If you’re wondering why Mike Rizzo is on the hunt for more starting pitching, this list ought to be a clue. Simply put: Just one of these 10 is age-appropriate-to-the-level and has had a modicum of success as a starter. And since Sterling Sharp doesn’t throw 95 and isn’t lefthanded…
Please hold while I pass along the results from the 24 pitchers named 11 ballots (one more of both from last year):
- Mason Denaburg
- Wil Crowe
- James Bourque
- Tim Cate
- Sterling Sharp
- Seth Romero
- Kyle McGowin
- Austen Williams
- Tanner Rainey
- Jackson Tetreault
Others receiving votes: Nick Raquet, Ben Braymer, Alfonso Hernandez, Jake Irvin, Reid Schaller, Kyle Johnston, Malvin Pena,
Gabe Klobosits, Austin Voth, Taylor Guilbeau, Steven Fuentes, Aaron Fletcher, Jordan Mills, Andrew Istler
… it’s pretty clear that the Nats don’t have much to go to if (when) any of the on-paper starting five (Scherzer, Strasburg, Corbin, Ross, Fedde) go down with an injury. In fact, it would appear that many of you are valuing the short term over the long term with the likes of Kyle McGowin (27), Austen Williams (26 next week), and the newly acquired Tanner Rainey (26 the week after next).
And that’s fine, since it’s pretty clear that the post-Harper Nationals will be very reliant on pitching and defense, though there’s the Duquette-esque* argument that a healthy Adam Eaton (first time for everything), a full season of Juan Soto, and the addition of Victor Robles will keep the runs coming.
* This was when Mo Vaughn left in 1998. For the most part, Duquette was right–the Red Sox scored only 40 fewer runs in 1999 with Brian Daubach and Jose Offerman added to the lineup–but it also kinda, sorta helped to have Pedro Martinez throw 213 innings of 243 ERA+ ball
• There are just three holdovers from last year, thanks in part to the graduations of Erick Fedde and Wander Suero (believe it or not, according to Baseball-Reference, Austin L. Adams is *still* rookie eligible) and the trade of Jefry Rodriguez.
• Mason Denaburg was not named on two ballots but was #1 on eight of the nine ballots he was named on – maybe I was too heavy-handed in my remarks about not throwing professionally yet?
• Not only was Wil Crowe the only pitcher named on all 11 ballots, but he actually moved up a spot despite getting hammered like the errand boy at the office Christmas party after his promotion to Harrisburg.
• Unlike last year, the gap between #10 and #11 was five points so it would have taken either one or two more votes and a few spots higher; perhaps Nick Raquet was “punished” for his poor showing at High-A (5-3, 4.91) vs. Low-A (4-6, 2.79)
• The nickel-head, million-dollar-armed Seth Romero fell from #2 to #6 but I think that says more about the system than him – it’s always been painfully thin of LHSPs, never mind one that can break 90 mph without taking a ride from Jayson Werth. People much smarter than I am about these things swear that if he can both grow up and slim down, he’ll live up to his Top-10 status.
As always, feel free to discuss in the comments.