Opening Day!

Finally. Three of the Nats’ four full-season affiliates begin play today, with Syracuse visiting Lehigh Valley, Harrisburg hosting Bowie, and Hagerstown visiting Delmarva. Provided the rains aren’t too heavy, Potomac hosts Lynchburg tomorrow night.

Team Today’s Game Pitching Matchup (’12 Stats at Level)
Syracuse @ Lehigh Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Ross Ohlendorf (5-4, 4.52) vs.
Tyler Cloyd (12-1, 2.35)
Harrisburg vs. Bowie,
7:00 p.m.
Brian Broderick (2-0, 3.99) vs.
Mike Wright (5-3, 4.91)
Hagerstown @ Delmarva,
7:00 p.m.
Dixon Anderson (1-1, 2.79) vs.
Parker Bridwell (0-3, 7.06)

Because it’s a common misnomer, I’ll trot out the annual reminder that these are not the team’s #1 starters, but rather, how the organization wants to align pitchers for future promotions and assignments.

For those wondering about the rotations, here’s what I have found, been told, or am predicting for the next four games:

Team Friday Saturday Sunday Monday
SYRACUSE Roark Maya Perry Rosenbaum
HARRISBURG Treinen Demny Clay Karns
POTOMAC Ray Jordan Cole Turnbull
HAGERSTOWN Pineyro Mooneyham Pena Encarnacion

A couple of small surprises… Demny back in the Sens rotation after finishing 2012 in the ‘pen… Pena, a 16th rounder last June who made just two appearances in Auburn and threw only 12⅓ innings total, assigned to the Suns.

Potomac has only announced its first three starters, Turnbull is the best guess based on age and prior usage for the one of the remaining two spots. As mentioned in the P-Nats roster reveal last week, Taylor Hill and Matt Grace are the other two likely candidates.

News & Notes, the daily rundown and highlights from the previous day’s action, starts back up tomorrow.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

14 thoughts on “Opening Day!”

  1. I just saw the starters for opening weekend for the senators and your not going to play your pitcher of the year karns at all in opening weekend…..

    1. That’s what I meant by “alignment” — they don’t [care a whit] about arranging for a popular prospect start for the home team to help ticket sales; it’s about keeping him within a day or two of Rosenbaum and Ohlendorf, who are, in turn, within a day or two of Strasburg and Gonzalez.

        1. I was thinking of a rhyme for a phrase that begins with “Give a” but that works, too!

  2. Whos talking about popularity. Hes the best pitcher harrisburg has! And sorry but your dead wrong about him being behind the guys at triple a.

  3. This isn’t just the Nationals way of thinking either…Mike Wright gets the nod for Bowie with Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman waiting, Brandon Crumpton goes for Altoona while Jameson Taillon isn’t slated until Saturday. Luke is dead on about how the minors schedule their minor league pitchers.

    1. True that he has forearm tightness but that is not why he isn’t going tonight. That just pushed him back to a Monday start from another slot this weekend. What about Gausman then? Why wouldn’t he get the nod on Opening Day instead of being scheduled for Saturday?

    1. Pulling a quote from the Lacy Lusk article on WaPo today from Doug Harris, “It’s not like the big leagues, where you go this is our number one starter and this is our number two starter,” Harris said. “It’s really a matter of where you are and when you pitch last” during spring training.

      1. Thanks, Mick – Make sure folks to click through on his name.

        To illustrate that point, remember that Taylor Jordan started the split-squad game on March 27th. Five days later, a.k.a. after four days’ rest, he presumably pitched or threw a simulated game on Monday, the 1st. As you can see, he’s scheduled to pitch on Saturday, the 6th.

        As for the alignment, which was explained to me by a team source, think of this scenario… Dan Haren tweaks a hamstring. Has to go on the D.L, but probably only the 15-day and won’t need to rehab. So the Nats have basically a choice between (A) having a starter go on short rest (B) using a long reliever for a spot start or two (C) picking from a group of 2-3 starters at AAA (and sometimes AA), depending on off days and workload, that can .

        It then goes down the chain, if it’s Maya that gets recalled (C), then they have to decide whether to call up a starter from Harrisburg and slide him in to his spot in the Syracuse rotation, or ask a long reliever from the Chiefs to cover for him (e.g. Tatusko), with a Senators reliever from to take his place (e.g. Lehman)… Etc. Etc.

  4. Pedro Severino is worth watching. I’m excited to see a 19-year old not only make one of these teams, but is also starting the opener.

  5. Some of this bantor could make a Sonic drive in ad
    where the guys are getting away from the wife for
    a shake…LOL!…

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