Craig Stammen has nice outing
Right-hander Craig Stammen pitched in his first exhibition game for the Nationals on Tuesday and had a solid outing, giving up one run in four innings in a 7-2 victory against the Tigers.
Stammen, who started because the Nationals wanted to lineup right-handers Shairon Martis and Jordan Zimmermann on their regular days in the rotation, retired the first nine batters he faced, but gave up a run in the fourth inning — an RBI groundout by Curtis Granderson.
Manager Manny Acta was impressed with Stammen’s performance and said the rookie looked better than some of the pitchers who were in camp this spring.
“He has a lot of fans in our Minor League system,” Acta said about Stammen. “There are guys who make it to the big leagues [by sneaking] by people. They get unnoticed a little bit. They have to earn their way at every level that they are at. They may not be labeled as big-time prospects, but they continue to put up numbers and pitch well.
“He looks like a guy we might need in the future. At least he throws the ball over the plate and has three pitches.”
In other news, second baseman Anderson Hernandez is going to take groundballs on Wednesday and the team will determine that day if he will be placed on the disabled list.
“It’s going to be the turning point on whether he is going to be ready for Opening Day or not,” Acta said.
Hernandez strained his left hamstring running to first base in the sixth inning against the Braves last Wednesday. About two minutes later, he had to be helped off the field. Acta said the injury could have been more serious if Hernandez continued to use the leg after feeling the initial pain, but the second baseman was seen hopping on his right leg.
Right-hander Daniel Cabrera had an excellent bullpen session on Tuesday and will pitch against the Orioles on Friday. He missed his last start against the Marlins on Sunday because of neck spasms.
Acta indicated that the final cuts most likely will be made in Washington D.C. on April 4.