In 4 days, all the Nationals diehards will be preparing to head to Nationals Park on Opening Day. Until then, we're going to predict the 25 man roster. With one catch. We're going to do it one day at a time. This way, we can provide more in depth thoughts on who we think is going to make the roster, why we think so, and what to expect from them in 2011. On the morning of Opening Day, we'll post the real 25-man compared with what we predicted.
Today's player was not on anyone's radar at the beginning of Grapefruit league action, Brian Broderick.
Why? Before we get into the stats, the first thing that we must know about Brian Broderick is that he was one of the Nationals first-round picks in the 2010 Rule 5 draft. What that essentially means is that if the Nats don't keep Broderick on the Major League roster all season long, they have to send him back to his original team (the Cardinals). I would venture a guess and say that 3/4 of the players drafted in the Rule 5 draft eventually get returned, or re-acquired by the drafting team via trade. It is pretty rare for a player to stay on the roster all year long.
That being said, Broderick has played his way onto the roster, his Rule 5-ness not withstanding. He has been one of the best pitchers in camp, putting up an absolutely minuscule 0.66 ERA in 13.2 innings of action. In addition to the single run he has given up, he has only given up 7 hits while striking out 5 and walking just 2. Broderick deserves to be on the roster.
What should you expect? I've got the be honest here, I have absolutely no clue what you should expect. Looking at his minor league numbers, Broderick is a rather pedestrian pitcher, owning a career ERA of 4.06 and WHIP of 1.29. This could just be a case of someone having a fantastic month, or it could be a case of a 6' 6" pitcher finally becoming comfortable on the mound. My guess is for the latter, considering that in 17 games at AA Springfield he went 11-2 with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. We will see if his stuff can work here in the Majors as opposed to AA. I look forward to seeing what the kid can accomplish.