Inbox: What's in store for Storen?
Beat reporter Bill Ladson answers Nats fans' questions
Right-hander Drew Storen has been touted as a closer. If he makes the big league team, how about starting him off as a setup man, and then working him into the closer role by midseason?
-- Shane B., Vancouver, Canada
It's almost certain Storen will be invited to Spring Training and I could see him start the regular season as a setup man. Right now, Mike MacDougal is the closer unless the Nationals acquire a person like Billy Wagner.
I don't think it's necessary to trade Adam Dunn. Look at first basemen such as Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder and Carlos Delgado. They don't have the defensive skills at first base, but each had brought their teams into the playoffs.
-- Yu-Hung S., Chiayi, Taiwan
Just so we are clear, the Nationals are not trading Dunn. A few weeks ago I was asked what I would do if I were in GM Mike Rizzo's shoes, and I said I would trade Dunn to improve the defense.
As far as your comment goes, you have a great point. There is no doubt in my mind that Dunn wants to win, but if he improves his defense at first base a little more, that would be a big boost for the Nationals. No one can deny that defense was one of the reasons the Nationals had the worst record in baseball.
What is the status of left-hander Jack McGeary? Is he a Major League talent? Will he get a look at next year's Spring Training?
-- Larry L., Spring Springs, Md.
McGeary didn't have a good season, going a combined 2-12 with a 5.54 ERA in 26 starts for Class A Vermont and Hagerstown. However, I'm going to give him a pass because it was his first full season in professional baseball.
Will he get an invite to Spring Training? I would be surprised if it happened.. However, I could see him coming on as an extra player and pitching in an exhibition game.
Do you see the Nats going after right-hander Pedro Martinez if he becomes a free agent?
-- Isaac R., Baltimore
If Martinez becomes a free agent, I could see the Nationals making a run at him. But money could be a factor. I don't see the Nationals breaking the bank for him.
I would love to see the Nationals add someone like Mark De Rosa to their lineup. He could be a huge upgrade.
-- Travis A., Cornelius, N.C.
If he becomes a free agent, DeRosa would be a nice pickup because he can play several positions, including the outfield, second and third base. He is pretty good hitter, who can provide some pop.
Have a question about the Nationals?
E-mail your query to MLB.com Nationals beat reporter Bill Ladson for possible inclusion in a future Inbox column. Letters may be edited for brevity, length and/or content.
The Nationals played better when Ian Desmond and Justin Maxwell were in the lineup. Why is it that the fans always seem to "wait" with our prospects when it's clear they have the ability to play at this level? The atmosphere at the ballpark was completely different when these kids took the field. Your thoughts?
-- Mick F., Springfield, Md.
There is no doubt that Desmond and Maxwell provided energy to the team during the second half of the season. However, some members of the organization have some doubts about them. For Desmond, there is a question about his defense. He made over 30 errors this past season. As far as Maxwell goes, he was inconsistent with the bat. I think both players must have a great Spring Training to make the team next year.
Are the announcing teams for TV and radio coming back next year?
-- Rich R., Slingerlands, N.Y.
Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler, two of the best on the radio, are on multi-year contracts and will be back with the Nationals. Rob Dibble will be back on MASN as an analyst. I haven't heard anything regarding play-by-play announcer Bob Carpenter and sideline reporter Debbi Taylor. Their contracts ran out after the season ended.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.