Apparently, there is no One.
Chico the Writer's story today in the Washington Post should be required reading. It takes a good look at the supposed plethora of pitching in the farm system and any fan who reads it and doesn't go "uh oh" needs to take off the Curly W glasses and read it again.
The Nats paint the picture that all is well. No question all is better. But better doesn't necessarily sound like it is going to be good enough. The scouts quoted give me pause.
Sure, none of them was named. Unfortunately, that's just the way it works when it comes to scouts outside the organization. There's so much fear of tampering charges that most organizations forbid their scouts from speaking to the media. At least these scouts talked with no names attached. You should try that with NFL scouts. Of course, the NFL is the most paranoid organization in existence but that's another story.
The comments jive with what some baseball people and writers I still know tell me. The Nats have indeed stockpiled a lot of good arms, some of them very good. But there aren't one or two that everyone points to and says, "Yeah, that's them. They're top end guys, the guys who will make that team turn the corner." We hear that a lot from inside the organization. Johnny, Ray, Bob and Don will repeat it some, too. I'll feel a heck of a lot better when someone outside the organization, someone not wearing Curly W underwear, says it.
In short, there's no clear-cut One. And there has to be a One. I'm still holding out some hope for Balester and maybe Zimmermannnnnnn. Crow? Not counting him yet. Must sign first. I've seen both of Mock's starts, up close from the good seats, and I don't see it there. I saw Clippard in Seattle and was impressed but getting AAA hitters out is a long way from getting big league hitters out. Lots of people strike out Richie Sexson.
Oh well. Maybe the hitters will turn out to be so good the pitching won't matter. Maybe the Nationals' future involves winning a lot of 10-8 games?
Or maybe El Jefe needs to open up the checkbook for some serious free agentry?