Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More Inbox Excitement

Don't ask me about Monday's game. I don't want to talk about it. Here's your inbox:

At some point this season, the Nationals are going to get reinforcements in the names of Chien-Ming Wang, Ross Detwiler and Stephen Strasburg to bolster their starting pitching. Who are the likely candidates to be moved out of the rotation?
-- Evan S., Chevy Chase, Md.

Ladson notes that Olsen needs to be put into the equation as well, and I agree with that. If his arm regains its strength, he will be hard to keep out of the rotation. I see Mock as the first cut, Stammen as the second and Livo as the third for when (and if) these starters come up. Major League appearances from Wang and Olsen are far from guaranteed and Detwiler has not locked down a rotation spot in my opinion either (even though I am one of his biggest supporters).

Do you love Drew Storen's stuff as much as me? How quickly will the Nationals call him up?
-- Josh M., Indiana

I doubt the Nats will rush Storen to the bigs as fast as Ladson seems to think, but I would be surprised if Strasburg got the call before Storen. He could step in and immediately be one of the most trustworthy members of the Nats bullpen.

What happened to Kevin Mench?
-- Andrew C., Ottawa, Ontario

Good question. I had false hope that Mench was going to get a true shot at making the team when he stuck around until the end. I guess he'll have to hope that Maxwell stays cold and Taveras continues to be a terrible overall player. Then he might get a shot. I'm pulling for you, Shrek!

How worried should we be about outfielder Justin Maxwell? What does it say about the Nationals' commitment to him?
-- Scott K., Rockville, Md.

I don't think Maxwell's demotion says much about the Nats' commitment to him. Generally speaking, if you have a job pretty much locked down going in to Spring Training, it will be yours on Opening Day as long as you don't completely and utterly suck. Unfortunately for everybody involved but Willy Taveras, Maxwell struggled immensely in Viera. I still think he'll be up with the big club by the end of the month once he figures his swing out. Hopefully he can turn out to be a Mike Cameron-esque player, although that may be setting the bar too high.

For five years, I've heard about how good Jason Bergmann is supposed be, but all I see is disappointment. What gives?
-- Jordan A., Washington, D.C.

I've never seen anyone refer to Bergmann as a rising star or a bullpen ace, so I'm not sure where your argument is coming from. He's a below average middle/long reliever with a controllable contract on a team with clear bullpen issues. Until minor leaguers start to step it up, guys like Bergmann will continue to get work for the Nats despite poor track records. The pipeline may be running better than when the team arrived in DC, but it's still far from producing great relief pitchers.

Did you agree with general manager Mike Rizzo for keeping Mock on the 25-man roster and sending Olsen to Syracuse?
-- Kirk K., Syracuse, N.Y.


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