In past incarnations of Nationals Spring Trainings, the fans have been treated to cattle call after cattle call to try and fill out a somewhat competent rotation with which to start the season. This year, thankfully, things are very different down in Viera. Come pitchers and catchers there were 4 spots seemingly set in stone (Strasburg, Gonzalez, Zimmermann, and Jackson). Gone are the days of 12 pitchers for 3 or 4 spots - and welcome to the days of 3 pitchers pitching for just 1 spot.
I'll go out on a limb now - the Nats pitching rotation is set. Come April 6 in ChiTown it will be Strassy, NatGio, JZim, EJax, and Wang. Mark it down. My gut tells me that Rizzo will be trading Lannan for pennies on the dollar, while Ross Detwiler bides his time as the Left Handed Long Relief man in the bullpen.
That being said, how is the Nats rotation shaping up through Spring starts 1 and 2?
Strasburg - 5.2 IP. 6 H. 4 R. 4 ER. 1 BB. 5 K. 6.35 ERA. 1.24 WHIP.
- Don't worry too much about this line considering there was a 2-run triple that was ruled legit, then error, then back to being a triple. Take that out of the equation and it comes out to a 3.46 ERA.
Gonzalez - 7 IP. 3 H. 0 R. 0 ER. 1 BB. 4 K. 0.00 ERA. 0.43 WHIP.
- Gio has been more than advertised so far. Granted, this is a time where the pitchers are "ahead" of the hitters, but he is carving up stellar rosters at a maddening pace.
Zimmermann - 3 IP. 0 R. 0 ER. 1 BB. 3 K. 0.00 ERA. 1.33 WHIP.
- Zimmermann will hopefully have a bit more run support this year, because it looks like he is about to be unleashed upon the NL East. Beware East Coast...
Jackson - 6.0 IP. 0 R. 0 ER. 2 BB. 3 K. 0.00 ERA. 0.83 WHIP.
- EJax has been hampered by control issues in the past, but McCatty thinks that he will be able to fix whatever has been ailing the still-young starter. So far this Spring, Jackson has shown that he is worth the $10 Million he is making this year.
Wang - 2 IP. 2 R. 2 ER. 1 BB. 2 K. 9.00 ERA. 2.00 WHIP.
- This tally doesn't take into account the intra-squad game that Wang pitched before this start, so he has had a bit more mound time than these stats shows. Sinkerballers tend to pitch better as they get tired and hopefully the Wang will tire out soon... Too much innuendo?? Anyway, Wang is due $4 Million this year so he will be the Nats 5th starter until he pitches himself out of the spot.
There are those out there that believe that Lannan and Detwiler are still being given a chance, they aren't - trust me. Your starters will start Spring games, not come in in relief like Detwiler has in both of his appearances and I have already stated that I think that Lannan will be traded.
What do you think, CapBallers? Is this your ideal rotation? Does Lannan or Detwiler squeeze out Wang? Are you getting tired of my Wang jokes? Sound off in the comments!