Craig Stammen 'a good bet' for the Nationals rotation
With the Nationals nearing a final decision on the makeup of their starting rotation, Craig Stammen has seemingly won one of the final two spots up for competition.
"I'd say it's a good bet" Stammen will be in the rotation, Manager Jim Riggleman said. "I don't want to jinx anybody, but he's been really good."
In his most recent start, Stammen allowed zero earned runs on two hits in four innings. He has been throwing pain-free this spring after he endured a painful end to last season pitching with bone chips in his right elbow. After surgery to repair the ailment, Stammen regained his curveball, his most devastating pitch. Riggleman felt that only John Lannan among Nationals starting pitchers has been as impressive as Stammen.
"He's pitching more than effectively," Riggleman said. "He's really tough for hitters down here."
Stammen will next pitch Saturday against the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie. The next day, Scott Olsen will have one, final chance to prove he belongs in the rotation. So far, Olsen has allowed 23 hits in 9 1/3 innings this spring. After Livan Hernandez shut down the full, fearsome Yankees lineup last night, Olsen is barely hanging in contention for a spot.
"Olsen just needs to state his case out there on the mound," Riggleman said. "It's pretty much just as simple as that."
March 25, 2010; 4:15 PM ET
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