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Washington Nationals: Saturday Links And Notes...Chien-Ming Wang, Bryce Harper.

• The College of Southern Nevada Coyotes suffered their first loss of 2010 on Friday, dropping the opening game of the 11th Annual CSN Coyote Classic 6-3 to the visiting, and still undefeated at (7-0), Cochise College of Arizona. The reason everyone's following the Coyotes this season, catcher Bryce Harper, considered by some the top prospect for the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft, was behind the plate for the Coyotes tonight. Harper went 2 for 4 with a single and two swinging K's in his first two at bats, with a leadoff double and a run scored in his final plate appearance in the ninth which sparked a two-run rally that fell three runs short of a comeback in the 6-3 loss. 9 games into his freshman season at CSN, Harper's now hitting .343 (12 for 35) with a .459 OBP, .667 SLG, (1.126 OPS), 4 doubles, 1 triple, 2 HR's and 9 RBI's. The Coyotes play a double-header Saturday and one more on Sunday. 

(ed. note - "Let's work on cutting down on the between-pitch Nomarisms shall we...(glove, glove, practice swing, cut)...that will get annoying real quick...then again if the result is a 400+ ft HR, I'll deal with it...ed. note (in an ed. note) - 'This is the HR, CSN Baseball Coach Tim Chambers described to's Byron Kerr the other day in an article entitled, "Bryce Harper Update From College Coach." According to Mr. Chambers):

"His home run Friday was the first one I have seen over the center field wall, (Coach Chambers has been at CSN for 11 years) which is 400 feet to dead center and it's a 20 foot wall. It was a bomb."

(ed. note - (cont.)..."Harper and the CSN Coyotes play a doubleheader today and one more Sunday as part of the 11th Annual CSN Coyote Classic.")


• BP's Will Carroll on Chien-Ming Wang.

• Two Adams Introduced.

• Baseball Prospectus' Will Carroll wrote a short piece on Thursday in response to a Yankees writers' article on Chien-Ming Wang's sudden decline, which (to simplify crudely) examined how Wang's brutal sinker became a much-more-hittable two-seam fastball after his injury issues surfaced (with the distinction being a side-to-side movement on his fastball as opposed to a vertical drop in the zone). In Mr. Carroll's article entitled, "Wang Wrong", the "Injury Expert" discusses the strain the sinker Wang's thrown throughout his career puts on a pitcher's elbow:

"The sinker requires a great deal of pronation (turning the thumb down at release or 'pouring out the can'). Go ahead and try this at home and you’ll feel the head of the humerus (the bone of the upper arm, where it meets the shoulder) rotating inward. Studies by Jim Andrews and his team have shown that pitchers tend to have an anatomical change called 'humeral retroversion' - very simply, their bone changes to accomodate the demands of pitching. Combine changed anatomy with damaged biology and altered mechanics and things get bad quickly."

Mr. Carroll goes on to write that he wonders how any team interested in signing the 29-going-on-30-year-old could do so without first having the pitcher undergo, "...a biomechanical analysis of the type Andrews offers at his Birmingham facility," asking, "Why would a team commit millions of dollars to a pitcher, especially a risky pitcher, without having this kind of information?" Nationals? Your response?

• Two Adams Introduced: As departing Washington Post Nationals beat writer Chico Harlan was writing about new Nationals' second baseman Adam Kennedy's official signing and introduction yesterday afternoon in a Nationals Journal Post entitled, "Kennedy's signing official", the Washington Post (or at least the Boston Globe, or actually a Boston-based blog) was announcing that a new (well old) DC-based writer had been chosen to replace Mr. Harlan. Former WaPost intern Adam Kilgore will reportedly return to Washington, D.C. to cover the Nationals in 2010. Mike Harris at Nationals Fanboy Looser reported on the WaPost's choice in an article Friday morning entitled, "News from the Post - Welcome (Back) Adam Kilgore", wherein Mr. Harris cited an entry at the Boston Sports Media Watch website entitled, "Adam Kilgore heading down to D.C." As the news of the new beat writer's selection broke, Mr. Harlan continued to cover the Nationals, quoting new second-baseman-to-be Adam Kennedy from his first teleconference, during which the 34-year-old infielder explained his decision to sign with Washington:

"(The Nationals offered a)...chance to play, to play second base and compete for a job there in spring training. And also the coaching staff -- I know [Jim] Riggleman a bit and [Rick] Eckstein. Not a lot of people will pay attention to this final point, but the lineup, it's pretty impressive. It's definitely intriguing, and I think it should be a good fit."

As Mr. Harlan, and everyone who wrote about the Kennedy signing yesterday noted, the Nationals did not announce a decision as to which player would be removed from the 40-man roster to make room for their new second baseman, but the decision should be forthcoming in the next few days.