Over a Beer and Peanuts: The Nats Blog – Part 1

‘Over a Beer and Peanuts’ is a relatively new section on The Baseball Opinion where I have a frank question and answer session with a fellow blogger to get their opinion on issues related to the area of baseball that they cover.  Willy Yoder, over at The Nats Blog, has graciously accepted the most recent installment of this posting.  His blog goes into depth on numerous issues related to the Washington Nationals.

Willy provided so much good content, I decided to break it up into two posts.  Here’s Part 1:

1.  Much has been made of the Washington Nationals bullpen remake. Do you think we’ll see plenty of more changes on the way, or will they likely lean on Julian Tavarez and Joe Beimel for much of their late-inning work anymore?

The Nats have no reason to deal for anyone as they are not competing for anything more than pride this season. This means that barring some sort of meltdown; Tavarez and Beimel are going to be closing out games for the rest of the year. Eventually we will likely see Beimel take over as the full time closer as the Nats will probably want to establish a permanent closer-type going into next year where they hope to be more competitive.

2.  What are your first impressions of Jordan Zimmerman and his transition to the majors?

Jordan Zimmermann has surprised everyone at every level he has been at. No one expected him to have so much success so fast in the minors, no one expected him to make the Majors out of camp this season, and no one thought he had the stuff to be this effective this soon. I can understand the doubt. I got to see Zimmermann pitch for the first time in person this spring down in Florida and everything about him is unimpressive; that is, until you see him pitch. What makes him so successful is that he approaches the game like a veteran, but pitches with the pop of the 22 year old he is. The only problem’s he has gotten into all year are a few fastballs that he probably would have gotten away with in the minors that turned into bombs. He will have a few ups and downs, but expect Zimmermann to be a staple in the Nationals rotation for the next several years.

3.  It looks like Scott Boras is setting the price pretty high on Stephen Strasburg. Do you believe that the Nationals will give in and sign the pitcher to a record-breaking contract? Also, just how excited are you about landing this supposed future ace?

After the embarrassment of losing Aaron Crow last season, I think the Nationals will almost certainly draft and pay up for Strasburg. It’s risky, and probably setting a poor precedent, but the Nationals are so desperate for not only talent, but something to show the fans an effort towards substantial growth. That being said, Strasburg is exciting and if he is as good as they say, he will be up in the majors probably by September. You can read more about my thoughts on this here.


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