Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Your Line Of The Night

Thanks to Michael for pointing out Joel Hanrahan's night -- which is undoubtedly ticking off beat writers who have to consider re-writing copy for a feckin' spring training game.

Threeoh Hanrahan has pitched 3 innings, while striking out 8 and walking none, a dominating night. And it came against the Braves' A team, not the D teams that sometimes populate these spring training games.

I've written a few times that you just need to ignore spring training stats. The exception, I said, was for pitcher's K/BB ratio. This outing definitely helps that! Hanrahan's now up to 12/1 there, a far cry from the scattershot pitcher we saw last year.

There's been some speculation that throwing him into the bullpen would allow him to focus on just one or two of his pitches, letting him concentrate on a repeatable delivery and improving his control. If that's what's happening, maybe the Nats have found themselves a secret weapon!

But let's not get ahead of ourselves!

In the meantime, Hanrahan's performance makes the Nats likely preferred option of sending him to the minors all the more difficult. I think he's out of options, which would mean he'd have to clear waivers. With that performance, that's not going to happen. So if he stays, who goes? Does Ray King get kicked out? Does his performance come at the expense of Chris Schroeder (10/2 K/BB)? Does Saul Rivera (3/2) still have options?

Actually, Jesus Colome only recently got his work visa, so he's probably behind schedule. That might be a possibility.

It definitely makes Bowden's decisions a little more difficult, but it's a good problem to have!

  • Well, one beat writer doesn't worry about re-filing it, using the blog instead. Now featuring rosterbation and a soliloquy on Patterson's velocity.

    Others play it straight.

  • 13 Comments:

    • Wow.

      This game is the most amusing Nationals spring training game I've listened to so far.

      So we're in the 10th now after Ayala (can we shoot him again?) gave up a two-out, two RBI single in the 9th. Apparently the Nats have been using a lot pitchers and the announcers aren't sure how many they have left, but every time it seems like the Nats are out, they trot out another one, which, since I'm a big symbolism guy seems to fit perfectly with our situation--crap pitching coming out of the woodwork.

      Also, Langerhans just had a great gundown at home that saved a run off of our no-name minor leaguer who is so bad he had a 5+ ERA at AA ball in the Twins organization last year.

      Oh, and a gundown by "The Boone" to first now taking us to the 11th inning.

      What a team.

      By Blogger Michael, at 3/11/2008 10:22 PM  

    • Easy, just demote Langerhans and add an extra man to the bullpen. Our pitching staff is gonna need all the help it can get. Langerhans serves virtually no purpose now that we have Mackowiak and Harris.

      Also, don't overlook Patterson's strong outing.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/11/2008 10:26 PM  

    • I don't think I've ever assumed that Langerhans makes the roster...

      It's going to come down to how many P they want to carry. Barry's post says they're thinking of going with 11 (4 starters, 7 relievers). If that's the case, there's plenty of room for all the guys, at least til they need a fifth starter.

      Good point on Patterson. They're talking about his velocity, but as I said last spring, I don't really care about that. Give me a quality pitch, especially his curve, and I'll take what I can get. If he's able to throw that curve, the arm's feeling good, and the velocity will come as he builds strength. He's basically had two years off.

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 3/11/2008 10:28 PM  

    • Joel Hanrahan has used up his options. He was down for all of 2004 so he gets the extra option year. He then used them up in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

      Saul Rivera was added to the 40-man in 2006 and used an option in 2006 but apparently not in 2007, so he has options left.

      Chris Schroder still has options so it seems it's either him or Rivera who gets bumped for Hanrahan

      By Blogger Brian, at 3/12/2008 8:26 AM  

    • so i guess we've decided hanrahan doesn't have a big enough repertoire to start, but is nasty enough for a few innings of speedball relief?

      By Blogger Bill, at 3/12/2008 8:29 AM  

    • I think that there is a good chance that Shawn Hill starts the season on the DL. We are 18 days from opening day, and he has not come close to showing that he is ready to give the team even 5 innings. (If you already factored that in to your roster analysis, I apologize).

      Also, has Odalis Perez resolved his visa issue. IIRC, he could not pitch in games where people paid to attend because he still did not have the proper visa.

      Big change from last season when it did not appear the Nats had any pitchers that it could rely on at this point in Spring training.

      Pilchard

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/12/2008 11:19 AM  

    • Perez got his visa yesterday.

      I dunno about that spring training comparison. At this point last year, we were locked into Patterson (always optimistic), Hill (a breakthrough), Bergmann (meh), Chico (a surprise in spring), and Jerome Williams (who had potential).

      We weren't in terrible shape coming out of spring. We just didn't realize it would take 3 weeks for 4/5 of them to break down or suck! or suck AND break down!

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 3/12/2008 11:22 AM  

    • Either that, or he's too inconsistent to start. There was some mention in the Post about him having high pitch counts that precluded him from being an effective 6 or 7 inning starter.

      Of course, always taking the negative since we're on CP, while Hanrahan's success is great, it's bullpen success, and we're literally swimming in effective relievers as it is.

      I'm beginning to get the sense that while Randy St. Clair may be a great pitching coach, his specialty is in relievers, not starters. We've got fungible relievers coming out of our eyeballs while we can't get one good, consistent, healthy starter if our lives depended upon it.

      Sigh.

      By Blogger Michael, at 3/12/2008 11:22 AM  

    • Don't look now, but O'Connor has a no-hitter through five against the Dodgers starters!

      Might the Nationals have too many pitching options (albeit not very good)?

      By Anonymous Will, at 3/12/2008 3:00 PM  

    • I'm not sure what sentence one has to do with sentence two! :)

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 3/12/2008 3:01 PM  

    • Or perhaps it is MUCH harder to be a successful starting pitcher in the bigs than a successful relief pitcher. Based on salary alone, I can get behind that statement.

      Help on the way . . . Horatio Ramirez released by the Mariners

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/12/2008 5:49 PM  

    • I think our prospects are better this year. Sure, Hill is already hurt, but a healthy Patterson is huge for us if he can stay that way. The bullpen is rock solid and I think our offense get much better in the new park. I still pick the Nats for 3rd place this year.

      No matter what, bring on the season! I can't wait! Every game will be interesting at least.

      By Blogger PyroMessiah, at 3/14/2008 11:04 PM  

    • By Blogger wwwwww, at 10/26/2009 8:52 PM  

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