In 12 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 we feature on of our lefty's, Doug Slaten.
Why? Slaten was picked off of waivers from the Diamondbacks after the 2009 season, and he immediately paid dividends. His welcome had been worn out; lets face it, a 7.11 ERA would do that to any team. So, looking to make a fresh start, Slaten started the year in AAA, but his stay wouldn't last long as he was called up in mid-May. Once arriving with the big club, he was able to pitch in non-LOOGY situations which is a very valuable asset. His 3.10 ERA helped to anchor the team's above-average bullpen. Still arbitration eligible, Slaten is a lock for the team due to his cheap cost.
What should you expect? Well, he has a bit of a checkered past. He came into the bigs with a flash, posting a 0.00 ERA in 9 appearances in his 2006 September call-up, earning a spot with the club in 2007; where he put up a 2.72 ERA in 61 games. The fun would stop there as his ERA ballooned to 4.73 and then 7.11 before he was acquired by the Nats. Which pitcher are the Nats going to get, the 2008-09 edition, or the 2010 edition? I believe that he will have a rough year in the bullpen but that his ERA should stay around 3.30, not great, but also not terrible.