July 28, 2010

Strasburgeddon and Other Catchy Headlines

I'm not a doctor, and I don't play one on TV, but it seems to me that a precautionary MRI is not something a pitcher gets because he has "trouble getting loose in the bullpen". It might, however, be the kind of thing a pitcher gets when he "may be favoring his four-seam fastball over his two-seamer." "There's no pain" should be words of comfort, except that a brief history of DC pitchers who have felt no pain includes John Patterson, Brian Lawrence, Chad Cordero, Matt Chico, Jordan Zimmermann, Scott Olsen and Jason Marquis. In other words, it was fun while it lasted, Nats fan.

Capps & Trade

As the trade deadline draws nearer the Nationals are the subject of an unusual amount of speculation. Beyond the usual suspects (Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham) opposing teams are rumored to have varying levels of interest in Cristian Guzman, Adam Kennedy, Willie Harris and Matt Capps. Nationals Journal and Nationals Review both took in-depth looks at the pros and cons of trading the Nats' closer. Here's the bottom line: closers are made, not born. And even good relief pitchers are notoriously volatile commodities. DC fans need look no farther than Chad Cordero, Joel Hanrahan and Mike MacDougal to find recent examples of the boom-and-bust closer phenomenon.

Even without Capps the Nats have at least three relievers who are arguably capable of holding a lead in the 9th inning. Tyler Clippard has been the consummate set-up man. You might not want to bring him in with men on, but if you need three outs and the bases are empty there's no reason to think he can't do the job. Joel Peralta saved 2o games for AAA Syracuse this season and has pitched well since his promotion, with basically the same arsenal that Capps employs. Then there's Drew Storen, consensus "closer of the future". He's done everything asked of him so far, so unless he's on an inning count, why not see if he can handle the 9th inning?

If Mike Rizzo can trade Matt Capps for anything of value he should do it now and not think twice. That said, we ain't getting Wilson Ramos for Capps or Matt Garza for Adam Dunn. Who let Jim Bowden back in here?

Dunn Roaming

I have no problem with Adam Dunn's impromptu visit to the Miller Park broadcast booth on Saturday night. I do have a problem with him not clearing it by Jim Riggleman or bench coach John McLaren. The talking to he got was justified. However well-intentioned, Adam's decision to duck out of the clubhouse without telling anyone projects a devil-may-care indifference that the worst defensive team in baseball should probably try to avoid. On the plus side, at least he wasn't taking a nap.


Harper said...

You know what the problem was? Too many strikeouts!

Nate said...

Nah, they should've let him build up his shoulder by going 7-8 innings and 120+ pitches every time out. If it was good enough for Christy Mathewson...