Inbox: Addressing rotation, offensive concerns
Nationals beat reporter Bill Ladson answers questions from fans
What happens with the rotation when Chien-Ming Wang returns from his hamstring injury? Ross Detwiler has been fantastic.
-- Ryan K., Carlisle, Pa.
Manager Davey Johnson was asked the same question, and he didn't want to think about it. I find it hard to believe that Detwiler would be taken out of the rotation, since he has been dominating on the mound. If I had to make a prediction, I would say that Detwiler would remain in the rotation and Wang would be put in the bullpen as a long reliever.
Regardless of the impressive record the Nats have, should we be worried about their lack of offense?
-- Alex C., Montreal
After Sunday's action, the Nationals ranked 20th in the Major Leagues in offense, with a .243 batting average. It's too early to panic. Let's see what happens in the next couple of weeks. If they don't get Michael Morse back soon, then I would start to worry about the offense. The Nats haven't received any production out of left field.
Have a question about the Nationals?
E-mail your query to MLB.com Nationals beat reporter Bill Ladson for possible inclusion in a future Inbox column. Letters may be edited for brevity, length and/or content.
If Edwin Jackson has a solid season, do you see the Nationals signing him long term? General manager Mike Rizzo deals well with agent Scott Boras, and Jackson seems like a good fit in Washington so far.
-- Noah, L., Aldie, Va.
If Jackson can put together a solid season, I can see him staying with the Nats long term. The thing I like about Jackson is that he doesn't let one bad inning get the best of him. This past Thursday against the Astros, for example, Jackson allowed five runs in the first inning, but went on to hold Houston scoreless over the next four innings.
Is there any chance Washington will look to acquire a center fielder like Adam Jones or B.J. Upton around the Trade Deadline?
-- Justin S., Harrisburg, Pa.
As of now, I have to say no, because Rick Ankiel has been productive, offensively and defensively. Now, when a left-hander is on the mound, Jayson Werth is in center field while Mark DeRosa is in right field. So far, that has worked out.
What's the latest on Cole Kimball? I haven't seen any updates on him. Will he be rehabbing in the Minors this season? If so, what's his timetable?
-- Nicole T., Carlisle, Pa.
Kimball is still recovering from shoulder surgery. He is not expected to start baseball activities until after the All-Star break.
What's the likelihood we could see Chad Tracy play left field? DeRosa and Xavier Nady are decent, but I feel Tracy could be a key
-- Joe G., Coventry, Conn.
Tracy is going to see most of his time at first and third base. Don't forget that Nady and Roger Bernadina will platoon in left field.
Since Stephen Lombardozzi played in left field during Spring Training, why doesn't he play the position during the regular season? I think that he can be a spark plug. I feel the Nationals need all the help they can get with Morse out.
-- Timothy F., Montreal
You are one of many people who would like to see Lombardozzi in the outfield. But Johnson seems set to have him play the infield. If he keeps hitting, it would not surprise me if Lombardozzi is given a chance to play in left field.
Would you expect the Nats to show some interest in second baseman Orlando Hudson if he is put on waivers? He is a veteran bench player who could be an asset.
-- Mark D., Montreal
The answer is no. They already have two quality backup infielders in Lombardozzi and DeRosa. Two years ago, the Nationals had interest in Hudson to be their everyday second baseman. But they are happy with Danny Espinosa at the position.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.