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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 01/21/2011

Tom Gorzelanny and the Nationals' dearth of strikeouts

By Adam Kilgore

If nothing else, the Nationals' trade for Tom Gorzelanny gave them with a commodity that they suffered a great deficiency of last season: a starting pitcher with the capacity to strike batters out.

Nationals starters last season ranked 26th in ERA (4.61) and 29th in innings pitched (889 1/3). One of the primary causes was the rotation's dearth of strikeouts. Nationals starters struck out 5.61 batters per nine innings last season, third-lowest in the majors, behind only the Indians and Pirates. If you remove Stephen Strasburg's 92 strikeouts in 68 innings, Nationals starters struck out 5.06 batters per nine innings in 2010, which would stand as the lowest rate for any team since 2007 and the 12th-lowest of the past 10 years.

Strasburg struck out 12.2 batters per nine innings, which would have blown away the rest of the league had he pitched enough innings (162) to qualify; Tim Lincecum officially led the league in that category with 9.79 strikeouts per nine. If you were looking for another reminder of Strasburg's greatness, there you go.

Strasburg aside, the strikeout was a weapon the Nationals' starting rotation kept holstered. Let's look at the 2010 K/9 rates of last year's Nationals starters who could feasibly compete for spots this season:

Jordan Zimmermann: 7.8
Craig Stammen: 6.0
Ross Detwiler: 5.2
Livan Hernandez: 4.8
Jason Marquis: 4.8
John Lannan: 4.5
Luis Atilano: 4.2
Yunesky Maya: 4.2
Chien-Ming Wang (career): 4.2

Among the 92 major league starters who threw at 162 innings last season, the median K/9 was 7.135. The Nationals, as you can see, had two starters who reached that echelon last year - and one of them will not be pitching this season.

There has already been some excellent analysis of Gorzelanny's potential - this piece points out that Gorzelanny's FIP was a half run better than Matt Garza's, 3.92 to 4.42.

Gorzelanny's most important feature may be his strikeout rate, which stands in contrast to most of his new teammates. Gorzelanny struck out 7.9 batters per nine innings last season, more than any other returning Nationals starter. Whether or not it translates into success, Gorzelanny gives the Nationals something don't have, and something they need.

The Nationals' starting rotation was not very good last season, and they did not strike many batters out. Gorzelanny might help with the first problem. He will almost certainly improve the second.

By Adam Kilgore  | January 21, 2011; 12:00 PM ET
 
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Next: Nationals designate Shairon Martis for assignment

Comments

That's encouraging! Thanks for this story, AK!

Posted by: poncedeleroy | January 21, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I would be really happy to see the team do much better in innings pitched by the starters. I also hope that Gorzelanny does not end up doing 6-innig stretches as a long reliever.

+1/2St

Posted by: kevincostello | January 21, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Good info, but I thought Crash Davis said strikeouts were fascist...

Posted by: baltova1 | January 21, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Shoot, the Natinals will be lucky if they strikeout 1 batter a game. That's how stinky their AAAA pitching is.

Oh, and you can copy my lines and repost them backwards, sideways, up and down, don't matter cause it won't silence me, the voice of the common man.

Hey, how those Natinals tv ratings in the DC/Metro area looking? HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 21, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

BTW, anyone care to interpret the fact that Wang, when healthy, struck out fewer guys than any of our starters last year? What's going to happen if he ever comes back? He won't face a big adjustment or they're really hit him? (This probable goes down as a moot point because I still think I have a better chance of pitching for the Nats than Wang)

Posted by: baltova1 | January 21, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

That was per nine innings pitched. Our pitchers would routinely pitch 4-5 innings. I would love to know what the staff’s average inning pitched was and how it ranked with the rest of the league.

Posted by: hansenjo | January 21, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Greg Maddux was 6.06 for his career. Oliver Perez clocks in at 9.12.

Dan Quisenbery had a 2.76 career ERA on 3.3 strikeouts per nine. Scott Sanders weighed in with 4.86 ERA on 8.34 K/9.

Strikeouts ain't everything. Of course there's plenty of dominating strikeout pitchers, and those guys aren't the norm, but if we're not preventing runs it doesn't really matter how many people strike out. Can Gorzelanny go deep in games? That matters more to me.

Posted by: 202character | January 21, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter how deep you go into the game if you're giving up 400 runs (which he will do now, the curse of le Natinals) and your own team isn't scoring at all.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 21, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Innings pitched per start (using real decimals - eg 6 1/3 = 6.33, not 6.1)

Livan: 6.41
Lannan: 5.73
Strasburg: 5.67
[Gorzelanny: 5.65]
Atilano: 5.33
Maya: 5.2
Detwiler: 4.74
Marquis: 4.48
Zimm'nn: 4.33 (5.71 in 2009)

Wang put up 5.33 in 2008, 3.78 in 2010.

Stammen had too many mixed starter/relief appearances in 2010 for me to sort them
out, but he put up 5.65 in 2009.

Not sure what the league average is, but this is pretty shameful for a starting. Here's the Phils, for an extreme counterexample:

Halladay: 7.60
Lee: 7.58
Oswalt: 6.58
Hamels: 6.31
47-Year-Old Jamie Moyer: 5.88

Posted by: 202character | January 21, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

@hansenjo: Fangraphs has some fairly decent summary tables under it's teams header; Take a look there.

Posted by: BinM | January 21, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Here's some stats for Poopy:

Nationals: Scored 655, Allowed 742
Orioles: Scored 613, Allowed 785

Posted by: 202character | January 21, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

@binM - thanks. On the raw numbers, we were second worst to the Pirates in innings pitched by starting pitchers, with 889 1/3. Median were Braves and Reds with 965.

Posted by: 202character | January 21, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"Not sure what the league average is, but this is pretty shameful for a starting."

I blame Quick Hook Riggleman. Granted, many of the young pitchers would find themselves getting in trouble the third time through the lineup. But at some point a manager has to start letting these guys try to work their way out of jams they create, because otherwise they'll never develop the toughness a good starter needs to have. Lannan IIRC bristled a few times at being taken out too soon, so did Livo. Riggleman needs to wise up and realize that it's not the playoffs and he's not Grady Little who's about to get fired for leaving Pedro in too long. They're pitchers, Riggs. Let them pitch. And then you'll find out if they're worth keeping for when you are in the playoffs.

Posted by: FeelWood | January 21, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

That second year for C-M Wang should be 2009, not 2010.

Posted by: 202character | January 21, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Quick Hook Riggleman? The starters were getting hammered (4.6 era which includes Stras's and Livan's very respectable numbers, so the other guys were getting smoked) and he had a pen that could get outs. It is not like he was pulling SP's out for the heck of it.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 21, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I agree with dfh21. There are always going to be a time or two when we disagree with Riggs on pulling the starter, but for the most part, when he went to get them, they were toast.

Posted by: nats24 | January 21, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Good info, but I thought Crash Davis said strikeouts were fascist...

Posted by: baltova

Greatest. Post. Ever!

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | January 21, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

@baltova1 - Wang was/is a sinkerball specialist, looking for ground ball outs, not strikeouts.

Posted by: scw2u | January 21, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

>>Here's some stats for Poopy:Nationals: Scored 655, Allowed 742,Orioles: Scored 613, Allowed 785 Posted by: 202character

Just for fun, let's compare the Os and Nats. Who's team's player would you rather have at each position?
Except for Zimmerman at 3rd and, because he's young and has such an upside, Espinosa at 2nd over Roberts, who else would you take on the Nats?

I'd take Weiters over Pudge at catcher.
1B is a wash. SS is a wash although I'd probably take Hardy for defensive reasons over Desmond. Outfield is no contest. Pie over Bernadina, Jones over Morgan and even the Billion dollar man doesn't get the nod. Gotta take Markakis over Werth.

That leaves pitching and seriously that's not even fair. Except for Stras, the Nats have no one that compares to Matusz, Arrieta, Tillman and even Guthrie.
Closers and setup? Gotta pick Koji and Gregg over Storen and Clippard.

And then there's the manager, DoubleSwitch v Buck.
Really?
Switch isn't even in the same zip code, let alone league as Showalter.
As for owners, well both are barrel bottoms but whataya gonna do?

So I dunno, seems pretty cut and dried. One team's movin in one direction and one team's movin in the other.
Disagree?
If so, at what position?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | January 21, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks everyone,

BTW the nats were:

3rd worst in K/9 with 5.61
11th in BB/9 with 2.97
19th in HR/9 with 1.02
5th worst in BABIP 3.13

The best teams in each catagory were:

K/9 the Giants 7.99
BB/9 the Phillies 2.08
HR/9 the Cards 0.77
BABIP the A's .275

Posted by: hansenjo | January 21, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks everyone,

BTW the nats were:

3rd worst in K/9 with 5.61
11th in BB/9 with 2.97
19th in HR/9 with 1.02
5th worst in BABIP 3.13

The best teams in each catagory were:

K/9 the Giants 7.99
BB/9 the Phillies 2.08
HR/9 the Cards 0.77
BABIP the A's .275

Posted by: hansenjo | January 21, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"So I dunno, seems pretty cut and dried. One team's movin in one direction and one team's movin in the other."

You're talking ticket prices, right? The Orioles have just announced that they are raising theirs. Despite the fact that the second half improvement last year under Showalter was met by the same acres of empty seats in OPCY as they had for the dismal first half. I guess they need to raise the money to pay for their spiffy winter FanFest somehow, eh?

Posted by: FeelWood | January 21, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

>>You're talking ticket prices, right?

I think I answered that under my owners description.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | January 21, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

skins_fan - You're being pretty selective there. The Nats have the best position player (Zimm), the best pitcher (Stras) and the best prospect (Harper). So at the high end, the Nats dominate.

I also think you're really overrating the Orioles pitching staff - Chris Tillman's never posted an ERA below 5.4. He walks 5 guys a game. Arietta's a little better, but he's still a last-spot starter like most of the Nats guys. Matusz is the best of them, but does he project higher than Zimmermann?

For the bullpen, I'd much rather have Storen and Clippard. Ten years younger, and comparable stats. That's no contest.

Posted by: 202character | January 21, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

"So I dunno, seems pretty cut and dried. One team's movin in one direction and one team's movin in the other."

So let me ask you one simple question and give me an honest answer. Forget the bias and the urge to stick up for the home team. Heck, forget the stats. Based on your gut feeling alone, which team will get to World Series first... O's or Nats. Don't care if they win or not... just answer which team will get there first.

Posted by: KilgoreQTrout | January 21, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

>>skins_fan - You're being pretty selective there. The Nats have the best pitcher (Stras) and the best prospect (Harper). So at the high end, the Nats dominate. Posted by: 202character

Harper and Stras can't be considered. Only comparing players that will be on the roster this year.
Also as for Stras, I know no one wants to think about this (and knowing the Nats and what they did to Dibble, hope I'm not banned) but the guy did just have Tommy John, so he is now a different pitcher and a complete unknown. Who knows what he'll be upon his return.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | January 21, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Only comparing players that will be on the roster this year.

Weird if your argument is about which team is moving in which direction -- except don't focus on the future.

Posted by: Arkymark | January 21, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Skins_fan_22

Can you really discount minor league prospects when comparing what direction a team is moving in?

Seriously?

The Nat's and O's fan getting into a who's more woeful pussing contest is the mark that winter is just too damn long and we're all bored.

As for you poppy, let me know when your in Boston. My wife is a Sox fan and I feel like a little hubris. We'll even front you the ticket.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 21, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

>>So let me ask you one simple question and give me an honest answer. Forget the bias and the urge to stick up for the hometeam. Posted by: KilgoreQTrout

Well my bias and hometeam is the Nats but since I base everything on pitching, youth and managing, I'd have to honestly lean toward the Os, even being in the AL East.

Right now the Os are highly positioned with a great young OF, a young possible all-star catcher and possibly 4 great young pitchers if you count Britton, who I didn't even mention.
And they are led by someone I consider one of the best managres in the game. Their weakness, they are lacking at the IF corners.

The Nats meanwhile, except for Zim, are a complete hodgepodge in the field, and are a complete waste at the most important position--pitching, with no real future stars except for one guy coming off surgery.
I'm not ready to buy Storen as a closer. He's to much of a finesse pitcher and I think he will end up a solid middle reliever, maybe a setup guy, which unfortunately will prove he was a real bad draft pick and an unfortunate reach for a top 10 pick.

And of course the Nats are led by a guy I consider one of the worst managers in the game. Forget his inane doubleswitching for a second, let's not forget this was the guy by his own admission who refused to discipline Morgan and said instead of making a decision himself, took a vote from the team. This is our leader.

So right now, I really don't think it's a close contest.
I honestly think the Os will be way above .500 this season and the Nats will be close to 100 losses.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | January 21, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

>>Can you really discount minor league prospects when comparing what direction a team is moving in? Seriously? Posted by: soundbloke

Yea. Harper obviously looks like the real deal. May he'll pan out maybe he won't. You never know. Half these future stars turn out to be busts.

The Os drafted a SS named Machado with the 3rd pick who is supposed to be the second coming of ARod. Well maybe, maybe not. I'm talking about guys who have a track record who we'll see this season for sure.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | January 21, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Skins_fan laying the smack down in my absence.

All good points you've made sir. Too bad they'll fall on deaf ears around here as Natinal fans think all of their players are the best. Funny they're talking about Stras being the best pitcher ever even though no one knows how he'll come back (hopefully come back fully) from TJ surgery.

But again, most Natinal fans are just old, bitter Senator fans and/or ones who hold a grudge against Peter Angelos since they think he is the sole reason it took MLB so long to give DC a team. Of course we know that isn't even close to the truth.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 21, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, is this Blowrioles Insider?

F*2k off to the Baltimore Sun site

Posted by: Kev29 | January 21, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

skins_fan,
I think you've been smoking too much of the POOP.

The Orioles have young unproven pitching in Tillman, Matusz and Arrieta. Quite comparable to the Nationals' young unproven pitching of Strasburg, Zimmermann, and Detweiler.

The Nats had the better bullpen last year and it should continue to be a strength this year, even without Capps.

Wieters has shown nothing. Someday might he be an All-Star? Not hitting .250...I'm willing to see how Ramos/Flores compare.

Pie and Morse/Bernadina are a wash. Werth is clearly superior to Markakis (see above: POOP, smoking). I'll give you Jones over Morgan, of course.

LaRoche and Lee might be similar, but LaRoche had a better year last year.

Hardy's errors total is clearly better than Desmond, but i think the kid deserves a 2nd chance. If Hardy finds his bat, then he can get the nod over Desmond's better year last year.

Posted by: stantonpark | January 21, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love Kev29 and his commi-style of thinking.

Sorry Kev but this isn't 1984 and "double think" or "thoughtcrime" isn't happening here.

Of course Kev is probably just angry because he can see the O's on the right path while the Natinals continue to flounder.

Oh and you wanna now what else makes the O's on the upswing, that a few sources think Angelos is getting ready to sell, what with him looking to buy the racetrack and all.

Oh snap. So soon enough the O's will have new owners while the Natinals will be stuck with the same old same old.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 21, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Gee, why are the great Orioles pick aheard of the "Natinals" this coming draft? Oh, that's right, the Orioles (they're for the birds!) finished BEHIND the "Natinals." The same position they will be in,I fear, at the end of this coming season. Enjoy your overpriced seats people. How about dem Ravens?

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | January 21, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Gee, why are the great Orioles pick aheard of the "Natinals" this coming draft? Oh, that's right, the Orioles (they're for the birds!) finished BEHIND the "Natinals." The same position they will be in,I fear, at the end of this coming season. Enjoy your overpriced seats people. How about dem Ravens?

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | January 21, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Jordan Zimmermann: 7.8
Craig Stammen: 6.0
Ross Detwiler: 5.2
Livan Hernandez: 4.8
Jason Marquis: 4.8
John Lannan: 4.5
Luis Atilano: 4.2
Yunesky Maya: 4.2
Chien-Ming Wang (career): 4.2
______________

Perhaps someone should comment that Wand and Marquis are ground ball pitchers as are a couple of the others and thus usually do not have a high strikeout number per innings pitched.

Posted by: dorseylaw | January 21, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love adhardwick assuming that if you root for the Orioles you also root for the Ravens.

What's that saying about people who make assumptions because adhardwick sums that up nicely.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 21, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Of course prospects matter. Now I would rather have super star now that a mega-star prospect but, systems count. This is why the Rays and Rangers were not really a surprise to any serious fan. And it is pleasant that both our respective teams to appear to finally be getting better rather than getting worse. But if we are discounting prospects are we also discounting coaches, staff and GM? Because if we are this rather depressing game just turned totally pointless.

Although I do like the argument that that your team is doing so well because your owner plans to sell. Still I enjoy the contribution from the O's fans.

Seriously Poopy. Free Sox tickets. Whenever you want them. Do I have to throw in a free beer too?

Posted by: soundbloke | January 21, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Sound I'll take those free tickets if you wanna throw in a free roundtrip (3000 miles, each way plane ticket.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 21, 2011 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Soundbloke,
you've forgotten that Super Secret Agent POOP, of the shark diving and POOP smoking, actually is unemployed and lives in his mom's basement. He only gets to come upstairs to use the computer every evening after he finishes his chores. He can't afford to fly to Boston and he's not old enough to drink.

Posted by: stantonpark | January 21, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Hey stanton what's it like being the offspring of 2 aborted fetus'?

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 21, 2011 5:36 PM | Report abuse

>>Werth is clearly superior to Markakis. Posted by: stantonpark

Really? How do you figure?
OK Let's compare.
Markakis is 27. Werth 31.
Lifetime Batting Average: Markakis .298, Werth .272.
RBI (Last 5 years): Werth 343 (68 a season),
Markakis 422 (84 a season).
Werth hits more homers. That's it. But Werth also strikes out twice as much.
Markakis is a far superior player and younger.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | January 21, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention that Markakis is an absolute stud out in RF. Worth, not so much.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 21, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Poor POOP,
Got pwned again...

Posted by: stantonpark | January 21, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

The "pwned" one here is the one who actually uses nerdish internet lingo like "pnwed."

Hahahahahaha, really? "pwned"??

ahahahahhahahahahhhahahaha

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 21, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, I think that Pants is going to lead the Nats in strikeouts this year. He's got a big head start already. This pitching staff is in deep trouble. If you look at it, they should have their hardest throwers at least at the top of the rotation. So at least you can hit them with JZimm and Gorllany back-to-back. The rest of the guys are going to struggle mightily because I don't believe that any of the rest of them can throw strikes consistently. Only thing I can see happening is that Marquis regains some feel with his sinker and starts painting, and Maya rolls out a fastball that can keep hitters honest.

Posted by: Brue | January 21, 2011 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I like the Nats and sincerely hope they are moving in the right direction. Why, if the Orioles have a better season, does that change anything? Why can't both teams improve? Is it a zero-sum game? And why, why, why do people take such glee in trying to tear down the Nationals or Orioles? If you hate the Nationals and hope they fail, why are you even posting here? Why aren't you on the Orioles boards posting about how great they are?

Posted by: DavidandDonald1 | January 21, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Because, DavidandDonald1, some people here are not able to understand any part of "You don't [crap] where you sleep."
They keep feeding it, what do you expect?

You usta be able to discuss baseball like a human bein' in here. Not no more. Trolls. {ptooi}.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 21, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

People don't come to WAPO for intelligent discussions on anything. It's strictly a troll pit.

Posted by: RireGrist | January 21, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

"Wang put up 5.33 in 2008, 3.78 in 2010."

Wang *** didn't pitch at all in 2010 ***. The last good year Wang had was 2007. Since then he hasn't pitched 100 innings, spent some time in AAA and the bullpen.

You are playing fantasy baseball NOT THE REAL?
Sheesh!

"[Gorzelanny: 5.65]"

Gorzelanny spent a significant amount of time in the bullpen the past 2 years. He was more of a spot starter long relief guy.

Posted by: periculum | January 21, 2011 7:44 PM | Report abuse

"But again, most Natinal fans are just old, bitter Senator fans and/or ones who hold a grudge against Peter Angelos since they think he is the sole reason it took MLB so long to give DC a team. Of course we know that isn't even close to the truth."

Poopy doesn't want to admit it but he is actually governator of Ballimer's grandson. Right Poopy? And Ange-loss or Angel'HoHo is
his best pal? Yeah the guys who stiffed Montgomery County tax payers the people who paid more Maryland taxes than just about every other county combined!! And then Angelos the lawyer blocks DC getting a team. And the Governator of Ballimer blocks the Redskins from landing in Montgomery County ... sends them to PG? Well admittedly they belong in DC along with the Nats.

Still, I don't mind saying I am not happy about having to pay for the damned reach the beach highway plus the one that reaches to deep creek lake (both favored destinations for the governator) over improvements to roads IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY!!! I don't want to pay for Ballimerians and Arbutians to go games in nice inner harbor and damned Camden Yahds ... most of them are off on their boaties in the harbuh or Annapolis. Its the DC fans, and yes you got it, Montgomery County fans that were footing the bills.

Poopy do me a favor? Take your grand dad William Donald and his wheelchair and go play in traffic preferably on some busy street like East Pratt in front of the Yahds.

Posted by: periculum | January 21, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

" love adhardwick assuming that if you root for the Orioles you also root for the Ravens."


You are a deadskin fan McPoop, the one's the Ravens love to torture ... ahahahahahahahahahahahahah

Posted by: periculum | January 21, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

periculum - I acknowledged the Wang error, and yes, his last good season was 2007. Those are the innings pitched numbers he pitched in 2008 and 2009. I'm not saying he would be in the rotation, just that those are the numbers since somebody asked.

Gorzelanny started 23 games last year, pitched 6 in relief. 95 starts for his career, 23 relief appearances. He's more of a late-rotation starter who sometimes gets relegated to the bullpen.

Posted by: 202character | January 21, 2011 8:14 PM | Report abuse

@Brue at least is right,

"This pitching staff is in deep trouble. If you look at it, they should have their hardest throwers at least at the top of the rotation. So at least you can hit them with JZimm and Gorllany back-to-back."

That's exactly what will happen. Gorzelanny is a fast starter and he won't have Zambrano bouncing him in and out of the rotation. His problem may be similar to Zimmermann's in 2011. After being abused in 2007 his innings and pitch count should be limited just as Zimmermann's will. Both should not pitch more than 160 as starters ... I would guess between 150 and 160. So, you're going to see the 'pen even if they are pitching well. Gorzelanny should be the #1 starter in 2011 at least until the all-star game.

Unless "Pants" makes another trade. I think he is going to try mightily just for the reasons @brue gave in his post. We might still lose a Desmond or Espinosa etc. The problem is the team who could actually do this easily has one of the smartest Front Offices. They aren't as stupid as the Cubs and Pirates in that area. The Rays. And with their new owners the Yankees are starting to look Danny Snyderish ...

Here is some support for my contentions/prognosticating above:

"The community was considerably better than ZiPS here—the projection system’s lack of knowledge of anything that isn’t a number worked against it. Based on Jim Tracy’s abuse of Gorzelanny down the stretch in 2007, two guessers predicted Gorzelanny wouldn’t pitch an inning in 2008, and others predicted he’d pitch a shortened season."

"Basically, Gorzelanny has apparently taken some huge strides as a pitcher. He always missed bats in the minors but he failed to really translate that to the majors, even in 2007 he got by mostly thanks to luck on fly balls. But he looks like a totally different pitcher this year, a three-pitch lefty that misses bats and has solid command of all of his pitches. He seems like a good bet to be a solid No. 3 starter for the Cubs this year, possibly better, even if he regresses some from his currently high level. ZiPS has him finishing the year with a 3.61 FIP, and I think that’s a reasonable projection for him going forward. Credit Gorzelanny, credit the Cubs and credit pitching coach Larry Rothschild, because he’s really made some serious improvement as a pitcher in the past year."

“http://www.bucsdugout.com/2008/10/16/636765/community-projection-revie”

“http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2010/5/22/1481716/cubs-have-gotten-new-pitcher-in”

Posted by: periculum | January 21, 2011 8:19 PM | Report abuse

"but the guy did just have Tommy John, so he is now a different pitcher and a complete unknown. Who knows what he'll be upon his return."

And it takes 2 years with limited pitch counts and innings to get to a complete recovery ... if its done right and I believe that is what Rizzo plans and will do. These aren't Tracy's Pirates nor Bowden's side show.

Another reason/rationale for one more starting pitcher in trade.

Posted by: periculum | January 21, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Good info, but I thought Crash Davis said strikeouts were fascist...

Posted by: baltova

Love that movie. But, Crash also said he believed Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

Posted by: jmurray019 | January 21, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

For Skins fan and Mcpoopy

It's good to see a big fan of one of the worst football teams in recent memory has teamed up with one of the biggest morons in recent history. Way too much negativity. The O's suck, always have always will. They will trade anything that even looks like a keeper for a broken down former star at the first opportunity. Showalter will have them fighting with each other by the all-star break. O's 64-98 this year.

Who knows how all these changes will work out for the Nats. At this stage they look like a better team than last year, and they were a better team last year than the O's. To me the Nats changes look more positive than anything the O's have done thus far, so I'm liking the odds that at the season's end the O's are still looking pathetic compared to their local rivals. Of course that will only be important to you two, since trying to beat out a loser is a loser's game. The real question is whether the Nats can begin to compete in their division; we already know the O's cannot. So who really cares about how the O's do?

But you guys have a nice summer! Maybe you can have drinks and say nasty things about people walking by.

Posted by: lesatcsc | January 21, 2011 9:30 PM | Report abuse

"Oh snap. So soon enough the O's will have new owners while the Natinals will be stuck with the same old same old."

Oh snap! They'll be headed for Vegas and the big money. Folks there might actually come out to watch baseball games instead of having to rely on cities nearby? And poor old Camden Yahds? Oh my maybe the Nats will play an exhibition game or two there ...

Meanwhile, the milkman Cal Jr. scrambles for pennies to save the team. Poor Ori-hole byrd?

Posted by: periculum | January 21, 2011 9:37 PM | Report abuse

sad sad gloryhole fans

Posted by: bbachrac | January 22, 2011 4:15 AM | Report abuse

What a pathetic exchange of trash between stat-o-geeks who couldn't catch a fly ball with a fishing net. Like the fate of two teams hangs in your hands, lol.

Must be raining in California, eh Poop? There's got to be something better to do with your time out there...

Posted by: howjensen | January 22, 2011 8:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm with Crash Davis (I guess really "Bull Durham" writer/director Ron Shelton) on this; pitch to contact. While there are certainly situations within a game where a strikeout is the proper tactic for dealing with a particular batter, a K takes at least three pitches and a ground ball to an infielder or fly out to an outfielder can take as few as one. Much more efficient for a pitcher if you remember that it's a team game and the other eight guys are there wearing gloves in order to get outs too.

Posted by: greggwiggins | January 22, 2011 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Speculating about whether the Orioles or Nationals are the better team is like arguing over whether fox poop or dog poop will last the longest. Neither team has shown anything this decade, though it's apparent both owners are finally committed to improving. But the Orioles need the Nationals while the Nationals don't need the Orioles. Anyone notice how Angelos finally handed the team to baseball professionals only after the Nationals arrived in the area?

Posted by: longbow1 | January 22, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

@howjensen
I agree with half (2nd) of what you say. Nice to see ol' "Why-did-I-ever-trade-Dundalk-for-Long-Beach, Hon?" McYou-know-who can bring out the best in people.

@greggwiggins
Big picture, I agree with you. But in assembling a staff, it's good to have a mix of styles, so the opponent's batters don't "lock in" over a series. To keep gratuitous comments from the haters to a minimum, I'll use Jamie Moyer as an example. A rotation of 5 Greg Madduxes would be pretty damned imposing, all 5 4.5 Kpg of them. A rotation of 5 Jamie Moyers (even the 35 YO version) would start getting shelled. Not because Moyer sucks, but because he ain't Greg Maddux. He needs to use the fact that his pitches are a different speed than most MLB pitchers, and he hopes that by the time batters have figured him out, he's been through the lineup 3 times and has hit the showers.

So, agreed that the job of an MLB pitcher is to get outs however he can. Viewing each game in isolation, it doesn't matter how a pitcher does it. However, a starting staff with a variety of ways to get people out can help each other be more effective individually.

Of course, the very best starting pitchers have multiple out pitches for situational use and can give batters different looks from AB to AB. And yes, the Nats need at least one of those guys. JZimm, I'm lookin' at you. Time to stop living off style points and get some Ws. I'm not asking "1A" this year, but I think it's fair to ask for at least "#3".

Posted by: Nanta | January 22, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

If a pitcher like Gorzelanny is touted as a rotation's hope, the team is in trouble.

The National's have been harping about developing SP since they arrived in Washington, but their success rate is abysmal.

Without at least three solid SP's, it will be another long season.

Yes, I'll still go watch, but I'm getting tired of watching better pitching by their opponents.

Make a move Washington and give fans some hope.

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | January 22, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

This post has got to be one of Adam's most idiotic ever.

Adding a starter who strikes batters out isn't like adding a HR hitter to a power-starved lineup. Hitters are in the lineup every day. But starters only pitch once every 5 games. Aggregate averages for a measurement like K/9 are meaningless.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | January 22, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Make a move Washington and give fans some hope.
Posted by: clandestinetomcat | January 22, 2011 10:01 AM

What move should they make? Maybe they should try to offer a ton of prospects and money for Zack Greinke? Maybe they should go after a mid-level free agent like De La Rosa? Maybe they should put in due diligence with monster free agents like Cliff Lee?

Oh wait, they did ALL of those things and established pitchers don't want to come here yet. Fault the Lerners for poisoning the well from 2006-2009 by thinking they could be a new model of cheap owner - don't fault the club now for trying.

Posted by: Kev29 | January 22, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

It's funny reading all the bitter and jealous Natinal fans talking about the Orioles. Such good, entertaining reading.

Here's something you "fans" can try to wrap you head around, since it had to do with pitching and we all know the Natinals have absolutely nothing.

In Matusz's last 11 starts, he went 7-1 and only gave up a total of 15 runs. That's something the Natinals could only hope to have a pitcher due.

Oh well, there's always the Potomac Natinals, they're okay, right?

hahahahahahahahahaha

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 22, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Off topic, I know, but the Vernon Wells trade makes the Jayson Werth signing even better, IMO. Why? It proves that it is possible to move a guy with a big contract. Not that we should already be thinking about dumping Werth, but it makes paying him $20 million+ in future years not such a burden. If the Nats suddenly have other guys they think are better and Werth still has some value, they should be able to make a deal. I mean, the Wizards were able to unload Gilbert Arenas, for God's sake...

Posted by: baltova1 | January 22, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

You usta be able to discuss baseball like a human bein' in here. Not no more. Trolls. {ptooi}.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa
============================================
Sec3, I have to disagree. I see lots of stuff here that I find intelligent, thoughtful, and informative.

And I'm not discounting the gloom-and-doomers here - Brue, skins_fan, etc. You may not like what they have to say, but you can't claim that they don't come here armed with facts. They make the discussion lively, force you to confront their arguments, and keep this place from becoming a one-tune show.

There's plenty of good stuff here. Just don't feed the troll (for what, the three thousandth time?), no matter what the provocation. Trolls won't post unless you take their bait.

Posted by: gilbertbp | January 22, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"Oh wait, they did ALL of those things and established pitchers don't want to come here yet. Fault the Lerners for poisoning the well from 2006-2009 by thinking they could be a new model of cheap owner - don't fault the club now for trying. "@ Kev29

Exactly. It will take a few years to clear that well. The best scenario I can see is that there is a little improvement this year and that 2012 brings a whiff of contention when SS comes back and Harper is arriving. Maybe a couple top flight FAs are willing to believe the cheap days are over and are willing to join the team. Then, maybe, just maybe, 2013 will see a serious contended in DC. Lord knows they will have the payroll room to make it so.

Posted by: NatsFly | January 22, 2011 2:46 PM | Report abuse

It's sooo good to see the Poop back! Ah, baseball season is just around the corner.

Posted by: Pete433 | January 22, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

For whatever it's worth; K/9IP rankings for 2010 playoff teams...
Starters: Giants -1st (7.99), Rays -9th (7.18), Rangers -10th (7.16), Yankees -T13th (6.97), Phillies -T13th (6.97), Braves -19th (6.63), Reds -20th (6.58), Twins -21st (6.38); MLB average was 6.76. Local teams: Orioles -27th (5.62), Nationals -28th (5.61).

For the Bullpens: Braves -1st (10.06), Giants -6th (8.65), Phillies -9th (8.14), Reds -15th (7.84), Rays -16th (7.77), Yankees -17th (7.69), Rangers -20th (7.58), Twins -T27th (6.74); MLB average was 7.85. Local teams: Nationals -7th (8.48), Orioles -18th (7.64).

Posted by: BinM | January 22, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

@McP: Here's a few numbers for you to chew on (numbers from Fangraphs.com)...
Orioles SP's: Worst Fielding Independant Pitching rate (FIP) in MLB = 4.74. Nationals -23rd = 4.40.
The Nationals also had fewer losses from their SP's (64 vs. 72).

From the bullpen, The Nationals had more wins, more saves, a better K/W ratio, BABIP, ERA & FIP than the Orioles.

From the hitters, the Nationals had more RS & RBI, and slightly better OBP & SLG percentages despite having a lower team Batting average.

In terms of fielding, While the Nationals led MLB in total errors, and tied for the lowest Fielding%, they still managed to outrank the Orioles in both Team UZR (WSH=4.8, BAL=-22.9)& Fld categories (WSH=6.8, BAL=-20.9).

Go figure.

Posted by: BinM | January 22, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

BinM (and others) -

Are you really expecting him to say, "OMG, you're right! Your team is teh GR8 and my team SUX!!!"?

His only purpose is to taunt and to try to get a rise out of you. If you react, he's happy - that's all he wants. If the Nats were to somehow go 162-0 on the season and his team 0-162, he'd taunt you that his team's GM's wife is better-looking, or the beer is colder at his park, or there are fewer potholes in his park's parking lot.

You are NOT going to assemble any array of facts and figures that will make him shut up; all you will do is give him an opening to taunt you some more. It's idiotically childish on his part (which is why some here suggest he's a 12-year-old living in his mother's basement - his behavior is certainly indistinguishable as such), but that's what he lives for, and every time you respond to him at all, it's like giving a lab monkey another hit of cocaine for pressing that lever in his cage.

Again: Do. Not Feed. The. Troll.

Posted by: gilbertbp | January 22, 2011 5:36 PM | Report abuse

What gilbertbp said. I second that.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 22, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Third....

Posted by: TimDz | January 22, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

"If a pitcher like Gorzelanny is touted as a rotation's hope, the team is in trouble."

Oh, I don't know ... I suspect there are a lot of teams that would love to have the Jordan Zimmermann/Tom Gorzelanny tandem in their first 3 slots in the rotation. If they both pitch as expected and Stras comes back ... in might just get interesting ...


Posted by: periculum | January 22, 2011 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I don't know @gilbertbp ...

I kind of like the sound of the Vegas Orioles and McP crying in his beer, poop and pee ...

Posted by: periculum | January 22, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Fourth... And this from the pastor: "Make no friends with those given to anger, and do not associate with hotheads, or you may learn their ways and entangle yourself in a snare." Proverbs 22:25 Thus ends the raeding of the lesson.

Posted by: fpcsteve27 | January 22, 2011 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't it Jesus, or Buddha, or Ghandi, or Allah, or Muhammad, or The Flying Spaghetti Monster that said something about loving your neighbor and trying to bring back into the fold those who have strayed?

Them's the words you all need to adhere by.

Oh, and the O's will have at least 20 more wins than the Natinals.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 22, 2011 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Fifth. Just. Don't. Do it.

Posted by: NatsFly | January 22, 2011 9:48 PM | Report abuse

"Oh, and the O's will have at least 20 more wins than the Natinals."

After poor Peter Angelos sells them and they move to Viva Las Vegas! Hey what a great name for the transitioning O's. The Las Vegas Vivas!

Posted by: periculum | January 23, 2011 12:19 AM | Report abuse

"Exactly. It will take a few years to clear that well. The best scenario I can see is that there is a little improvement this year and that 2012 brings a whiff of contention when SS comes back and Harper is arriving."

If Rizzo manages to get this team to .500 or above this year ... (in spite of gentleman Jim double-switch when he doesn't have to Riggleman) players will come if they are paid full market value. There's history to be made ...

Posted by: periculum | January 23, 2011 12:23 AM | Report abuse

"If Rizzo manages to get this team to .500 or above this year ... (in spite of gentleman Jim double-switch when he doesn't have to Riggleman) players will come if they are paid full market value. There's history to be made ..."

Agree, Peric. Don't think we will get there this year, though. But I hope, and actually think, that we will make another step in that direction this year. Maybe get there in 2012, then they will come. By the way, friend Peric, PLEASE stop feeding the troll. You give him a reason to post and just annoy the rest of us. Just. Don't. Do. It. OK?

Posted by: NatsFly | January 23, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

A quick question. How is it that the Angels get Vernon Wells for two nondescript players ( Napoli & Rivera) is there any way that Rizzo could have swung a deal for Wells or could Wells have vetoed a trade to DC because of the (5/10) rule?

Posted by: dargregmag | January 23, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

dargreg - Wells had a full no trade clause in his contract.

Posted by: Sunderland | January 23, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

@dargregmag,

Where do you put him? I think Werth is what they decided on for this role. The rest of the OF is apparently to be preferably covered by guys they develop who must be under 30 or pretty close, can run and field. They traded Willingham for that reason.

Its why I'm not worried about Nyjer since he is plus 30 now and likely on his way out ... plus he and Corey Brown do bat left as does Bernadina.

Wells bats right but is an interesting case in that he
batted sub-Mendoza with a .289 OBP against left handed pitchers. That's actually what pulled his stats down. And he is a right handed hitter. In a sense he's another Nyjer or Bernadina.

I think they are better off seeing what Corey Brown can do.

Picking up Nicky J seems to make more sense. I should think he would make a far better left-handed pinch hitter than Matt Stairs, he is younger and makes a better than average back up for La Roche. Old double switch would probably love double switching that guy into a game.

Posted by: periculum | January 23, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

If you're referring to Nick Johnson, peric, I've been on board with that, but the signing of LaRoche would seem to have squelched it, unless NJ can't get an offer anywhere and would settle for an invitation to spring training.

I'd also like to see the Nats go after Podesnik for lead-off so they could dump Nyjer.

Posted by: nats24 | January 23, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

make that "Podsednik' -- sorry

Posted by: nats24 | January 23, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Podsednik would be on the Nats radar unless as possible backup like Ankiel?

1. He is going to be 35
2. He only played 6 games in CF. Werth is the better outfielder.
3. Where do you play him? In left field? That's where he played
mostly?

Again, left handed hitting Corey Brown looks like the better solution if not Morgan. Plus Podsednik only had a .313 OBP last year. They need better than that at lead off.

Posted by: periculum | January 23, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Ooops correction: Posednik had a .342 OBP over all. In the Al he had a .353 OBP and a .297 BA. Big drop off coming to the NL. Huge really.

They can do better ... I'd rather trade with the halos for a 23 year old prospect like Peter Bourjous. He definitely plays CF. Has plenty of speed proven by 27 SB, 12 triples, (someone else's long double is his triple), 13 doubles and 13 homers in AAA.

Of course he's why Vernon Wells is no longer with the Halos.

Posted by: periculum | January 23, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Hmm must still be asleep ... the Halos just traded for Wells. Why would they want that guy when they've go Bourjous plus some other interesting OF prospects lined up? That's a strange deal ...

My mistake.

Posted by: periculum | January 23, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Podsednik has plenty of experience in CF. I'd be looking at him as a one-year fix. If the Nats didn't think he could handle CF, put Worth there and Bernadina/Morse/Ankiel in RF. Really, I don't see it happening, but I just wish the Nats weren't banking on Morgan hitting lead-off.

Posted by: nats24 | January 23, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Kind of interesting what the angels are doing? Mike Trout arguably the #1 outfield prospect and they go for Wells? Have to wonder if Torii Hunter is on his way out?

Posted by: periculum | January 23, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"Podsednik has plenty of experience in CF. I'd be looking at him as a one-year fix. If the Nats didn't think he could handle CF, put Worth there and Bernadina/Morse/Ankiel in RF. Really, I don't see it happening, but I just wish the Nats weren't banking on Morgan hitting lead-off."

Appears to go against the notion of philosophy of defense first. And for this team, last in the majors, its desperately needed.

Leadoff is something Espinosa could do. Perez is being groomed to do. Desmond could also do. Bernadina could do. It boils down to OBP and getting on base. But they have the speed. Posednik were he to come would have to go to centerfield. His OBP in the national league with the Dodgers wasn't all that great which I guess is why he is out there still at age 35.

Posted by: periculum | January 23, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Nats lose another draft pick if they sign Scott Podsednik. He's a type B. Not sure Rizzo wants to lose any at the top of the draft. This is a pretty deep draft full of talent. It may be why no one else has signed him?

I think you're only hope is if the Nats trade Morgan ...

In the end the Nats need to go younger in most positions kind of like the Rays.

Posted by: periculum | January 23, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

The Rays just lost 2 of their 13 picks signing Damon and Ramirez. ChiSox pick up the pick they lost for signing Dunn. Plus a supplementary. Tigers get a second rounder.

Posted by: periculum | January 23, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The 2011 starting rotation vs. the 2010 starting rotation: improved or not?

As I recall (and anyone who wants to help me is welcome to), we came out of Spring Training last year with a rotation of:
Lannan, Marquis, Mock, Hernandez, and a fifth pitcher to be named later (either Stammen or Olsen, I think).

Injuries took down Mock and Marquis. Their disappearance brought Olsen, Stammen, and Atilano into the rotation. An injury to Olsen brought J. D. Martin into the rotation.

Strasburg's debut pushed Stammen out of the rotation. Lannan's AA assignment following injury brought Stammen back into the rotation. A spot start by Batista and Lannan's return filled in for Strasburg during his layoff. Detwiler had replaced Atilano in the rotation and Strasburg's return pushed Detwiler out of the rotation.

J. D. Martin's injury coincided with Olsen's return to the rotation. Marquis' return pushed Stammen out of the rotation. Zimmermann replaced Strasburg in the rotation after his elbow blowout. Olsen was pushed out of the rotation by Maya. During September, the rotation was Hernandez, Lannan, Marquis, Zimmermann, and Maya. Detwiler got two more starts at the end of the season.

OK. Got all that? By my count, six starters had injuries at some point last year: Mock, Marquis, Olsen, Lannan, Martin, and Strasburg. (Atilano may have been hurt, too. That would make seven injured starters.)

This year, we start with (provisionally) a
rotation of Zimmermann, Lannan, Marquis, Gorzelanny, and Hernandez. Competing for spots on this rotation are Maya and Detwiler (at least).

I don't know about you, but this looks to me like a modest improvement over the situation at the beginning of last season. I've got to believe that there will be fewer injuries to the rotation this year than last. I mean, if the Phillies had six starters felled by injury during 2010, they wouldn't have been so good either, right?

Posted by: bertbkatz | January 23, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

@berkbatz: Nice recount on the 'churning' of the WSH starters in 2010. For 2011, I'd count on Livo, Lannan, Marquis & JZimm for the 1-4 spots (in no particular order), and one of Detwiler/ Gorzelanny/ Maya/ Milone to fill the 5th spot, with 'inside $$' on either Gorzelanny or Maya.

The 2011 OD rotation could be a slight gain-to-overall wash, when compared to the 2010 staff.

Posted by: BinM | January 23, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, BinM. I was thinking about Milone, but I decided not to include anyone who wasn't in MLB last year. That's why I included "(at least)" in listing additional competition for rotation spots.

P.S.: In the 2010 pitching rundown, I omitted Matt Chico's spot start in early May (for Lannan, I believe, before he tried to return following his injury and found he couldn't "sink" his sinker).

Posted by: bertbkatz | January 23, 2011 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Tracking backwards - I'm a NO on Posednik. While he possibly fits the profile for a lead-off hitter, he'd be a waste of $$, imo.

He's aging (35 in 2011), is a weak LF & below-average CF, imo. Additionally, he'd be buried behind Bernadina, Morse, Werth, Ankiel, Brown, & possibly even Morgan; Why waste a supplemental draft pick to sign a player who ranks 6th-7th in roster depth?

Posted by: BinM | January 23, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Pods has no arm, would not be desirable in center field.

Posted by: markfromark | January 23, 2011 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Scott Posednik is the answer. He'll do "wonders" for the Natinals.

Oh man what a pick up.

hahahahahahahahahahahahah

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 23, 2011 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Uhhh, I haven't seen where the Nats have picked up Podsednik. I haven't made a complete count, but opinion on this thread tilts against Podsednik. Pick on the Alex Cora signing, maybe. That one actually happened.

Posted by: bertbkatz | January 23, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

I think with CF before we did anything both Morgan and Brown would have to play themselves out of jobs, and if they think Brown is good enough but not ready then Bernadina plays there and lets Brown ease hos way in. I don't for a second believe we traded Willingham for two guys who aren't going to help us, Rizzo has to have faith in him.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | January 23, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I did a quick search for P00PY_MCP00P, found this:

http://mistertrioxin.seetle.net/id131.htm

Definitely a troll.

Posted by: 202character | January 23, 2011 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Well, now 1a1 would rip me if I commented on Podsednik's wife, so I won't.

And having looked sabremetricly at his stats, I withdraw my suggestion. No use losing a draft pick, as peric pointed out, if he's not much better than Nyjer, or (potentially) Brown.

But I still believe a .500 season depends on getting a lead-off hitter who can do the job.

Posted by: nats24 | January 24, 2011 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Just a warning, the MCP00P link I posted has a lot of NSFW language - it was only posted to show what kind of online character poopy is.

Posted by: 202character | January 24, 2011 2:12 AM | Report abuse

um, not really

---

Well, now 1a1 would rip me if I commented on Podsednik's wife, so I won't.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 24, 2011 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Now days I read the by lines first and look for rational people. :) Having found none, I'll post anyway. I understand and embrace the desire for hard throwers - particularly hard throwers with control. But as a fan what I value most is strike throwers not hard throwers. I want strike one on the first pitch. That more than how fast your pitch travels is the key to better pitching performance. You can have an 88 MPH fastball if you throw with percision. Or you can have a 98 MPH fastball and not be able to throw strikes. The Nats need a few more 1-2 and 2-2 counts that end as outs without going to multiple 3-2 counts.

Posted by: natbiscuits | January 24, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

@202character: Please. Ignore the troll.

Posted by: gilbertbp | January 24, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Well said, natbiscuits.

It reminds me of one of more idiotic comments Dibble uttered when watching Strassburg's first or second game. He commented on how many strikes that SS was throwing and said that he needs to learn to throw out of the strike zone in order to improve his performance. To further back your point, I don't recall Cliff Lee blazing too many high ninety fast balls either. Pitchers win by using the what they have to the best of their abilities.

Posted by: driley | January 24, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

biscuits, don't know if I qualify as rational but...

I agree on the overrating of strikeouts and hard throwers. Anybody know what Greg Maddux hit on the radar gun? How about Tom Glavine? Smoltz threw kind of hard but nobody locked in on the speed of his fastball, either. That's why I'm higher on John Lannan that others here. He shows signs of knowing how to get guys out. If they do trade him to a good team, I wouldn't be surprised to see him become a playoff hero for somebody (of course, I'd rather see it happen here...).

Posted by: baltova1 | January 24, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Comparing Lannan with Maddux and Glavine?

Hahaha, I knew I needed a good Monday Morning chuckle but never figured it would quite that funny.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 24, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

And to all the "fans" that dislike the "Oh" during the National Anthem and think it's disrespectful, helps the terrorists win, etc., you all must've really really really been mad with anger yesterday when the Bears fans cheered (and loudly too) during the entire National Anthem before the NFC game.

Oh snap!

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 24, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

MLBTR is reporting that the Nats designated Martiis.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 24, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

If Lannan pitched for a team which supported him with good fielding and run support he wouldn't be much different from Maddux. As long as he doesn't suffer another injury causing him to lose his sinker and regain it over a few months. Other than that period in 2010, Lannan has been a very consistent pitcher for the last three years. He finished last year with a 6-3 record and 3.42 ERA over his last 11 starts. Not too shabby.

Posted by: bertbkatz | January 24, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

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