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Martin sent to Syracuse

Mar 31, 2010, 1:50 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
J.D. Martin didn't make the most of his limited opportunity to win a rotation spot.

[UPDATED AT 12:46 P.M.]

JUPITER, Fla. — J.D. Martin was optioned to Class AAA Syracuse this morning, leaving only Garrett Mock and Scott Olsen remaining in the battle for the final spot in the Nationals' rotation.

Though team officials always made a point to include Martin in the mix for a starting job, the right-hander was given only limited opportunities to state his case. He appeared in only three Grapefruit League games (two starts) and allowed seven runs on 10 hits in six total innings.

Martin did pitch several times in minor-league games, including a start yesterday in an intrasquad game in Viera in which he struggled.

"He's just one of them guys you root for," manager Jim Riggleman said. "He's a consummate professional. Doesn't light the radar gun up. But he knows how to pitch and all that. We still think we'll be calling on him at some point."

The Nationals must now decide whether to include Mock or Olsen in the season-opening rotation. Mock, who appeared to lock up a spot earlier this spring, has struggled through his last few outings andRead more »

  1. Moe Greene - Mar 31, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    I read somewhere that a healthy Scott Olsen is every bit as good as Erik Bedard. Clearly, he should be our #1 starter…

  2. Anonymous - Mar 31, 2010 at 2:08 PM

    I still think it'll be Mock, but if they don't release Olsen today it'll be him IMO.

  3. LoveDaNats - Mar 31, 2010 at 2:13 PM

    The special baseball section in the Post this morning is predicting the Nats will lose 103 games this season and finish last again. Mark, say it ain't so!

  4. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 31, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    LoveDaNats: I'll make some predictions over the weekend, so stay tuned for that. Haven't settled on a Nats final record quite yet, but I think I can safely say I won't have them losing 100 games.

  5. sjm105 - Mar 31, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    @Love:You obviously did not pay attention. The numbers in the Post under each team were last seasons record. No one is predicting another 100 loss season (yet)

  6. Mairtin - Mar 31, 2010 at 2:30 PM

    I have read the the Rays might release Pat Burrell. Any chance the Nats make him a relatively low, one-year offer and plug him in at right field? He is similar to Willingham in that he is a power hitter with limited defensive skills but, without any promising young right fielders, we could certainly use the boost in power. Willie Harris is a great player but he is more valuable as a utility man than he would be as an everyday outfielder.

  7. Paul - Mar 31, 2010 at 2:37 PM's baseball power rankings have the Nats dead last. I would love to argue with that and see a lot of room for improvement as injured starters get healthy and Strasburg enters the fray. But judging from our spring training results, this team has been terrible. Lots of errors, pitching has been inconsistent at best, and the hitting (with the exception of Zim and Desmond) has been anything but clutch. And for the love of god, we don't have a real right fielder! J. Max chokes when it comes time to win a position! Roger B. looks like a defensive replacement (though I think there is a small chance he could be every day worthy).I hope they improve, but it could be another long summer. 90 losses would be a huge improvement from a 103 loss team, but that is still 90 losses.

  8. Positively Half St. - Mar 31, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    I think Burrell had a poor year offensively last year, didn't he? We don't need another poor defender, or we could sign Jermaine Dye.

  9. Doc - Mar 31, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    Have the Nats improved defensively during ST? Anyone know? I mean they have nowhere to go but up.

  10. Anonymous - Mar 31, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    "@Love:You obviously did not pay attention. The numbers in the Post under each team were last seasons record. No one is predicting another 100 loss season (yet)"I am. Good thing that doesn't count for anything…

  11. greg - Mar 31, 2010 at 3:41 PM

    i'm w/half st, burrell would be even worse than dye. at least dye had half a good season at the plate last year. burrell didn't even get that. he was below a 700 OPS for the season and struck out in 29% of his ABs. i'm pretty confident that harris (757 OPS) and/or morse can outhit those numbers. and neither will be as bad defensively (harris will probably be a plus defender, not counting the arm, in RF).

  12. Anonymous - Mar 31, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    What is up with the story that Alberto Gonzalez is making the 25 man roster!? If this is true what does the final bench look like?

  13. Knoxville Nat - Mar 31, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    Paul,I'm with you, 90 losses isn't great but it is a significant improvement from what the Nats did in 2009. However I prefer to look at it from the other side of the ledger where 72 WINS would represent a 22% improvement over last year and a number which I think is attainable this season barring major injuries to a Zim or Dunn for instance. It's been a long winter and I'm ready for the new season….Go Nats!!

  14. sec314 - Mar 31, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    Mark,Any report on how Martin pitched in camp yesterday? I still think he'd be the best of bunch due to his ability to work out of jams and to attack hitters. I wouldn't be surprised to see him back up in DC within the next month or so.I wouldn't mind seeing him replace Bergmann as the long man either. Bergmann has done nothing to impress in quite some time.

  15. Dan - Mar 31, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    I think that Martin has received a bit of a raw deal this Spring. He didn't pitch well enough last year to guarantee a starting spot for the coming year but was clearly better than Mock or Olsen. In my opinion, a placeholder spot should have been his to lose entering Spring Training. Instead, he was never really considered. Not sure about his ability to pitch at the major league level, but I think it's important to establish a merit-based ranking system for internal organizational credibility and he certainly pitched better both in the majors and the minors than Mock last year. With or without Martin, I very much worry about our May/June rotation. It could be disastrously bad.

  16. Anonymous - Mar 31, 2010 at 5:41 PM

    Moe Greene, please don't spread misinformation like that. Healthy Scott Olsen is nowhere near Erik Bedard. It's embarrassing that someone would even think especially if he is a Nats fan. That is the most delusional statement I have ever seen.

  17. Anonymous - Mar 31, 2010 at 5:56 PM

    And that's saying something considering peric posts here!





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