However with his past strong performances, he clearly qualifies as the "take a chance on me" type of arm that the Nationals have been all to familiar with over the past several seasons. But with the recent commitment to starting pitching the Nationals have had over the past two seasons, it's really hard to see how he fits in.
He fits in like this: If he pitches like 2008, he slots right behind J Zimm. If not, then he doesn't pitch at all.
Duke's upside is higher than everyone on the SP list except J Zimm. That alone is reason enough to give him a shot. What purpose does it serve long term to have Marquis or Livan! eat innings? They aren't going to command much at the deadline while a healthy and effective Duke might. And that's the goal, using your ability to give playing time to create long term assets. Now, I doubt they actually sign him but the idea is a good one.
Lots of prospect realted stuff coming out .. BA's list and Keith Law's list and so on. I note that two of the Nat's top 10 guys A.J. Cole and Robbie Ray were overslot later round signings. Hmmmm. So you are telling me its possible to make your prospect pipeline better by paying overslot? Wish the billionaire owners knew that in '08 or '09.
And please notice another top 10 overall prospect: Aroldis Chapman. All it would have taken was a few extra dollars that could have come out of the lower than necessary current payroll and boom two top 10 prospects.
UPDATE: Duke signed with Orioles. I'm not surprised. I just hope this means Rizzo is still looking.