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Stammen Moves To Pen (And Post-Game Comments)

Washington Nationals rookie Craig Stammen, long before he heard anything from those in the front office, knew the team faced a decision. There were two options, he presumed. With tenured starter Scott Olsen (shoulder tendinitis) about to come off the disabled list, the team figured to either demote Stammen or fellow rookie Ross Detwiler to the minors. Stammen imagined the either-or: Depending on what Washington wanted, he'd be starting in the big leagues or the minors.

Instead, the Nationals have settled on an alternative. The Nationals will send Stammen to the bullpen. The Nationals will add Olsen, on Monday, to the rotation. Before then, they must make another roster move -- likely removing one member of their existing bullpen.

Stammen occasionally pitched in relief during college at the University of Dayton. He also appeared out of the bullpen in six games last year with Class A Potomac. But ever since, he's pitched -- and ascended through the organization -- as a starter. With Washington, Stammen has a 1-3 record and a 5.49 ERA in seven starts.

"I mean, I'm glad to still be here, I guess," Stammen said. "Obviously I think I'm a starter but Scott has been in this for a while, so he deserves his spot back, there's no doubt about that. But I'm excited. I've been in the bullpen before, in college. It'll be fun."

For the moment, at least, Washington's bullpen has eight members. It also has several with minor league portfolios. Joel Hanrahan and Jesus Colome, both out of options, have ERAs over 7.00.

*

As for tonight's game...

I'll be brief, but the Nats' latest loss -- a 6-3 decision against Baltimore -- is pretty easy to encapsulate. The Nats had Baltimore starter Jeremy Guthrie on the ropes during his three-walk, 39-pitch first inning, but let him off easy when Ronnie Belliard grounded into an inning-ending double play. Poor situational hitting became a theme. For the night, Washington went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, hit into four DPs, and twice had the bases loaded with no outs -- situations that yielded a combined two runs.

One huge note, though: Austin Kearns had an RBI tonight. Sure, he also grounded into a double play, but hey, baby steps. The guy hadn't gotten an RBI since May 7, the day Manny Ramirez's suspension began. For Kearns, that's a span of 84 at bats, 97 plate appearances. Kearns, since May 7, now leads Ramirez in RBI, 1-0.

By Chico Harlan  |  June 27, 2009; 11:29 PM ET
 
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Next: A Wrinkle In The Lineup

Comments

I think the odd man out will be Joel GasCanrahan. If he clears waivers (and he will) I think he'll be in Syracuse for a nice, long stay, slowly inflating their team ERA as well.

Posted by: kingrob76 | June 28, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

colome will be gone....they won't let hanrahan leave so easy. he's only 27 and throws hard....colome doesn't fit into the "plan" or whatever the village idiot calls it these days

Posted by: nattylite88 | June 28, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Have to love the idiots that have come up with names like Elementary School 4th graders. Let's see, um, Hanrahan rhymes with Canrahan and we can put Gas in front of it. Ha ha ha, so funny like an 8 year old that you made his name rhyme.

I can only hope that Joel's mother never reads this garbage.

Grow up. Its really getting old.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | June 28, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Excellent gamer tonight, Chico. I think it really captured the essence of not only the game but also the team itself. Manny also had one of those Willingham moments when he handed in a lineup card with Kearns and Belliard batting consecutively in the order. Where is the law saying that the both of these players have to get at bats? Belliard is contributing absolutely nothing to the team other than taking up a seat on bus at this point. Every one of his at bats is the same. Grip it and rip it. Situational hitting? That must be for some other team that has real baseball players on it.

The Nats are becoming a very hard team to root for these days. Its like there really is no one leading this team--either from the players or from the managers. Everyone goes about putting the uniform on and then they revert back to all their old bad habits. Hitters can not advance runners. The meat of the order can not drive in runs. There is usually a guaranteed bonehead play du jour served up nightly. Pitchers like Martis forget why they made the squad to begin with. There are a few bright spots--Harris, Jordan Zimmermann, Lannan, Gonzales, Johnson and Bard. These guys don't seem to get swallowed up in the team wide funk.

Does anyone else think the MASN broadcasting booth was just horrid tonight?
I would rather watch the Jersey housewives argue amongst themselves on the Bravo channel than be subjected to the numbing banter on the television.

Posted by: driley | June 28, 2009 1:02 AM | Report abuse

"I can only hope that Joel's mother never reads this garbage."

I can only hope Joel's mother never has to watch him pitch again.

Posted by: kingrob76 | June 28, 2009 1:33 AM | Report abuse

The clues that they are the same dumbass are numerous. According to these two (one) idiot(s), they both live on the west coast (CA if I'm not mistaken), they both went to Maryland, they both are in their late 20's and they both brag about doing drugs, just to name a few.

This fool also posts over on the Terps Insider and even though he claims to be a Maryland alum, all he does is slam the Terps any chance he gets.

Hell, for all we know he may also be Nunof1, but I digress.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 27, 2009 11:21 PM
------------------------

Alright buddy. Why don't you go ahead and pull out posts of mine, Os_Exec, where I discuss where I went to college, drug use/abuse, where I live, my age, and/or University of Maryland Basketball.

I'm waiting.

By the way, all I smell from you is nothing but sour grapes because 1) Your Natinals stink; 2) Your Nationals have gotten beaten senseless by the O's the last 2 games; 3) Your Natinals have lost the '09 season series to the O's; 4) Your Natinals have the worst record in MLB and are on pace to have one of the worst records ever. 5) Your Natinals show no signs of turning things around soon, whereas the O's do and that just really sticks it to you.

Posted by: Os_Exec | June 28, 2009 1:58 AM | Report abuse

Would you please take your personal gripes somewhere else?

I honestly wish there was a way not to be so hard on the guys who are failing, especially with comments about their mothers. Whatever Joel Hanrahan does from this point on, he became a big league player, and his mother has every reason to be proud. Sarcasm (easy and often deserved as it comes) has its limits.

Rip me if you want, but I'll always remember Hanranhan stopping the Phils last year in the 9th at Citizens Bank, preserving a 1-run win.

And please, O's fans, I'm sure you've got your own versions of NJ. Can you just leave us alone in our misery?!!

Posted by: nats24 | June 28, 2009 2:16 AM | Report abuse

LEAVE THE OsEXEC ALONE you guys. And anyone else who are fans of other teams who dump on our horrid Nationals. They need to vent so they won't blow a gasket over their own teams. So, this is good for them. Look, it's not like we expected a contender and are dissapointed that they are a terrible team. This was all expected and looks like it will last a long time. The horse is dead, so stomping on it anymore won't hurt a thing!

Posted by: Pete433 | June 28, 2009 7:03 AM | Report abuse

According to the notebook, traderumors with the Pirates for Nygel Morgan. This would be a great addition to the team, finally, a real outfielder with skills to boot. Let us hope they can pull this one off without selling the farm, though the farm pickins are pretty slim, we all know that.

Posted by: cokedispatch | June 28, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

oops....make that Nyger Morgan.

Posted by: cokedispatch | June 28, 2009 7:17 AM | Report abuse

I'll get it right eventually...Nyger Morgen

Posted by: cokedispatch | June 28, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Nyjer Morgan

Posted by: joemktg1 | June 28, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

dand187 writes:

"Storen instead of Crow is an awesome pick."

For me, this is a key element of the Nats' future plans for success: are they drafting and signing the best players available, or just "Storen" away money?

If the Nats are going for the best players available in the draft, you can forgive some of the other failings, like the low payrolls (27th in MLB), only signing one big free agent under the Lerners, never trading for guys who make significant bucks, not signing the international kids, etc.

Below are stats for Crow, from a Missouri newspaper:

"Accolades began piling up for Crow in the Cape Cod League in 2007, when he was the player of the year with a 0.67 ERA in the summer collegiate league. As a junior with the Tigers in 2008, Crow was the Big 12 pitcher of the year and a Golden Spikes Award finalist after going 13-0 with a 2.35 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 15 starts. That included a string of 43 consecutive scoreless innings.

"Because of those numbers, combined with a mid-90s fastball and sharp slider, Crow will likely again be a first-round pick."

Yet Storen has almost as impressive numbers at Stanford as Crow had at Missouri:

"The draft-eligible sophomore tied for fifth in Stanford history with 15 career saves, while logging a 12-4 ledger and 3.64 ERA (40er, 99.0ip) in 59 collegiate relief appearances...dominating closer fashioned a 5.04:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, fanning 116 and issuing just 23 free passes in 99.0 innings...held collegiate batters to a paltry .236 batting average (87-for-368)...was a first team All-Pac-10 selection following each of his two seasons in a Cardinal uniform (2008 and '09)."

I'm skeptical, since the Nats saved $2.4 million, compared to what it would have taken to sign Crow. However, money aside, if Storen was just as good a pick as Crow, and this relatively small amount of money by MLB standards did not play much of a role, then maybe it will work out just fine. How to compare the two?

Posted by: EdDC | June 28, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I understand Hanrahan is out of options, and they're afraid to DFA him because some other team will want a strong, "hard-throwing" 27 year-old. But doesn't that mean he has some trade value? Even if it's minimal, a fresh start might be better for all concerned.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | June 28, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

O's Exec/Poopy,

As I've said to you before, Please seek professional help. Your case is crying out for it. I'm begging you before you hurt yourself or someone else. The drugs always brag about are not the answer.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 28, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for another thoughtful post, EdDC. And, as 502, LernersAREcheap, and Tom Boswell would thoughtfully reply, this is an example of a bridge burned to Crow, a player who should be in the organization now, because "Bowden was always shocked at how little money the Lerners gave him to work with."

Posted by: flynnie2 | June 28, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Today is Sunday, June 28, 2009. One year ago, on a sweltering Saturday night, I sat in crappy, overpriced ($40) seats in front of the NatsPark scoreboard (couldn't see it, which is a real disadvantage) watching the O's pound the Nats 9-1. The next day, Sunday, June 29th, Ronnie Belliard hit a two run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 12th inning to put the Nats at 33-50. Hanrahan got the win, despite allowing a run in the top of the 12th. That game was a highlight of the season. This place is filled with fans who love the team and hunger for a win. May we get one today! And may it start a nice, long, overdue, regression to mean, streak.

Posted by: flynnie2 | June 28, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

flynnie2, thanks for reminder. If it can happen for the Rox, it can happen for us!

Posted by: Nats_Lady | June 28, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

How about they DFA colome and belliard and bring Bergmann back to anchor an 8 man bullpen.

We don't need belliard as a back-up since Dunn (and willingham) can play 1B and Hernandez and Gonzalez make a nice package of Middle Infielders with Guzman.

Posted by: estuartj | June 28, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

hanrahan may be waived by the nats.if he is he'll be snapped up by the end of the day.it could be a good thing for joel to get a fresh start. i think he is in for a long solid mlb career.only time will tell.i wish him the best of luck.

Posted by: rbur4d | June 28, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

"if Storen was just as good a pick as Crow, and this relatively small amount of money by MLB standards did not play much of a role, then maybe it will work out just fine. How to compare the two?"

Posted by: EdDC | June 28, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse
++++++++++++
How to compare the two? My suggestion: wait five years, then look at how they've performed. I mean, I've read your posts here and on NFA, so I believe your mind is already made up. But seriously, dude, fans managed to get by without Baseball America for years. Now that the draft has happened, and you think the Nats did poorly, it's up to these young fellows to actually play and prove somebody right.

Posted by: Scooter_ | June 28, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I want to point out that as right now Crow has not signed with KC....and over in KCLand they are wondering if he is worth the cost.....look I think Bowden screwed the signing last year telling the Lerners that he could get them Crow for less then he was asking that why the big surprise in Bowden's voice last year when it fell apart...... he should have been fired right then.....but that's another story......BUT that said Crow did not want to come play here period we should have never picked him in the first place.

Posted by: CBinDC | June 28, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

>However, money aside, if Storen was just as good a pick as Crow, and this relatively small amount of money by MLB standards did not play much of a role, then maybe it will work out just fine. How to compare the two?

Crow is a starter, Storen is a reliever. Crow throws harder, and by all accounts has sharper breaking stuff, almost like Strasburg. Crow has more major league-ready pitches, apparently. There were doubts about his windup, and the stress it puts on his arm, and that would have to have been addressed. Storen's got above-average stuff, good, not great fastball, but the deal with him is that he'll probably never be starter quality because he only has one, maybe two major league quality pitches. That said, he'll probably do a fine job out of the bullpen over the long haul, he's just not necessarily starter quality. It's a judgement call to use a pick that high on a reliever, because what you ideally want is someone with 4 good pitches, or one or two really exceptional ones. Storen's got a couple of above average ones, his fastball might be exceptional, but also seems to have good mental makeup/maturity. Which is a help for a team that has so many immediate needs.

Posted by: Brue | June 28, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

O's exec cant talk all he wants but here's some reality for O's fans everywhere:
1.The O's suck and will finish in 5th place about 20-30 games out again.
2.They have no starting pitching.
3.They have no infielders other than B Rob.
4.And worse of all they have an owner who wont do any favors for his team other than personally sign Albert Belle, and give the ok for Sammy Sosa and Danny Baez
5.and delusional fans that take a whole decade to realize the stink is their own team
ha ha ha 12 years of circling the drain in the AL East

Posted by: jpt1002 | June 28, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I second the thanks to Flynnie for the reminder. That was one of my favorite in-person games last year.

I didn't see the game last night, but I gather that I didn't miss much. Also last night, one of our friends received a call in the midst of our gathering - a notification that a loved one had died suddenly. A lost ballgame and a losing team are nothing compared with that. Reach out to and hug your loved ones and tell them that you love them. You never know what might happen and when.

---

Today is Sunday, June 28, 2009. One year ago, on a sweltering Saturday night, I sat in crappy, overpriced ($40) seats in front of the NatsPark scoreboard (couldn't see it, which is a real disadvantage) watching the O's pound the Nats 9-1. The next day, Sunday, June 29th, Ronnie Belliard hit a two run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 12th inning to put the Nats at 33-50. Hanrahan got the win, despite allowing a run in the top of the 12th. That game was a highlight of the season. This place is filled with fans who love the team and hunger for a win. May we get one today! And may it start a nice, long, overdue, regression to mean, streak.

Posted by: flynnie2 | June 28, 2009 10:13 AM |

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 28, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

And new post.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 28, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Hey gang...been a busy few days...All Hands On Deck for DC lawmen so 911's busy too...haven't had the chance to check in...and among the 1st things from you all I read is Driley talking about how hard it can be to watch this team. Amen, brother,amen! Like being a sparring partner for .....oh, just about anyone seems to beat us like...ah, nothin' pithy. We just can be really hard to follow. The good news is working 14 hrs for 3 nights means I've had very little chance to pay much more than cursory attention to the gang on the field....bad news is I haven't had the time to read all of you-still the saving grace of Natsland. Hmmmm...sorta Nats 911. O.K.,....boy's on some travel team...a doubleheader in W. Va. today....I swear they (15-17) look better in the field than the Nats.Gotta go.Look forward to catching up(or would it be down?) with you all later...and someday soon, I might even have the urge to say something insightful about the team! Go Nats...

Posted by: zendo | June 28, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey gang...r.e. "insights"...Oh, OK,,,here's a hard one......put "I Stink" on the D.A.-since we seem to value his persona too much to dfa him....invent some ailment other than the near impossibility of a semi-regular MLB player to go almost 100 games with no rbi's. yea, I'd probably like going fishing with him, too....if I wasn't looking to catch anything. He is LOST. Show some mercy..Go Nats...

Posted by: zendo | June 28, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

hey gang...D.L., of course ,,,not D.A.. Gotta Go- Nats......

Posted by: zendo | June 28, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

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