A few days ago I said that I believe the 2009 Nationals will prove to be, by far, the best club that Manny Acta has had during his tenure as manager.
To make that argument, I pointed out the offenstive potential of this year's Nationals; to take it one step further, here's a look at the starting pitching.
Our starting pitching is a lot more talented than any staff we have had here.
John Lannan didn't last 32 starts in the NL and throw 21 quality starts with out being the" real deal". The young man can flat out pitch.
With his moving fastball, big slider and plus, plus change up, he will be a 15-game winner in this league sooner than later.
Jordan Zimmermann made his debut last week and what a debut it was. He featured a 95 MPH fastball, a sharp slider and a curveball that Bert Blyleven would salivate over. As good as his "stuff" is, the way he goes about his business may be even more impressive.
ICE could be his nickname because he is just that cool of a customer.
Scott Olsen got off to a rough start, but has pitched exceptionally well his last two outings. He locates his fastball well, has a good curveball and a nice change. He is a perfect Number 3 because he is going to take the ball every 5th day and give you six innings or more. He's a great addition to this pitching staff and he's only 25.
Only Cole Hamels and Scott Kazmir have more wins than Olsen's 31 for LHP pitchers 25 years old or younger. Scott has never been on the DL and leads all left-handed starters with 97 starts the last three years.
Shairon Martis pitches like he is 32 instead of 22. I love to watch him work hitters. He is calm and stays within himself on the mound. His fastball has topped out at 94, and only Zimmermann throws harder. He has great sideways movement on his fastballs, often tying up right-handed hitters on inside pitches. His slurvish breaking ball is tough to lift and his change up is simply outstanding. With experience, he can become a big winner, in the big leagues in my opinion.
Four starters, 25 years old or younger pitching in the major leagues; growing up together; pushing each other--ALL GOOD!!
Daniel Cabrera is the elder statesman of our rotation, and he is only 27! He has a world of potential that just might be emerging under the tutelage of Randy St. Claire. He isn't throwing 95 or 96 anymore, but his location has gotten better and better his last two outings. He has hit 93 on the gun, but he's pitching at 90, 91. I have been most impressed with his breaking ball. He has consistently thrown it for stikes and has been able to change speeds on it. If he can give us 180-190 innings, he will be a huge addition.
Check back for a look at the bullpen and the defense, and let me know what you think of this year's Nats at any time using the comment box below.