NATIONALS FIRST-HALF REPORT CARD
Player Grade Comment
JESUS FLORES B+ Was supposed to spend year in minors but has thrived as everyday catcher.
PAUL LO DUCA D Injuries, subpar play cost him his starting job; now he’s on the trade block.
WIL NIEVES C High-energy backup catcher enjoyed some big moments early on.
NICK JOHNSON INC. Season again ruined by a major injury for snakebitten first baseman.
DMITRI YOUNG C- Has raised his average to respectable levels but has only 10 RBI.
FELIPE LOPEZ D Hasn’t played to any level of consistency, and he has made countless mental gaffes.
RONNIE BELLIARD B- Surprising low batting average, but he leads club with nine homers.
CRISTIAN GUZMAN A- Earning praise around baseball following three difficult years.
RYAN ZIMMERMAN INC. Hopes to return from shoulder injury by end of week, a major boost for club.
AARON BOONE C- Got off to a hot start, faded since, now plagued by nagging injuries.
PETE ORR C- Plays hard and is fundamentally sound; just doesn’t have the skill to stick around.
ELIJAH DUKES B Had become team’s best all-around player when knee injury derailed season.
LASTINGS MILLEDGE C+ Shows signs of greatness, but he still needs to learn a few fundamentals.
AUSTIN KEARNS C- Horrible start to year probably attributed to elbow injury; looks better now.
WILY MO PENA F Shoulder was injured, but that didn’t cause him to swing at all those bad pitches.
WILLIE HARRIS B Plays the game the right way, brings energy and is a favorite among teammates.
KORY CASTO C Looks more comfortable in big leagues this time around.
RYAN LANGERHANS D+ Good defense, good baserunning, but the guy just can’t hit.
ODALIS PEREZ B Surprise Opening Night starter has pitched surprisingly well; now possible trade bait.
TIM REDDING B Staff leader with seven wins; should have more if not for all those no-decisions.
JASON BERGMANN B After an up-and-down start, has become consistent on the mound.
JOHN LANNAN A- 5-9 record doesn’t begin to show how well the young lefty has pitched.
COLLIN BALESTER C+ It’s clear he has electric stuff; just needs to harness it.
SHAWN HILL D Tried to pitch through forearm pain but yielded terrible results.
CHAD CORDERO INC. His loss to a major shoulder injury has had a huge effect on the bullpen.
JON RAUCH A- Has filled in admirably for Cordero as closer; could have earned an All-Star selection.
SAUL RIVERA B Workhorse is the only reliable setup man for Rauch.
LUIS AYALA D One of season’s biggest disappointments; he can’t be trusted in tight games anymore.
JESUS COLOME D There’s a reason he’s rarely used in close ballgames.
JOEL HANRAHAN B- Developing into a solid setup man; has best stuff in bullpen.
CHARLIE MANNING C 28-year-old rookie lefty battles; success rate is about 50 percent.
STEVEN SHELL B- Has remained solid as a long man in bullpen.
MANNY ACTA C Second-year manager coming under more scrutiny this time, but look what he has to work with.
JIM BOWDEN C Acquired long-term fixtures in Milledge, Dukes, but wasted money on Lo Duca, Estrada, Mackowiak.