11/07/11 4:40 PM EST
Inbox: Should Espinosa have won Gold Glove?
Beat reporter Bill Ladson answers questions from fans
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
-- Alex C., Montreal, Quebec
I know what the stats say. But Espinosa has better range and gets to more balls than Phillips, who does a lot of trickery, which I'm not impressed with. I think managers and coaches should pay more attention to Espinosa. He is that good. I hope Phillips didn't win the Gold Glove because of his offense.
If the Nats are serious about being contenders next season, they need to open up the piggy bank. They need to pick up left-hander C.J. Wilson. What do you think?
-- Cam C., Washington
They will open the bank, but I have a feeling that Wilson is not on the radar screen. Keep in mind, I said in September the team was scouting Wilson, not signing him. This past Friday, general manager Mike Rizzo said he was looking for a veteran starter who pitched 200 innings every year. That doesn't sound like Wilson to me. He has pitched 200 innings twice in his career.
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-- Joel K., Silver Spring, Md.
As of right now, I don't see it. He is not a difference maker to a pitching staff and -- you said it best -- has been erratic year to year. I personally never saw what the big deal is about him. I assume teams love his potential.
Please tell me catcher Ivan Rodriguez will be back with the Nats next season. He is a class act and is so close to career hit No. 3,000. Any chance the club re-signs him?
-- Nicole T., Carlisle, Pa.
Pudge is really a class act, but it's less than 50 percent that he comes back to Washington. I spoke to a scout recently and he felt that Rodriguez would be a great fit for the Marlins. The Nats didn't have enough offensive production from behind the plate. Pudge is still a great defensive catcher. He didn't get enough at-bats because of injuries.
What is the status of Corey Brown? Will he be ready to compete for a job come Spring Training? If Jayson Werth is moved to center field next year, who would play right field for the Nats?
-- Dean O., Winnipeg, Manitoba
Brown should be healthy by Spring Training after suffering a staph infection in his left knee this past September. However, I don't see him making the big league club out of Spring Training unless he is impressive with the bat. If he makes the team, it will be as a backup.
Rizzo indicated that he prefers Werth to play right field. Where Werth plays in 2012 will depend on Bryce Harper. If the latter has a great Spring Training, I could see him playing right field with Werth in center to start the season. I was told that if Harper is the best player in Spring Training, there are some in the organization who will fight to keep Harper on the 25-man roster.
With center field being a concern, should the Nationals look at Juan Pierre?
-- Pat G., Ottawa, Ontario
Pierre would make a good leadoff hitter, however, he is a below-average outfielder who belongs in the corner spots these days. I believe the Nationals are looking for an above-average defensive outfielder, who can regularly get on base.