Yunesky Maya is one of three pitchers battling for the No. 5 spot in the Washington rotation, but four runs on five hits (including two long HRs to center) last night in a 7-6 loss will hurt his chances, even if it was his first truly bad outing of the spring.
That’s because Maya and Ross Detwiler are already handicapped in this (media created, but that’s what we do) horse race by a singular word: options.
Listening to the radio last night while watching the video from the MLB Network, that word that kept coming from Mike Rizzo in discussing how team will break camp. For a GM, they’re wonderful thing, but for a player they’re not — just ask a reliever like Adam Carr or Cole Kimball, who both got cut despite stellar results for the same reason. They’ve got options left and they’re competing against guys that don’t (e.g. Henry Rodriguez, who struck out two in the 8th last night and did not walk a batter).
Maya was decent for the first three innings last night, stranding a leadoff double in the first while flashing some serious leather. It’s not often that a scorekeeper writes 1-5-1-3 in the scorebook, as Maya made three throws and a tag in making the Braves pay for bad baserunning.
He also worked his way out of two-out, two-baserunner jam in the second that he created with a hit batsmen and a walk to 2010 ROY runner-up Jason Heyward and 2011 ROY contender Freddie Freeman.
But in the fourth, Maya wasn’t so fortunate as Chipper Jones took him deep to CF and a Heyward walk followed by a Freeman HR put the Nats in a 3-0 hole. Jones would double again in the next inning for the fourth run surrendered by Maya. His final line 5IP 5H 4R 4ER 2BB 2SO 2HR and a HBP.
Other notable prospects…
- Wilson Ramos went 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout.
- Tyler Moore pinch-ran and scored a run, then grounded out in the 9th. He played an inning on defense but had no chances.
The loss drops the Nats to 10-9 for the Spring. They return to Viera to face the Cardinals this afternoon, a game that will broadcast on 1580AM (not 106.7FM) as well as MLB Radio and XM Radio.