Members of the Nats Nation (ha, I realize this doesn’t exist for teams that lose 103 games) will undoubtedly be talking over the next few weeks about Strasburg’s results in the AFL and his potential to be part of the rotation next season. Yesterday’s result proved that he is human, allowing 8 earned runs in his second start. As the eternal optimist, I’m thinking that perhaps this was a good thing. It eliminates the false hope that he is going to come in and be a 15 game winner in his rookie season. I’m not knocking his potential, but these were double A hitters that blew him up, so at least everyone realizes that he has work to do to become a major league pitcher. More importantly, hopefully the Nats’ front office will not try and pencil him in as part of the 2010 rotation already, which would be an easy excuse not to sign as much starting pitching from the free agent market.
If we want to be decent next year, I still believe we need to sign a #1 and a #3 starter for our rotation. Plug Lannan in at #2, Olsen at #4, and pick the #5 guy from whichever of this group rises to the top during spring training: Martin, Martis, Mock, Stammen, Balester, Detwiler and perhaps Chico. Zimmermann likely will not pitch at all next season in the big leagues. When the injury bug bites, another one of them will probably end up back in the rotation. 2-3 of the guys in that group should make the roster as relievers. That being said, we still need at least 2 new quality, proven arms in the bullpen, which we need to find in the offseason.