streak with a 9-5 win over the Surprise Rafters. Sammy Solis got the start, Adam Carr relieved and three Nats appeared in the lineup. Here are the highlights…

  • Solis went five innings (70 pitches) and allowed five runs (two earned) on eight hits and a walk while striking out three. He gave up a HR and committed a throwing error.
  • Steve Lombardozzi’s struggles continued with an 0-for-5 night in the leadoff spot, though he did help turn two DP’s.
  • Offensively, Derek Norris drove in five, three by an eighth-inning HR, while catching and batting sixth. He also doubled and scored two runs. Defensively, his streak of throwing out runners ended as St. Louis farmhand Adron Chambers swiped three bags and Detroit’s Francisco stole one. Norris also allowed a passed ball, his third of the fall.
  • Michael Burgess went 1-for-4 with an RBI while playing R, but struck out three times.
  • Adam Carr pitched a 1-2-3 ninth and stuck out a batter.

The win puts Scottsdale at 9-6, tied again with the Mesa Solar Sox for first place. Tonight they host Mesa, and tomorrow afternoon they face Peoria. Look for the weekend wrapup and updated AFL stats on Monday.

Oct 282010
 

A six-run second inning wasn’t enough as the Scottsdale Scorpions fell for the third straight time 7-6.
Highlights from the Nationals that played…

  • Derek Norris drew three walks as the DH, stole his 2nd base, and scored a run.
  • Bryce Harper went o-for-4 with two strikeouts, but gunned down a runner at home plate as part of a double play.
  • Cole Kimball pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth, striking out one batter.

Sammy Solis is scheduled to start this afternoon’s game versus the Surprise Rafters.

Oct 252010
 

Here’s a look at how the Nationals fared over the weekend in the Arizona Fall League…

FRIDAY
The Scottsdale Scorpions pounded the Peoria Javelinas 12-4

  • Steve Lombardozzi led off and played second base, helping to turn two double plays and going 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI (via sac fly).
  • Sammy Solis started and got torched for four runs (all earned) on four hits and three walks over three innings. He struck out three.
  • Brad Peacock got his second hold with a scoreless inning of relief, alowing one hit and striking out two.

SATURDAY
Scottsdale cruised to its eighth win in eleven games with a 6-1 decision over the Phoenix Desert Dogs

  • Derek Norris caught and batted cleanup, swatting his second home run of the fall campaign in a 1-for-3 night with a run scored, a walk, a strikeout, and two RBI. He threw out another baserunner.
  • Michael Burgess batted seventh and played RF, going 1-for-4 with two RBI and a strikeout.
  • Bryce Harper was the DH and went 2-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Cole Kimball was touched for a run on two hits and a walk while pitching the ninth.

After 11 games, the stats…

BATTERS

PLAYER G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG SB
Lombardozzi 6 24 6 6 4 0 0 2 4 2 .250 .367 .417 0
Burgess 7 24 2 6 1 0 0 4 3 8 .250 .321 .292 1
Norris 6 19 4 6 1 1 2 6 5 7 .316 .480 .789 1
Harper 2 8 0 3 1 0 0 2 0 1 .375 .375 .500 0

PITCHERS

PLAYER W L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO WHIP HLD GF
Solis 0 0 0 6.75 2 6⅔ 6 5 5 4 4 1.500 0 0
Peacock 0 0 0 1.50 4 6 4 1 1 1 12 0.833 2 0
Kimball 0 0 1 1.80 4 5 3 1 1 1 5 0.800 0 4
Carr 1 0 0 2.25 3 4 2 1 1 2 2 1.000 0 1
Oct 222010
 

In the downtime between Bryce Harper appearances, we’ll still keep you updated on how that Nats did in AFL action. Last night, three players were in the game, which the Scottsdale Scorpions lost 4-2…

  • Derek Norris caught and batted cleanup but went o-for-3 and threw out a baserunner.
    He was also hit by a pitch.
  • Michael Burgess played RF and batted eighth, going 1-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and two strikeouts.
  • Adam Carr pitched a scoreless eighth inning and struck out one.

Scottsdale’s record stands at 6-3, tied for first place in the AFL American Division with the Mesa Solar Sox.
Sammy Solis is expected to get the start tonight against the Peoria Javelinas.

Oct 182010
 

Here’s a look at how the Nationals fared over the weekend in the Arizona Fall League…

FRIDAY
The Scottsdale Scorpions pounded the Phoenix Desert Dogs, 11-4

  • Michael Burgess went 1-for-4 with 3 K’s as the DH
  • Brad Peacock struck out the side while pitching the sixth but gave up a run on two hits
  • Cole Kimball pitched a 1-2-3 ninth and struck out one

SATURDAY
With a 6-4 win over the Peoria Javelinas, the Scottsdale Scorpions improved to 4-1

  • Sammy Solis got the start and allowed a run on two hits and a walk over three innings while striking out one. He also picked off a runner
  • Adam Carr pitched two scoreless innings to get the win while walking one and striking out one
  • Steve Lombardozzi played 2B and batted leadoff, going 1-for-3 with a double and a walk and scored two runs
  • Derek Norris caught and batted cleanup, going 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, a run scored, and a stolen base. He threw out the only runner to attempt a steal against him

After five games…

BATTERS

PLAYER G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG SB
Lombardozzi 4 14 3 4 3 0 0 1 1 2 .286 .375 .500 0
Norris 3 9 3 4 1 0 1 3 4 3 .444 .615 .889 1
Burgess 3 10 0 2 0 0 0 0 3 4 .200 .385 .200 1

PITCHERS

PLAYER W L SV ERA G IP R ER HR BB SO WHIP HLD GF
Peacock 0 0 0 3.00 2 3 1 1 0 0 7 1.000 0 0
Solis 0 0 0 3.00 1 3 2 1 0 1 1 1.000 0 0
Carr 1 0 0 3.00 2 3 2 1 0 2 1 1.333 0 0
Kimball 0 0 0 0.00 2 2 0 0 0 0 4 0.000 0 2
Oct 122010
 

By now, you’ve read that the Arizona Fall League starts up today. And some 18-year-old named Bryce Harper won’t be playing. So there’s little I can add to that, except for some thoughts on the players I’ve seen…

Adam Carr – RHRP
Carr has been here before, playing in 2007 after his first full season in the minors and looked to be on the verge of becoming a factor for the parent club in late ’08 with a 1.78ERA at Potomac and Harrisburg. Unfortunately, he hit wall the next season, and struggled mightily at both levels. In ’09, he was converted to a starting pitcher in an effort to both salvage something out of a hard-thrower as well as give him a chance to pitch more often and learn more of the finer points of pitching. In ’10 he returned to relieving, mostly as a setup guy and long-man, but was solid and consistent enough to get a callup to AAA where he racked up nine saves in 10 chances and posted a 2.08ERA.

Cole Kimball – RHRP
Kimball is a similar pitcher to Carr, but started for his first three seasons before being turned into a reliever in ’09. Kimball doesn’t throw quite as hard, but can (and does) throw more breaking pitches. Served as the closer for Potomac in ’09 and to begin ’10 with solid numbers. At Harrisburg, Kimball saw his strikeout rate jump from the one-per-inning rate that’s relatively common to a more dominant 12.3/9IP.

Brad Peacock – RHSP
The last of the draft-and-follow picks, Peacock is a perfect example of what the A+ level is — a place where a guy needs to work on one more thing before making the biggest jump in the minors. That one thing? The changeup. Early in the ’10 season, Peacock would rack up double-digit strikeouts but couldn’t get much past the fifth or sixth inning because once folks realized he couldn’t throw anything offspeed for strikes, they’d wait him out and sit on that 94-95 heat. In late June, Peacock started to figure out, resulting in a complete-game shutout in early July. By month’s end, he was in Harrisburg and was a factor in the Sens’ playoff run.

Steve Lombardozzi – 2B
Lombardozzi is often overlooked because of what he is not. He’s not big. He’s not flashy. He’s not a home run hitter. What is he? A steady, reliable fielder (though not the strongest of arms) and a consistent hitter with gap power and slightly above-average speed but terrific baserunning instincts. Arguably the most consistent P-Nat this season and was able to bat anywhere in the top third of the lineup with little change in his production.

Michael Burgess – OF
Burgess was an enigma this season. Early on, it looked like he had finally solved his weakness against lefties and began rapping the ball the other way (in ’09, an opposite-field hit for Burgess was a grounder that went just to the left of the 2nd base bag). But after the league adjusted to him, his well-known weakness re-emerged — the inability to lay off soft-and-away pitches came back. He appeared to be readjusting his approach when a death in his family kept him out for a couple of weeks. In the final analysis, Burgess is still trying to figure out how to hit to all fields without sacrificing power and keeping the strikeouts down. There were times when he did, which is why he’s been given this challenge.

Derek Norris – C
Injuries wreaked havoc on Norris’s season and it was not until late August that he began to look comfortable as a hitter. As mentioned last week, Norris does struggle some with breaking pitches but as many people have remarked, you can close your eyes and pick him out of a BP lineup — the ball has a distinctive sound coming off his bat. The most promising thing is that no matter how low his batting average got, Derek did not press and held his OBP at the .400+ level all season long. Defensively, Norris is still a project, struggling with wild pitches and passed balls, but still threw out 51% of the runners that tried to steal off him.

Sammy Solis – LHP
Solis made just two appearances in Hagerstown, so I did not see him. Here is what the estimable John Sickels wrote about him prior to the draft:

A back injury redshirted Solis in 2009, so he’s a draft-eligible sophomore this year… Sizeable at 6-5, 220, he has an 89-92 MPH fastball, and both his curveball and changeup are major league quality. His command is considered excellent, and there is nothing wrong with his statistical performance this spring: 2.94 ERA with a 52/15 K/BB in 52 innings, 51 hits allowed. He should… interest any team looking for a lefty with polish who won’t need much minor league time.

Aug 312010
 

If you came here for some exciting names, look elsewhere. As the picture suggests, the Nationals were uninspired in their choices for who’s going to Arizona for the fall league. Without further ado…

  • C Derek Norris
  • OF Michael Burgess
  • IF Steve Lombardozzi
  • LHP Sammy Solis
  • RHP Cole Kimball
  • RHP Adam Carr

This is not to disrespect the likes of Cole Kimball and Adam Carr, which we can infer that the front office clearly believes are near-term-future relievers. But like nearly everything Tim McCarver says in a Fox broadcast, that was already painfully obvious. Perhaps more will come out in the next few days about the rationale, but all I can see is that some younger, more promising prospects (Peacock, Milone) were passed over… and I don’t mean Bryce Harper. For those of you who claim that Rizzo said that Harper might play in the AFL, he never explicitly said that it would be the fall of 2010.