Sep 19, 2013, 6:34 PM EDT
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo doesn’t speak with the media often, but when he does it’s always a good opportunity to get a read on the franchise barometer. As the guy who makes roster decisions, he’s always evaluating and always looking ahead to the future.
Rizzo has been pleased with the Nationals’ run over the last six weeks, is thrilled with the development of Tanner Roark and says he isn’t concerned with Stephen Strasburg’s forearm tightness. Because he covered so many topics, here are highlights of the conversation we had with Rizzo in transcript form:
Are you concerned with Stephen Strasburg’s forearm injury?
Rizzo: I’ve been told by the doctors not to be concerned, so I’m not gonna be concerned. Until told differently.
Who decides if he pitches again this year?
Rizzo: We make all our decisions here on the Davey level but there’s input by the medical staff and by me. it’s a group decision. Why don’t we find out how he did today playing catch and I’ll have a better feel for what’s going on.
How pleased are you with the development of Tanner Roark?
Rizzo: Oh, very pleased. I think it’s a great story of scouting and player development. Our scouts identified a player that wasn’t a high-profile guy and we made a trade for him, and our player development guys polished him up and gave him the training to reach his potential. He’s a guy that we feel has pitched extremely really well for us and a guy that we’re going to continue to evaluate and monitor through this year and beyond.”
There’s always a reason why we draft a guy, we trade for a guy, that kind of thing. But because it’s such a group decision, we’ll just keep it as scouting and player development … You can see it in a lot of the smaller deals we’ve done. Everybody talks about the big deals like a Ramos and that kind of thing, but we’ve done a lot of nice deals that are on a smaller venue like Walters and Morse and those guys. The Sean Burnett guys, that type of thing. We lean heavy on our scouting staff and our player development staff, and I think you see the fruits of their labor and they do a pretty good job.
Will Roark compete for a starting spot next year?
Rizzo: Oh sure, he’s going to come to spring training and compete for a job, but we’ve got a deep stable of pitchers and a lot of guys with some power arms. It’s gonna be a fun competition for those 12 opening day pitching spots, I’m sure.
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