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Nats' Johnson effusive in praise of GM Rizzo

Nats' Johnson effusive in praise of GM Rizzo

Nats' Johnson effusive in praise of GM Rizzo
WASHINGTON -- Nationals manager Davey Johnson said general manager Mike Rizzo should win the National League Executive of the Year Award and should have earned the honor last year and the one before that.

Johnson pointed out that Rizzo was able to acquire quality players through trades and the First-Year Player Draft. It was Rizzo who landed left-handed Gio Gonzalez from the Athletics for four prospects. Gonzalez is now a National League Cy Young Award candidate and is tied for the NL lead in wins with 18.

It was Rizzo who selected Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper in the First-Year Player Draft, and they have been major contributors to a team that has the best record in baseball.

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Johnson also mentioned how the team was able to play well even though it's had it share of injuries. The farm system was strong enough to where Rizzo didn't need to make a deal before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. He was able to call up Tyler Moore after Mark DeRosa went on the disabled list, while Steve Lombardozzi saw a lot of action after Jayson Werth went down with an injury.

"He is an awfully good baseball man. There is no question in my mind," Johnson said about Rizzo. "The young players in the system have done an outstanding job. They have different roles. Tyler Moore was a first baseman and he plays the outfield. Lombardozzi was a second baseman and he played left field, and at the same time is playing a new position and still being productive. It's Mike Rizzo. It's the Mike Rizzo story."

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