Friday, June 22, 2012

Nationals Have Pitching Problems

A couple days ago, Davey Johnson finally switched the roles of pitchers Chien-Ming Wang and Ross Detwiler. Detwiler was taken out of the bullpen and back into the rotation while Wang was sent back to the bullpen.

Let's be honest, if it ain't broke don't fix it. And that is exactly what Davey Johnson tried to do. He tried to tweak the best starting rotation in all of baseball and it blew up in his face. Having Detwiler as the number five starter to start with was just fine. At one point, statistically he was the Nationals best pitcher (yeah...you heard me).

The best reason that anyone ever gave me as to why the switch to insert Wang (oh...that sounds bad) in the starting rotation was that he has more experience in a late season playoff push drama type of situation. Let me ask you this, if you don't want Ross in there because he doesn't have the experience, then how is he supposed to get it?

I'll answer that for you...he won't. If you don't water the seed, the plant won't grow.

Then, Chien-Ming Wang stunk it up out there. Rarely did he get out of the third inning alive and even then he would get torn apart in the fourth inning. His first pitch back in the majors came on a relief appearance in which he gave up a two run double.

Detwiler, while he may feel right at home coming out of the bullpen, should be a starting pitcher for the Nationals. If it makes him feel more comfortable, just have him run out of the bullpen at the beginning of the game.

I fear that we haven't seen the last of Chien-Ming Wang. The Nationals are standing firm on their 160 innings limit that they have placed on Stephen Strasburg. With the way the Nationals organization has handled injuries in the past (and they've done quite well, really), I wouldn't expect to see Strasburg past September 15th.

So, since the Nationals ace will be out for the season, that leaves just one guy available: Chien-Ming Wang.

To better prepare Wang, and the organization, for a late season playoff push, it would serve them well to have sent to Triple or Double A until then. He needs to work on his mechanics and gain some confidence. He isn't necessary to have in the bullpen.

While it may seem that the Nationals have it all figured out with their pitching staff, there are still some foreseeable tough decisions coming in the near future and down the road. The Nationals will need to sort out their dilemma with Chien-Ming Wang and prepare for when Stephen Strasburg is shut-down for the rest of the season.