Rotation Starting to Set Up, 5th Spot Still Open

March 20, 2009

With the cutting of Shawn Hill, I’m no longer sure that Jordan Zimmermann is the 5th man in this rotation. I’m thinking he’s the FOURTH man. Want to know how the rest of the world feels about Zimmermann? Here’s a few quotes from this week’s chat rooms

  • Kevin Goldstein – Baseball Prospectus (3/17): “He’s been nothing short of excellent, with the scouting reports matching the numbers… If I re-did the top 100, I’d move him up a bit.”
  • John Manuel – ESPN (3/18): “He’s probably ready. I haven’t caught him this spring yet, but I did our Eastern League prospects list last year and he was the NO. 2 pitcher in that league, behind only Chris Tillman. He’s athletic, he has good size, arm strength, gaining experience. He has a higher ceiling than any pitcher the Nats have, major or minor league side.” Read the rest of this entry »

Final Rounds of WBC Set

March 20, 2009

The matchups are set, as Japan beat Korea last night 6-2. The game was close, 2-1 Japan until the 7th when Korea tied it up. But Japan came roaring back and scored 3 in the top of the 8th, from there it was pretty much over. The semifinals are now set, Korea plays Venezuela Saturday evening, and Japan will play the US on Sunday night at 8 pm. This is now a single elimination tournament. This is, to parallel some other current sporting event, the final four.

What to Expect from Japan

In a word, it’s pitching. Japan has the second best ERA in the tournament, behind only the Dominican Republic.daisuke_matsuzaka_bid In 7 full games, they have a TEAM ERA of 1.21. 3 of their games were shutouts. Their pitching staff has also cobbled together 54 Ks in 60 IP, and a WHIP of 0.95. One of the big reasons they’ve done so well is Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, and it looks like he might start against the US on Sunday night. That would be pretty exciting to watch, and see how they handle him.

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