Just after being named Least of the East tonight, Nationals LHP Mike O’Connor was optioned to Triple-A Columbus. Chris Schroder was called up in his place. We’re guessing that Matt Chico migrates back to the rotation in O’Connor’s place.
Congratulations to Dan Uggla, who becomes the first ever Florida Marlin to be named Beast of the East.
And GWU-alum Mike O’Connor…NL Beast loves the Colonials but doesn’t love your last pitching performance. You are the least of the east…goodbye.
Tough choice here, but 1B Nick Johnson barely beats Ryan Zimmerman for the Beast of the Week honors. Nick hit .333 for the week, with a home run and 4 RBIs. He walked 8 times, striking out only 3, for a phenomenal OBP of .565. Nick’s bat will be crucial in the Nats lineup, as the failure to drive home Felipe Lopez and Cristian Guzman has been a significant problem thus far.
Runners-Up: Ryan Zimmerman, John Lannan
The least of the week for the Nationals is LHP Mike O’Connor. Having been moved into the rotation to take the place of ineffective starter Matt Chico, O’Connor needed to establish consistency at the back end of the starting five. He failed, going just 3.1, giving up 9 runs, all earned, on 6 hits, walking 6 and striking out just one. His WHIP increases to 2.44 on the season. His ERA climbs to 13.00. Ouch.
Runners-Up: Lastings Milledge, Felipe Lopez, Luis Ayala
Mike O’Connor will replace Matt Chico in the Washington rotation. Chico will be available out of the bullpen effectively immediately.
Well, he can’t be much worse.
Pirates 11-Nationals 4: The lights went out on the Nats tonight–both literally and figuratively. This one started ugly for John Lannan, and ended ugly for the Nationals overworked bullpen. Lannan lasted only 3 innings, giving up 6 runs, 5 earned, on 6 hits, walking 2 and striking out none. For the record, NL Beast called the meltdown. Manny Acta decided to employ the starter by committee approach, as Mike O’Connor pitched 3.2 in relief for Lannan. For the Pirates, Jose Bautista homered twice on the night.
Braves 2-Reds 0: Nice pitchers dual in Atlanta tonight, as Tim Hudson squared off against young Edison Volquez. Any question of Tim Hudson’s health was resolved tonight as the sinkerballer pitched a complete game, striking out 10 and walking no one. Wow. Brian McCann‘s 2 run blast was all the offense the Braves needed to defeat the Reds.
Marlins 6-Padres 4: Dan Uggla homered twice, notching 4 RBIs on the night as the Marlins defeated San Diego. Mark Hendrickson got the win, going 7 innings, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits. Justin Germano got knocked around by the Fish, letting up 6 runs, 5 earned, including 3 home runs, in 5.2 innings of work.
Posted in Braves, Marlins, Nationals
Tagged Braves, Brian McCann, Dan Uggla, Edison Volquez, John Lannan, Jose Bautista, Justin Germano, Manny Acta, Mark Hendrickson, Marlins, Mike O'Connor, Nationals, Padres, Pirates, Reds, Tim Hudson
Great article in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star today about Nationals right-handed pitching prospect Colin Balester, who has advanced to AAA Columbus after being picked out of high school in the 2004 draft, and could soon follow John Lannan and Mike O’Connor to Washington. So far this year, Balester is 1-2 with a 4.24 ERA, with a 20:9 K to BB ratio in 23 innings.
Here’s what Baseball America has to say about Balester, who they categorize as the Nationals highest pitching prospect.
90-93 mph fastball velocity, touching 94 regularly…above-average curveball at 77-81 with hard downward break.
A potential middle-of-the-rotation starter with a ceiling as a No. 2…could be in Washington by midseason.
That would make Balester the hardest-throwing starter on the Nationals staff. Sounds like this guy has really good stuff. It should be fun to see him (probably sooner than later, as NL Beast has been forseeing a Matt Chico demotion recently.