Double-A and Triple-A pitching still stocked in Nationals’ system

Earlier this week, I was able to speak with Potomac Nationals Player of the Year Danny Rosenbaum, who now pitches for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators. He was excited about coming in to camp in better shape and was motivated to move up again this season.

Former Harrisburg pitching coach Randy Tomlin said Rosenbaum “could be be better than Tom Milone” in the Nationals’ system.

Tomlin also went down the roster of a few other names on the pitching staff that impressed and are also primed to make another positive step forward up the ladder towards D.C.

There was concern with Sammy Solis and his elbow, which so far will not require Tommy John surgery. Tomlin had the chance to see Solis pitch in the Arizona Fall League in 2011.

“He has got a great arm,” Tomlin said. “He is another one of those guys that has a bright future as long as he stays healthy and work on developing his other stuff.”

Rafael Martin and Patrick Lehman also pitched in Arizona. Tomlin spent the entire season teaching this pair of relievers and saw some very promising results.

“Martin knows how to pitch and his stuff is really good,” Tomlin shared. “He does not overpower you. He has an average fastball, but it moves a lot. He has a Mariano (Rivera) fastball that cuts. It is something to watch.

“Martin has a good sinker, too. He has some experience in a sense of being a little more mature and confident in himself. He doesn’t care who he is facing and what situation he is in. Rafael can handle it. I think he is going to get that invite to spring training and Martin will open some eyes if he comes in there ready to go.”

Former George Washington University hurler Patrick Lehman also made big strides from Single-A Potomac to Harrisburg last season.

“I love Patrick Lehman,” Tomlin said. “Coming in from the bullpen, you can put strike one on the scoreboard right now. He has no fear, pounds the zone and he has the great changeup, too. With Patrick, it is just going to be decided on how he adjusts from level to level and how mature he is in his development.”

Another pitcher that did well and continues to make solid progress is southpaw Patrick McCoy.

“McCoy is the youngster there,” Tomlin said. “We tried to get him to realize as a 21-year-old or 22-year-old in Double-A (who) already has four years of minor league experience (that) he needs to come in and believe in his stuff. And when he does finally get that confidence that he does have that big league stuff, he is going to be good.

“He showed at times during the season that he could get left-handed hitters out. He has a great slider. The mistakes he has to overcome are youthful mistakes and maturity. He is a great guy and always wants to work to become a better pitcher.”

We will continue to break down the Harrisburg roster with Tomlin’s comments, so stay tuned for more capsules on the Senators’ talented pitchers.

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