4/18/2013 4:20 P.M. ET
Inbox: Should there be concern about Haren?
Beat reporter Bill Ladson answers Nationals fans' questions
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
Will the Nationals stick with right-hander Dan Haren for long if he continues to struggle?
-- Alex C., Montreal
I don't think they have a choice. Haren is being paid $13 million, so you can't give up on him quickly. In retrospect, I'm surprised the Nats took a chance on Haren. The Cubs turned down a trade to acquire his services because of back and hip problems. Haren says he is healthy, but a scout told me his fastball is down a few notches. I've decided not to judge him by three games. Asked me this same question next month and then we'll see what happens.
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If Haren's struggles continue, what is Plan B for his spot in the rotation?
-- Travis B., Washington
Right-hander Chris Young would be the next in line if Haren continues to struggle. But knowing manager Davey Johnson, he is going to give Haren every chance to straighten himself out.
Even if Johnson is not worried about Ryan Zimmerman's throwing errors, do you think we should be worried?
-- George B., Washington
I value what Johnson says. So I wouldn't worry about it. Besides, we all know that Zimmerman is not 100 percent healthy after having shoulder surgery last offseason. He probably will not be 100 percent until May or June.
Right-hander Daniel Rosenbaum had a good campaign in 2011 for Double-A Harrisburg before enduring some struggles in Harrisburg last year. He has started this year with some good outings for Triple-A Syracuse. Does he have a future in the Nationals' organization, and if not, what do you see the Nats doing with him?
-- Brian, Washington
It depends on the health of the rotation, and I expect Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez and Ross Detwiler to be around for a long time. If one of those staff members suffered an injury, Rosenbaum could be one of the first pitchers to be called up to the big leagues. He is off to a great start, so let's hope he can continue the good work.
Do you think Johnson should have had Zimmerman play more innings during Spring Training to get comfortable with his throwing motion?
-- Jon G., Accokeek, Md.
I don't think it would have mattered. Zimmerman always had a sidearm throw. It's just not that strong right now. Remember, Zimmerman was recovering from shoulder surgery when Spring Training started. I think Johnson did the right thing in how he played Zimmerman during Spring Training.
Why is the bulk of our lineup sitting in the Marlins series (Danny Espinosa, Bryce Harper, Denard Span)?
-- Michael R., Washington
Espinosa has a sore wrist after being hit by a pitch on Sunday against the Braves and should be ready for the Mets series. Harper came back from the flu and had four hits against the Marlins on Wednesday. Span also had the flu and should be back for the Mets series.