Washington Nationals: Mid-Day Rumors/Links...Roy Oswalt? Drew Storen, Livan Hernandez...

• Wondering how all the Roy Oswalt/Nats talk got started? I first saw a Tweet from the Nationals Farm Authority's Brian Oliver (@NFA_Brian) this morning which said ESPN.com's Buster Olney claimed the "...feeling among rival executives is Nats apt to be aggressive before deadline, willing to take [contract] like Oswalt's." Buster Olney elaborated on the possibility of a team like the Nats' pursuing the Houston Astros' 32-year-old right-handed ace in a blog post at ESPN.com entitled, "For some, bullpen mileage piling up", wherein Mr. Olney writes that acquiring an Oswalt-type starter is a possibility because the Nationals believe their, "...window of opportunity is opening, and [Drew] Storen's promotion so early in the season tells us that they will work like crazy this summer to climb through."

Mr. Olney mentions Storen, because the theme of his latest post is team's that have overworked their bullpens early, with Mr. Olney writing that Washington's called on the 22-year-old '09 1st Round pick, "... partly because the Nats think they can contend this season but also because they are bleeding in the bullpen." The Nationals, according to Mr. Olney, (and the comparative number of innings pitched), have the fourth-highest IP total by their relievers so far this season, behind only the Mets, Pirates and Tigers, so the idea of adding a veteran starter to replace some the innings Jason Marquis was supposed to save the Nats' young arms from throwing makes some sort of sense...

(ed. note - "SBN MLB Daily Dish writer Eli Greenspan took a look at the possibility of the Nats acquiring Oswalt in a post this morning entitled, "Nationals could add Roy Oswalt?", in which he speculates on what the Nationals might have to give up to the rebuilding 'Stros to pry their ace away from them...and the DC Faithful have been hashing the possibilities out in FBB's John Quinn's morning link post entitled, "Nationals News: Hello, Storen!")

• A Few Words From Livan Hernandez

Unexpected Nats' ace Livan Hernandez, aka Mr. National Himself, was on Sirius/XM's MLB Network Radio with Seth Everett and Jim Duquette to talk about what he and the Nationals have been able to accomplish so far this season. Here's some of what Washington's 35-year-old right-hander had to say about the state of baseball in the nation's capital: 

Livan On Pitching On 3 Days Rest Against NY Wednesday: 

Livan Hernandez: "You know, I always feel very good, and we're working hard every day, so we're supposed to do whatever they ask us to do, so, you know, I'll be ready to come back in three days..."

On the Nats' Success: 

Livan Hernandez: "We don't listen to the people talking about 'We don't have a chance', and it's like I played in 2007 in Arizona and nobody talked about us, and we made the Playoffs, and we made the second round and we lost in the second round to Colorado, and you know, it's not about who's got the best names in the lineup, we play the right way and we're going to win a lot of games, so that's what it's all about. We got speed, we have the power, you know, good defense behind, the bullpen's great and the starting pitchers we do the job, so we continue to play like this and we're going to surprise a lot of people." 

On His Success Throughout His Career: 

Livan Hernandez: "In the offseason I try to work hard every year, and the last few years...I didn't feel 100% like this year, and it's difficult, I got an operation on my knee and the doctor told me it was going to be one year and a half or two years or two years [to recover] and it really took a little longer than that, and, you know, I'm the type of guy that no matter happens I go out there every five days, and what I want to do is leave a message to everybody, to every team...that I feel great...I'm fighting every day, I go on the mound and try to give a chance to win to the team..."

On the Nats' Bullpen:

Livan Hernandez: "This guy is unbelievable in the bullpen, [Tyler] Clippard's got 7 wins, he got more wins than anybody, (laughs) and [Matt] Capps is having a great year, and he deserves it, he's working hard everyday and everybody sees that. He's a great guy, that only thinks about baseball, and when he's coming in in the ninth inning, we feel like the game's over, so it's good when you have a bullpen like that...the way I feel right now is that I believe 100% in my bullpen so if I gotta come out in the sixth inning, seventh, I feel good, so..."

Livan's next start is against the New York Mets in DC on Wednesday.

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