Doing my morning reading before heading to D.C. and Nationals Journal (see cool new links off to the right, it takes me a while to learn how to do things) has a tidbit or two of interest.
1. COLLIN'S MAULIN': RHP Collin Balester is 8-1 in 10 starts beginning May 2...the 22-year-old has allowed 2 earned runs or less in his last 5 starting assignments, going 4-0 with a 2.85 ERA (9 ER/28.1 IP) in that span...Balester, selected in the 4th round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, is 9-3 with a 4.00 ERA in 15 starts overall...his win total is tied for 2nd in the International League...per Baseball America, the Huntington Beach, CA native entered the season rated as the No. 3 prospect in the Washington system.
The question - so why not Balester instead of Clippard? It is long-term. We won't see Hill for a while.
2. ALL SMILES: Including a 2-for-4 game with a 3-run triple yesterday at GCL Cardinals, INF Smiley Gonzalez has posted multi-hit and multi-RBI efforts in 3 of 4 games to begin the season...overall, he is batting .444 with 2 doubles a triple and a team-leading 7 RBI...the 18-year-old signed with the Nationals as a non-drafted free agent July 2, 2006.
The question - is this dude really 18?
Come say hello tonight and tomorrow. I'm the big, bald guy covering his eyes when a ball is hit to Dmitri.