With things going as well as could be expected so far in Viera, it's time to slog our way through the latest edition of the Nationals.com mailbag! As usual, real live fans email their questions to Nationals beat writer Bill Ladson at MLB.com. Then we copy and paste the questions over here. Then we answer them. Then our own email inbox fills up with hate mail.
As always, keep those e-mails coming to Nationals.com, and we'll keep copying and pasting them over here and giving our half-assed answers. Thanks a bunch.
I was just wondering how Ryan Wagner is progressing this spring? Will he be able to make the big-league club coming out of Spring Training?
-- Big Mike, Washington D.C.
Big Mike? Ok, well let's see. As of Tuesday, Wagner's got a whopping 2 innings under his belt this Spring, given up a couple of hits, a walk, three strikeouts. Translated into Fruto terms: lights-out. In a recent assessment of "The Trade", Manny Acta gushed over Wagner as having "closer-type stuff." I'll assume that Acta isn't simply projecting Bowden's love for ex-Reds and he's truly impressed.
How is Billy Traber looking this spring? Does the organization see him as a viable starting candidate, or is he likely to start the season in the 'pen?
-- Anthony, San Diego
Looking good. Rotation, yes.
Don't you feel that Ronnie Belliard would make the better full-time second baseman with Felipe Lopez moving back to shortstop? Cristian Guzman hasn't shown anything since he's been in Washington.
-- Earl B., Sebring, Fla.
It's a given that Nook Logan is an excellent fielder, but how long will the Nats stick with him if he doesn't hit?
-- Andrew S. Washington D.C.
Let the record show that the Nationals Enquirer is officially endorsing Alex Escobar in center.
How's Travis Lee looking? Did he play in the intrasquad games?
-- Josh B., Washington D.C.
Made his first appearance today against the Braves (double, 2 RBI). I've got no idea how he's looking.
I am very interested in infielder Josh Wilson. I have watched his statistics for three years and with his great record last year in Colorado Springs. I wonder why his name is never mentioned as one of the backup infielders.
-- Rick T., Atlanta
Rick, your message is a little creepy.
With his performance at the end of last season, it looked like Brandon Harper was going to finally get a chance as Brian Schneider's backup. But with the unique situation of Jesus Flores as a Rule 5 Draft pick, where does that leave Harper?
-- Bob D., Chantilly, Va.
Sadly, the situation with Jesus probably leaves Harper in a familiar position: Hello, Columbus Clippers...
You're always hearing players complaining that Spring Training is too long. Has Major League Baseball considered shortening it up at all?
-- Dustin C, Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Our sources tell us that Frank Robinson's new job with MLB involves shortening Spring Training.
(Photo by Evan Vucci/AP)