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Saturday, April 3, 2010
No. 5 Starter Watch: Nats serious about Mock


You can go back to watching basketball now; as Joseph White writes, the Nats have finally named their last starter:
The overall body of work? Both pitched almost 20 innings. Mock struck out 12, walked six. Olson struck out 13, walked two. Wanna go bigger? Olson's won 33 games in the majors. Olson's won four games: 4-13. As a starter he's 3-11 with a 5.69 ERA.

In Mock's defense, his strikeouts and walks suggest he's a better pitcher than that. Not a lot better. But better. In fact, Mock's career strikeout-to-walk ratio is better than Olsen's (which does surprise me).

I'll admit that Riggleman knows a lot more about his pitchers than I know. I just wish he'd be a little more specific. But as Joseph White notes later in the piece, Mock's "hold on the spot could be tenuous, with last year's No. 1 overall draft pick Stephen Strasburg expected to move into the rotation in June."*

* By the way, I'm going to make a list of the No. 5 starters on Opening Day, and check on their status at the All-Star break. But the Nationals aren't making it easy. Officially speaking, Mock was the last National to win a slot in the rotation. But he won't be fifth in line; that's going to be Livan Hernandez, who's not on the 40-man roster and won't be added until the Nats need a fifth starter. So who should I count as No. 5? I'll probably go with Hernandez, just for the sake of consistency.