Wow, Kasten Wasn’t Kidding

August 25, 2009

At blogger day (hey, I’m going to ride this as long as I can), Kasten made reference to the Arizona Fall League. For those of you that don’t know, the AFL is operated by MLB and many top prospects go there to tune up for next year. It keeps them competing against high-level pros, important for young guys, and often is a preview of who might do well in the majors next year. Kasten said the Nats were gonna send one of the best groups of prospects ever, and he wasn’t kidding. The rosters were just announced, check it out:

Stephen Strasburg – Heard of him? Yeah, ESPN’s gonna be pumping AFL starts, or at least highlights, into your football-filled brains this October. They’ll be his first professional outings, so you better believe they are significant.

Drew Storen – The Nats #10 pick this year, and ready to dominate yet another league on his way to the bigs, I guess. His ERA trends going from low-A to high-A to AA suggest by the time he gets to the majors, he’ll actually take runs away from the other team when he goes in.

Derek Norris – Considered the Nats other catcher of the future. And if he can’t catch, his bat suggest they find somewhere else in the field for him to play. If he can catch, he has a chance to be a real star in the majors.

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Blogger Day 2 Roundup

August 25, 2009

As mentioned in an earlier post, Sunday was Blogger Day II at Nats Park, and we were there. We got there around 11AM and were quickly brought in by Nats Director of Baseball Media Relations, Mike Gadza. We all squished inside the elevator and made our way to the press room, where manager Jim Riggleman had just finished his press conference with the real media folks. With us on the way was Bob Cohn of the Washington Times. You better believe I was quoted! As Kasten later said, it was a reporter doing a story on bloggers doing a story on baseball, and someone should write a blog about it.

We were given the opportunity to ask Riggleman some questions and without getting in to trying to quote, here were a few highlights:

  • He has been really happy with the hitting, their job is to establish consistent pitching now.
  • Hitting is great, it was hard to manage against the Rangers of the last few years. But those teams never sniffed the playoffs. But now the Rangers can pitch, and they hit much less, and they’re in the thick of the hunt.
  • It is a big concern for him to balance the workload of the young pitchers while getting good pitching so the team can win.
  • Media has changed drastically. Even when he was managing in a big city like Chicago, in the late 90s, there were 2 or 3 beat writes and a radio station. Certainly no blogging, and there just wasn’t as much scrutiny.
  • They are really working hard to improve the defense, going out and practicing before games, but this was actually Acta’s idea. The problem was under Acta, it rained so much early on, that they couldn’t consistently go out there.
  • He thinks Dunn has played well at first base. They’ve got to get him to read the ball a little better off of the bat, to help his range (the hole between 1B and 2B has been an issue), but he’s made all the scoops he should and has been energized by the switch.

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