Inbox: Five-tool Espinosa a complete player
Beat reporter Bill Ladson answers Nationals fans' questions
Don't get me wrong, I love Danny Espinosa. But how can you say he's the "most complete player I've covered since Vladimir Guerrero?"
-- Alex C., Montreal
Espinosa is a five-tool player. I keep saying to ignore the batting average. It will go up. He is the Nationals' best hitter in the clutch. He can run, steal bases and is an excellent defensive second baseman. He should be considered for the Gold Glove. I'll go so far as to say he is the best defensive second baseman in baseball.
With Mike Cameron traded to the Marlins, do you see the Nationals making a move to get someone like Cameron before the non-waiver Trade Deadline?
-- Noah L., Aldie, Va.
I do not. They currently have enough veterans on the team. The Nationals would like to acquire younger players such as B.J. Upton or Michael Bourn who can help them in the long term.
What is Ian Desmond's future with the team? Steve Lombardozzi seems like he could be a fit as a leadoff hitter sooner rather than later. Problem is, he plays second base. Could Desi move to left field, or is it more likely he goes to another ballclub? His numbers offensively have not been good.
-- Roy H., Charleston, Va.
As long as Mike Rizzo is the general manager, Desmond will not move to the outfield. If you remember, in 2009, former manager Jim Riggleman tried to use Desmond in right field for one game against the Mets and it didn't work out.
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I think Desmond will be traded by the time Lombardozzi comes to the big leagues. I've heard at least four teams are interested in Desmond. I was told the Rays are one of the teams who wouldn't mind having him.
With Michael Morse doing so well at first base, is there any chance they might try and use LaRoche as trade bait?
-- Joseph, Jacksonville, Fla.
I don't know how this is going to go after the season is over. I have to assume that Morse would go back to left field. It would be hard to trade Adam LaRoche because he is coming off a serious shoulder injury. I could be wrong, but I see LaRoche back with the team at first base in 2012.
I saw recently that Chad Cordero retired. I know he left Washington with some resentment toward the front office, but is there any chance the two sides can bury the hatchet and honor Chad with some sort of ceremony thanking him for his contributions? He was a fan favorite who gave everything he had while wearing the curly W. He certainly deserves it.
-- Joel K., Silver Spring, Md.
To be clear, Cordero only had a problem with former general manager Jim Bowden, who announced during the summer of 2008 that Cordero would be non-tendered -- months before the non-tender deadline in December. Secondly, Cordero didn't hold a grudge against the Nationals by the time he was non-tendered. The day after he retired, he told me he has nothing but fond memories about his days with the Nationals.
As far as honoring Cordero, that would be a good idea. But I would like to see the Nationals honor Frank Robinson first before doing it for Cordero.
Do you see the Nationals moving Jayson Werth to the cleanup spot? We know how good Morse and Laynce Nix are, but chances are opposing teams will walk Ryan Zimmerman if those two are behind him.
-- Micah D., Princeton, N.J.
Werth, who is currently batting sixth in the lineup, is not going to move up until he starts hitting on a more consistent basis. Once he starts hitting, he will hit fifth in the order. As of now, manager Davey Johnson does not see him as a cleanup hitter.
When will Bryce Harper get promoted to the big leagues?
-- George S., Germantown, Md.
Rizzo announced that it will not happen this year. I would not be surprised if Harper started the 2012 season in the Minor Leagues. First, he has to show that he can hit Double-A pitching. As of now, Harper is off to a slow start with Harrisburg, going 6-for-35 (.171) with two RBIs. Based on published reports, he still needs to make adjustments in the outfield, as well.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.