Nationals' Rosenbaum focusing on fastball start of camp

Single-A Potomac Nationals Player of the Year Danny Rosenbaum is getting a lot of attention as spring training moves along and with good reason. The Xavier Musketeer southpaw put up top numbers in the Nationals' system in 2011, going a combined 9-6 with a 2.52 ERA in 26 games (25 starts) and 171 1/3 innings, striking out 135 and walking 52.

Rosenbaum told me in last month he wanted to come into camp slimmer and was excited to get this season started.

Double-A Harrisburg Senators pitching coach Paul Menhart is working with Rosenbaum extensively this week and said they are focusing on getting the 24-year-old starter to improve his fastball location and movement.

"The main thing we are trying to get his feel for his fast ball," Menhart said. "The changeup, breaking ball and all the off-speed pitches are fine. We are trying to get that fastball command back and that cutting action back. That is the main goal right now is to get him comfortable with his delivery so he can throw the ball where he wants to because that will be his ticket for the big leagues."

Rosenbaum is going to get a lot of work during spring training because the Nationals need him to be a full-time starter. He is crucial to the second wave of pitchers in system because of the losses of Brad Peacock (trade), Tommy Milone (trade) and Sammy Solis (injury).

"We have got to get him ready to start and stretch him out," Menhart said. "So he can go up and help the big league club if need be as a back up. Most importantly, though, we have to get him ready for the season and get those innings up."

So expect Rosenbaum to get starter-like innings so the lefty can be ready if and when the Nationals call. If everything goes as planned, that call could come this season.

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