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09/14/09 4:02 PM ET

Inbox: Where are Chico, Martis?

Beat reporter Bill Ladson answers Nats fans' questions

I recently read about the September callups for the Nationals. I was shocked not to see Matt Chico's name on the list. I really liked him in 2007 when he was the team's most consistent starting pitcher.
-- Ben F., Suffolk, Va.

Chico reached his limit in terms of innings pitched. I expect him to be in Spring Training in 2010 and compete for a spot in the rotation.

Why didn't the Nationals call up right-hander Shairon Martis when the roster expanded? Of all the Nationals pitchers this season, he had one of the better records and should be given more serious consideration to play in the Majors.
-- Joe W., Waldorf, Md.

Like Chico, Martis reached his limit in terms of innings pitched. General manager Mike Rizzo said Martis will be in Spring Training next year to compete for a spot in the rotation.

I understand that Mike Morse is a shortstop, but has there been any consideration about trying him out at short or second?
-- Matt D., Alexandria, Va.

The answer is no. Washington considers him a first baseman and outfielder. His days as a second baseman and shortstop are over as long as he is a member of the Nationals.

Mets catcher Brian Schneider is a free agent after this season. Do you see him back with the Nationals as a backup catcher? He's a great defensive backstop and could help both Jesus Flores and the pitching staff as a mentor. What do you think?
-- Geoff B., Las Vegas

Schneider told Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News recently that he didn't expect to be with the Mets next year. Schneider is having the worst year of his career, but I would not be surprised if Schneider returned to the Nationals as a backup catcher. He would have to accept a huge pay cut to do so, however.

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You are right when you say that Schneider is an excellent backup catcher. I think his biggest asset would be on defense. While I think Josh Bard and Wil Nieves have done an admirable job handling the young pitching staff, they have had problems blocking balls at the plate.

Bard has been hurt and I understand that. And Nieves has slumped from last year. I don't know what happened there.

During the offseason, the Nationals should get better pitching for the rotation and the bullpen, but the offense is in great shape. What do you think?
-- Jonathan G., New York

I agree with you on the pitching, but I don't think the offense is in great shape. With Nyjer Morgan out of the lineup, this team is too slow on the basepaths. It needs more speed. It shouldn't rely on just the home run.

I think Garrett Mock has monster stuff and deserves to be in the rotation. The same can be said about J.D. Martin, but for some reason, his stuff doesn't impress me.
-- Ryan R., Fairfax, Va.

I keep hearing that Mock has monster stuff, but I haven't seen it yet. I think it's too early to say he deserves a spot in the rotation. As for Martin, he has been more impressive than Mock, but the jury is still out on Martin. John Lannan is the only pitcher who is guaranteed a spot in the rotation next year.

Will the Nats keep Pete Orr around at least as a utilityman? I am so impressed with him. He's such a pro, and I can't help but root for him.
-- James W., Warrenton, Va.

I like Orr myself. He's a smart player. I think the Nationals are going to give him a long look next year. As of right now, I don't think the Nationals have anyone better than Orr in terms of a backup second baseman.

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