On the rain and the pick

Last night's rainout pushed Gio Gonzalez's start back to today and eliminated the need for the Nationals to call up a starter from Triple-A Syracuse to get the ball Saturday.

Now it looks like we might have another rainout tonight that could bump Gonzalez back another day and possibly give us a doubleheader over the weekend.

If you don't happen to live in the D.C./Maryland/Virginia area - or if you do but are completely oblivious to the wet stuff coming out of the sky - it rained heavily overnight and is expected to do more of the same throughout the day and into tonight.

Please be advised: I have no more weather information other than what I just wrote, and that was information I found on Weather.com. I'll keep everyone posted on the latest that we hear from the Nationals on the status of tonight's game, but I have no meteorology skills, and thus, I have no further information at this point.

Davey Johnson said last night that he was perfectly fine with yesterday's rainout because it allowed the banged-up Nationals to rest a bit and align their rotation in a favorable way.

Johnson added that he wouldn't mind a rainout tonight, either. The Nats and Twins, who come to town today, both have an off-day scheduled for Monday, but if we are rained out tonight, the teams would likely push for a weekend doubleheader so as not to eliminate Monday's travel day.

Day one of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft is in the books, and while the Marlins had four picks yesterday, the Nats had just one.

With that one, they selected Dallas Baptist University right-hander Jake Johansen, a hard-throwing 22-year-old.

If it surprised you to see the Nats go with a power arm with their top pick this year, well, you must not be too familiar with the drafting style of general manager Mike Rizzo, scouting director Kris Kline and the rest of the Nats' brass involved in the selecting process.

The Nats love drafting power arms and have a history of going that route high in drafts. Each of the last seven years, the Nats have gone with a hard-throwing starter with either their first or second selection - Johansen, Lucas Giolito in 2012, Alex Meyer in 2011, Sammy Solis in 2010, Stephen Strasburg in 2009, Aaron Crow in 2008 and Ross Detwiler in 2007.

Some scouts have issues with Johansen's secondary pitches, but the Nats see room for growth in Johansen's curve, slider and changeup and feel that they can make some tweaks to Johansen's mechanics that will allow him to locate better.

Basketball and football scouts are fond of saying that you can't teach height. In baseball, while velocity can sometimes improve with some adjustments to a guy's delivery, you can't teach a guy to throw 99 mph. Johansen is a member of that club.

Picking at No. 68 overall, the Nats weren't going to get a guy that came without question marks of some kind. Johansen's college numbers aren't too impressive, but the Nats like his raw ability and feel he has room to improve.

Only time will tell.

blog comments powered by Disqus