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The Washington Nationals' '09 Rotation?

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There's a difference of opinion amongst some I know about how seriously to take the news on mlbtraderumors.com, but I can't argue with the analysis in an article by mlbtraderumors.com's Tim Dierkes from 9/10/08 entitled, "Offseason Outlook: Washington Nationals", where Mr. Dierkes writes about possible additions to the '09 DC starting staff noting that the re-upping of Odalis Perez or signing of some similar veteran arm would be a positive first step and:

"Beyond that, they can just let guys fight it out. Hill will try to stay healthy, Bergmann has potential (he was recently removed from the rotation). Prospect Jordan Zimmerman looks interesting and nearly ready..."

I find that far more realistic than MLB.com's Bill Ladson writing in an article on 10/18/08 entitled, "Nationals not in the mix for Peavy" about how:

"Whether the Nationals will acquire a big-name free agent, such as Milwaukee left-hander CC Sabathia, remains to be seen."

Does it? The day CC Sabathia signs with Washington I'll...but seriously, who actually thinks CC will be in DC next season? A quick glance at a couple of lists of free agent pitchers available for '09 (anyone know of a definitive list?) includes a whole lot of pitchers who have already passed through the Nationals' organization like Tony Armas, Luis Ayala, Bartolo Colon(ugh!), Ryan Drese, Livan and Orlando Hernandez, Brian Lawrence and Esteban Loaiza...

...and of the few starters who might seem like a good fit for Washington, like Jon Garland, AJ Burnett, John Lackey, Derek Lowe or Oliver Perez, I'd bet all of them will command far more than it's worthwhile for the Nationals to invest at this point, so more than likely the Nationals' are going to end up with a rotation full of young arms like Collin Balester, the aforementioned Jordan Zimmermann, John Lannan, Jason Bergmann, free agent Odalis Perez, the arbitration eligible Tim Redding and young righty Shairon Martis. Who knows if Matt Chico can make his way back? Will Ross Detwiler find himself this winter or Spring? Can Cory VanAllen compete for a spot? Will Tyler Clippard improve his standing in the organization? What can be expected from Shawn Hill? That's a lot of questions...

AFL UPDATE...

The Peoria Saguaros have lost two more since we last checked in with the Nationals' prospects competing in the Arizona Fall League, and Peoria's now (8-5) and tied for first in the AFL's American division with the Mesa Solar Sox. Zechry Zinicola gave up a run on two hits in 1.2 IP Monday night, in a 4-2 loss to the Peoria Javelinas. Adam Carr pitched a scoreless frame. Outfielder Leonard Davis was 1 for 4 with a triple Monday, ending the evening with a .281 AVG. Bill Rhinehart was 0 for 4 with a K and a .190 AVG, and Ian Desmond went 1 for 4, for a .269 AVG thus far this fall. 

Last night, Tuesday, Bill Rhinehart hit his first HR of the Fall and it was a BIG one as he knocked in 4 with a 1st inning Grand Slam. Rhinehart ended up going 1 for 4 with a run scored and 2 walks to raise his average to an even .200. Leonard Davis was 2 for 3 with an RBI and now a .314 AVG...Ian Desmond was 1 for 2 with 2 walks, but in spite of all that offense, the Saguaros dropped another to the Javelinas when their pitchers allowed 20 hits and 18 runs in an 18-13 loss to the other Peoria team in front of a reported 142 fans. 

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Let's Go Rays! Beat Those Phillies!! No One Wants Philly To Win Do They? I can't bring myself to cheer for any other NL East teams anymore regardless of my disdain for the American League's inferior brand of baseball...just lost to them far too much recently...Let's Go Rays Go!!!