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Rizzo On Strasburg, Storen... and Crow

Nationals acting GM Mike Rizzo just fielded about a dozen questions from the media regarding the team's top two draft picks, San Diego State right-hander Stephen Strasburg and Stanford right-handed reliever Drew Storen. If you'll excuse the occasional typo and excessive shorthand, I will post the Q and A here:

(Opening statements) "This is a great day in Nationals franchise history. The first-round picks for the Nationals are in the books... Both pitchers possess outstanding makeup, outstanding skills and outstanding character. We couldn't have been pleased any more to have both of these pitchers available when we picked."

(Was Strasburg a slam dunk?) We weren't going to pass on best player in the draft. We were going to take best player available at all times."

(Signing Strasburg?) "We're optimistic about signing all our draft choices. We don't negotiate through the media, so I'm not going to do that here. But we spoke to [advisor] Scott Boras in a congratulatory phone call. We also had a detailed call with Stephen Strasburg. He was elated to be drafted by the Nationals and picked with the first overall pick, and he was having a great time in California with the rest of this teammates from San Diego State."

(Is Storen a starter or reliever?) "He has the repetoire to be a starter, but we're going to keep him in the bullpen role. That's where he's most comfortable, and his makeup and characfter led us to that decision. He wants the challenge of having the ball in the ninth inning. .... He's a much quicker prospect to the majors as a closer prospect."

(When was decision made to take Strasburg at No. 1?) "Stephen was at the top of all our [provisional] lists at the top of the season, and he stayed at top of everybody's list. We monitored him closely. We saw every start he made, and I don't think we ever wavered from him at the top of our draft board."

(Straight to the majors?) "There's no player that's major-league-ready coming out of that draft. They've never experienced a major league season, the everydayness of the season. It's just such a drastic change from what they're used to in college and certainly in high school, that I don't think any player comes out of this draft and right into the major leagues."

(On Storen) "He was ranked very highly on our board. We got on him early at Stanford. He was crosschecked by everyone in the department, including myself. He was a guy we had a good background on. We've seen him for years since his high school days. We had him in here for a good sit down, face to face. He's a terrific kid from a terrific pitching rich program."

(Did Aaron Crow consent to being re-drafted by Nationals?) "We did not get permission to re-select Aaron Crow." [Explanatory note: Because the Nationals drafted Crow at No. 9 overall last year and failed to sign him, they were required to gain his permission to draft him again this year, and according to Rizzo, that permission was not granted.]

(Will Strasburg be shut down?) "It's all about the timing. It depends on when we sign him. We can't let him sit too long and then ramp him back up. I don't think he threw an excess of innings that would force us to shut him down. So I don't think if we signed him in a relatively quick manner that we'd have to shut him down."

By Dave Sheinin  |  June 9, 2009; 7:16 PM ET
 
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Next: Gwynn On Strasburg

Comments

2 pitchers for Syracuse or Harrisburg ...

Posted by: periculum | June 9, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Did not get permission to re-select Crowe? What does that mean?

Posted by: 6thandD | June 9, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Aaron Crow goes number 12. He fell in the draft from '08 to '09. Ha, $%#&# $%&*#, ha!

That felt so good to type.

Posted by: ArlingtonNatsFan | June 9, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Storen is probably a smart safe pick. No compensation if we can't sign #10 and the Nats can't afford to get nothing there. Imagine if they were unable to sign Strasburg and their #10, disaster.

Posted by: curz | June 9, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

@6thandD

The Nats would have had to get permission from Crow if they wanted to take him again, since he didn't sign with em last year. Apparently he didn't give the Nats permission.

Posted by: swang30 | June 9, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

"He was ranked very highly on our board" - "He was crosschecked" - "He's a terrific kid"

Wow - Needham's going to need a Rizzo-speak translator. Focusing on process and makeup?

"Ranked very highly" is not the same as "best player available"

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | June 9, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

I'll bet the Nats waited until it was clear that Crow was going to fall past #10 before they called Crow's agents. The thought of the Hendricks Bros. taking that call knowing that the Nats were going to pass on Crow anyway but forcing them to formally answer will have me chuckling in my sleep tonight. Bet Rizzo will enjoy it more than I do. Good for him.

Posted by: ArlingtonNatsFan | June 9, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

thank god we didnt take tyler matzek...how funny was it when they asked him how it felt to be drafted by the the rockies and he said he's excited that oregon will let him play first base...

Posted by: EddieW79 | June 9, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Alright, Rizzo - let's see Storen get signed, get throwing and get into Potomac by end of July, and have him up in the pen asap. Since we drafted for signability and need, let's capitalize on those assets and get that need filled cheaply.

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | June 9, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Is it me, or does but act like he's loaded? Listen to the way he's pronouncing the cities. He also got the decade wrong, saying "in the 19.. er 2009 draft" earlier in the evening.

Posted by: twinbrook | June 9, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Twinbrook: Did you hear him pronounce LAA the Los AN-GEE-LEES Angels...

Maybe a few sips of Vodka between picks?

Posted by: TimDz | June 9, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope that advertising Storens signability doesn't come back to haunt the Nats. Seems they have a way of stubbing there toes on these things. Make me wrong...please. As far as bringing him up this year, maybe a time or two in Sept., then back to the minors to start 2010 off for some seasoning.

Posted by: cokedispatch | June 9, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I meant Bud, not but. Freudian slip.

Posted by: twinbrook | June 9, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: twinbrook | June 9, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I don't want to sound mean but hope that Mr. Crow enjoys Kansas City and hope that he get boxed in and gets less money than was offered by the Nats.
He sounds like a big ego case and deserves nothing for all of his greed.
Hope he rots in Kansas City and gets a really bad contract offer

Posted by: Golfersal | June 9, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Never thought i'd be saying this, but Johnny Holiday is horrible at baseball play by play, been listening to him for years doing the Terps football and hoops action but man baseball is not in his wheelhouse.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 9, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

In regards to Aaron Crow, don't blame the kid for not signing last year. You had an agent that waited to the last minute, and Bowden on the other end...nuff said.

With last years catastrophe If I was him I wouldn't have wanted to be drafted by the same club again...unless of course I knew I was going to KC...

Posted by: DCsportfan3433 | June 9, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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