Nats tidbits for Sunday

The Nationals still want a veteran starting pitcher, but don’t expect general manager Mike Rizzo to look hard for one on the free-agent market. In fact, the club is waiting for free-agent pitchers to come to them at the right price. 

So don’t look for the Nationals to break the bank for pitchers such as right-hander John Smoltz or left-hander Jarrod Washburn.   

“During the early part of the winter, we made sure we got things done,” Rizzo said. “I made sure we had a Major League veteran starter [Jason Marquis], Major League catcher [Ivan Rodriguez] and improved the bullpen [Matt Capps, Brian Bruney and Eddie Guardado]. We took care of that.
 
“I think during the second half of the offseason we are going to let a little bit of that come to us. We do think there is a surplus of people out there … that we are talking about. There is nobody … out there on the pitching market that is a difference maker.”      

* Center fielder Nyjer Morgan acknowledged that he needs to improve his batting average against left-handed pitching. Last season, for example, the left-handed hitting Morgan hit .175 with a homer and 12 RBIs against southpaws. 

“I’ll try to figure something out — if it’s a little adjustment,” Morgan said. “I’ll make something happen. Last year was probably my worst year of hitting lefties. Like I said, you got to take your lumps but you learn off your mistakes and you try to get better off your mistakes.”

* Right-hander Craig Stammen said he is willing to be a starter or reliever in 2010, but he is going into Spring Training believing that he will be a starter. Stammen said his right elbow is 100 percent after having bone spurs removed toward the end of the season.

* The Nationals displayed Ryan Zimmerman’s first Gold Glove at NatsFest. It was obvious that he was pleased to get the award.

“Defense is an important part of the game. It’s a part of the game that is overlooked,” he said. Everyone loves offense, home runs and everything. You have to be able to play defense and work hard for that, too. I take a lot of pride in that.”

4 Comments

Mike Rizzo is to be commended for the moves he has made thus far. However he seems not to share the same enthusiasm for the young starting pitching as does Kasten. Craig Stammen and Ross Detwiler should be in the starting rotation. Ian Desmond deserves a starting infield position. I am a season ticket holder since 2005 it is time that the youth from the minor league begin to have significant roles on this team.

I hope Rizzo really allows Riggleman to manage this team and trust Riggleman’s judgment.

I disagree. Baseball is a marathon not a race. As the season pans out there will be opportunities to work rookies into the lineup. But when the street is littered with pitchers who burst upon the scene only to not weather the grind of an incredibly long season and see their career end….what’s the rush?
I’m hoping the Nats are .500 at the break to give themselves a shot at the Wild Card. If not, start trading the vets in the second half for prospects and bring up the rookies.

I think all the debate about youth vs. experienfe4 will be settled in spring training…

All this handwringing over Hudson…Great teams are great up the middle,so give O-Dawg what he deserves and what several key Nats want. Only one isssue remains-does Guz become a role player at 8MIL a year? Natsfan05 Damascus MD

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