Inbox: Should Harris get a look at second?

Inbox: Should Harris get a look at second?

I think Willie Harris is underrated. I would put him at second base and Ian Desmond at shortstop. Do you agree?
-- Ben M., Silver Spring, Md.

I would love to see Harris play every day. He is productive when he plays often, but the Nationals see him primarily as a backup outfielder. He will play second base once in a while. The only way Harris plays often is if someone gets hurt -- just like the past two years.

Where does left-hander Ross Detwiler fit in with the Nationals? I saw you didn't include him in your possible rotation scenarios. Could he get a real chance in 2010, or are the Nationals grooming him for future years? Being a St. Louis native, I would love to see that talent in a Cardinals uniform.
-- Josh K., St. Louis

Like Collin Balester, J.D. Martin and Garrett Mock, I think Detwiler must have a great Spring Training in order to make the 25-man roster. What helps Detwiler is that he had a 2.41 ERA during the last month of the 2009 season.

To answer your other question, I have to believe Washington is grooming Detwiler for the future.

The Nats decided to non-tender Mike MacDougal, who had 20 saves with a 3.60 ERA and sign Matt Capps who had 27 saves with a 5.80 ERA. Why is this so smart?
-- Glynn P., Falls Church, Va.

The Nationals believe they did their homework with MacDougal and Capps. The team is not sure if MacDougal will recover from hip surgery. General manager Mike Rizzo said Capps' shoulder is 100 percent healthy. Besides, Capps said his unfortunate season was because of a fastball that didn't have movement.

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Why didn't the Nationals go after Jon Garland? He could have provided another veteran arm and guided the young pitchers who aren't quite ready.
-- Dylan P., Shiloh, Ohio

The Nats went after Garland early this offseason, but Garland made it known to the team that he wanted to remain on the West Coast. It was reported by the Washington media weeks ago.

Why not add Pedro Martinez to the rotation? He looked good with the Phillies last year. I think he has enough gas left in the tank. It would be a great fit.
-- Phil F., Quebec City, Canada

Great question. Knowing Rizzo, I would not be surprised if he showed interest in Martinez. There was interest in Martinez this past season, but the Nationals were not willing to give him a lot of money.

Who is battling for a bullpen spot this Spring Training? Might we see Mock or Balester in the bullpen if they don't make the team as starters?
-- Alex C., Montreal

With the signing of Capps, Eddie Guardado, Tyler Walker and the team trading for Brian Bruney, I don't know. I have to say the chances are slim that Mock and Balester will be in the bullpen. Don't forget: I expect Tyler Clippard and Jason Bergmann to be part of the bullpen, too.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.