Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Villone, Balester among latest cuts

The Nationals made another round of cuts today, slashing six pitchers in a move that brought some clarity to the potential makeup of the starting rotation and bullpen and cleared the way for the remaining contenders to pitch a needed amount of innings. The moves:

-Reliever Ron Villone, who had a 4.25 ERA in 54 games last season with the Nationals, was released.

"That was tough, not just for me but for Mike Rizzo and Steve McCatty, and a lot of people in the clubhouse in general," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "Just a wonderful guy and a very effective pitcher for us last year. I know Ron feels, and I feel, he's going to pitch in the big leagues this year. Somebody will need a lefthander, and he's got such a great reputation, somebody will call him."

Without Villone, there is overwhelming chance the Nationals will go with one lefthander in their bullpen, unless they bring in another veteran. They can afford that because Tyler Clippard, a righty, held lefties to a .122 batting average last season.

-Colin Balester was reassigned to Class AAA Syracuse.

"We just don't foresee him right now as one of our five starters," Riggleman said. "We want to continue to start, so we're going to send him over to minor league camp and get him going."

The Nationals would like Balester to improve his consistency to capitalize on his powerful right arm.

"He's had some good innings in Washington," Riggleman said. "We need to see him stretch those innings into a game. He's one of the better arms we have in the organization."

-Atahualapa Severino was reassigned to Class AAA Syracuse.

Severino, a lefty, has never pitched above Class AA, but several members of Washington's front office believe he can contribute out of the Nationals bullpen this season.

-Ryan Mattheus was reassigned to Class AA Harrisburg.

-Aaron Thompson was reassigned to Class AA Harrisburg.

Thompson, 23, had an impressive spring training, allowing no earned runs on one hit in four innings, striking out two. Only Stephen Strasburg has thrown more scoreless innings than Thompson. The Nationals acquired Thompson, a 2005 first-round draft pick, from the Marlins last year for Nick Johnson.

"I was pretty impressed with Aaron," Riggleman said. "That was a nice trade we made last year. He's just got a nice delivery. He looks kind of like your classic lefthanded starter."

Thompson's demotion was in no way related to performance, and he could start for the Nationals at some point this season.

"He could be as far away as just the need," Riggleman said. "If he's pitching good wherever he's at, and we need a guy, he'd be high on the list. We hope that need doesn't arise. But, because of his performance, I think he's going to be ready soon enough."

-Juan Jaime was reassigned to Class A Potomac

Jaime is regarded as one of the more promising arms in the Nationals' system. He battled elbow tendonitis this spring and did not appear in one major league game. Last week, the Nationals shut him down from throwing at all.

By Adam Kilgore  |  March 15, 2010; 4:44 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Ross Detwiler off crutches, still on schedule
Next: Today's lineup

Comments

Slow coach ... LOL

Posted by: periculum | March 15, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals are 0-10 who cares? Apparently, Mike Rizzo does.

Posted by: periculum | March 15, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Can't agree, Periculum, I know you're shocked. With the exception of Villone, none of these cuts were about being 0-10.

Posted by: Section506 | March 15, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

The pool just got a little shallower; 21 pitchers left in camp - 10 SP (9 on roster & Livan), 11 RP (8 on roster, plus Batista, Slaten & Storen). I figure they'll let that play for another 5 days, then make some cuts to the SP list.

Posted by: BinM | March 15, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Which pitchers do we still have in camp?

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | March 15, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Bally comes into camp with his throwback moustache and he got himself thrownback rather awkwardly.

Heck, looks like Walker is still in camp!

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | March 15, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Bally comes into camp with his throwback moustache and he got himself thrownback rather awkwardly.

Heck, looks like Walker is still in camp!

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | March 15, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Are these lists correct?

Starting Pitchers still in camp:
Strasburg
Lannan
Marquis
Olsen
Livo
Mock
Stammen
Chico
Martin
Martis

Relief Pitchers still in camp:
Storen
Capps
Bruney
Clippard
Bergmann
Burnett
Slaten
English
Walker
Batista

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | March 15, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

@petey:
SP's = Chico, Lannan, Marquis, Martis, Martin, Mock, Olsen, Stammen, Strasburg; Hernandez.
RP's = Atilano, Bergmann, Bruney, Burnett, Capps, Clippard, English, Walker; Batista, Slaten, Storen.

Technically, Detwiler, Wang & JZimmermann are also on the roster, but in rehab/DL status.

Posted by: BinM | March 15, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

My guess is Lannan, Marquis, Olsen, and Livo are in with everyone else battling for one spot. Stras will probably start in A or AA, Martis in AAA and Stammen will make the team as a long relief man. Leaving Mock, Chico, and Martin to battle it out for the last spot. I'm going to go with Chico winning the battle giving us a nice L-R-L-R-L rotation at least to start the season.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | March 15, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Note to periculum - The SP staff at SYR to begin the season in 2009 was: Balester, Estrada, Martin, Stammen, Zimmermann.
Mock started the season in the bullpen & was called up with Zimmermann in mid-April.

Posted by: BinM | March 15, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Batista appears to be in the mix for spot starter and long-relief. If Mock has a bad outing tonight I think that he would likely be joining Balester.

@506. Yes you are right the cuts were NOT about 0-10 they were about PERFORMANCE mostly .. 11 WALKS, 11 WALKS just won't cut it Rizzo's mind ... this is spring training ... pitchers are supposed to be ahead of the hitters.

Thompson and Balester were probably sent down to get more pitching ... Thompson especially needs work as the rare effective left-handed starter who isn't recovering from surgery.

Posted by: periculum | March 15, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Batista appears to be in the mix for spot starter and long-relief. If Mock has a bad outing tonight I think that he would likely be joining Balester.

@506. Yes you are right the cuts were NOT about 0-10 they were about PERFORMANCE mostly .. 11 WALKS, 11 WALKS just won't cut it Rizzo's mind ... this is spring training ... pitchers are supposed to be ahead of the hitters.

Thompson and Balester were probably sent down to get more pitching ... Thompson especially needs work as the rare effective left-handed starter who isn't recovering from surgery.

Posted by: periculum | March 15, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Batista appears to be in the mix for spot starter and long-relief. If Mock has a bad outing tonight I think that he would likely be joining Balester.

@506. Yes you are right the cuts were NOT about 0-10 they were about PERFORMANCE mostly .. 11 WALKS, 11 WALKS just won't cut it Rizzo's mind ... this is spring training ... pitchers are supposed to be ahead of the hitters.

Thompson and Balester were probably sent down to get more pitching ... Thompson especially needs work as the rare effective left-handed starter who isn't recovering from surgery.

Posted by: periculum | March 15, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Batista appears to be in the mix for spot starter and long-relief. If Mock has a bad outing tonight I think that he would likely be joining Balester.

@506. Yes you are right the cuts were NOT about 0-10 they were about PERFORMANCE mostly .. 11 WALKS, 11 WALKS just won't cut it Rizzo's mind ... this is spring training ... pitchers are supposed to be ahead of the hitters.

Thompson and Balester were probably sent down to get more pitching ... Thompson especially needs work as the rare effective left-handed starter who isn't recovering from surgery.

Posted by: periculum | March 15, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Batista appears to be in the mix for spot starter and long-relief. If Mock has a bad outing tonight I think that he would likely be joining Balester.

@506. Yes you are right the cuts were NOT about 0-10 they were about PERFORMANCE mostly .. 11 WALKS, 11 WALKS just won't cut it Rizzo's mind ... this is spring training ... pitchers are supposed to be ahead of the hitters.

Thompson and Balester were probably sent down to get more pitching ... Thompson especially needs work as the rare effective left-handed starter who isn't recovering from surgery.

Posted by: periculum | March 15, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Sorry net glitch.

Posted by: periculum | March 15, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Could not the club go with Chico in the pen as a long reliever (have to think that in the NL east with power lefites all over the place they'd weant more than one down there).

And I wish they'd give Clippard a shot at starting. He may have just figured it out, as opposed to having found his niche as a reliever. Worth the shot at seeing if the kid can be as effective as he has been over the last 18 months as a SP -- I mean why not?

Posted by: dfh21 | March 15, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Sure and while we're at it dfh21 why not Storen their most effective pitcher ... perhaps even more than Strasburg at this point in their respective careers?

Posted by: periculum | March 15, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Looks to me like Hernandez and Martin as the 4 and 5, with Batista claiming the last spot in the pen and the first option to start in an injury or he sucks situation.
Still open though obviously. They should just give Strasburg the #4 slot and give him a 2010 innings cap, but I'm sure they won't. They should also start Desmond but I'm sure they won't do that either.

Nats discussion at:
http://www.realgm.com/boards/viewforum.php?f=124

Posted by: CJArlington | March 15, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see the Post take this poll:

Is it worth starting Strasburg and Storen in the minors solely to delay their free agent year for one more season?

I say yes. The team is not competing for the playoffs this season but hopefully they will be in 2016. The wins they will get this team in 2016 will hopefully be much more valuable than the wins they will get for the Nats in 2010.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | March 15, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

gnu Toast, btw.

Posted by: swang30 | March 15, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company