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Brad Peacock's emergence and an Arizona Fall League update

At 3:35 today East Coast time, Bryce Harper will make his third appearance in the Arizona Fall League. In his second game, Harper hit a pair of singles, making him 3 for 8 so far with two RBIs and a double. Today, he and the Scottsdale Scorpions will face Robert Carson, a left-handed Mets prospect who hasn't allowed a run in three innings.

Harper, even as he plays twice a week, has of course been the focus of the Nationals' contingent out in Arizona. But he's far from the only one making an impression. Right-handed pitcher Brad Peacock has been a revelation, having allowed one run in seven innings while striking out a 12 batters, second-most in the league. (The leader, Scott Barnes, has two more strikeouts in 3 2/3 more innings.)

Peacock was a starter this past season with Class A Potomac and AA Harrisburg, but the Nationals and Scottsdale/Harrisburg Manager Randy Knorr have been using Peacock as a one-inning reliever during the fall league, trying to take advantage of his power arm.

The results so far have been eye-opening enough that Peacock may be able to contribute out of the Nationals' bullpen next season. Peacock has always been a high-strikeout pitcher - he whiffed 148 batters in 142 innings this year while posting a 4.50 ERA- but his stuff plays up even more out of the bullpen.

In Arizona, Peacock has been sitting at 94 miles per hour with his fastball and hitting 95 with some regularity; he was more 93-94 during the season. His strikeout pitch, though, is his biting slider. Out of the bullpen, he's able to use his fastball and slider almost exclusively, leaving his changeup -- his third best pitch -- out most often. Last week, I saw Peacock pitch twice and didn't see one changeup.

The Nationals have not decided for certain if they will make Peacock a reliever for good; they're using the fall league more as an experiment. Peacock is just 22 and was a 41st-round pick in 2006. But if his effectiveness as a reliever continues, he could find himself in the majors soon.

A quick update on the other Nats out in Arizona:

C Derek Norris: 6 for 21, 6 walks, 2 home runs 1 double, 1 triple

2B Stephen Lombardozzi: 7 for 31, 6 walks, 4 doubles (Scouts love the way he plays. If and when he makes the majors, bad sportswriters will line up to call him "scrappy." Won't hit many home runs but has good gap-to-gap power.)

OF Michael Burgess: 9 for 29, 3 walks, 2 doubles, 1 triple (He's really impressed with his outfielder defense)

SP Sammy Solis: 6.2 IP, 6.75 ERA, 4 SO, 4 BB, 1.50 WHIP

RP Adam Carr: 6 IP, 4.50 ERA, 2 SO, 3 BB, 1.17 WHIP

RP Cole Kimball: 5 IP, 1.80 ERA, 5 SO, 1 BB, 0.80 WHIP (He's hit 98 mph with his fastball. Like Peacock, he could contend for a bullpen spot with the Nats, maybe not of spring training, but at some point during the season.)

By Adam Kilgore  | October 27, 2010; 2:15 PM ET
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Next: Catching up with Stan Kasten on the Dominican issue, etc.


Michael Burgess is really impressing himself with his OF defense?

Posted by: comish4lif | October 27, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

comish, expecting Adam to call Lombardozzi scrappy sometime soon?

Posted by: Sunderland | October 27, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

AK - Tell me -- is Rizzo chasing Jorge de la Rosa? Three years $30M maybe to get him?

Posted by: dfh21 | October 27, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I thought Burgess was a first-baseman?

Posted by: Juan-John1 | October 27, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

2 starting pitchers
1 first baseman
2 utility players
1 lead off hitter
1 clean up hitter
1 center fielder
1 closer


Posted by: natbiscuits | October 27, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Norris incl. yesterday: on base 15 out of 31, OBP .484. Is that right?

Posted by: joemktg1 | October 28, 2010 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Sort of a maddening game to watch last night.
The two best teams in baseball.
6 errors, a wild pitch and a CS.
A guy caught dead to rights in a run down, but no attempt was made to actually get him out.
A guy who got doubled up from second, with no force, on a shallow pop up caught by the 2B.
A guy who rounded first on a ball that stayed in the infield, and was tagged out meekly trying to get back to the bag.

I'm sure I missed a few, I bailed several times.

Posted by: Sunderland | October 28, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I hear you Sunderland. Sloppy game in a lot of ways. I guess that these teams are over-amped or something to be in the Series. But, my guess is that they will revert to the trend this fall for pitching, pitching and more pitching sooner than later.

Posted by: dfh21 | October 28, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, sloppy, but I kinda liked the results...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 28, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

@Sunderland. I see that all of the time. In High School games.

My guess, like dfh, is that they will regress (progress?) to the median. I liked the result, but it was funny. The Senators may be in a real hole. The trick will be whether the Gints can sustain anything in a bandbox.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | October 28, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Can never have too many live arms in the organization

Posted by: SCNatsFan | October 28, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

41st rounder? That's awesome.

Posted by: longterm | October 28, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

From Boz's Q&A today... part of an answer to a question about renewing Season Tickets

"Or you can just join the trolls on Nats Journal who complain about everything. (They're so boring and predictable I stopped reading them. Why does stupid-or-crazy almost always drive out smart-or-sane on internet chat rooms? Oh, that's so obvious it doesn't need an answer. Talk about a "natural home" for stupid-crazy-anonymous. Too bad, because the "samrt and sane" in those places is REALLY good. You know, you have to self-police those forums by calling out the nuts and driving them away. It's classic Troll Theory right out of the Grimm fairy tale.) "

Now if the folks who run the Post blogs would just enforce their own rules. Who let the trolls in whoot whoot!

Posted by: CBinDC1 | October 28, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

If only good always triumphed over stupid ...

... and now back to our regular programming!

Posted by: natbiscuits | October 28, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Classic Troll Theory right out of the Grimm fairy tale?

Posted by: dfh21 | October 28, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

If the Nats try to make a deal with the Royals for Greinke, it will likely cost us Norris for 2 reasons. He looks like the real deal, and he is from Kansas. The Royals really work this region (Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa). Bos said (in this morning's chat) that would be a tough loss. I agree. You build up the middle and having a couple of great young catchers would be ideal. But we need the pitching more.

Posted by: fpcsteve | October 28, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

sorry for the second Norris...

Posted by: fpcsteve | October 28, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Getting Grienke via trade and adding a swing and miss FA lefty SP (I want Jorge de la Rosa0 would go a very long way to making the club legit. Grienke could be hyper-dominant in the NL.

Norris is a nice player but they should be ready to send the guy packing in a NY minute for CY Young caliber pitching on a 2 year contract.

Posted by: dfh21 | October 28, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Good only triumphs over evil - Stupid can' t be beaten down or driven away.
If only good always triumphed over stupid ...

Posted by: BinM | October 28, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

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