Let’s Hope Zduriencik’s Not Mike Rizzo
After beating the Mets today, the Washington Nationals are improbably one of the better teams in the National League, record-wise. Some of this is smoke and mirrors – most notably, Ivan Rodriguez’s insanely unsustainable performance – but surprisingly, not all of it. Coolstandings has their playoff odds at 10% with current talent.
In related news, Stephen Strasburg will make his seventh professional start today…in Syracuse. I understand the business reasons for holding Strasburg down, but this is a team that will need every possible break to keep running with the heavies in the National League. In a couple of days, the Nationals will have crossed the threshhold for getting an extra year of club-control out of Strasburg (for comparison’s sake, Evan Longoria came up on May 6th a few years ago). If they want to ensure they’ll avoid super-two status, though, they will need to wait it out another month.
This situation sucks. It has already deprived us of the opportunity to watch a rookie of the year race that might have rivaled Magic v. Bird, but that’s just sentimentality speaking. More importantly, this is a team that won’t remain competitive unless a lot of things break right. They cannot afford to hold their best pitcher down much longer. I understand the people who will point to the Nationals’ negative run differential and say they don’t really have a chance to contend, but there are a lot of Nationals fans who would rather not write the season off in May, especially when the team is only a half-game back in the Wildcard standings.
With Dustin Ackley currently hitting the Mendoza line, the Mariners will not have to worry about this until 2011 if ever. If the issue comes up, though, I really hope Zduriencik will choose to put the best team on the field instead of trying to think 6 years ahead.