Monday, March 22, 2010

The Case for Storen

Nobody can rationally quibble with the Nats' decision to sends Stephen Strasburg down to the minors.  Money, service time and a few other things mean that there's a legit case to be made.  The short version: it's far more important to this franchise's success that they get a full season of a fully developed Strasburg in 2016 than it is for this year.  If he starts (assuming he sticks), that 2016 season's probably happening in New York City. (New York City!)

But with Storen, there's much less of an argument.  Dude deserves to start in the majors.

What's the difference, asks you?

Let's go back 6 years.  To the heady year of 2005.  The world was magical then, full of wonder and delight before the Lerners sucked the soul from this team's baseball fans.  Like Al Bundy remembering the 3 touchdowns he scored for Polk High, Nats fans are going to cling to those memories 'til our dying day.  You certainly remember that the bullpen was a strength.

So here are some of the names of those key relievers who were on the young side:

Chad Cordero
Gary Majewski
Luis Ayala
Jon Rauch
Sunny Kim

That's every reliever under age 30 who threw 20 or more innings.  How many of them would you want in your bullpen today?  Rauch, and that's it.

Expand that to 2006 and you can add Saul Rivera's name to the mix.  You want him back?  How 'bout Ryan Wagner?  Chris Schroeder?  Bill Bray?

So here's the point: While Drew Storen looks like he's got all the talent in the world, relievers are disposable.  There aren't THAT many relievers who pitch 6 solid years in the majors, so use 'em up while you control them.  I had no problem with the way they (over) used Saul Rivera, for example, because you knew, mostly based on his stuff, that he wasn't the kind of guy who'd pitch for 15 seasons.

Maybe Storen is that kind of guy.  But the Nats shouldn't concern themselves with his future in a way that they should with Strasburg's.  (If you need to know why, think about position scarcity)

So it's a mistake to not have Storen in the majors.  It's doubly a mistake when people like Jesse English and Miguel Batista still have outside shots at the roster at this point in the Spring.  Storen deserves to come north.


  • As long as Storen's closing (or at least setting up) for the big club on June 1st, who cares? The fungibility and short shelf life of relievers also means that you shouldn't go paying them any more than you have to. Let the kid be part of a winning team in Harrisburg for a few months before you condemn him to five or six years of toiling fruitlessly in DC.

    By Blogger Nate, at 3/22/2010 10:01 PM  

  • If Storen, as reported, 'lives like his hair is on fire' then all the more reason to bring him north to the Big Show in 2 weeks. Instant gratification is reputed to be his thing.

    By Blogger Bote Man, at 3/23/2010 12:40 AM  

  • welcome back chris. i'll keep my fingers crossed!

    for the record, al bundy scored FOUR touchdowns in one game for polk high.

    By Blogger DCPowerGator, at 3/25/2010 12:55 PM  

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