Tag:Mike Rizzo
Posted on: February 28, 2012 1:58 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 2:01 pm

Strasburg's 2012 limits are to be determined

VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals question for this spring is whether Bryce Harper will make the opening day roster.

The question for later this year will be about the team's other huge young star.

How many innings will they let Stephen Strasburg throw, and would they really shut him down in September if they're in a pennant race (as they expect to be)?

The answers, according to general manager Mike Rizzo: don't know yet, and absolutely yes.

Rizzo said Tuesday that while people have assumed that Strasburg will be limited to 160 innings -- that's what they allowed Jordan Zimmermann to throw in a similar situation last year -- the actual number won't be determined until later in the season.

"[Manager Davey Johnson] has absolutely no limits on how many innings or how many pitches [Strasburg can throw]," Rizzo said. "Davey's going to use his expertise."

That said, Rizzo guaranteed that Strasburg won't pitch a full season in 2012. He said it's unrealistic to expect that, since he pitched just 44 1/3 innings between the major leagues and minor leagues last year, when he was coming back from Tommy John surgery.

"We don't want to overpitch him," Rizzo said. "He will be shut down during the season at some point."

Exactly what that point is, Rizzo said, will be determined by what they see from Strasburg. Last year, Zimmermann's final start was on Aug. 28.

Of course, last year the Nationals were 22 1/2 games out of first place by that point. This year, they expect to be much closer to the top.

Strasburg seems to be a little more relaxed this spring, although he is still ultra-quiet and reserved. He was scheduled to spend part of Tuesday filming a commercial that will air this summer in the Washington area.
Posted on: July 31, 2010 4:50 pm

Rizzo wasn't kidding, Nats keep Dunn

Mike Rizzo wasn't kidding.

The Nationals general manager told teams early on the same thing he was saying in public -- that he wouldn't move Adam Dunn unless he got a huge return. He asked for the moon, and by all indications he never backed down.

In any case, he didn't trade Dunn before Saturday's 4 p.m. non-waiver deadline. Now, unless the Nationals sign Dunn to an extension -- there have been talks, but there's a major difference on the number of years -- Dunn will likely leave as a free agent.

Rizzo has said all along, and said to me again on Friday afternoon, that he would have no problem accepting two draft picks if Dunn leaves. That's somewhat understandable, because Rizzo has a scouting background, and has had great success in the draft, both in Washington and in his previous role as Diamondbacks scouting director.

But as a wise baseball man said, if there's anything less certain than a minor-league prospect, it's a prospect out of the draft.

It's fair to wonder whether Rizzo made the right call. It's impossible to know exactly what he could have gotten in return for Dunn. He kept demanding such a high price, that it's hard to know what teams would have offered had he shown an inclination to compromise.

He said Friday that there would be no compromise, and that if no team met his stated price, he'd be happy to keep Dunn.

Now the deadline has passed, and the Nationals still have Dunn.

Mike Rizzo wasn't kidding.
Posted on: August 19, 2009 11:47 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2009 12:37 am

Rizzo to be named Nationals GM -- really!

The Nationals are expected to name Mike Rizzo as general manager at a news conference Thursday.

Major league sources confirmed late Wednesday night that Rizzo, who has been the acting general manager since Jim Bowden was forced out of the job in spring training, has been given the full-time job. The decision comes as a surprise, because Diamondbacks executive Jerry DiPoto has told some friends that he expected to be offered the position -- and planned to accept it.

CBSSports.com reported earlier Wednesday that DiPoto was expected to get the job.

Rizzo, who joined the Nationals from Arizona is July 2006, has been widely praised in baseball for the way he has handled a difficult position. Most recently, Rizzo was the point man in the Nats' successful effort to sign top draft pick Stephen Strasburg.

Rizzo played in the minor leagues with the Angels, and he worked with the Red Sox, White Sox and Diamondbacks before coming to the Nationals.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 19, 2009 10:55 am
Edited on: August 19, 2009 2:04 pm

DiPoto expected to be named new Nats GM

The Nationals appear to have chosen Diamondbacks executive Jerry DiPoto as their new general manager.

DiPoto has told friends in Arizona that he plans to accept the job, which opened when Jim Bowden resigned under pressure this spring. Mike Rizzo has been serving as acting general manager, and Rizzo was one of three final candidates for the job, along with DiPoto and Red Sox assistant Jed Hoyer, according to sources.

It's not certain how soon the Nationals intend to finalize their deal with DiPoto, or how soon he would be announced as the new GM.

"[DiPoto] will be a heck of a pick, but what hasn't [Rizzo] done to earn the opportunity to stay?" said one National League executive who knows both men.

The 41-year-old Dipoto, who pitched in the major leagues for eight seasons, has spent the last four years in the Diamondbacks front office, most recently as vice president, player personnel. He came close to getting the Mariners GM job last winter, apparently losing out after telling the M's he wanted to bring Pat Gillick in as a consultant.

"He has great people skills," said one person who knows DiPoto. "He has everything you look for in a manager of people. And he has a great feel for the game. He's a solid evaluator. He also has a charismatic personality that you just can't walk away from -- and it's real, unlike some in this game."

The Nationals decision was reported earlier by Yahoo Sports.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 19, 2009 10:55 am
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Posted on: June 24, 2009 1:54 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2009 1:58 pm

Brewers optimistic about Parra

In his first start after the Brewers sent him to the minor leagues, Manny Parra was throwing 84-87 mph and was so unimpressive that one person watching said, "They announced Manny Parra, but it sure didn't look like him."

But Parra rebounded well Tuesday night, going seven innings and allowing just one run for Nashville against an Albuquerque team that featured that other Manny (who, by the way, struck out and grounded out against Parra). The Brewers were encouraged enough that they now think Parra could rejoin their rotation within the next few weeks.

Brewers people hope Parra could follow the same path as Ricky Nolasco, the Marlins opening day starter who seemed to be helped by his two Triple-A starts. Nolasco, who had a 9.07 ERA when he was sent down, has a 2.50 ERA in three starts since returning, including a win at Fenway Park.

The Brewers have made it this far into the season using only five starting pitchers. That will change when Parra's spot comes up on Saturday (the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that Seth McClung is the leading candidate for that spot). The Brewers will also need to fill Dave Bush's spot, with Bush now on the disabled list.


While many people in baseball believe that the Nationals should give Mike Rizzo the full-time job as general manager, the team has continued to look at other options, and some people are saying that the Nats owners want "a big name." The Nationals contacted Gerry Hunsicker, the former Astros GM who now works for Tampa Bay, but it appears that he doesn't want the job.

One name that has circulated: Jed Hoyer, who now works as Theo Epstein's assistant in Boston.

Meanwhile, other teams are wondering how much freedom Rizzo has to make trades. The Nationals have spoken to many teams about Nick Johnson, and to a few about Adam Dunn.


While the Rockies' slow start cost manager Clint Hurdle his job, their strong rebound is good news for general manager Dan O'Dowd, whose job now seems much more secure.

The Rockies' rebound has a few other effects, notably allowing other teams to believe that they could make the same sort of move back into the race. The Rockies themselves are no longer seen as a July seller, although sources said they're still trying to move Garrett Atkins.

The problem is that Atkins has a .206 batting average and has also regressed defensively.

"He can't play first base," one scout said. "And he can't play third base, either."


Without Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes, the Mets lineup is awful, and they know it. Asked Tuesday night if we should expect more games like Tuesday's (a two-hit Joel Pineiro shutout) or like Monday's (a scrappy 6-4 win), manager Jerry Manuel answered honestly: "That's a good question."

The Mets expect to get all of their injured players back at some point this season, but they can't say exactly when on any of them. While they say there's a chance Beltran (bruised knee) could miss just two weeks, GM Omar Minaya said the All-Star break could be a safer bet.

"If you told me right now we'd have him to start the second half, I'd sign up for that," Minaya said.


Good line from 2,501-win man Tony La Russa, when asked what qualities make a good manager.

"Outstanding players," said La Russa, a fine manager who has also been blessed with many outstanding players.


Among all the impressive Albert Pujols stats, how about this one: In six plate appearances this year with the bases loaded, Pujols is 5 for 5 with three home runs and a sacrifice fly. In those six plate appearances, he has 16 RBIs (out of a possible 24).

For his career, Pujols is a .411 hitter with the bases loaded.

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