Five games into spring and the Nats are starting to get into the swing of things. Coaches are getting to see what kind of talent they have in camp, and players are starting to see where they stack up against the competition.
This early into the spring however, performance is pretty arbitrary. Some pitchers may simply be using their outings to work on a specific pitch or location, repeating it over and over. Some hitters may be dedicating an entire at-bat to hitting fastballs to right field, or to learning how to sit on a curveball.
What we can try to decipher is what pitchers have come to camp prepared, and who may have a leg up in the horse-race for the Nats rotation.
John Lannan: 2 IP, 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 BB, 1K
-Lannan is clearly the teams ace, it looks like he came into camp ready to improve on what was a great rookie season.
Colin Balester:2 IP, 0 Runs, 1 Hit, 1 BB, 1 K
-Balester got a taste of the bigs last season and is looking to make the team as an important part of the rotation. If he can continue to pitch with good control and get major league hitters out, it will hard for the Nats to keep him off the roster.
Jason Bergmann: 2 IP, 0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0BB, 0 K
-Bergmann needs to be successful in camp this year after his up and down 2008 campaign. The Nats as well as most of baseball is just about ready to give on him as a starter, so if he wants to salvage his career...this is the time.
Daniel Cabrera-2 IP, 2 Runs, 4 Hits, 0 BB, 0 K
-This isn't what anyone wanted to see from Cabrera in his first outing. The story with this kid has been the same for the last 5 years, he's got immense talent but can't put it together. The Nats signed him hoping they'd get lucky with him putting it together, doesn't look good so far. But again...it's early.
Gustavo Chachin-2 IP, 0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 BB, 0 K
-Chachin's performance is a good sign for the Nats. The team picked Chachin up on a chance after his reconstructive arm surgery. While I haven't heard reports on his velocity in his first outing, he has always had good stuff. If his arm is back he could be a great addition to the club.
Jordan Zimmerman-2IP, 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 BB, 3K's
-Zimmerman is probably the most interesting situation in Nats camp. He is the team's top pitching prospect but could probably use another year in the minors for seasoning. It appears he has come into camp this year blazing as he scorched through the Astro's line up in his first outing...it may be hard to keep him off the roster.
Tyler Clippard- 1 IP, 3 Runs, 2 Hits, 2 BB's, 0 K
-Clippard was a top pitching prospect for the Nationals no more than a year ago but he has not been able to get it done at the major league level, or even triple A. His awful start to camp is a bad omen if he ever hopes to reach his major league potential.
Ross Detwiler- 0 IP, 3 Runs, 1 Hit, 4 BB's, 0K
-Well so much for Detwiler getting his confidence back. His stuff and resume is so good, he just can not make it past double A....disappointing
Shawn Hill- 1 IP, 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 1 BB, 0K
-Recovering from arm surgery, its good to see he didn't get hurt in his one inning. It's a wait and see game with Hill, if he's 100% he's real hard to hit.