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Balester sent to AAA to make way for Strasburg

The Nationals optioned reliever Collin Balester to Class AAA Syracuse after the game. The Nationals needed to clear a roster spot for Stephen Strasburg, who will return from the disabled list and start Tuesday.

Balester had been serving in a mop-up role while making the first relief appearances of his career. He struggled with control, hitting a pair of batters in the head.

By washingtonpost.com Sports Editor  |  August 8, 2010; 8:35 PM ET
Categories:  Collin Balester , Pitching rotation , Stephen Strasburg  | Tags: Stephen Strasburg  
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Next: Does Jason Marquis have a future with Washington Nationals?

Comments

I heard Charlie and Dave talking about Jason Marquis facing something like 16 consecutive batters without getting an out. Does anyone know how to find out if this is a record?

Posted by: twinbrook | August 8, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Balester shmalester. The Nats have so many journeymen pitchers on their rosters--the five inning types--that it doesn't make much difference who stays and who goes.

Posted by: JohnRDC | August 8, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

"he struggled with control, hitting a pair of batters in the head.". That may be the funniest line of the year and it pretty much sums it up.

Posted by: gtrain82 | August 8, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

@JohnRDC,

I'm not sure but I don't believe Strasburg, Maya and Zimmermann would be considered journeyman pitchers? Livan seems to always pitch seven good to great innings?

That statement might have been true last year. But this year there are guys with potential and Livan. Let's not jump to conclusions until all possibilities have been evaluated.

Posted by: periculum | August 9, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

John did say "so many journeymen pitchers"...

For now, the only proven starters are Livan and SS.

Posted by: charley42 | August 9, 2010 4:37 AM | Report abuse

Off day today, probably not much going to be posted.

Anxious to get Ramos up here, but we've probably got to wait until Sept 1.
Maya's supposed to toss in the GCL later this week.
Zimmermann should go 4 innings against Columbus at home Tuesday or Wednesday.

And the deadline for signing our draft picks, especially Harper, Solis and Cole, is Sunday I believe (August 15). Plus who knows if if there any talks with Dunn's camp about extending. Rizzo's gonna be kinda busy.

Danny Espinosa, 3 games with Syracuse, 3 for 12, with 2 HR's (both right handed) and 4 RBI. OPS 1.036. Be nice to see a bit of him in September.

Posted by: Sunderland | August 9, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

"And the deadline for signing our draft picks, especially Harper, Solis and Cole, is Sunday I believe (August 15)."

Probably it is Monday the 16th. Like last year, when Aug 15th fell on Saturday and they pushed the deadline to Monday the 17th.

Posted by: FeelWood | August 9, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Right on FeelWood.
From mlb.com:

Since Aug. 15 falls on a weekend again this year, the Major League Baseball Players Association moved the deadline to sign Draft picks to Monday, Aug. 16, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

A similar shift was made the previous year, as the date was moved from Aug. 15 to Aug. 17 so it could land on a Monday. The deadline only applies to players with remaining college eligibility.

Posted by: Sunderland | August 9, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Should have said, "Balester DFA'd".

Marquis picked up right were he left off. Imagine the angst in LernerStanK camp every time they see that 15M going down the drain?

Posted by: TippyCanoe | August 9, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Journeyman pitchers? Umm, we drafted a lot these guys. I think you could describe many of them as "journeymen in the making"

Posted by: Kev29 | August 9, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Probably not so funny if you're Weeks or Reynolds.

---

"he struggled with control, hitting a pair of batters in the head.". That may be the funniest line of the year and it pretty much sums it up.

Posted by: gtrain82 | August 8, 2010 10:48 PM

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

It's classic how Detwiler's renewed hip trouble is barely being talked about. 3 weeks ago Adam and the other media guys couldn't stop talking about how Detwiler was part of the Nats' awesome future rotation. Now his hip is hurting again? No big deal.

The starting pitching is "here"? Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | August 9, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

On Dunn, I can understand the reticence in re-signing him if he was one among several talented free agents the Nats have signed over the years. You can't keep them all.

However, Dunn is the only $20 million and above free agent that the Nats have ever signed under Lerner. Nor have the Nats ever under Lerner traded for any player who makes average MLB salary or above. So Dunn is unique.

Since Dunn is the only one, you would think it would be easier to sign him, especially since he is such a consistent slugger and the Nats have no farm system replacement for him.

Posted by: EdDC | August 9, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Just curious, but did we ever find out who made the waiver claim on Dunn?

@Sunderland: Don't hold your breath on Espinosa getting a call up in September. Brian at NFA said that he doesn't have to be protected (on the 40 man and therefore not open to the rule 5 draft) until next offseason, and calling him up would put that status in Jeopardy. There are going to be some tough decisions that need to be made regarding the 40 man this year (per Brian) and adding Espinosa would only add to this.

Posted by: TimDz | August 9, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Kevin, Detwiler's hip trouble could be nothing more than a convenient way for them to DL him and thereby avoid having to option him down to AAA in order to make room for Strasburg/Marquis/Zimmerman/etc. Recall that Detwiler started the season on the DL and only played in the minors on rehab. Thus his option status for this year is now preserved and available for them to use in the future.

As for reticence on signing Dunn, I expect plenty of that until they actually sign him, which they clearly will. Recall that Rizzo unlike his predecessor does not negotiate in public. Thus it would be nice if we could get some reticence from the likes of EdDC until Dunn actually leaves the franchise, if indeed he ever does. However, I fear more episodes of the same old crap from this Johnny One Note of a commenter. Yes, EdDC, we do know that the Nats have never traded for a player who makes MLB average salary or above, because you mention it with every post you make. But here's a thought. So what?

Posted by: FeelWood | August 9, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Who is Kevin?

Anyway, with respect to the substance of the issue, Detwiler said that his hip is sore, and the soreness has not gone away. Abusing the DL in the manner that FeelWood/nunof1/AnBrioscaMor/John is suggesting the Nats might be doing would both violate MLB rules, and likely result in a grievance from the Players' Association if Detwiler claimed he is not injured.

Detwiler's funky mechanics are going to continue to cause him physical problems as long as his delivery remains as-is. And the Nats have already tried to change his delivery once, when they were "developing" him in the minors. It's unlikely at this point that he is going to be a mainstay in any future successful Nats rotation.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | August 9, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Ballester has stopped breathing through his eyelids -- like the lava lizards of the Galapagos islands!

Posted by: noslok | August 9, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, where is the Players Association's grievance for Nyjer Morgan being placed on the DL even though he claims he is not injured?

Posted by: FeelWood | August 9, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I get it, John. You think I'm Kevin Reiss? That's idiotic. Why would someone who posts under their own name without pulling punches use a pseudonym other times? I've explained previously that I, CiL, use a pseudonym because, for professional reasons I can't use my own name on blogs like this one.

As for Nyjer, it's not surprising that you are unable to see the distinction. Nyjer did not claim that he isn't injured. Just that he should not be DL'd. No grievance for that. On the other hand, for Detwiler you are suggesting the Nats fabricated an injury. Which would be the basis of a grievance.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | August 9, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, I never claimed that the Nats fabricated Detwiler's injury. Rather, I suggested that they may have taken advantage of an injury that, while it does exist may not be all that serious in order to put him on the DL rather than wasting his option year. And there would be nothing at all untoward if that's what they did. That is all.

Posted by: FeelWood | August 9, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

If you agree that Detwiler's hip is in fact injured, ABM, then all of your posts in response to my initial comment are pointless. Which is pretty typical for you.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | August 9, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Balester didn't look very comfortable, and I suspect noslok is right about the eyelids. It's a shame he didn't drill that annoying eagle mascot.

Posted by: Donkeyfarmer | August 9, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

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