Welcome to the second part of our blogger profile for the week, with Ian Koski from Nationals Daily News. Yesterday, we heard a little bit about the site. Koski and I also sat down for some Nats talk earlier this month, and we've got that for you today.
BG: Let's talk a little about the starting rotation. You see the flux there, and you kind of thought (at the beginning of the season), 'OK, they've got (Jason) Marquis, and (John) Lannan's there, and they've gotten more established than they've had in a while.' And now we're right back to this platooning, who's up, who's down. It's a lot like last year.
IK: It looks exactly like last year. I'm looking forward to Jordan Zimmermann. I'm a huge Zimmermann fan. I think someday, we'll see Chien-Ming Wang, officially. Did he actually appear in uniform in spring training? The day he was introduced, maybe? You need to end this season with at least three starters locked in for next year.
BG: I'd agree with that. I think if you do that, you're in good shape.
IK: Four would be stunning, but three, you'd accept.
BG: Riggleman talked earlier in the month about sending this message to the team about trying to win in the second half. And if you tie that in with what (Ryan) Zimmerman said this month about needing to keep this thing together, and what that means for (Josh) Willingham and (Adam) Dunn, what did you take out of those comments? What do they mean now that we're this close to the trade deadline?
IK: I think they know they're hemorrhaging. I think they know they're in a selling position far more than a buying position. They're clearly not playing as cohesively as they were at the beginning of the season. I think you'd be crazy not to consider Dunn as a trade prospect. There'd be consequences. But I think clearly there's a challenge to motivate the team. It's not like last year, but nothing rallies the troops like winning. It sounds like something is going to change.
BG: To me, if you trade Dunn and you put the lineup back in a rebuilding stage, and then you say to Zimmerman, 'We're going to have to get you some more sidekicks,' he's only signed for the next three years. He's only going to be 29 when he hits free agency. It's not like he's locked up here forever. Eventually, you're going to add (Bryce) Harper, but who knows when?
IK: If you take Dunn out of the lineup, or Dunn and Willingham, now Ryan Zimmerman's alone in the lineup again. He, of all people, needs to be upbeat and optimistic.
BG: My hunch is the price for those guys is so high, if they do move them, they're going to get enough back that you can say, 'This is going to be OK.' But there's a little bit of a sell job that needs to happen.
IK: I'd be shocked if Willingham is moved.
BG: I would, too.
IK: I think he works here. I'm not sure about somewhere else. It took him a year and a half before he really started heating it up. I'm curious how he'd play on another team. Dunn, though, would obviously make an immediate impact.