Monday, March 12, 2012

Rotation Roundabout

In past incarnations of Nationals Spring Trainings, the fans have been treated to cattle call after cattle call to try and fill out a somewhat competent rotation with which to start the season. This year, thankfully, things are very different down in Viera. Come pitchers and catchers there were 4 spots seemingly set in stone (Strasburg, Gonzalez, Zimmermann, and Jackson). Gone are the days of 12 pitchers for 3 or 4 spots - and welcome to the days of 3 pitchers pitching for just 1 spot.

I'll go out on a limb now - the Nats pitching rotation is set. Come April 6 in ChiTown it will be Strassy, NatGio, JZim, EJax, and Wang. Mark it down. My gut tells me that Rizzo will be trading Lannan for pennies on the dollar, while Ross Detwiler bides his time as the Left Handed Long Relief man in the bullpen.

That being said, how is the Nats rotation shaping up through Spring starts 1 and 2?

Strasburg - 5.2 IP. 6 H. 4 R. 4 ER. 1 BB. 5 K. 6.35 ERA. 1.24 WHIP.
- Don't worry too much about this line considering there was a 2-run triple that was ruled legit, then error, then back to being a triple. Take that out of the equation and it comes out to a 3.46 ERA.

Gonzalez - 7 IP. 3 H. 0 R. 0 ER. 1 BB. 4 K. 0.00 ERA. 0.43 WHIP.
- Gio has been more than advertised so far. Granted, this is a time where the pitchers are "ahead" of the hitters, but he is carving up stellar rosters at a maddening pace.

Zimmermann - 3 IP. 0 R. 0 ER. 1 BB. 3 K. 0.00 ERA. 1.33 WHIP.
- Zimmermann will hopefully have a bit more run support this year, because it looks like he is about to be unleashed upon the NL East. Beware East Coast...

Jackson - 6.0 IP. 0 R. 0 ER. 2 BB. 3 K. 0.00 ERA. 0.83 WHIP.
- EJax has been hampered by control issues in the past, but McCatty thinks that he will be able to fix whatever has been ailing the still-young starter. So far this Spring, Jackson has shown that he is worth the $10 Million he is making this year.

Wang - 2 IP. 2 R. 2 ER. 1 BB. 2 K. 9.00 ERA. 2.00 WHIP.
- This tally doesn't take into account the intra-squad game that Wang pitched before this start, so he has had a bit more mound time than these stats shows. Sinkerballers tend to pitch better as they get tired and hopefully the Wang will tire out soon... Too much innuendo?? Anyway, Wang is due $4 Million this year so he will be the Nats 5th starter until he pitches himself out of the spot.

There are those out there that believe that Lannan and Detwiler are still being given a chance, they aren't - trust me. Your starters will start Spring games, not come in in relief like Detwiler has in both of his appearances and I have already stated that I think that Lannan will be traded.

What do you think, CapBallers? Is this your ideal rotation? Does Lannan or Detwiler squeeze out Wang? Are you getting tired of my Wang jokes? Sound off in the comments!


  1. To paraphrase Robin Williams: when all else fails, go with the Wang jokes. :)

    I actually don't seen Lannan being traded for "pennies on the dollar." They have the option of stashing him in AAA to start the season, and I would gather they will if they don't get the right offer.

    Also, something else to consider. The Nats don't need a 5th starter until their first homestand because of an off day. My prediction is that Strasburg does not make his debut until the home opener. Not only would it push back his shut down date by a week, it has the advantage of allowing him to pitch three times on the opening homestand. A win-win-win!

  2. I completely agree. Lannan has the AAA option and could be traded. He could even be used out of the pen if they wanted to do that.
    None of these are possibilities, even academic possibilities, with Wang.
    My guess is that Lannan ends up in Syracuse, however, as Rizzo drives a hard bargain.
    At this point, I am very excited to see Nat Gio in person.

  3. I see Wang/Detweiler as being starter 5 and 5 and a half. I don't see Wang ever going the distance ( you are not the only one who can make the jokes) and will need RossD to come in and finish games, take the starts he has to miss and finish the season. Wang may have good stuff but he is still very high maintenance.If Wang is miraculously still around when Stras exits, everyone else can move up and Ross can take the starter job.By then, maybe he will have built up some endurance. Hate to see Lannan the odd man out - but there it is.I am also excited to see NatGio and his helicopter family in person. They sound pretty epic.