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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Young arms revisited

As I continue to beat this horse ***

Half paying attention to the All-Star game, I snapped straight up when the Dodgers' Chad Billingsley came in. Forgot all about the Dodgers the other day.

Billingsley, an All-Star: He'll be 25 this month. He has nine wins and a 3.38 ERA.
Clayton Kershaw is just 21. He has seven wins and a 3.16 ERA.
Jonathan Broxton? Six wins, 20 saves. He's freshly 25.

Yep, that collection of young arms on the Nats - no one else has that, huh? Or maybe just about everyone else has that?

While we're on the Dodgers: Orlando Hudson, not healthy enough to play for the Nats, played in last night's game. He's hitting .283 and has driven in 48 runs.


Chris Needham said...

well, in fairness, the dodgers don't quite have anyone like shairon martis in the majors...

MikeHarris said...

Yeah, there's that.

Chris said...

Makes you wonder what the pitching numbers would look like if they had a competent defense behind them, doesn't it? Or maybe that's just me.

MikeHarris said...

I'm sure the numbers would be a lot better across the board.
But my whole point is this - lots of teams, most teams, have young pitching talent. And in many cases it is more advanced than the Nats' young pitching talent.

CoverageisLacking said...

But the Nats had to work hard to be able to draft Strasburg. Give them some credit!

Dave Nichols said...

Mike, in my column yesterday i took this very same approach, reeling off a dozen names of pitchers 25 or younger that have alreayd had good success in the majors.

Kasten has to tout what he has and hope most of the fan base doens't realize how far the Nats really are behind other major league clubs.

and yes, Orlando Hudson still steams me.

MikeHarris said...

I did a search not too long ago and didn't turn up much coverage on the whole Hudson deal.
I would love an explanation of just what they saw that made them say no thanks.

CoverageisLacking said...

Does anyone want to take bets on what year it will be when Stan holds the press conference talking about how "we" have been disappointed by the development and performance of the "core of outstanding young pitching" that he supposedly assembled?

In addition to the lists that Mike and Dave have put together of young pitchers who are way ahead of the Nats' young pitchers, there's another list that is just as relevant: highly-touted young pitching that didn't pan out in the first place. There are many guys who were regarded more highly than any of the Nats' young pitchers (leaving out Strasburg) who were never able to put it together and excel at the MLB level in the first place. (All hail Generation K!.)

Stan knows this, too. Yet he is putting all his eggs in the young pitching basket, when the guys aren't even that great to begin with.

Dave Nichols said...

CiL, you're absolutely correct. the Nats had exactly one player on anyone's top 100 prospects list att he begining of the season, and that was Jordan Zimemrmann.

this team is selling these young pitchers because they have nothing else in a still-barren minor league cupboard.

but the bottom line is: independent opinion of the Nats collection of young starters, both with the club and in the minors, suggests that except Zimmermann, they are all fringey 4-5 starters or eventual bullpen guys, NOT the foundation of a contending team.

but Kasten has to try to sell what he's got.

bdrube said...

"this team is selling these young pitchers because they have nothing else in a still-barren minor league cupboard."

Isn't THAT the sad truth? They are particularly bereft of position player prospects. Seems like Jim-Bow also went "toolsy" on his draft picks, and now our top minor league guys, like Burgess and Marrero, while promising also have significant flaws in their games.

They've been pumping up SS Danny Espinosa from last year's draft, for example. But the one game I saw him play at Potomac a couple of weeks ago he let an easy grounder roll right between his legs. On second thought, he'll fit right in with our current infield.

hleeo3 said...

What is keeping Rizzo from being made the GM? Does Kasten have to interview a couple of guys, including a minority candidate before announcing a GM? Or if he wanted to can he just go in-house and promote Rizzo. There has to be a reason for all this posturing...

Anonymous said...

Check out this story in the LA Times. I can see why Hudson would fail some teams' physicals.