Monday, May 17, 2010

Bye Bye Mile High, Hello Drew Storen, & Good Riddance Brian Bruney

Well, this blogger has been calling for the Nats to fire RHP Brian Bruney since I started the blog. The Nats listened. Brian Bruney has been designated-for-assignment, so he'll likely be a free agent before long. Listening to his own inner-brilliance, Mike Rizzo has promoted RHP phenom Drew Storen, likely a few weeks before his "Super Two" date. So the Nats may lose some cash on him in the long run, but this shows that the club is looking to keep winning now, rather than looking to the future. That's exciting for someone who rarely misses a game.

Unfortunately, the Nats set the wrong kind of record this past weekend from Denver, although it was going to happen eventually. The team lost their 3rd consecutive game for the first time... all season. That's right, before the 3 consecutive losses to the Rockies in Colorado this past weekend, the Nats had not lost more than 2 games in a row in 2010. The Nats record has just plummeted to 20-18 (he says with juuuust a hint of sarcasm). I am still in awe of the Nats club that can lose 3 in a row, still be 2 games above .500 and be 3rd in the NL East.

A few thoughts on Brian Bruney are bulleted below, and why the Nats bullpen will be significantly better without him:
  • He sucked a lot and here's the proof.
  • This season as a reliever, Bruney had a disgusting 7.64 ERA in 19 games. In those 19 games, he gave up 18 runs on 21 hits and 20 walks. In 17 2/3 innings, he put 41 players on base.
  • The Nats lost 12 of Bruney's 19 appearances. Although he didn't get many decisions, Bruney was often put in the game with the Nats down only a run or two, and put the game out of reach by giving up runs.
  • Only twice in May did the Nats get a win on a Bruney appearance. In the final one as a National, the Nats were up 14-6.
To the big story, though, is Drew Storen's promotion to the Nats nearly 3 weeks before Stephen "the Messiah" Strasburg. This is great for the team, for Drew, and for Jesus for a few reasons bulleted below:
  • Although Strasburg is the #1 prospect in the organization, Storen would certainly have been the #1 pitching prospect if it weren't for Baseball Jesus.
  • He has been the antithesis of Bruney in the minors by sporting a 1.08 ERA in 16 2/3 innings with 15 Ks.
  • Storen now gets the benefit of coming up early and getting the stories focused on him for a few weeks before Jesus takes over national baseball coverage. He earned this by signing literally the week the Nats drafted him. He deserves the spotlight becaues of talent, dedication, and loyalty.
  • Strasburg will be happy to see his very young quasi-mentor in the minors get some well-deserved praise I'm sure.
Drew Storen is supposed to be the closer of the future for the Nats, although Matt Capps has fulfilled this role well this year. If Storen meets expections and is as great as advertised, Matt Capps may join Cristian Guzman on the trading block in July. However, if the team is still competing and the rest of the bullpen continues to under-produce, Capps may stay to close while Storen shares setup responsibilities with Clippard. And if nothing else, Clippard can give his violent delivery a rest a little more often to put off his inevitable surgery in the next few years.

I know I'll be closely monitoring the game today for a possible Storen appearance with Craig Stammen on the mound, who hasn't made it into the 6th inning in 2 of his last 3 starts. You know that Riggs will get Storen in there if he can.


  1. You think the Nats are going to go after Roy Oswalt by the deadline? If we are still in it, I gotta think that Rizzo will make a move.

  2. i think storen signed like 15 minutes after we drafted him...stand up kid, really deserves this. plus the arbitration numbers for a reliever are different for, say an ace, so the super two status wont cost the nats as much as it would for a super two strasburg.


  3. Mac- Olney thinks yes on Oswalt. I'm not convinced that Oswalt would waive is no trade clause to become a Nat, but I'd certainly love it.

    Sean- I thought it was the same day, but I didn't want to be wrong, so thanks for clarifying. I agree with your analysis of Storen 100%. I look forward to watching the kid grow. He's the right kind of face to the bullpen.