Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

2011 Rotation competition?

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As the team starts to get some clarity in their rotation (guys coming back from injury and replacing AAAA starters), I was thinking about our 2011 rotation.

2011 rotation competition (assuming everyone is healthy).  Listing all 40-man starters.

  • Locks (in order): Strasburg, Zimmermann, Marquis
  • Heavily Considered (in order): Maya, Wang, Detwiler, Lannan, Olsen
  • FAs to be: LHernandez
  • Minors/Left out: Stammen, Atilano, Martin, Chico, Mock, Martis, Thompson

I can’t imagine us actually going with the first 5 names on this list, simply because they’re all righties.  We have several decently accomplished lefties in the mix and you would have to think at least one of them will make the cut in 2011.  The team really likes Detwiler, but Lannan has been our most effective pitcher over the past few seasons.

Some other thoughts on the names on this list.

  • Wang.  If he can ever regain his form when he was winning 19 games for the Yankees, then he absolutely has to be in the conversation.  But, in reality he’s no closer to returning to the majors now in August than he was when we signed him in February.  And that’s ridiculous.
  • Marquis.  What the hell is wrong with this guy?  4 runs before recording an out??  $15M absolutely flushed down the drain so far.  I was certainly a proponent of this signing but you have to wonder at this point if he’s just mentally forgotten how to pitch and compete.  But, he’s signed for next year at a high figure so he has to be part of the conversation.
  • Olsen.  I can see them non-tendering him again and then subsequently seeing him signing elsewhere.  I have a feeling he’s going to get really pissed if the Nats cut his starts to save money.
  • Livan.  I can see him being a post-trade deadline waiver wire trade.  No way anyone is claiming him, even given his numbers.  He’s a tough case; he doesn’t overpower people but he gets results.  He’s like the next version of Jamie Moyer.   He’s absolutely been our Ace this year but will he even get offered a contract for next year?

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