Results tagged ‘ Matt Chico ’

Dukes, Strasburg and Storen – stories of the week

The Washington Nationals released outfielder Elijah Dukes earlier this week after speing three years in the organization.  The Nationals decided that Dukes who struggled this spring would not be in their plans for the future and gave him his unconditional release.

That opens up the rightfield spot for a number of players who are still in camp:  Speedy slap hitters Roger Bernadina and Willy Taveras add more speed and defense, while prospect Justin Maxwell can provide excellent defense, speed and has more power.

Veterans Kevin Mench and Chris Duncan also have played well and former Chief Mike Morse has impressed Nats brass with his bat as well this spring.

Stephen Strasburg and Drew Storen both were optioned to AA-Harrisburg on Saturday and will begin the 2010 season with the Senators.  Both pitchers were impressive in spring training after being drafted number #1 and number #10 in last season June draft.  Strasburg out of San Diego State and Storen from Stanford.

Nationals also optioned lefthanded pitchers Matt Chico and Doug Slaten and catcher Jamie Burke to Syracuse today in another round of cuts.  The Nationals currently have 39 players in camp.

 

 

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

Church, Baseball and some warm weather

Well Sunday got off to a great start as the chilly Florida weather changed for the better as temperatures warmed up to the mid 70’s by game time.

But before the day began we had the chance to attend church at Mary Queen of the Universe in Orlando, FL.  The reason I’m telling you this is because there were over 3000 people in attendance for the 9:30 mass.  That to me is incredible. Almost the entire group was from out of town all on vacation, and they decided to go to church – in Florida.  Maybe there is hope after all.
Anyways back to baseball, the Nats played on the road in St. Lucie against the Mets and lost again, but Mike Morse hit another home run and Ian Desmond tallied two hits.  Jason Marquis did not fair well in his first start giving up 5-runs, while lefty Matt Chico tossed two scoreless innings after missing much of 2008 and 2009 with arm trouble.
We decided to visit the Braves game in Orlando and hook up with former Chiefs manager Bobby Cox who is managing his final season with Atlanta.  Nothing has changed with one of the greatest managers in the game.  Still the same Bobby Cox who called Syracuse home for four years from 1973-76 as a manager and 1970 as a player.
Also ran into former Chiefs pitcher Mike Pazik who tossed the last nine inning no-hitter in team history back in 1971 vs Rochester.  Mike is scouting for the White Sox and will return to Syracuse this summer.
Another former Chiefs pitcher, Mark Wiley who pitched the 1979 Chiefs to the Governors Cup Finals said hello.  Mark is now with Colorado also as a scout after serving as their pitching coach last season.
Hall of Famer Peter Gammons asked how the Nationals affiliation is working out, while former Blue Jays scout Ted Lekas, now with the Orioles told me he likes the Nationals young arms.
-The Braves played the Astros and former Chiefs infielder Matt Galante was on hand as a special instructor for Houston.
–Former Chiefs in Astros uniforms included Kevin Cash, Josh Banks and Brandon Lyon.
–Former Blue Jays Director of Player Development Dick Scott is now doing similar work with Houston.
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