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Boz on Strasburg

One excerpt from the column:

[Pudge] Rodríguez wouldn't gush about the rookie to reporters. Don't jinx him, like Sparky Anderson calling Kirk Gibson "the next Mickey Mantle." But he spilled the beans in private to Nats brass.

"I can't repeat most of what Pudge said. It would put too much pressure on the general manager," said Rizzo, the general manager.

However, pitching coach Steve McCatty did the dishing.

"Is his stuff like [Justin] Verlander?' " asked McCatty, knowing Rodríguez caught the A.L. strikeout leader in Detroit.

"No," said Rodríguez. "It's like Nolan."

By Chico Harlan  |  February 24, 2010; 5:26 AM ET
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Next: Nationals' roster seems unusually well-defined


Great article ... perfect ending ... "on a bad team that desperately wants to be better, you can stop the world, if only for 10 minutes, and give a glimpse of the future."

Posted by: periculum | February 24, 2010 6:33 AM | Report abuse

Move the damn cameras out of the way, and bring on the batters! Do you think he may fill some seats up at Nationals Park?

Posted by: DontGetIt | February 24, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

The only tough thing about this, as a suffering Nats fan, is our horizon is defined by SS; should something happen to him then we're back to our bleak outlook. Hopefully he stays healthy and he's 1/2 the pitcher we think he can be.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | February 24, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

"No," said Rodríguez. "It's like Nolan."


Posted by: joemktg1 | February 24, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm not entirely clear why this dude won't be the starting pitcher for the home opener. He's really the only major upgrade this team had from last year outside the bullpen. Marquis is meh. Adam Kennedy meh. Wang is still hurt.

Posted by: trezmartin | February 24, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Ok, as long as the Nats can rely on running the kid out there 3 days per week to start, they are going to be a tough club to beat.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 24, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, Chico.

Told y'all that Boz would be there this week. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 24, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

No, no, no. DO NOT make him the opening day starter. Rizzo, I beg, beg, beg you to please, please, please take your time with him. This one HAS to be different from the others.

I would seriously be happy if they kept Strasburg in the minors for ALL of 2010. There's time, people.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 24, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

trezmartin, Adam Kennedy isn't a pitcher.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 24, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

In my sophmore year I met a girl and I knew right away she was the best prospect ever. Seven years later we married and 32 years later we still have a shot at Cooperstown. I've struck out more times than I can count, but I get a few free passes from time to time, occasional hits, homeruns, stolen bases, etc.... Point is: sometimes you can tell at first glance that you have a solid chance. You just hope for no injurries, trades, or free agent signings.... Everybody says Strassburg is the real thing. Takes patience though. Don't rush it. You could blow the whole deal.

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 24, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"No," said Rodríguez. "It's like Nolan."

Uh oh. Don't tell the sabermetrics guys. Anyway, here's hoping Strasburg is unlike Nolan in that he figures out how to actually pitch just a bit more quickly.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | February 24, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Ladson reporting Nats and Livo getting close to deal.

Posted by: swanni | February 24, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Good article by the Thom.

However, I know we have been down this road a million miles to Sunday and I understand the distance and the costs but..., the coverage of ST by the local media is pathetic.

CSN, WTOP, WAPO and MZ are the only none Nats affliated outlets currently in Vierra. CSN will fold its tent on Friday, but Craig Heist will stay thru the end of March as will MZ (as long as his funding holds). Its just disgusting that neither TEM or the former JFK even make a token effort to send a warm body south for a few days or even take 10 minutes out of their programming day to acknowledge that ST has even begun. Sorry for the rant, now back to your regular programming.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | February 24, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I agree with my esteemed posting colleagues re. not having the kid in the bigs from day one.

And great post, natbiscuit. What qualifies one for the HOF in that regard? (I think that my hubby and I have a shot. ;-))

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 24, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

You really can't help but get excited about this. Hearing it from Pudge is huge.

As to his major league debut: If they keep him in the minors for two months, I'm pretty sure I saw somewhere that they control his rights through 2016 vs 2015 if he's on the club opening day. For losing two months and 10 or 11 starts that won't win them a World Series, they control him for an entire year. Seems like you gotta do it, even if he is one of the 5 best guys.

On the other hand, if it is determined that, all things considered, he is the best they have, and they want him in the rotation, I don't think it would be hurrying him or anything. It doesn't make good sense, baseball-wise or money-wise, to rush him if he isn't developmentally ready. If he is, though, the only consideration is that extra year.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | February 24, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

MASN counters that Livo is just one of many pitchers the Nats are talking to.

Posted by: swanni | February 24, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Don't miss Rosenthal's article as well. Money quote:

"This guy doesn't need any minor-league time. He will be one of the top 10 pitchers in the league if you start him on Opening Day." -Pudge

Posted by: cassander | February 24, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Gaming the kid's service time clock is really, really important. He's a Boras guy, and if he pans out to be everything expected, he'll all too likely be leaving for Sabathia money when he's a free agent. So, getting an extra year of him under our control has to be seen as more important than him making a few extra starts in the bigs this year.

Posted by: Section220 | February 24, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

1a, HOF credentials vary by player. You can get there on production or longevity, but either way, its all about the work ethic. I'm not sure you can get there on natural talent alone.

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 24, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"I'm not entirely clear why this dude won't be the starting pitcher for the home opener."

Because if they delay his major league debut until sometime in June, they get another year out of him before he becomes a free agent. That's a no-brainer, no matter how well he's pitching. Same thing the O's did last year with Matt Weiters.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 24, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

to all who say leave him in the monirs to get us an additional year before he becomes eligible for free agency I agree with you 100%. While we know where the Nats are going this year - not to the playoffs - who knows where we will be in a couple of years. Let him season in the minors - and please let him pitch for potomac so I can see him - and call him up later in the year. If we sign Livo or Looper for a year and let that guy get tagged for 4 months I'm OK with that.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | February 24, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Also, at the point Strasburg is a free agent, if he is what we all hope he will be, hopefully the Nats are successful enough to be willing to lay out the dough to keep him.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | February 24, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gang....been busy at work, as always still reading you all...Nice take, NatBiscuit....I, otoh, got 3 strikes/ex's.....leaves me 2 outs, right? But Congrats-Cooperstown awaits!
Go Nats!!!!

Posted by: zendo2 | February 24, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I see no reason to have this guy in the minors for a whole year, if he is doing well and winning at that level. You have to start him out in the minors to keep control over him an extra year. However if his stuff is as advanced as they say and he is lighting up the minors why would you possibly not want to bring him up, put him in front of his home crowd and let him learn the ropes from there. Unless management feels that he is not mentally prepared. If they see him to be mentally fit while winning in the minors theres no question that you bring him up.

Posted by: Stu27 | February 24, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

RosenRosen gives us a new slogan:

Washington Baseball 2010: The Nats Have a Pulse!

Posted by: BobLHead | February 24, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

At this point, I'd be happy if he turned out to be Gary Nolan.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 24, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Start him in the minors. Bring him up in June assuring the Nats an extra year of his services ala Weiters. It's a

Posted by: dovelevine | February 24, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, natbiscuits. We don't have quite as much time in the show as y'all, but I think that we're on pace as far as the longevity category. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 24, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

trezmartin, Adam Kennedy isn't a pitcher.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 24, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I never said he was a pitcher, did I? I'm using him as an example of a player the Nats picked up that I do not believe is a big upgrade. I think Capps and Bruney will help the bullpen tremendously, but outside the bullpen the only MAJOR improvement I see is Strasburg.

Posted by: trezmartin | February 24, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of pitchers, TMZ (The Mark Zuckerman :-)) blog reports that the Nats have signed Livo to a minor league contract.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 24, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Course, by now TCH has it too, two new posts hence.

Posted by: Scooter_ | February 24, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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