Five starters, seven relievers? That's how Washington ended camp in '09. Are Garrett Mock, Craig Stammen, and Collin Balester going to start or pitch out of the pen? J.D. Martin? Miguel Batista?...Brian Bruney, Matt Capps and Drew Storen all want to close, and Eddie Guardado still thinks he's a stopper. That's four of seven...Tyler Clippard is five based on last season's work. Since Guardado's not closing, it's Sean Burnett, Doug Slaten and "Everyday Eddie" as the left-handers skipper Jim Riggleman and his staff will be looking at, with Ryan Speier, Logan Kensing, Jason Bergmann, Tyler Walker and a host of other relievers competing for the long and middle relief roles...If you follow the Nats' players who are on Twitter you know they're already down in Florida...Pitchers and Catchers officially begin arriving tomorrow...Who are you picking for the Nationals' twenty-ten bullpen?
• 2010 Bullpen Picks After The JUMP...
When asked their opinion in a recent poll, the readers of Federal Baseball overwhelmingly chose Matt Capps as the Nationals' 2010 closer, with the former Pittsburgh Pirates' stopper receiving 199 of 269 or (73%) of the votes cast. Washington used their second 1st Round pick in the '09 Draft on a pitcher most considered the best reliever available so that he'd be as close to major league-ready as possible, selecting Drew Storen out of Stanford and then sitting back and watching as he dominated at each stop in the system, finishing his first stint in the pros with a (2-1) record, a 1.95 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and 11 saves in 28 games and 37.0 IP in which he walked 8 (1.9 BB/9) and struck out 48 (11.9 K/9). Brian Bruney's bringing his wild mid-to-high-90's fastball down from NY to DC after six seasons pitching for the D-Backs and Yankees during which he's recorded (8.9 K/9) and walked (6.2 BB/9), while going (3-1) with a 1.83 ERA (242 ERA+, 3.45 FIP) in 32 games and 34.0 IP in 2008 and (5-0) with a 3.92 ERA (109 ERA+, 5.10 FIP) in 44 games and 39.0 IP in '09. Matt Capps had the highest ERA, WHIP and walk totals of his career last season, and also had career-highs in saves and K's per 9 IP...Capps is expected to close.
Collin Balester and Craig Stammen were mentioned as pitchers who might work out of the bullpen this season, but that seems less likely with all the arms DC GM Mike Rizzo has added. If Miguel Batista doesn't make the starting rotation he could pitch out of the pen. "Everyday" Eddie Guardado brings 17 seasons and 944.2 IP of experience to the DC Bullpen. Tyler Clippard ('09 - (4-2), 2.69 ERA, 156 ERA+, 4.46 FIP, 4.8 BB/9, 10.0 K/9) is in based on last season's work. Sean Burnett ('09 - 2-3, 3.12 ERA, 4.57 FIP, 4.6 BB/9, 7.1 K/9) is all but guaranteed a spot, with Doug Slaten, another left-handed option picked up off waivers this winter down in Florida to challenge Burnett and Guardado for innings. Then pick two right-handers from among Ryan Speier, Logan Kensing, Jason Bergmann and Tyler Walker...
- Matt Capps - CL
- Brian Bruney - SU
- Sean Burnett - LHP
- Eddie Guardado - LHP
- Tyler Clippard - RHP
- Jason Bergmann - RHP
- Tyler Walker - RHP