Good Morning Natstown 4/17/15

If you're not living on the edge you're taking up too much room.--Macho Man Randy Savage

The Nationals have won two games in a row for the first time in 2015. Isn't it exciting? Being 4-6 isn't much different than 3-6. No one game should change your opinion. Ten games into the season and your opinion really shouldn't have changed from what it was before the season began. With the first ten games complete the Nationals have now played the equivalent of one NFL game. It is kind of hard to carry on that analogy as a football team can't be granted 40% of a win, but it does give you some idea of how early it is in the season and how little each individual game matters. With that being said the Nationals have to start playing better and hopefully come out of their next ten games with a winning record.

The Nats next ten are the rest of this series against the Phillies, three against the Cardinals, three against the Marlins, and the first game of their series in Atlanta. If the Nats boot the ball around the infield and outfield and the bats fall back asleep then it won't matter who they're playing, but it would be nice to see the defense get in order and the bats stay alive. If those things happen and the starting pitching keeps on keeping on then the Nats should be able to put together a winning record over these next ten.

Craig Stammen being out for the season is the biggest news from yesterday and that is a big loss for the Nationals bullpen. Stammen never had a huge role but he was a reliable reliever and those are hard to come by. He was the one pitching in a bullpen full of question marks who was not one. Tanner Roark or Blake Treinen could take over the role Stammen had in previous seasons. I'd personally like to see Tanner Roark tested in more high leverage situations. In last night's episode of "Who Wants to be Matt Williams Set-Up Man" Blake Treinen did not get the call after blowing his last two opportunities. Instead the job went to Aaron Barrett and for at least one evening he got the job done.

I know the bullpen management debate is going to rage all season, but it is imperative that the Nats have a set-up man and the injured Casey Janssen is no sure thing even when he does get healthy. Barrett was a big time strikeout pitcher in the minors and showed flashes of that ability early in his major league career. He has the stuff to be a good set-up man. If Barrett continues to challenge hitters and go right after them then there is no doubt he can do it, but if he tries to be too perfect like in game 4 of last season's NLDS then the Nats will be giving Tanner Roark or Rafael Martin a shot to be the set-up man until Janssen returns.

That is how this is going to work. The Nats went into last season with Storen, Clippard, and Soriano for the seventh, eighth, and ninth inning. With Janssen on the DL the only inning that belonged to a known quantity was the ninth and that meant the Nationals had to audition pitchers for the other spots. Already in ten games we've seen Cedeno DFA'd and Treinen demoted from the set-up role in favor of Barrett. This is going to be an ongoing audition and may in fact require a trade at the deadline, but that is too far off to even start discussing right now.

Listen to the latest The Nats GM Show.

Aside from the fact that it's a little early for any judgments I'm not certain it's a good idea for a pitcher to throw a pitch they don't have the feel of more.

Matt's Bats has a story about baseball and high fives.


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