Part of the Nationals' revamped bullpen this year will likely be righthander Brian Broderick. In seven appearances this spring - 10.2 innings - Broderick has allowed only four hits and a single earned run.
A sinkerballer, Broderick's strength has been his ability to locate his pitches in the bottom of the strike zone. He's allowed very little contact that's resulted in fly balls. His batting average against is a puny .114.
Broderick is 24, and was originally a 21st round pick of the Cardinals in 2007. The Nationals took him in the Rule 5 draft last December when St. Louis didn't add him to their 40-man roster, following a solid 2010 in high-A and Double-A ball.
In 24 starts, he threw 150 innings, going 14-7, 3.66. He's not a strikeout guy, notching only 92 K's against 25 walks.
There's still some question about who's going to close this year. Drew Storen has struggled. Scouts say his fastball has been "too straight" this spring, and his breaking ball inconsistent. He's not worried, however, as he's been more concerned this spring with working on things rather than specific statistical results.
It's certainly possible that the club could open with a "closer-by-committee" approach. Lefties Sean Burnett and Doug Slaten have been impressive, and Burnett showed last year that he could get the job done when given the task.
On another note, the Padres have been looking hard at infielder Alberto Gonzalez, who's out of options. The Nationals seem to have sufficient depth at utility infield with Jerry Hairston and Alex Cora.