The three greatest words ever – “Pitchers and Catchers”.  well at least to a baseball fan they are.  The Washington Nationals 2011 edition of pitchers and catchers arrived on Tuesday and we thought that we would take a look at who’s in camp.

From the start it looks like Chien-Ming Wang and Stephen Strasburg will begin the season on the disabled list with Wang expected back in April or May.  The Nats also slected two players in the rule 5 draft in December – righthanders Brain Broderick and Elvin Ramirez.  Both players have not reached the AAA-level as of yet and would be long shots to make the team.

Starting Pitching:  Jim Riggleman named Livan Hernandez the teams Opening Day pitcher with Jordan Zimmermann, Jason Marquis and lefty John Lannan expected to fill out 1-4.  The battle for the fifth spot would likely go to Cuban defector Yunesky Maya, who has experience and was the best pitcher in the Domincan Winter League.

Tom Gorzelanny, Chad Gaudin along with Garrett Mock, Ross Detwiler, Craig Stammen could also challenge Maya for the final spot as well.

Lefthanded relief pitchers:  Sean Burnett and Doug Slaten did a great job for the Nationals last season and will likely be counted on again.  Tom Gorzelanny pitched in relief with the Cubs last season and could end up in pen, Atahualpa Severino is the only other lefty on the roster.

Righthanded relief pitchers:  Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen also were impressive last season and will battle off-season pick-up Henry Rodriguez for the closers role.  Todd Coffey was also signed and has been solid with the Brewers and Reds over the past five seasons.  Chad Gaudin, Cla Meredith are veterans while Collin Balester was un-hittable in his September call-up last season.

The Nationals have Garrett Mock, Craig Stammen, Luis Atilano, J.D. Martin, Joe Bisenius, Tim Wood and hard throwers Adam Carr and Cole Kimball also in camp.

Add Sharon Martis, minor league pitcher of the year Tom Milone, Josh Wilkie last season starters Matt Chico and Erik Arnesen and you can see why Chiefs pitching Coach Greg Booker should be excited about the 2011 season.





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