A side benefit to seeing some of Stephen Strasburg's Triple-A starts on MASN is seeing some of the Nationals' other minor league arms, including some familiar names.
If you saw Strasburg's start against Toledo last week, you also saw Jason Bergmann enter the game and actually get the victory for the Chiefs. Since his outright assignment, Bergmann's pitched extremely well, allowing just 3 earned runs in 17 innings. He's struck out 15, walked 4, and has allowed an opponent batting average of just .219. Will it get him back to the big leagues? He certainly hopes so, but the numbers game in Washington is working against him. He's out of options, but at 28 (he'll turn 29 in September) is in his prime, and could be attractive to some other clubs down the stretch.
Fellow reliever Josh Wilkie, a product of George Washington University (and born in my college stomping grounds of Clarksville, TN), is enjoying a solid year in the IL. Josh is 2-3 in 17 games, with an ERA of 2.22. He's K'ed 20 in 24.1 innings, and has allowed just a single home run.
Former National Collin Balester struggled as a starter this year at Syracuse. In five starts he only made it into the fifth inning one time. He was moved to the bullpen last week, and has made two scoreless appearances there. He's allowed about 50 baserunners in just 22.1 innings of work. Lefty Jesse English, who showed genuine promise with the big club in April, is on the DL in Syracuse. He'd allowed 10 earned runs in little more than 10 innings of work with the Chiefs, including 12 hits and 6 walks.
Check out what will likely be Stephen Strasburg's final minor league start tomorrow on MASN against the Buffalo Bisons. The broadcast will get underway on tape delay at 7:00 p.m. (time approximate, pending the length of the earlier game). Then, next Tuesday it's Strasburg versus Pittsburgh in what is shaping up as one of the major events of the 2010 MLB season.