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Stephen Strasburg makes spring training debut

I'll provide periodic updates. ...

3:56: Before Stephen Strasburg threw him first pitch in the bullpen, Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty walked up to him. "He kept reminding to me breath," Strasburg said. Nervous energy, Strasburg thought, played a large role in his start today.

"I thought I did pretty well," he said. "Command wasn't really there, but I think a lot of that had to do with all the adrenaline going on. It's something that happens to me every time, even college. Even my first outing in high school. It's always that first outing. It's always the excitement. It's really difficult to control the adrenaline, staying nice and relaxed. Because I'm more of a rhythm pitcher. As long as I keep my rhythm, my control gets a lot better. I'm just going to try and go out there and be nice and smooth next time."

The build-up for his start was obviously immense (just scroll down the page), and he is happy this first is done with.

"Absolutely," Strasburgh said. "There's a lot of craziness going on, there's a lot of hype. A lot of anticipation. It's all over with. It's in the books. It's all about getting better now and trying to learn as much as we can."

Catcher Wil Nieves said Strasburg was throwing his two-seam fastball for the entire first inning, when he hit between 96 and 98 mph on the radar gun. When Strasburg struck out Miguel Cabrera with high heat, he used a four-seam fastball. The radar read 51, and Nieves guessed it was going a little faster than the two-seamer -- either 99 or 100. "Probably, the gun was all crazy."

With everything swirling around, Strasburg seems most comfortable when he is on the mound. "I had a blast," Strasburg said. "I really did."


2:52: Strasburg will be speaking with reporters in the clubhouse in the seventh inning. I'll give you his thoughts in this post.

2:18: One quick Strasburg thought: The most impressive pitch he threw may have been his last. On 3-2 to Brent Dlugach, he twirled an 81-mph breaking ball (it moves like a curve, and he calls it a slider; let's go with breaking ball from now on). Dlugach just froze for strike three. And this was after Strasburg had allowed two straight singles -- both relative cheapies -- and thrown three straight balls to Dlugach. Once faced with an adverse cirumstance, Strasburg was able to rely on an offspeed pitch when he really needed a strike.

Meantime, the Nationals are losing 5-0. Tyler Walker gave up a three-run home run to Magglio Ordonez.

2:10: ESPN's Jayson Stark Tweets this, from a scout: "Makes Porcello look like he's playing catch with his sister."

2:04: Strasburg is out on the warning, jogging laps. Once Miguel Batista took over Strasburg on the mound, the Nationals resumed their spring habit of allowing runs at a staggering rate. They trail, 2-0, in the bottom of the fourth.

1:48: Strasburg finished pitching about 10 minutes ago (and that was sure an awful time for my Internet connection to cut out). Strasburg threw 27 pitches, 15 of them strikes, struck out two including Miguel Cabrera, allowed two singles that weren't exactly blistered, and walked none. Boz watched it from the front row and said, "It was only two innings, but that was about as sharp as you can look." Boz felt like home plate ump Paul Nauert was squeezing both Strasburg and Porcello a little bit.

Strasburg consistently hit between 96 and 98 mph on the stadium gun, which Nationals starter Scott Olsen said yesterday is about one tick slow. Strasburg's most impressive bat came against Miguel Cabrera, who yesterday told the Detroit Free Press, "Let's see what he's got." Cabrera watched two 97-mph fastballs to make it 1-1. He watched one 81-mph curve for a strike and then another inside for ball two. Strasburg came back with a bliserting fastball high and up that Cabrera swung well late at.

Carlos Guillen followed by swinging at the first pitch, and Strasburg had retired the first five batters on 13 pitches. Don Kelly and Alex Avila both followed with single, Kelly's a flare to the opposite field (left) and Avila's a chopper up the middle. Strasburg started Brent Dlugach with three balls, then worked the count full with two fastballs. On his final pitch, Strasburg froze Dlugach with an 81-mph curveball.

1:11: From the press box, venerable Boston Globe baseball writer Nick Cafardo: "Oh, Porcello is pitching for them." That'd be Rick Porcello, who won 14 games last year for the Tigers. And he's actually younger than Strasburg.

1:10: Stephen Strasburg's first pitch, a 97-mph fastball, was a ball to Austin Jackson. After one more ball low, Jackson grounded out to Ryan Zimmerman, the one-time face of the Washington Nationals. Clete Thomas took two more balls -- humming at 96 mph -- outside, then he chopped to second baseman Adam Kennedy. Magglio Ordonez followed and grounded the first pitch he saw -- a 98-mph heat -- to shortstop Cristian Guzman. Strasburg's first inning took only seven pitches and about two minutes.

By Adam Kilgore  |  March 9, 2010; 1:10 PM ET
 
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Next: Final thoughts on Stephen Strasburg's debut, plus links

Comments

And exhale...

Posted by: Kev29 | March 9, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Next stop, Cooperstown...

(He says with tongue jammed firmly in cheek)

Posted by: baltova1 | March 9, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Anyone got an internet radio link?

Posted by: Barney001 | March 9, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

1st strikeout. Giggedty!

Posted by: trezmartin | March 9, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Adam, if you're reading, keep us informed on the radar gun stuff. MASN apparently doesn't have one today.

Posted by: baltova1 | March 9, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Thank God he had a good first inning; another dissappointment and we'd all be lining up to drink the kool aid

Posted by: SCNatsFan | March 9, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

@ Barney001 - it's the Nats broadcast, so I would guess they're streaming it on WFED. Indeed it is:

http://www.federalnewsradio.com/index.php?nid=8

Posted by: combedge | March 9, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Thank God he had a good first inning; another dissappointment and we'd all be lining up to drink the kool aid

Posted by: SCNatsFan | March 9, 2010 1:20 PM
_____________________________

Laced with Hemlock

Posted by: TimDz | March 9, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

And just like that its over, 2 hits, 2 strike-outs, lots of 97 mph fastballs.

Posted by: trezmartin | March 9, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

SS = Solid Stopper

Posted by: BobLHead | March 9, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Too many first-pitch balls in the second inning. Otherwise, not too bad.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | March 9, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

@ Barney001 - it's the Nats broadcast, so I would guess they're streaming it on WFED. Indeed it is:

http://www.federalnewsradio.com/index.php?nid=8

Posted by: combedge | March 9, 2010 1:23 PM

MLB blocks all online local radio feeds - need to subscribe to the league's internet audio package.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 9, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Totally agree, Juan-John1. The other nit I would pick is that he looked a little awkward pitching from the stretch, but seriously that was all you'd want from his first time out. Fun to see.

Posted by: baltova1 | March 9, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

3-2 hook. Superb.

Posted by: joemktg1 | March 9, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

""One scout's instant review of Strasburg: "Makes Porcello look like he's playing catch with his sister.""

per espn

Posted by: JDB1 | March 9, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Given what appears to have happen, I'll repost the comment I made in one of yesterday's NJ items (the one about the bad Nationals' pitching so far):

Just suppose that Strasburg pitches today and gives up no runs, 1 hit, and strikes out 2 with no walks in 2 innings of work. What would people say then? Would they be clamoring for him to start the season with the big club? I'm just sayin' ...

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | March 9, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

""One scout's instant review of Strasburg: "Makes Porcello look like he's playing catch with his sister.""

per espn

Even so, it's too bad that both of them aren't Nats. If The Plan were for real, Strasbrug/Porcello/Crow/Zimmermann would have been the most formidable crop of young pitching talent in the league.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | March 9, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Too many first pitch balls...I can live with that, given it was his first outing. He has far and away had the best first outing of all the SP's

Posted by: TimDz | March 9, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Would they be clamoring for him to start the season with the big club? I'm just sayin' ...

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | March 9, 2010 1:38 PM

I'm not. All for the rational, patient approach.

I'm just happy to see him throw a nice couple innings so we don't have to hear the opposite (if he got roughed up a bit or walked a few). "Natinals FAIL", etc...

Posted by: Kev29 | March 9, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Snuck out from the office to watch. Was scared to see the MLB network feed was blacked out, to catch it on masn. No sound though.

I hope hearing on radio was anything close to seeing it live. Great pop. Great 3-2 pitch. Good work from stretch. Great movement. A little overthrowing on first pitches, but that is understandable!

All in all, very pleased! Wow!

Posted by: mo_dc | March 9, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Forget the SS hype. Here is the headline for today: TPlush slides feet first stealing second!

Posted by: twinbrook | March 9, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Does SS throw as fast as Brittfar?

Posted by: trezmartin | March 9, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update Kilgore Trout. Watching on masn without sound, I couldn't tell what the radar gun said but I could see the batters' knees and the catcher's glove.

Nice to see Nyjer back and thinking he needs to mark the infield grass every pre-game with a "start slide here" mark! What a difference-maker. First game watched o the pre season along with 60-degree sunny says "Play Ball" to me!

Helps that my 2:00 meeting was just canceled! Let's play two!

Posted by: mo_dc | March 9, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

CiL: Perhaps, but they instead chose Detwiler with the 6th pick that year. From the BA scouting report: The Marlins made Brett Sinkbeil the highest-drafted player in Missouri State history when they selected him 19th overall in 2006, but his record will likely last for only a year. Detwiler could go as high as No. 2 overall to the Royals and should last no more than 10 picks at the most.

Posted by: Bethesdangit | March 9, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I am afraid what you see is what you get in terms of pitching.

Lannan will pitch under control, post an ERA of 3.60 or 3.70 and win 10-15 games based on his run support.

Marquis will be less than advertised, posting similar W/L numbers to Lannan with an ERA a tick higher at 3.9 or 4.0.

That's the good news.

Other than the fact Strasburg will end up as the #3 pitcher in this rotation over the summer.

The rest:

Scott Olsen will be an on again/off again pitcher whose ERA will be in the 4.75-5.25 range and will struggle mightily in some games as his velocity fluctuates.

Chien Ming Wang will be a project and in all likelihood won't be more than a spot presence on this team in 2010, most likely in late summer/early fall.

Garrett Mock, Colin Balester, Craig Stammen and the others in line will prove to be less than major league ready. These guys still look like AAA players to me.


Posted by: leopard09 | March 9, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

leopard's analysis seems sound to me.

Posted by: Section506 | March 9, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

yea, our pitching sucks. i miss zimmermann.

Posted by: longterm | March 9, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Adding a positive spin to leopard's review:
1) Guessing Detwiler back around All Star break (after stints in the minors).
2) Expecting Wang to be back at the same time.

At least one of those two will be back in the rotation.

Who knows: if Strasburg keeps bedeviling hitters with 3-2 offspeed for strikes, we'll see him as well.

Posted by: joemktg1 | March 9, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Just think if we would have spent an extra 5 mill we could have gotten Chapman.

Our 2011 rotation would have been
Jesus
Chapman
Zimmerman
Lannan
Wang

Way to save those pennies Uncle Teddy!!!!

Posted by: hansenjo | March 9, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

RZ is the "one-time face" of the Nats? Poor guy! I hope that comment was tongue in cheek. Or is .292-33-106 with an OPS of .888 and a Gold Glove just not good enough in the Strasburg era? :)

Posted by: jksesq1 | March 9, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Let the hype begin!

http://dneckel.blogspot.com/2010/03/let-strasburg-hype-begin_08.html

Posted by: klofton798 | March 9, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

leopard's being a little harsh:

"Marquis will be less than advertised, posting similar W/L numbers to Lannan with an ERA a tick higher at 3.9 or 4.0."

Actually, those kind of numbers are exactly what you would expect from Marquis. His career ERA is 4.48. He should end up with 12 wins or so and an ERA of 4.30. BTW, who was the last pitcher to win 12 games for this team?

Too early to judge Olsen. Way too early.

Two dark horses: Chico and Martin. Stick 'em at the back of the rotation and hope for the best.

Plus, they rushed Detwiler last year but he pitched well in the minors and should be effective in the big leagues once he comes back from the hip surgery in, what, May?

A rotation of Lannan, Marquis, Olsen, Chico and Martin would be mediocre, but mediocre is better than what we've had here in the past couple of years. Throw in Detwiler in May, Strasburg in July, and you start to have something.

It's not great now, but it's getting better and it's going to be okay before the year is out.

Posted by: baltova1 | March 9, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Can somebody tweet Tyler Walker and let him know that throwing belt high fastballs over the plate isn't a good idea?

Posted by: baltova1 | March 9, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Of all the pitchers and (crappy) pitching we are seeing, I am wondering how many of them we need to just write off as only pitching until the FO either cuts them loose or sends them to the Minor league camp?

As for Marquis, Lannan and even Olsen, I think we need to hold off on the panic button until they have had a few more starts.

Posted by: TimDz | March 9, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bos, remember that time you said this wasn't going to be like every other spring training where we had terrible starting pitching? I said you were wrong then, and I'll keep saying it until we actually get some decent starting pitching. This season will suck. Hello last in the NL East. Looking forward to next season when Guzzie is gone, Jesus is back to catching, and we might actually have some decent SP's. Oh, and maybe we could ditch Dukes and Kennedy and upgrade those positions. Also, maybe I'm dreaming.

Posted by: futbolclif | March 9, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The Nats may be able to cobble together a starting pitching rotation(assuming no injuries requiring call ups from the minors), but the real issue is how many reliable relievers they will have. It'll be interesting to get Boz's updated thoughts on the depth of pitching after a week or two of ST action, because (despite his optimistic recent column) at least my psyche (if not the team's) is getting battered by the results to date.

Posted by: arlingtonresident1 | March 9, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

If anything I would have thought we had too much depth in the pen. Now it seems like we might just have a lot of warm bodies and Clippard.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | March 9, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"Oh, Porcello is pitching for them." That'd be Rick Porcello, who won 14 games last year for the Tigers. And he's actually younger than Strasburg."

Did you read this Nats fans??? Get a grip and stop eating that pap these Nats front office people are feeding you and learn something about baseball. Strasburg should be on the final roster and he should be the number 3 starter on Opening Day. He's freekin' ready and get rid of Guzgone!!!

Posted by: billm32 | March 9, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Carpy is in midseason form:

"This game started scoreless ..."

Posted by: BobLHead | March 9, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

great outing by Stras, he will surely have some sort of impact this season. Really don't see Riggleman being able to keep him down in the minors for long.

As for the "one-time face" comment about Zimmerman though, Adam, this sort of put me off a little. Zimmerman is STILL the face of the nationals. He has proven himself for four years now, and continues to do so. Granted, Stras is the next big thing in our organization - and in time he may eclipse Zimmerman as the face of the franchise, but for now he is a rookie in spring training destined for the minor leagues - for now. Please, have some respect for the veterans, man. Zim has earned it, thats for damn sure.

Posted by: dls5kk | March 9, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

After posting I saw that I am not the only one a little peeved at that comment (thanks jksesq1). Love your writing and constant updates so far Kilgore, but respect needs to be shown where it is due.

Posted by: dls5kk | March 9, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Bryce Harper update from ESPN's draft blog:

• The favorite to be the top pick in this year's draft, College of Southern Nevada's Bryce Harper, is on a tear this weekend, going 8-for-12 in four games (two doubleheaders) with three doubles, two long balls and three walks. The 17-year-old draft-eligible freshman is leading his Coyotes in all major categories except triples with a .408/.500/.831 line, including six home runs and 10 doubles. He's also walked a team-high 14 times, and despite 17 strikeouts in 86 plate appearances, the kid is a beast and proving his power is for real with the wood bat.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 9, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"Boz felt like home plate ump Paul Nauert was squeezing both Strasburg and Porcello a little bit."
___________________________

Oh, give me a break.

Posted by: brianbu | March 9, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Re face of the franchise - I agree that Zimmerman is due great respect, but assume that Adam K was merely alluding to and noting that the hype about SS is overshadowing everything and everyone else. Sort of tongue in cheek...

Posted by: arlingtonresident1 | March 9, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Nats have the bases loaded in the 8th. Bernadina coming to the plate after a pitching change.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 9, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

These pitchers are just writing their own names on the cut list.

Posted by: MBUSA | March 9, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

haha ok, i may have been a little too defensive about the Zimmerman comment there. All is forgiven - GO NATS!

Posted by: dls5kk | March 9, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Maxwell scored from third on a passed ball. Bernadina walked to load the bases again. Gonzalez struck out (he's, ahem, not good). Desmond laces a double to the gap, two runs score, Bernadina to third. 8-3 Tigers.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 9, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Duncan takes a 3-1 pitch the other way for a single. Bernadina scores, Maxwell to third. 8-4 Tigers. Two outs.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 9, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"Desmond laces a double to the gap, two runs score, Bernadina to third. 8-3 Tigers" Enuff said. and Guzgone???

Posted by: billm32 | March 9, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

thanks for the updates BobL!

Posted by: TimDz | March 9, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

My pleasure Tim, particularly when the Nationals are scoring.

But they're done, for now, as Whitesell flies out to end the threat.

But not before Carpy pointed out that if Whitesell had walked to load the bases, it would have brought the tying run to the plate. Shut up Bobby!

Posted by: BobLHead | March 9, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

RZ = face of the franchise to Nats fans

SS = face of the franchise to ESPN and every other passerby.

I worry CMWang isnt the Daniel Cabrera of 2010 and that Pudge isnt the Paul LoDuca of 2010.

Chapman would have been nice but with the disaster that was the "Smiley" Gonazalez saga you had to know they wouldnt go full force with another Dominican prospect, for awhile atleast.

Posted by: Redskins2Win | March 9, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what the worst spring training record has ever been? One has to wonder if McCatty makes it up to DC with this team the way things have been going.

Posted by: Tom8 | March 9, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Now batting for the Tigers ... Kory Casto!

Remember when he was our top prospect?

And he pops out to short.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 9, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I think this is a first. Severino, the guy pitching for us now (if you want to call it that) looks like he tucks his ears under his cap. Either he's a Vulcan and he's trying to hide it or he's making MLB history.

Posted by: baltova1 | March 9, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Kory Casto...he was the next Ryan Zimmerman before the 1st Ryan Zimmerman.

WOW.

(more like the homeless mans Ryan Zimmerman as it turns out).

Posted by: Redskins2Win | March 9, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm really pulling for Ian Desmond to run out on to the diamond at 1pm on April 5th. Keep earning your way out there young man!

Posted by: Kev29 | March 9, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Nats have two on with nobody out in the bottom of the ninth. Bruntlett batting.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 9, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Bah! Bruntlett robbed of a double down the right field line, diving catch by the Tigers' right fielder. Norris on third, JMax on first, one out. 9-4 Tigers.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 9, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Morse with a good at bat, but in the end he grounds into a DP and the Nats go quietly. Game over.

Posted by: BobLHead | March 9, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey Adam, who was that guy Strasburgh who interrupted your interview with Strasburg? ;)

Posted by: HotNats | March 9, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Chapman would have been nice but with the disaster that was the "Smiley" Gonazalez saga you had to know they wouldnt go full force with another Dominican prospect, for awhile atleast.

Posted by: Redskins2Win | March 9, 2010 3:49 PM

I was all set to use "How Old Is" as a reminder for Chapman's first name if we indeed signed him...

Posted by: HotNats | March 9, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

cuban not dominican, though.

Posted by: malcolmyoung1 | March 9, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

""Absolutely," Strasburgh said. "

Just like there is no crying in baseball, there is no "h" in Strasburg.


Posted by: octobertea | March 9, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

So, did he tell him to breathe through his eyelids?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 9, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

So, nobody else noticed that the raccoon is back?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 9, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and it was the solar flare thingy that got the rally going in the 8th.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 9, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

For those who couldn't watch live, I believe MASN is re-airing the game at 7 tonight.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 9, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

#Nats 12th in BP Org Rankings. Up from 29th last year. http://tinyurl.com/yzunbfy

"12. Washington Nationals
Last Year’s Ranking: 29

Why They Are Here: Having the top prospect in baseball sure helps, but it doesn't end there, as Derek Norris is one of the best catching prospects in the game, and Drew Storen is a nearly ready big-league closer. Beyond those three, there are plenty of players who at least have the tools to create a brighter blip on a scout's radar.

Where They Will Be Next Year: Unquestionably down, but that's what happens when you lose the top prospect in the game. Washington picks first again in June, and that selection will almost assuredly be the system's new top prospect, but nobody in this year's draft can replace Strasburg.

Posted by: JMW4th | March 9, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Will the world stop for Strasburg vs. Chapman! Excitin'!!!

Posted by: AtomAnt | March 9, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

A 9-4 loss today. That's 2 out of last 3 games where the staff gave up fewer than 10 runs. Hey, I'm trying to be upbeat.

Glad to hear the positive reports on Strasburg. Looking forward to seeing the highlights.

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Posted by: loveshoppingus | March 9, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow marks the end of the 1st week of Spring Training games, and I'm left with a couple of unanswered questions.
1) Why hasn't Juan Jaime thrown any innings yet? - He's still on the 40-man roster.
2) Did today's performance convince anybody that Tyler Walker is 'stick a fork in him' done? 0-1, 1BS, 4HRA in 2.2IP, and a 5.24/.636/37.08 pitching 'slash-line'; Ack.

Posted by: BinM | March 9, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Just watched the MASN replay of SS first two innings...no sense in watching the rest of it as we know how it ends...

That last pitch was N A S T Y...

A 3-2 breaking ball...granted, he didn't throw that pitch to Holliday or Tex, but...it was nice

Posted by: TimDz | March 9, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

@ BinM: I get the feeling that this week will be a "cull the herd" week, wher folks like Walker will be asked to leave.

The next few weeks should be interesting, as the more serious contenders start to settle down and show their stuff...

Then again, maybe I need to stay away from the koolaid

Posted by: TimDz | March 9, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse


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Posted by: nikejordans1 | March 9, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

@TimDZ: The term in ST is "re-assigned to minor league camp". Some players stay with the franchise, some go. I read (on another blog) where Walker might have spotted a 'hitch' in his delivery - Fine, let him work it out with the kids from SYR & HAR, then come back in late April, if he gets his act together. I'd just prefer not to see him in a box score for a while.

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Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 9, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

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Thanks you foryour kind offer of commersial transactions for these products. I would like to propose a business propostion. I am the sole heir to a vast and weighty fortune of the Count of Akkkh-Ahhh. I have a large warehouse of Air Jordans promised to me upon delivery of a nominal good-faith deposit...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 9, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Gawd, this is starting to feel like the mlb.com site, given the amount of Spam leaking through. I personally prefer "spam, eggs, & spam", with a side of mash.

Posted by: BinM | March 9, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

sec3: Don't forget a shout out to loveshoppingus as well. They still seem to think the new year is approaching.

Posted by: BinM | March 9, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Not trying to be Debbie Downer, but:
for those baseball fans who know that Strasburg's super-skills allows him to take a priviledged short-cut road to the big show...please watch the movie "Sugar" (now in regular rotation on HBO). It shows what happens to the so many many more of the regular MLB draftee/signees trying to break in (esp. Caribbeans)

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | March 9, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Imagine next year: Strasburg, Chapman, Zimmermann (after recovery), Thompson, Lannan, [Mock, Chico, Martin, Stammen].
Plus a closer [Storen], relievers like Clippard, etc.

I think that rotation could have gone very deep into the playoffs. Next year. Rizzo must be having a fit ...

Posted by: periculum | March 9, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

From Phil Wood at MASN sports:

Speaking with a couple of scouts who watched the game from behind home plate, the reaction was about what you'd expect.

"His velocity was as advertised...he threw his fastball at 97-98 comsistently, 94 a couple of times...he showed me a little deception which I hadn't seen before...his breaking ball was good, but not lights out...his command was okay, he was able to locate his pitches when he had to...he was agressive...he had a good role model to watch in (Detroit starter Rick)Porcello, who really knows how to pitch...he's the best they've [Washington] got that I've seen this spring...great poise and presence for a kid just out of college."

One scout was slightly upbeat about 23-year-old lefty Aaron Thompson, who pitched 2 more scoreless innings, giving him 4 for the exhibition campaign. "I don't know much about him other than he was a high pick as a high schooler by Florida. He was at 88-90 today, with an 82-84 slider. He got 'em out, which is what you look for. Back of the rotation type at best, but he's got some ability."

Posted by: periculum | March 9, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Aqron Thompson did indeed have a good day today - moved the ball around well and mixed his pitches.

Strasburg was impressive. His control was less than perfect but I agree with Boz and think that the umpire was squeezing him a bit (welcome to the big leagues). He seems to lose about 2-3 mph from the stretch though - topping out around 95. It will be interesting to see him go longer next time and see how hitters adjust to his stuff on their second and third ABs.

I watched Smoker struggle on the minor league field this morning. He was very erratic. Hood and Mench hit well. And keep you eyes on a young pitcher named A.J. Morris.

Pudge did not dress out today but was waiting on the bullpen mound for Strasburg when he came in for his pregames.

If the season comes down to having Bernandino, Maxwell, Gonzalez, or Taverez lay down a bunt for us then we are in a whole lot of trouble.

Ian Desmond is having more fun than anyone in camp. He obviously loves to play ball.

Posted by: lowcountry | March 9, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I'll start using the moniker "ModerationIsLacking"
*************
Gawd, this is starting to feel like the mlb.com site, given the amount of Spam leaking through. I personally prefer "spam, eggs, & spam", with a side of mash.

Posted by: BinM | March 9, 2010 8:43 PM |

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 9, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Spam, shmam. I have my credit card out now (NOT). So, are operators standing by? :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 10, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

I think the Nationals will be lucky to get an A-ball prospect in return, but they should try to trade Balester for a lower level player.

It was great to watch the game yesterday. It was my first opportuntiy to see Kennedy and Bruntlett in a Nationals uniform. Kennedy may not have been the best 2B on the free agent market, but he's a definate upgrade.

Also nice to see Maxwell, Bernadina, Desmond, and Morse playing well. Desmond looks like a beast. Clearly the MVP of the first week of spring. Still rooting for Maxwell. Morse has made the team for me already. Wish he could still play shortstop.

Posted by: natbiscuits | March 10, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

It was so nice to watch the Nats live again, even if it was an ST game. Kennedy looks like a gamer (but, dude, maybe lean forward a bit more when you spit out the tobacco juice - wouldn't want to sit next to him in the dugout :-)).

I also loved seeing Nyjer run the bases again, and the feet-first (foot-first?) slides. IMO, one of the prettiest pop-up slides belongs to Jamey Carroll, but Capt. Morgan looked good.

Was also impressed by Thompson's effectiveness (and his mullet). Walker and Batista, not so much.

p.s. There is a new post.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 10, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and thanks to Figaro, Figaro, Figaro for making the 8th inning rally possible.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 10, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

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