Rizzo on Strasburg, Desmond, Dunn, etc.
Just a few minutes ago, GM Mike Rizzo spent some time chatting with the media about ... well, whatever happened to be on the minds of the media. The 15-minute session touched on Stephen Strasburg, bullpen jobs, starting pitching depth, Jesus Flores, Adam Dunn, etc. Lots of it was boilerplate stuff, but I'll pinpoint a few highlights.
* Rizzo hesitated to reveal a plan for Strasburg as the season begins, saying he'd compete for a rotation job like everybody else. But he made it clear that Strasburg will almost certainly debut in the big leagues in 2010... at some point. "If he's the player we think he's gonna be, we feel he'll have some kind of impact in the major leagues in 2010," Rizzo said.
* Rizzo downplayed the idea of using shortstop Ian Desmond as a back-up, which advances the notion that Desmond will begin the season with Class AAA -- at least if Cristian Guzman is healthy. "I will say, Ian Desmond is gonna play everyday somewhere after spring training," Rizzo said. "We see him as a shortstop for us, not only in 2010 but down the road."
* According to Rizzo, three bullpen spots are up for grabs. And there are seven legitimate candidates from which Washington can choose.
* Rizzo, on the importance of signing Adam Dunn to a long-term deal: "It's important for me because he's one of my favorite players on the team. I love the guy. There aren't many 40-home run, 100-RBI guys running around out there. He fits in with this club. He's a very unique leader, I call him. He leads in kind of a quirky way, but leads nonetheless. He's always open to helping the younger players. And you know, look at it this way: Several years down the road, if he continues at the pace he's at, we're gonna be talking about Hall of Famer Adam Dunn."
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