Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nationals Journal - Craig Stammen states his case for Nationals rotation

Nationals Journal
- Craig Stammen states his case for Nationals rotation

I know the "I was hurt last year and now I feel great" is a spring training cliche. Yet, despite the apparent agony in his right arm, Stamman went from A to the bigs and was at least not totally embarrassing. Must be something there, maybe not in pure "stuff" but in having the mentality to pitch in pressure situations. Something to be said for a guy who can repeat his delivery, maintain reasonable control and make pitches in key situations on the major league level. Lots of guys make a lot of money being able to do just that.

I'm still waiting to see what they do with their decision at shortstop. It's doesn't seem to be a difficult choice: one one hand you have a 24 year old who has shown above positional average hitting skills and at least has a ++ arm defensively. On the other hand you have an aging fast, league average at best with the bat and declining range and arm but making $8m vet who will sulk if not playing everyday. Sulk away. The $8m should cushion any hurt feelings.

What purpose does it serve to waste ABs on Guzman at this point? Essentially, the only flaw keeping Desmond from being an above average shortstop is concentration. If he can execute a higher percentage of routine plays in the field and maintain current levels of offense, suddenly the Nats have filled a spot at above league average. Can't say that about most spots. Give Desmond the job and let him sink or swim. He has a chance to be part of a decent Nats team in the future and Guzman doesn't.

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