Results tagged ‘ Matt Capps ’

Spring Training Bracketology – Pitching

With two weeks gone in spring training 2010 the Washington Nationals roster is beginning to take shape.  In the spirit of the NCAA field of 65 announcement today we thought we would look at where the Nationals might be with their major league and minor league pitching staffs at this point.

Major League starting rotation:  John Lannan and Jason Marquis are locks, while Scott Olsen should be penciled in as the third starter.  Craig Stammen coming off late season surgery is good enough for the fourth spot with veterans Livian Hernandez and Miguel Batista are fighting for the 5th spot – that won’t be needed until April 19th due to off days.

Major League bullpen:  Matt Capps and Brian Bruney are the back end, while Tyler Clippard and lefty Sean Burnett will pitch early.  That leaves Jason Bergmann, who is out of options, and Tyler Walker, who has been hit hard to date to fill out the staff.    Batista could be used as well early of if he doesn’t make the rotation.  Lefty Ron Villone, a non-roster player and now 41 years old would give them a second lefty out of the pen but right now is the 13 pitcher on a 12 or 11 man staff. 

AAA-Syracuse Staff:  A good deal of this staff depends on the health and decisions made with Olsen, Batista and Hernandez, but the Chiefs appear loaded no matter what happens.

J.D. Martin, Garrett Mock, Shairon Martis, veteran lefties Matt Chico, Chuck James, Andrew Kown, Collin Balester, Luis Atilano and Aaron Thompson give the team a wealth of depth to choose from.  In addtion, where does Stephen Strasburg begin his baseball career?

Bullpen includes:  Six lefthanded pitchers are competing for two maybe three spots and include Doug Slaten, Victor Garate, Jesse English – all picked up in the off season, while Nationals prospects Attie Severino, Yunior Novoa and Jack Spradlin return.

From the righthanded side of the bullpen the guy drafted after Stephen Strasburg – Drew Storen has been fantastic in spring training and could begin the season in Washington, but most likley will start in Syracuse with veterans Logan Kensing, Ryan Speier, Joel Peralta, Rafael Martin and Nationals prospect Josh Wilkie giving the Chiefs quality to choose from.  The Nats could even move Collin Balester or Luis Atilano to the bullpen – similar to the last seasons experiment with Tyler Clippard that payed off nicely.

That’s 22 names for 12 roster spots – pitching in 2010 looks very strong.

And we haven’t even talked about these guys……

Jeff Mandel 12-6   3.38 ERA – AA/A last season

Eric Arnesen 12-7   3.52 ERA AA/A last season

Brad Meyers  11-3  1.72 ERA AA/A last season

Marcos Frias  9-5  2.91 ERA Single A last season

AJ Morris  0-4  3.38  ERA in Single A last season

Tom Millone  12-5  2.91 ERA in Single A last season

Willie Atwood  8-8  4.61 ERA in Single A last season

These pitchers will likely play in AA this season and earn AAA promotions at some point during the 2010 season.

Pitching is strong in this organization and it’s all coming very fast through Central New York this summer.

Stories From Above–Kissimmee edition

Remember those commercials from the early ’90s that tried to coerce you to stay outside of Disney World if you went?  The ones with the targets that illustrated how close Kissimmee/St. Cloud is to Orlando.  I didn’t see a Magic Kingdom nearby.  Lots of pawn shops, roadside motels and IHOPs, though.

The Nationals were the visitors of the Astros today at Osceola County Stadium.  And, well, they led.  Big.  5-1 in the sixth.  And lost 8-7.

Good news:

1) Matt Chico allowed five earned runs in one inning.  The rest of the staff (Olsen, Storen, Capps, Atilano and Burnett) surrendered two runs in seven innings and a third.

2) Justin Maxwell made a heck of a diving catch in right field with the bases loaded in the fifth against Geoff Blum.

3) Drew Storen threw six strikes in his first six pitches.  Looks smooth, folks.  Plus, he’s a really engaging guy.

Bad news:

1) Scott Olsen got one groundout in seven batters faced.  The first two hitters of the game–Jason Burgeois and ex-Tide/Bat Jeff Keppinger–tripled and doubled, respectively.  Burgeois could have made his an in-the-park home run.

2) On the sixth pitch from Storen, Pedro Feliz floated a ball down the first base line.  Chris Duncan was mystified by the 30 mph wind and ended the play on his backside.  It was one of three trips to the deck for Duncan at first today.

3) The bullpen isn’t exactly a SuperMax prison.  Each reliever walked a batter.

So, the Nats have won as many games as you and me.  What that likely means for Syracuse:  A lot of guys on the roster who have legitimate Major-League experience.

Other news:

-Ran into Ian Desmond postgame.  He got married this offseason.  It’s a pandemic.  Everyone’s doing it.  Congrats to Ian.

-Roger Clemens’ son Koby played first base for the Astros today starting in the 8th.  Koby was in Salem with me in 2008.  He’s a brave young man who was willing to talk to all comers that season, a really rough one for his family.

-A little girl sitting four rows behind me took quite a fall mid-game.  A man a few seats down offered to get her some ice.  Very kind.  When he returned, the man told the girl’s father a story about another child he saw fall at a game once.  Very odd.

-Dear Denny’s waitress, A blueberry pancake puppy does not sound appetizing.  It sounds rabid.  Signed, Jason.

Oh, by the way, President George H.W. Bush was here.  Talk about burying the lead, huh?  Secret service agents were all over the third base seats.

26 days until the opener.

Jason

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