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Washington Nationals: Spring Training And Still Searching For Pitching...

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• Not Looper!!!

I begged the Nationals not to, but according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson*, Washington did make an offer to free agent right-hander Braden Looper, (who stinks of Met and would not have been welcome in the nation's capital, uh, at least not by Federal Baseball), luckily, Mr. Ladson reported via Tweet that, "[Looper] told the club last night he is going in another direction." An hour later, Mr. Ladson sent out another Twitter message reporting that Washington had extended an offer to Chan Ho Park as well, though the 36-year-old righty chose to sign with New York's Yankees for 1-year/$1.2M. DC GM Mike Rizzo really wants to add another pitcher, and something tells me Ross Detwiler figured in the Nationals' plans, making the search just a little more urgent now that he's out for at least 10 weeks at the most generous estimates following surgery on his hip...

BACKPAGE: 

• Pitching Search (cont)...

• The Bullpen...

• 2010 Draft Update.

BACKPAGE:

• The Pitching Search (cont)...

If Washington's still looking to sign a pitcher, it's basically John SmoltzLivan Hernandez or Jarrod Washburn at this point...Kris Benson was on Sirius/XM's MLB Home Plate this morning letting everyone know he was still available, and there are always those Noah Lowry rumors from a few weeks back, but outside of those options, and maybe, maybe...though he's probably looking to pitch for a contender again, Pedro? Pedro Martinez? Not going to happen, plus he and Smoltz were said to be considering the late-season-signing route this year...Will DC GM Mike Rizzo finally pull off the trade that's been hinted at all winter? Or go with the young arms already in Florida? Here's the FA SP list from MLBtraderumors.com...

(ed. note - " * = MLB.com's Bill Ladson wrote a blog post later in the day entitled, "Nationals trying hard to get another veteran starter", in which he noted that, "The Nationals did not confirm that they made offers to Park and Looper.")

• The Bullpen...

While Scott Olsen's recovery from surgery was the talk of NatsTown South this morning after he threw a bullpen session, it was a quick note from Nationals' Pitching Coach Steve McCha...McCatty that caught my attention in a Washington Post Nationals Journal article entitled, "A quick post-bullpen chat with Steve McCatty", where the WaPost's Nationals beat writer Chico Harlan asked Mr. McCatty for his first impressions of the Nationals' 2nd '09 1st Round pick, Drew Storen

"McCatty: 'He's just one of those guys. He's got the mechanics, he gets the leverage, he gets the angles. He's not a real tall guy, but he's able to keep that delivery all the time. Sometimes you end up throwing too many strikes and you end up having to move the ball off a little bit, but he's just able to repeat his delivery over and over and over. That's the key for all the guys. You do that, and you also check in at 96 mph out there, you say, 'Here it is. Go ahead and try to hit it.'"

Not too many people could hit Storen as he barnstormed the Nationals' system last summer after completing a (7-1), 7 save sophomore season at Stanford which saw the 22-year-old right-hander walk 8 (1.68 BB/9) and K 66 (13.92 K/9) in 28 games and 42.2. IP in which he held opponents to a .210 BAA before joining Washington and pitching at all three levels of the Nationals' system, posting a combined (2-1) record with a 1.95 ERA and 11 saves in 28 games and 37.0 IP over which he collected 49 K's (11.9 K/9), gave up 8 BB, (1.9 BB/9) and surrendered 2 HR's while holding opponents to a .162 BAA....Before we go with yesterday's reports about sending Storen to the minors to start the season, can we just talk to Steve McCatty again?

• 2010 Draft Update: I caught a random Tweet from ESPN.com's Keith Law this afternoon about right-handed high-schooler Jameson Taillon's 2010 debut, in which he was apparently throwing heat according to Mr. Law who tweeted, "Just heard that Houston-area HS RHP Jameson Taillon was 94-99 this weekend. #smoke", which for those unfamiliar with speed readings or Twitterese means Taillon was throwing smoke from the mound this weekend for The Woodlands High School, but remember, as Mr. Law himself wrote recently in a blog post entitled, "Bryce Harper starts on top", (for INSIDERS only) it's highly unlikely the Nationals would draft Taillon since, "...in 45 years no team has taken a prep righty first overall, and I don't see the Nationals taking on that kind of risk or long-term project over [Bryce] Harper." Can't hurt to look though, can it...