Results tagged ‘ Craig Stammen ’
The Nationals’ bullpen is about to get younger. The team has decided that Craig Stammen, 25, will be a reliever once left-hander Scott Olsen is activated from the disabled list on Monday.
Instead, the Nationals will designate a veteran reliever for assignment. Right-handers Joel Hanrahan and Jesus Colome are the leading candidates to leave the team. Both have been hit hard this season.
As for Stammen, he will be a reliever for the first time since early last year when he was with Class a Potomac. He said he was happy that he wasn’t going back to the Minor Leagues.
“I wants to stick around as a starter, but Scott has been doing this a while and he deserves to have his spot back,” Stammen said. “I have been in the bullpen before. I did it before in college and I did it in the Minor Leagues.”
Since the Nationals hired Steve McCatty to be their new pitching coach on June 2, the Nationals’ starting rotation has performed well, going 5-10 with a 3.11 ERA.
Two of the starters in the rotation — John Lannan and Craig Stammen — declined to compare McCatty to former pitching coach Randy St. Claire, who was dismissed that same day.
Lannan and Stammen said there are a combination of reasons the starters have pitched well recently. It helps that the rotation is familiar with McCatty, who coached them in Triple-A. All of the starters, which also includes Ross Detwiler, Shairon Martis and Jordan Zimmermann, love McCatty’s old school ways of getting hitter’s out. Just throw strikes.
“He brings a different kind of attitude — maybe one that we needed, kind of a hardball attitude,” Stammen said. “I think we have a bunch of old school guys [in the rotation] who are willing to listen to him and buy in to what he says.
“When you coach, you have to buy into it. It’s not that we didn’t buy into Randy. We just didn’t pitch very well. Cat has done a great job so far.”
Lannan said the rotation turned the page after St. Claire left the team and rely heavily on catchers Josh Bard and Wil Nieves. McCatty also told them to hold themselves accountable, whenever they throw a bad pitch.
“Saint is gone and that is sad, but we have to stop talking about it. His ways are gone,” Lannan said. “It’s kind of a new thought process. It’s kind of sad to say that, but we have to move on. I think a big part of our success is Josh Bard and Wil Nieves. They taught us as a staff that we need to communicate and feed off each other.
“McCatty told us if we make a bad pitch, hey, it’s on us. We are the ones who is throwing the ball. It’s not the catcher who called it, it’s us. You executed the pitch.”
The Nationals have decided to take right-hander Daniel Cabrera out of the rotation and make him a long man out of the bullpen. Cabrera’s inability to throw strikes is the reason for the demotion.
Cabrera is 0-5 with a 5.95 ERA and leads the National League in walks  and wild pitches [nine].
Washington wants Cabrera to work on his delivery with pitching coach Randy St. Claire. When he has a quick delivery, Cabrera is able is able to throw strikes. When he slows it down, Cabrera has a tendency to walk too many batters.
“We spoke to Daniel yesterday and we hope to relax him [in the bullpen] so he can continue to work [with Randy] and earn his way back in the rotation,” manager Manny Acta said.
With Cabrera out of the rotation, right-hander Craig Stammen will get the start against the Pirates on Thursday. It will be Stammen’s Major League debut. Stammen, one of the team’s top pitching prospects, was 4-2 with a 1.80 ERA for Triple-A Syracuse.
With on Stammen on the roster, it means the Nationals’ rotation is filled with second year players and rookies.
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.