With the 2010 major league baseball season just days away, Washington Nationals manager Jim Riggleman has solidified 4 of the 5 starting rotation slots. Riggleman named Pitchers John Lannan, Jason Marquis, Craig Stammen, and Livan Hernandez as locks in the starting rotation. Lannan has been given the Opening Day nod. The order of the rotation as is stated.
"I know they can pitch," pitching coach Steve McCatty said. "We are not going to be the 96 mile an hour, jet blowing, No 1. Type starters who are 6-foot-6, but we have guys who sink the ball.
"When you have guys who can throw it up there and have some sink, throw strikes, mix in their off-speed pitches and compete, you know you have a good chance. Yes, I'm happy with [the rotation]."
Of the four starters named, Stammen and Hernandez appeared to be longs shots when Spring Training began.
Stammen had bone ships removed from his right elbow last September and it appeared he would start the season in the bullpen or be sent down to the Minor Leagues. It turned out he was the second-best pitcher behind Stephen Strasburg. Stammen allowed five earned runs in 14 1/3 innings and struck out 10 batters.
"The spring has gone well, so far," Stammen said. "I came in healthy. My arm has felt really good the whole time. I had some success on the mound. Some of the hard work has paid off, but what you do in the spring doesn't matter. All this stuff gets thrown out when the season starts. So I have to continue the success in April."
The final fifth starting slot falls between veteran Scott Olsen and youngsters Garrett Mock and JD Martin. Any bets? Mine? Scott Olsen will win the job