3/14/2013 3:25 P.M. ET
Inbox: Gio, Detwiler OK with Team USA?
Nationals beat reporter Bill Ladson answers questions from fan
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
Should the Nats be worried about sending their pitchers to the World Baseball Classic? Will there be pressure on them to pitch too many innings too soon?
-- Paul F., Arlington, Va.
The Nationals are not worried about Gio Gonzalez or Ross Detwiler. They are pitching the right amount of innings to get ready for the regular season. However, manager Davey Johnson expressed concern about outfielder Eury Perez, who was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse on Thursday and is currently playing for the Dominican Republic. Perez is not getting playing time in the Classic, and Johnson would like for him to get at-bats once he returns to Minor League camp.
Who are going to be the lefties for the Nationals by Opening Day?
-- Ian R., Bethesda, Md.
Outside of Detwiler and Gonzalez, Zach Duke will be the only lefty on the team. Most of the lefties -- other than those three -- have not been productive. Johnson said he is not worried about not having enough lefties in the bullpen. He believes Rafael Soriano, Tyler Clippard, Ryan Mattheus and Drew Storen can handle left-handed hitters.
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With Tyler Moore on the big league roster, what do you think will happen to Chris Marrero?
-- Norm P., Syracuse, N.Y.
Unless he gets traded -- and I don't think he will -- Marrero will spend most of the season with Triple-A Syracuse and will likely get a callup in September. It's too bad, because he should be set in the big leagues. The hamstring injury really hurt him last year.
Would the Nats ever consider adding Kyle Lohse to the roster?
-- Derek C., Stittsville, Ontario
At this time, the Nationals don't have interest in Lohse unless one of their starting pitchers gets hurt. If they are interested in Lohse, I don't see the Nationals giving him a three-year deal that has been reported. It would be no more than a one-year deal.
Please find out where Cole Kimball is in his rehab. I would like to know if he's anywhere close to pre-surgery velocity.
-- Dave C., Arlington, Va.
I wouldn't say he is in a rehab mode. I would say he is close to throwing the 95-mph fastball that he once threw. Kimball is having a solid spring, allowing two runs in 6 1/3 innings. The chances of him making the team are slim, however.
Having heard earlier in the offseason that general manager Mike Rizzo feels Steve Lombardozzi and Danny Espinosa are both starters and not bench players, do you feel one of them will be traded prior to Opening Day? Lombardozzi was an extremely clutch pinch-hitter last year in my opinion.
-- Patrick S., Chantilly, Va.
A trade will not come, not this year anyway. Let's say Espinosa gets hurt and needs to go on the disabled list, who is going to play second base? Lombardozzi is the obvious choice with Zach Walters as the backup.
Considering he had a very good year with Triple-A Syracuse in 2012, what are the chances of outfielder Corey Brown making the team?
-- Alex C., Montreal
Unless someone gets hurt, the chances of Brown making the big league club are slim. If he isn't traded, I expect him to be a September callup this season.