WASHINGTON - JULY 09: Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the San Francisco Giants at Nationals Park on July 9 2010 in Washington DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
• Another interesting note from Boston Globe writer Nick Carfado's article Sunday entitled, "Arroyo has dealt well with life in Cincinnati". Mr. Carfado talks to former major leaguer Mike Pagliarulo, who's now working with the Baseball Institute of Development in Naples, Florida where, Mr. Pagliarulo explains to Mr. Carfado, they are working to, "...bridge the gap from sports knowledge to sports medicine," in an attempt to, "...help teams make smarter choices and reduce health risks to players." Mr. Pagliarulo reportedly told a reporter that according to his research, Red Sox' pitcher Manny Delcarmen, "...who is currently on the disabled list with a forearm strain, [was identified] as one of the most high-risk pitchers in baseball," long before Delcarmen suffered the injury, and I mention this only because of what Mr. Carfado writes and Mr. Pagliarulo says next:
"[Delcarmen's] pitching mechanics are below average and haven’t changed over the last couple of years,’’ Pagliarulo said. "He tends to short-arm the ball and lacks arm extension. Puts a lot of stress on his elbow.’’
Anyone want to take a shot at Mr. Pagliarulo's inferring here? That's all that he says. Nothing else about Strasburg in the article. Why would Strasburg have changed his arm slot? Is this the reason for Stras' slightly wild starts and occasional issues locating his fastball? I read the article five times, just to try to figure out what he was saying...Anyone?
• More on Mr. National Himself, and the Big Opposite Field after the JUMP...
• Yeah, But In The Second AB...
New York Times' writer Tyler Kepner wrote Sunday, in an article entitled, "Some Players Are Not All-Stars, but They Are All-Important", about the, "...pleasant surprises for each team," in baseball as they head into the mid-summer classic, with right-hander Livan Hernandez Mr. Kepner's example from the Nationals' roster in the "first half" of the 2010 campaign:
"WASHINGTON: LIVAN HERNANDEZ, P The seemingly ageless Hernandez began spring training without a team, signed with Washington for $900,000 and has been the only starter who has stayed in the Nationals’ rotation all season."
Oddly enough (I guess it's not odd, but alphabetical) the San Francisco Giants' Andres Torres is identified as the Giants' pleasant surprise on the list immediately above Mr. Hernandez, with Mr. Kepner noting that the Giants', "...32-year-old journeyman outfielder has gotten on base consistently and stolen bases to bolster a sagging offense. He also homered off the mighty Stephen Strasburg on Friday."
What Mr. Kepner doesn't mention, however, is that Strasburg fooled Torres so badly with a 5-pitch barrage of curves and changes in his next at bat, that Torres ended up injuring his groin swinging wildly trying to make contact with an 84 mph 2-2 bender that dropped 11-to-5 across the zone from outside and ended up low inside on the switch-hitting outfielder who was obviously bating from the left side against the Nats' right-hander. (ed. note - "Sorry, the next news item doesn't end with a Strasburg anecdote...the last one does though, sorry...")
• Is Adam Dunn Dictating This?
ESPN.com's Buster Olney hit NatsTown with a shock and awe Twitter attack late Tuesday afternoon, writing a series of messages about the Nats' ongoing negotiations with their big middle-of-the-order bat Adam Dunn. You can read the series of Tweets at @buster_espn, but to sum up the message in one of the Tweets Mr. Olney posted:
"Heard this: Would-be free agent Adam Dunn has just about lost interest in working out a long-term deal with the Nationals..."
According to Mr. Olney, Dunn's not enjoying the "explore our options" tactics the Nationals' front office has been employing (and recently openly discussing) in the weeks leading up to the July 31st Trade Deadline and the eventual end of Dunn's current 2-year/$20 million dollar contract at the end of the season, and as Mr. Olney writes, "...The Nationals are fast approaching fish-or-cut bait time with the slugger." Several writers have made mention in the last few weeks of the 30-year-old left-handed 40/100-machine's distaste for the sort of questions that come with playing out a contract without an extension, and it appears someone is trying to bring the situation to a head...
• Bryce Harper Searchers...
I've noticed a lot of searchers coming to Federal Baseball.com looking for the latest Bryce Harper news, but the latest word is simply that there is no word. MLB.com's Bill Ladson (@washingnats) sent out a 140-character+ tweet on Monday which reported that, "As of now, the #Nats and OF Bryce Harper have not talked about a professional contract. No date has been set regrding talks between the two parties." In a Q&A with season ticket holders on Saturday, DC GM Mike Rizzo told a fan who asked if the negotiations with the top picks would inevitably come down to the last minute again, that he, "...expect(s) to sign all the guys that we don't have signed, the Lerner family has been terrific in giving me the resources to go out and be aggressive with guys and get them signed, I don't think that will change this year."
The Nats' GM passed the first test, going to the deadline and getting Stephen Strasburg signed last summer, but now Adam Dunn's looking for a new deal with the July 31st deadline looming (not to mention the fact that Josh Willingham would like an extension, and there are 3
4 more draft picks (the top 3 4 of the Nats' 2010 class of course) that have to be signed before 11:59 pm EST on August 15, 2010 when the deadline to ink the Nats' draft picks passes...In Rizzo We Trust.