Comparison have been made over and over between Stephen Strasburg and previous pitching phenoms like Kerry Wood and Steve Avery. But as this season has closed, I saw at the end of the year a coalescing of three young starting pitchers for the Nationals that will dictate their future. Its not just Stephen Strasburg but . . . but Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, and Ross Detwiler. The Nats seem to have everything in place right now . . . hitting, defense, and especially their bullpen. At times in the last two years, all three of these guys have shown flashes of true brilliance - which made me thought of two teams. The early 2000s A's and the mid-90s Mets. Why? Because its a tale of what to do and what not to do with a group of amazing young arms. The A's nurtured Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson, and Barry Zito to lead those Moneyball teams constantly into the post-season. The Mets future of Jason Isringhausen, Bill Pulsipher, and Paul Wilson fizzled before it could start - only Isringhausen has had a career of note, converting into a effective reliever and winning a World Series with St. Louis in 2006.
I'm not an expert on why one worked and one didn't, but I would hope MIke Rizzo takes a good look into why. I like what the Nationals have done all around and I expect them to round-out the power and lead-off spots through free agency. There will be a lot of pressure on these three to finally come through for DC next year for an entire season. Strasburg will be the key, the superstar and face of the franchise. But he needs help . . . and with probably Chein-Ming Wang and John Lannan being the only two starters behind them (if they can resign CMW).
This should be the only question Mike Rizzo asks Davey Johnson in his "job interview." Starting pitching.