Rizzo talks about offseason, Harper, Dukes
The local media talked to Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo about a few topics on Saturday. Here are some of things Rizzo had to say.
* Shortstop Cristian Guzman will have an MRI on Monday to determine what’s wrong with his ailing right shoulder. Whatever the doctors find, Rizzo expects Guzman to be ready for Spring Training. When he starts playing again, Guzman will most likely be the everyday second baseman.
* Washington will end the season with the worst record in baseball, but it’s not a given that catcher Bryce Harper will be the team’s first overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft Why?
“I haven’t seen him yet. He certainly hasn’t separated himself like [pitcher] Stephen Strasburg did last year,” Rizzo said.
* After the season, naming a full-time manager isn’t the only thing the Nationals have to take care of.
The first order of business is to fill some holes in the front office. The Nationals are looking for an assistant general manager and a farm director. They need to get permission from other teams to talks to the candidates for those jobs. There also will be adjustment of job titles in the front office.
* Rizzo believes Dukes has found a home in right field with the Nationals. Rizzo said Dukes is a guy who can drive in runs, but needs make adjustments at the plate. Dukes has only eight home runs entering Saturday’s action against Braves. Rizzo has a theory as to why Dukes has struggled to hit home runs.
“A number of advance scouts are scouting him well. Opposing pitchers pitch him very tough. He needs to learn to make adjustments,” Rizzo said.
All season Dukes has been vulnerable to breaking balls.