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Stammen: Bone Spur In Elbow, Out Six Weeks

Craig Stammen won't pitch again this season. But for the Washington Nationals, the rookie pitcher's status -- once the team on Friday determined the root cause of his elbow soreness -- qualified mostly a relief. Stammen, 25, has a bone spur in the back of his right elbow. Sunday, team orthopedist Wiemi Douoguih will perform arthroscopic surgery.

Stammen will be out for six weeks and then begin a throwing program, general manager Mike Rizzo said.

Previous pitching injuries this season -- especially that of prized rookie Jordan Zimmerman, who complained of elbow soreness and eventually needed reconstructive surgery -- had those in Washington's organization bracing for the worst. By comparison, though, Stammen's injury is nowhere near as serious.

"He'll be fully functional and ready to go by spring training," Rizzo said. "Stammen's injury, if we were in the middle of the season, he'd be back in six weeks."

Because of several upcoming off days, Washington will not need to replace Stammen in the rotation until September 12. By then, the team will be able to pick from an assortment of Class AAA call-ups, likely including Ross Detwiler and Shairon Martis. Another Syracuse pitcher, right-hander Collin Balester, will not be available to pitch. The Nationals disclosed on Friday that Balester has a strain on his left side, an injury that typically requires two weeks of rest and two weeks of rehab.

"He'll be finished for the season and we'll send him home," Rizzo said.

By Chico Harlan  |  September 4, 2009; 11:38 PM ET
 
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Comments

Yep, great news considering the scale of minor to major this would be minor!

Posted by: dmacman88 | September 4, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

The MLB box score has 43 runners left on base tonight; 23 by the Nats. No way that can be correct.

Posted by: nats24 | September 5, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

team LOB was 11. the number 23 is found by adding individual LOB...for instance zim and dunn strike out with guzman on third. they each get a LOB in the box, but team LOB is 1.

Posted by: formerlylove1 | September 5, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

That is good news, at least comparatively.

On another note, the home cooking may have helped the bats, but as for the pitching...

Hope that Livo can help right the ship tonight. All you need to do is pitch a complete game shutout, Livo. Oh, and hit a tater. I'll be there to welcome you back and cheer you on!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 5, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

First time I ever left a game early--was with friends and the prognosis was no fireworks due to the lateness of the hour. Announcement said they had 11 minutes, so I guess the Nats did the 9th inning in 11 minutes because I saw the fireworks from the RFK bus.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | September 5, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

P.S. REALLY, REALLY nice fan sitting next to us caught a tee shirt and gave it to the 7 year-old in my party. Absolutely MADE her day, maybe her week. All she could talk about during the game was, "When are the tee shirts coming?"

Nice guy said he was from Kansas City. :)))) :(((( such teams...

Posted by: Nats_Lady | September 5, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

They must hire the cream of the crop for the concession stands. Apparently, one worker stabbed another last night in a kitchen area last night and then bolted out of the staidum and is still at large. Oddly enough, this was in one of the concession areas in the Presidents Club.

Posted by: thepostischeap | September 5, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

They must hire the cream of the crop for the concession stands.
---
There have been soldiers who killed soldiers, police who killed police, even an astronaut who tried to commit a murder. No need to go slurring a whole group of people because one of them committed a crime.

Posted by: markfromark | September 5, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Atilano is representing Puerto Rico for World Baseball otherwise I suspect he'd be up before Martis. And Estrada as well?

Posted by: periculum | September 5, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I've been talking to myself in the prior thread, where EdDC suggests that next year we should not have to spend all of our time wondering whether the latest AAA callup is going to finally break through since the Nats payroll is low and going lower. So, if we're going to spend some of the Lerners' money, where should we spend it?

Here is a list of free agents at middle infield, OF and P (this is not complete but covers everyone I thought was at least worth discussing):

Here are the few that I think are at least worth discussing:

Orlando Hudson
Mark DeRosa

Jason Bay
Matt Holliday
Rick Ankiel
Jermaine Dye
Magglio Ordonez

Freddy Garcia
Jon Garland
Rich Harden
Livan Hernandez
Tim Hudson
John Lackey
Cliff Lee
Braden Looper
Jason Marquis
Brad Penny
John Smoltz
Randy Wolf

Trevor Hoffman
Jose Valverde


So, who should we pay?

Posted by: BobLHead | September 5, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Bobby Williams, Director of Player Development was fired yesterday. It is the pitchers or the backsliding seen in players like Maxwell?

Or this?

From Nats320:

I know that Dana, Mike Rizzo and even Jose Rijo with his Academy in The Dominican Republic have been looking for some good young latin talent. Supposedly, Washington found one in Esmailyn Gonzalez. Are any of those type players close to breaking out? (SBF)

“Gonzalez has made huge progress. Huge Progress!! Last year, he had an outstanding year in the Gulf Coast League. He was the Batting Champion in the GCL. His defense continues to get better. He’s starting to get stronger, mature physically and he’s showing a little more pop in the bat. He’s hitting some doubles and triples. He hit two home runs last year. He really is making a lot of progress. He's maturing, not only physically, but also he’s showing more leadership ability. His English is still not fluent, but he’s working at it, getting better, and I expect him to be ready for a full season at Hagerstown this year. I am really pleased with how far he’s come along and am looking forward to seeing him this year.”

A long-term guy that actually may pay off--you believe? (SBF)

“Yeah, and you’ve got to remember he just turned 19 (years of age). Still very young, but extremely talented.”

Posted by: periculum | September 5, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"I've been talking to myself in the prior thread, where EdDC suggests that next year we should not have to spend all of our time wondering whether the latest AAA callup is going to finally break through since the Nats payroll is low and going lower."

The problem with many/most of the free agents is the age. They are way over 30, in particular the pitchers! You've seen more than one YOUNG Nats pitcher go down with arm trouble.

Look at who the Nats pursued last year? Texiera, Dunn were well under 30. I suspect you will see trades over FA signings as a result. Most every team has wised up and are unwilling to invest in expensive older free agents who might not last out the season. They all appear to be content to wait until they see what they can do to fill out the roster with under 30 prospects and legitimate players.

Then they examine the FA market to see if one or two can fill in the gaps and holes.

Posted by: periculum | September 5, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

BobLHead,

Looking at our needs on a position by position basis, I think our greatest hole is in second base, or second/shortstop. I am satisfied with LF (Hammer) and CF (Morgan) but Elijah is reminding me more and more of Austin Kearns - great arm, but hitting too spotty and may be permanently slumped, for reasons we don't understand. Working back to your list, I think we need to look at DeRosa and Hudson first.

Posted by: Traveler8 | September 5, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

As of noon Saturday, the Bryce Harper Magic Number is 23. Any combination of Nats losses and KC wins that adds up to 23 means we get another summer of Boras/Lerner/Greedy/Cheap anxiety.

Posted by: Section406 | September 5, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Have to assume Maxwell, Dukes? perhaps Desmond and some starting pitching will be packages in trades. It sure seems like Desmond is not a shortstop fielding wise.

I guess that Rizzo and company will work in some trades before any free agent signings. At this point they should have a pretty good idea of who they want to focus on / develop further.

Posted by: periculum | September 5, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

BobL: From your list, Hudson or DeRosa would be worth a look at 2B - AGonz is utility IF material, and the prospects at 2B (Lombardozzi, Soriano, Kobernus) are still a ways out.

Jason Bay holds some intrigue in RF; Holliday, Dye & Ordonez would probably ask for stupid amounts of $$$ to come to WSH.

Of the SP's, Garland, Harden & Livan spark my interest. Livo's already back, likes it here & I'm sure he'd be open-minded about resigning. Either Garlan or Harden could add an inning-eating arm, should the Nationals feel Livo isn't the answer for 2010.

For the closers, it's starting to prove out that trying to buy a closer is just throwing $$$ away (see BJRyan, JJPutz, Wagner, K-Rod, etc). I'd rather see the team try to re-sign MacDougall to an incentive-driven contract and see what system pitchers like Everts, Severino, Wilkie & Storen look like in Spring Training.

Posted by: BinM | September 5, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Good list, BobLHead, of potential free agents.

Sometimes it is hard to pick gems out of a list of bums. Every year, Sports Illustrated gives a list of 20 good free agent signings from the previous winter, and then a list of 20 busts. So it is a risk. And this is why the Nats have Rizzo, to get a few good ones and maybe get some busts along the way too.

For those who think spending owner money is a big waste, consider that the Lerners have only signed ONE free agent worth any money, and that is Dunn. And he worked out fine. The Nats under the Lerners have NEVER traded for a player who makes a decent salary. The very highest salary the Nats have ever traded for under the Lerners (and don't say Soriano, a $10 million guy the Nats were allowed to sign when they were under MLB control) is Josh Willingham, and he makes just $2.95 million. This is stunning frugality.

Anyway, both these guys worked out fine, Dunn and Willingham. So why not increase the commitment.? Why do the Nats have to be near the very bottom of MLB in terms of payroll?

Posted by: EdDC | September 5, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Anyway, both these guys worked out fine, Dunn and Willingham. So why not increase the commitment.? Why do the Nats have to be near the very bottom of MLB in terms of payroll?
Posted by: EdDC | September 5, 2009 12:13 PM
-------------------------
EdDC: They don't, and hopefully won't now that the modern-day P.T. Barnum isn't in the GM's chair any longer. I think Rizzo will be honest with the Lerners at the end of the season; Let them know where the gaps are in the orginization, and how best to either plug or fill said gaps.

That's what a GM needs to do, not just sell everybody in the FO that the latest t**d in the punchbowl is "a 5-tool player who's going to be part of this orginization for a long time; And we got him cheap, too".

Posted by: BinM | September 5, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

@EdDc

"Lerners have only signed ONE free agent worth any money, and that is Dunn. And he worked out fine. The Nats under the Lerners have NEVER traded for a player who makes a decent salary."

Dunn and Texiera were both under 30. The Nationals did pursue them. The list of free agents features guys that seem to average between the ages 34-36. When you see a "younger" player it is usually someone like Daniel Cabrera.

The FA market does not seem to offer the same kind of potential return last year's did?

I think this year, with Rizzo, we may see the Nats trade for player[s] that make decent salaries. Keeping in mind ... many have options set in their contracts that enable them to reject trades. Many may continue to reject trades to the Nationals.

Posted by: periculum | September 5, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"Anyway, both these guys worked out fine, Dunn and Willingham. So why not increase the commitment.? Why do the Nats have to be near the very bottom of MLB in terms of payroll?
Posted by: EdDC | September 5, 2009"

Let's wait and see how they finish up in October. Then let's wait and see what Rizzo does. He is still new to this job.

It will be nice to finally be free of the "Cincinnati" connection! Bobby Williams was a part of that.

Posted by: periculum | September 5, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm interested in seeing what Garate brings to the table - He should probably be in HAR or SYR next year, but I'm hoping we get a look or two at his repitoire over the last 30 days.

Posted by: BinM | September 5, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"I'm interested in seeing what Garate brings to the table."

Garate seems a bit like a left-handed Mock. With the ability to start as well as work in relief.

Posted by: periculum | September 5, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The Lerners absolutely must love it when Jim Bowden is blamed for the last place finishes. If the Nats' budgets are last-place, or nearly so, we can't expect Rizzo to do a whole lot better.

Willingham's trade was JimBo's. Flores was picked up by JimBo, as was Soriano. And JimBo brought in Adam Dunn. But there is only so much you can do with a pitiful budget.

Many comments blaming JimBo are consistently thoughtful, and I have no problem with them, but also please look higher in the organizational structure. A GM needs resources to work with--even a good one like Rizzo needs a financial commitment from ownership.

Posted by: EdDC | September 5, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

EdDc,

I think there is a marked difference between Bowden's approach and Rizzo's. With Rizzo perhaps Mark Texiera WOULD HAVE signed? Instead of Dunn? But that is just speculation?

Before Dunn Bowden picked out Willy Mo Pena. Same player with same physical tools. Just not even close to as good a hitter. Pena is a free agent this year and one of the very, very few under 30.

Bowden liked to pick up "toolsy" guys with what he deemed to be potential high ceilings for little or no cost. He did well with the rule 5 pick up of Flores. Not so well with "toolsy" Milledge and Dukes. Looking at Bowden's draft of 1st/2nd rounders? Mostly high school with a lot of potential along with huge risk? Guys like Wilems, Marerro, Detwiler, Everts, Crow, Hood, Burgess, Englund. His trades often followed the same pattern with guys like Lopez, Kearns (a former 1st rounder with Cincinnati), Soriano, Willy Mo Pena, Guillen, Dukes. Guys with huge talent, potential yet unable to realize it, to make use of it? 5-6 Nats ex-Nats ranked on the top of the list of these underachieving players polled from 320 major league ballplayers.

**THAT** is Bowden's legacy reflected from the bottom of (the farms) to the top in the major league club.

Rizzo went out and chose Drew Storen, Trevor Holder, and yes Strasburg. A Karns. An AJ Morris. And a Kobernus, the quiet leader on a team chock full of 1st round draft picks!

All college players. Most of the upper portion of the draft was about college players.

Trades? Nyjer Morgan, Burnett for Milledge and Hanrahan. Belliard for two very interesting looking relief pitching prospects from LA. Nick Johnson for a 1st rounder who looks pretty good in Aaron Thompson.

And these are guys who look as if they are not going to take years to develop.

As BinM said, Bowden's approach in Cincinnati, in Montreal/Nats was the always "look at the bargain I just got a 3 tools player for almost nothing? Just have to change his attitude. And he makes peanuts."

Rizzo signed Strasburg. Bowden failed to sign Texiera yet the Nats offer was the highest on the table? And one has to guess that some of the players currently in the starting lineup where guy that Rizzo helped "purloin" while Bowden was in charge? Its hard to tell ... certainly Rizzo had the ear of Kasten and ownership while Bowden was in charge.

I guess we'll see how it goes now that Rizzo is completely in charge.

Posted by: periculum | September 5, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

As BinM said, Bowden's approach in Cincinnati, in Montreal/Nats was the always "look at the bargain I just got a 3 tools player for almost nothing? Just have to change his attitude. And he makes peanuts."
--------------------
Peri, please don't attribute your paraphrases to me. The quote was... That's what a GM needs to do, not just sell everybody in the FO that the latest t**d in the punchbowl is "a 5-tool player who's going to be part of this orginization for a long time; And we got him cheap, too".

Bowden was never associated with the Expos - He ran the Reds & the Nationals. Yes, he made some good moves, but some really horrible ones as well. He stuck to his initial marching orders & always tried to get players with potential at a low salary hoping they'd pan out (Milledge, Bonifacio, Hernandez, others), rather than looking for a "keystone" player at a position of need. That's how the Nationals ended up with a "cattle-call" for Starters in 2007, and a glut of OF's to begin 2008 & 2009.

Posted by: BinM | September 5, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'll answer my own question now: They should sign DeRosa, Ankiel, and Livo, and make a hard run at Cliff Lee.

I know they've said they're not going to target big ticket free agents, but here is a guy that just turned 31, is coming off a Cy Young season and yet won't get paid like Halladay or Sabathia or Santana. Make him your ace. Take the heat of Strasburg.

Then Livo's there, well, because a lot of us are Livo fans, but also because our young guns still can't go more than 5 innings consistently and we need another horse to give the bullpen a rest. If someone comes up and takes his job, great, but until that happens, a steady veteran MLB average starter will be fine, thank you very much. Then Lannan. The rest compete for the #4-5 slots and fill out the bullpen and Syracuse staffs.

I picked DeRosa at second because he can also play third and in the outfield, so we can play AG at second and give Zim a rest once in awhile as well as have a lot of double-switch capability at the ends of games.

Same with Ankiel, he has the arm to play right (former pitcher) but can also play center, or left. An outfield of Willingham, Morgan, Ankiel, Dukes and Maxwell (or Bernadina) looks solid as well as flexible.

Lee would be expensive but if you could keep it to something like 4-5 years and $75-$80 million it would be worth it. The rest should come relatively cheap -- DeRosa 3 years, $10-12m; Ankiel 1 year, $3m (coming off a down year and will probably want a one-year deal so he can rebound and get a better number in 2010); and Livo 2 years, $10 million.

OK, and if we get all that done, we might actually need a closer, so bring on Billy Wagner as well!

Posted by: BobLHead | September 5, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Additionally, Bowden's purported "keystone" trade acquisitions (Kearns, FLop, Milledge, Bonifacio, et al) have pretty much ended badly. Dunn may be the argument against.
Other trades were basically even (trade for A.Soriano = good for the season & in the end, Bonifacio = good in the end), trade for AHernandez = fair, trade for AGonz = fair).
His FA & R5 acquisitions are to the positive overall (C.Guzman(FA), Nieves(FA), W.Harris(FA), Belliard(FA), Flores(R5), as Sucesses, and Drese(FA-SP), Spivey(FA-IF), Ortiz(SP), A.Escobar(FA-OF), Abreau(RP), King(RP), among others as failures.

Posted by: BinM | September 5, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I hate the effing Marlins

Posted by: thepostischeap | September 6, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

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