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Friday, July 10, 2009

Young arms

Yeah, I still plan to outline a Nationals drinking game. I was going to do it today. But, with the way things have gone lately, I fear too many people will take it seriously. Including me. So I'll wait.

Besides, I have a couple other things to get off my saggy chest.

First, applause to Rob Dibble and Ray Knight for the verbal spanking they gave the Nats last night. I didn't hear it. I fell asleep after that ugly sixth inning. But I read the recap on the always-excellent D.C. Sports Bog (see the cool links to the right) this a.m. Others have written about it as well. Rob/Ray came out firing, which is good. I hope management is listening. As I've said before, all I ask in return for my investment is effort and accountability. Anything less is unacceptable.

Now, for the real point. I thought about this last weekend while watching Atlanta's very impressive Tommy Hanson and I planned to do some actual research before writing about it. Thankfully, Sports Illustrated did the research for me - we appreciate it.

Yes, the Washington Nationals have some very good young pitchers. They're building their "plan" around these arms and the presence of them is supposed to give us suffering saps some kind of hope.

But it seems that almost every team has some good young arms and I have yet to see anything that leads me to believe Washington's are better than any other team's kiddie corps.

The Braves? Hanson is 22 and Jair Jurrjens is 23. The Phillies? Cole Hamels is 25. The Marlins? Josh Johnson is 25, Andrew Miller is 24.

Detroit's Justin Verlander (26) threw a no-hitter when he was roughly the same age as most of the Nationals' young studs. The Giants' Tim Lincecum (25) already has a Cy Young. Teammate Matt Cain is 24. Like Lincecum, he has a 10-2 record. TEN AND TWO AT 24.

On to some stuff from SI: As of the July 6 issue, four of the top five strikeout leaders were 25 or 26 (Lincecum, Verlander, Zack Greinke and Jon Lester). "Of the top 28 strikeout leaders in baseball, 20 are in their 20s and none is older than 33," Tom Verducci wrote.

SI spelled it "John Lester" instead of "Jon." I could go on and on about the old SI vs. the new SI and stuff like that but I won't here. I trust the numbers even if I don't trust the spelling.

And the point remains. Yeah, the Nats have some young talent. That doesn't make them the Lone Rangers. Lots of teams do and a lot of them have young talent that is considerably more advanced.

Hmmm. Maybe it IS time to start drinking.


Dave Nichols said...

the Nats HAVE to pimp the young starters as they still don't have any position prospects to really tout.

but objective, out-of-market analysis is always good to get perspective.

Zimmermann is generally regarded as a good 2-3 starter. the rest (Detwiler, Martis, Stammen, Mock, Balester) are all back-of-the-rotation at best, and more than likely, bullpen arms eventually.

casual fans that only get their Nats news from, the Post or MASN think that they've got the second coming of Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz and Avery on the way.

they are wrong.

Gus said...

I am going to agree with Dave, but he's forgotten Lannan, who is also a good 2-3 starter. So if we figure we've got 2-3, and possibly a 4 or 5 out of the rest, then things aren't terrible. Sign the number 1 pick, and things are better, but not awesome.