08/29/11 3:38 PM ET
Inbox: Pondering the possible return of Wang
Beat reporter Bill Ladson answers Nationals fans' questions
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
-- George W., Washington
Wang has made tremendous progress, but he has to keep it going during the final month of the season. If he continues to give Washington quality starts, I would say there is a strong possibility that he will be back with the team. I agree with you that the contract has to be reasonable.
Do you think that Prince Fielder is a good fit for the Nationals? I understand that Adam LaRoche has another year guaranteed, but Fielder's bat is much needed in the middle of the lineup.
-- Cameron, Washington
I agree that the Nationals need another power hitter in the middle of the order, but I was told last week that Fielder is not a priority during the offseason. They already have to figure out what to do with the three first basemen they have on the roster: LaRoche, Chris Marrero and Michael Morse. Besides, acquiring another first baseman is the last thing the Nationals need. They need a center fielder, a leadoff hitter and another starting pitcher.
Do you think the Nationals should try to re-acquire Alfonso Soriano?
-- Max R., Westport, Conn.
Absolutely not. He is 36 years old, an injury-prone player and past his prime. His last great season was with the Nationals in 2006. Washington needs to get younger, not older.
I have heard there is a chance that Anthony Rendon would play third base once he gets to the big leagues and Ryan Zimmerman would move to first base. Is this true?
-- Mike W., New York
I haven't heard anything like that. Yes, Rendon is starting his professional baseball career as a third baseman, but I don't know what will happen in the future. There was talk of possibly having Rendon switching positions at some point. Zimmerman's contract runs out after the 2013 season. We'll see what happens before then. I believe Zimmerman should stay at third; he is 100 percent healthy and is still an outstanding third baseman.
Have a question about the Nationals?
E-mail your query to MLB.com Nationals beat reporter Jamal Collier for possible inclusion in a future Inbox column. Letters may be edited for brevity, length and/or content.
-- Alex C., Montreal
The answer is no. While he is still an excellent defensive second baseman and should be considered for the Gold Glove, Espinosa has slumped badly at the plate during the second half. Espinosa is hitting .204 with two home runs and six RBIs after the All-Star break.
What is your take on Roger Bernadina? He has produced with consistency, especially in the leadoff position, but keeps getting sent down.
-- Terry M., Silver Spring, Md.
You sound like a member of the "Sharkadina" club. During his time in the big leagues this year, Bernadina has been inconsistent at the plate and shaky in the outfield. The Nationals consider him no more than a fourth outfielder who should play the corner spots. I've had people in baseball say to me that Bernadina is a tease. There are days when he looks like a great player, and there are other days where he looks lost on the field. I can't predict what his future is with the Nationals, but he has to perform extremely well to stay with the big league club.
Can you explain the Nats' fascination with shortstop Ian Desmond, given his regression at the plate this year -- lower average, no power?
-- Peter R. Oakton, Va.
Desmond has done a great job on defense. I've been told the team is reluctant to trade Desmond because they believe he can put it together -- offensively and defensively -- in the same year. He has showed signs of improving at the plate, hitting .277 with a .344 on-base percentage after the All-Star break.