Time to Bring Someone Up?

July 21, 2010

When Luis Atliano came up to the Majors this year, not that much was expected of him. He had pitched well in AAA, but he wasn’t a real prospect. Yet his first two starts looked good, and after 9 GS he was 5-2 with a 4.24 ERA. Not bad, but not meant to last. In those 51 innings he had only walked 22, which isn’t bad, expect that he had also struck out only 22. The ratio was a hint, as was his 6% of strikes from swinging. People didn’t miss his pitches.

Since that 9th start, things have really tailed off for him. He’s gone 1-5 (the team has gone 1-6), his ERA has been 6.49 in the last 7 games, and while his K/BB ratio has improved to 18/10, its because people are swinging and hitting him more. The opposition has gotten 44 hits in only 34 2/3 IP off of him in that time, and over the whole season, his ERA has gone up to 5.15, rising in all but 2 of his last 7 starts, those two against Baltimore and Kansas City.

It may be time to find someone else to fill Atilano’s role, at least for the moment. This isn’t to say he can’t be a decent 5th starter, or find a constructive role in the bullpen, but that right now it appears his starts are set up to be losses. So if they do make a switch, is there anybody out there to take his place? There sure is, and you’ve probably heard of a few of them:

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Livan Making Nats History

April 28, 2010

Livan Hernandez continues to dominate every time he goes out there. Not through striking anyone out, mind you, he only has 10 of those in 31 IP. But he’s third in the majors in starter ERA sitting pretty at 0.87. He’s also 7th in WHIP at the same number – 0.87. His start to the season, which many thought would be a typical up and down year for him with a final ERA between 4.50 and 5.50 (at least I did) has been, to say the least, impressive. He’s pitched at least 7 innings in all 4 appearances, hasn’t only given up more than 1 ER once so far, when he gave up 2. He lost 2-1 that game, so he’s sitting at a record of 3-1. Off to a great start, sure, but it’s downright historic for this franchise.

In the history of the Nationals, a start like this has happened once, and only once before. Any guess who started out the season ALMOST this well, but not quite? I’ll let you stew on it, you can click the link to read more and get the answer.

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Not Livan Us Alone

February 25, 2010

If it was anyone else with his numbers, I’d be surprised the Nats signed him. What do the Nats need from a 35 year old starting pitcher who had a 5.44 ERA last year, a 6.05 ERA the year before? It’s not like he’s a recovery-from-injury project, someone with upside to do something much better. Those numbers are probably around what you’re gonna get from him, so why? Because the person we’re talking about is Livan Hernandez, and he apparently signed a lifetime contract with the Expos that this franchise still can’t get out of. Whenever he’s out of a job, someone here brings him back.

The problem with bringing Livo in to round out the rotation, in every sense of that phrase, is that he’s completely unnecessary. I know that people will say his numbers are a bit deceiving. His 5.28 ERA over the last 4 years doesn’t reflect the number of quality starts he had. The combination of very good games and very bad games inflate his numbers. To them I say, if he had enough good games, it would balance out. Instead, the last few years have been just plain bad:

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Questions Going into Spring Training 2010

February 10, 2010

It’s almost upon us. Pitcher and catchers report in a matter of days rather weeks, although many are down there now already. Spring training games begin in a few weeks, and the Nats are semi-set at many places to begin the season. But that doesn’t mean there still aren’t many many questions that need to be answered. Here are a few I have going in to the season…

Who are the 5 starters?

That’s kind of a big one, so I put it first. You know, the guys that start the games? We’ve got two for sure! John Lannan is the only guy I have real confidence in as of Feb. Marquis is fine, he’s not great, but you can expect a close-to-league-average ERA and near 30 starts. On this team, that put you at the top. But that’s IT. There is nobody else guaranteed a spot. Three empty rotation spots is a ton, and I’m not sure they’re planning on bring Strasburg up any time soon. 2011 looks promising when you add him and Zimmermann, but until then? Here’s a quick rundown of the candidates:

  • Scott Olsen – Was once pretty good, once threw in the mid-90s. He’s coming back from shoulder surgery, so he’s very risky BUT, if that heat is there, he’s gonna be decent. The problem is that it hasn’t been there for years.
  • Garrett Mock – Lots of Ks but too many walks. Good stuff, but hasn’t put it together and is now 27.
  • J.D. Martin – Had some success last year, but doesn’t miss many bats. Also turning 27.
  • Read the rest of this entry »

Rotation Kept in a Somewhat Suprising Way

June 29, 2009

After I wrote an article discussing who should be moved and who should be demoted with the impending promotion of Scott Olsen, I was pretty proud of myself. After all, I found out that the Nats had indeed moved Stammen to the bullpen. This was my idea exactly, I was just waiting for them to decide whether to move down Hanrahan (my idea) or Colome. Then the job offer from the front office, I assumed, would arrive in my e-mail inbox.

So much for that, they instead decided to take Stammen back out of the bullpen, and he gets to stay as a starter. And as if to rub salt in the wound, they suggested to move Martis down to the minors. I was kind of surprised, considering I assumed he was the #2 of the 4 rookies in terms of performance. Yes, as the Nationals Journal points out “…since his May 13 victory against San Francisco, Martis is 0-3 with a 6.34 ERA. In those eight starts, he’s walked 22 and struck out just 13,” but that’s not the whole story. He has a better ERA than the other guys and started out so strong.

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Keeping a 5 Man Rotation

June 28, 2009

Scott Olsen is allegedly healthy and doing rehab starts in AAA. The success of these rehab can be debated – his last one wasn’t too bad but he has looked spectacular. In his latest, and really only good start of the 3 so far, he went 6 IP, give up 2 ER with 5 K and only 1 BB. But he did give up 8 H. Anyway, Manny was miked up earlier this week and said that when Olsen came back, one of the youngsters would have to either move to the bullpen or go down to the minors. I guess they feel that Olsen has the most experience of the group, might as well start him.

Who Should Be Moved?

I’m taking Lannan out of this discussion. Besides being the only non-rookie, he’s been the most successful starter. He’s the Ace of the staff, even if he’s not a #1 pitcher. As for the others, well let’s look at what they’ve done over their last 5 games. I’ve listed the stats for each one of them, including the average over these games their totals.

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June 9, 2009

ESPN had a poll up today, and well, it went a little something like this:


That’s right, 46% of respondents at the time I looked thought that the Nats team is the worst in sports. Why is this? Well, I’m pretty sure it’s because ESPN REGULARLY TELLS PEOPLE THAT THE NATS ARE THE WORST TEAM IN SPORTS. Otherwise, I just don’t get it. Let’s go over the transgressions of this team: Read the rest of this entry »