The rotation keeps on spinning, and will continue to do so throughout the spring. I think it’s a bit premature to name anyone as a definite starter, except for probably Livan and Zimmermann. Let’s take a look at how everyone’s done so far.
John Lannan – Alright, if there’s another guy already in the rotation, he’s it. He’s only started one game this spring, he looked good early on but did surrender a few runs in the third and final inning. He only struck out 1 guy, which is low compared to what he was able to do last year. It’ll be interesting to see if those K numbers do come up.
Jason Marquis – People have him as an “already in” guy, thanks to experience and salary. In two starts so far, he hasn’t let up a run only gave up 3 hits and 1 BB, while striking out 4 in 7 IP. It’s early, but that’s at least a promising sign of a recovery to the league average type pitcher they were expecting last year. He’s been quoted as saying that he likes how his sinker feels, and that’s real important for him.
Tom Gorzelanny – He’s set to debut today, after being sick in the early weeks of the spring. He’s got alot of potential, and may start out the season as the fifth guy, but he’s gotta show something on the mound first.
Ross Detwiler – At this point, he is probably considered the first team out of the tourney, but he’s already looked quite good this spring. His new motion has been discussed, but its the results that we’re all interested in. And so far, those have been good – 5 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 8 K. Whether or not he gets in that first five, he’s gotta get a chance to start in the majors this year. A year of starts at Syracuse might not help him that much, as he’s already excelled there.
Yunesky Maya – Management has indicated that they feel they rushed the guy last year, not just because he hadn’t played US pro ball before, but because of all the emotional and cultural issues that someone has to go through moving from another country. So regardless of how he pitches, they’ll probably give him some time in the minors. He’s looked good so far, in 4 2/3 IP he’s given up 1 ER, 1 BB and has 5 K, but he’s also given up 7 H in that time.
Chien-Ming Wang – He’s been hurt for over a year now, and it is understandable if you doubt he’ll ever make it back. But he is throwing off a mound in simulated games now, which is a big step. If he ever does make it back, he could easily become the Nats most effective pitcher, depending on how that sinker sinks.
The best news is that all of the potential starters have done well so far this spring. The runs have come from the bullpen, which isn’t a good things, but the guys there have already shown the talent and the ability to do their jobs, so I’m not nearly as worried.