A lot of Gnats fans are wondering how the competition to fill the fifth starting pitcher slot is likely to be resolved. Well, here is my humble opinion. And I’ll preface it (as an experienced gamer) by saying such competition is very healthy and the Nats are extremely lucky to have so much talent in Spring Training Camp!
Ross “Det” Detwiler: I think this is his to lose, and I say this for several reasons. First, he has the most quality major league experience. Second, he is out of options (he can’t be sent back to the minor leagues–there is a rule limiting the number of times a player can be sent down to the minor leagues). Third, he was VERY EFFECTIVE early last season, until he got injured.
Tanner Roark: Many will argue he should get the nod, as he was arguably the Nats best pitcher over the last 6 weeks of the season last Fall. I too was impressed with his success last year. And this will likely mean that if Det is the fifth starter, Tanner Roark will be the “long man” in the bullpen. So the team wins either way!
Taylor Jordan: With the least amount of major league experience, unless Jordan really lights up the scene in Florida, the best thing for his development would be to start the season with the Nats’ AAA team in Syracuse , pitch a lot and be ready if someone gets hurt on the parent team. This is a talented kid with beaucoup upside potential who may actually be ready for THE SHOW if the team had a space!
On to the “Danny Watch.” Whoopee, he got his first hit yesterday. It’s only Spring Training, and the new manager has to give Danny Espinosa a chance, but I think the hand-writing is out there. After 2+ seasons in the bigs, Danny just cannot hit big-league pitching. Meanwhile, among the infielders in camp, Zach Walters can, Anthony Rendon and Jamey Carroll can, and some of the other “kids” are looking good too. I recommend Mike Rizzo call Bo Porter (Houston manager and former Nats’ third-base coach) and work something out to ship Danny to Houston. They need lots of new blood in Houston!