Wire Taps: Nationals' Steve McCatty On Stephen Strasburg On The MLB Network

Patrick McDermott

What does the baseball world think of Washington Nationals' starter Stephen Strasburg? Do they have the wrong impression of the Nats' right-hander? Steve McCatty was asked about Strasburg when he appeared on the MLB Network's Hot Stove show...

Steve McCatty's looking forward to getting started on a new season with a new arm in the mix after the trade for Doug Fister and a top four that can match up against any rotation in the National League. The Nats' pitching coach was asked in an appearance on the MLB Network's Hot Stove Show with Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds on Tuesday afternoon which pitcher is likely to land the fifth spot after Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Fister and he seemed to be leaning towards Ross Detwiler, though Nats' GM Mike Rizzo did say earlier this month that the Nats' '07 1st Round pick will have to earn the spot this spring.

"If Det comes back healthy, he's going to do well. He always has great Spring Trainings." - McCatty on Detwiler/5th spot in rotation

"I know everybody brought the question up, 'Who's going to be no.5?'" McCatty said. "If Det comes back healthy, he's going to do well. He always has great Spring Trainings. But I'm real happy. I think that my chances are good every day. When you have good pitchers, you have a chance to be a good pitching coach."

At one point in the interview, Harold Reynolds asked if McCatty thinks Strasburg might be misunderstood around the baseball world since he hasn't always been able to speak his mind about what he thought of the way he's been handled thus far in his career. Here's what McCatty had to say:

"Strassy is a great kid. He's very quiet. He's not a guy that loves the press a lot -- let's just put it this way... he's really quiet and reserved. But when we talk a lot, he wants to pitch. And he gets mad at me and he'll get mad at Davey for taking him out, but... and he wants to be out there. But still, it's gotta be the right situations. There are some times where we got into it where he didn't like coming out and he didn't like being left in and I told him, I said, 'Well, here's part of it. You can't have it both ways. You've got to learn how to pitch. You've got to get through those tough innings if you want to win ballgames -- and I know there's some question whether wins are important and you're talking to the wrong guy about that for a starting pitcher -- you've got to get to the seventh and eighth inning. You have to learn how to do it. And I can tell him and other guys can tell and they know, but it has to be -- the physical thing and the mental thing when you're out there that third and fourth time through the lineup to get through it."

That's not all McCatty had to say, of course. The rest of the interview, and a few Nats links below... starting RIGHT NOW?:

• THE BIG STORY!!!: A Chat With The Cat


• NATS BEAT:

• "Instead of tossing around that kind of money in order to procure a southpaw for their bullpen, the Nats opted to go the trade route..." - "Nationals Pastime: On the lefty relief market and the Nats' improved pitching depth" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Look, all of these lefties have value. And we saw last season how much the Nationals needed a quality left-hander in their bullpen." - "Free agent left-handers priced themselves out of Nationals’ market" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "As of today, Dec. 18, the Nationals almost certainly have their eight starting position players in place, barring some kind of shocking trade." - "Nationals Pastime: What's a move you still want to see made?" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "How exactly does Moore fit into the Nationals’ plans, both in 2014 and beyond?" - "Washington Nationals face decision with Tyler Moore in 2014" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "Zona, a longtime resident of Mechanicsville, last month was promoted by the Washington Nationals to special assistant to the general manager." - "Zona has an eye for talent" - John O'Connor, Richmond Times-Dispatch: Washington Nationals

• "'I think the 2011 season is something I can do,' [Morse] said. 'That’s my big goal, to stay on the field. I know if I stay on the field everything else will fall into place.'" - "Morse, Giants finalize $6 million, 1-year deal" - AP/The Washington Post

• "Said Bochy, "I told Brian and Bobby, 'I know he's coming off some injuries, but when he's healthy, he's a presence in the lineup.'" - "Morse excited to officially join Giants" - Chris Haft, SFGiants.com: News

• NATSTOWN/MINORS:

• "The Nationals and Chiefs will announce a renewal of their partnership with a four-year agreement, according to multiple people familiar with the situation." - "Nationals to renew agreement with Class AAA affiliate Syracuse" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "In announcement about the extension will be made Wednesday in Syracuse by Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and his staff, which includes assistant GMs Bryan Minniti and Doug Harris." - "Report: Washington Nationals to extend Triple-A deal with Syracuse" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Harrisburg/AA Pitching Staff Year in Review; 2013" - Todd Boss, Nationals Arm Race

• "The Bullpen Banter staff previews the Washington Nationals Top 10 Prospects and Farm System for 2014." - "Washington Nationals Top 10 Prospects for 2014" - Bullpen Banter

• "The Hanwha Eagles announced Wednesday the signing of new pitcher Caleb Clay to a one-year deal." - "Hanwha Eagles announce signing of new foreign pitcher" - Yonhap News

• "Cromartie told The Tampa Tribune on Tuesday that he isn't targeting any team specifically, including the Rays." - "Could Montreal make a play for Rays?" - Michael Sasso, The Tampa Tribune

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "In his gut, Murphy said he expects to be at second base when the Mets open their 2014 season March 31 against the Washington Nationals." - "Daniel Murphy wants to stay with the Mets" - Mike Kerwick, NorthJersey.com

Phillies: "The Phillies have signed right-hander Roberto Hernandez to a one-year, $4.5 million contract, Senior Vice President & General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced today." - "Phillies sign Hernandez" - phillies.com: News

Marlins: "'We are not reluctant [to trade pitching],' Hill said. 'It depends on who it is, but we are not reluctant. This is why you build and try to create depth...'" - "Marlins back to weighing third-base options" - Joe Frisaro, marlins.com: News

Braves: "If there were any doubts about the fact the Rays are looking for a significant return in exchange for Price, they were confirmed when the Braves learned the cost would likely include Alex Wood, Christian Bethancourt and at least two other top prospects." - "Atlanta Braves complete search for rotation depth with Gavin Floyd signing" - Mark Bowman, braves.com: News

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