Next Season’s Roster: Outside Looking In – Pitchers Edition

Today is the penultimate edition of Next Season’s Roster, and we’re going to show the predictions for pitchers on the outside of the Washington Nationals organizatoin looking in.  That means those who won’t be in the organization to start next season.

Tom Gorzelanny was traded to the Nats last offseason for Michael Burgess, among others.  Burgess was picked in the compensation round of the 2007 MLB draft but didn’t pan out quite as the organization hoped.  Well, neither did Gorzelanny.  Hoping to get the 2007 version of the veteran lefty didn’t quite work out for the Nats, as all the other seasons showed their ugly heads.  Gorzelanny’s 4.03 ERA doesn’t quite quantify his ineffectiveness during the season, and he’ll be due somewhere around $2.8 million this season through arbitration.  My guess: it won’t get that far and Tom Gorzelanny will be DFA’d this winter.  That kind of money is too much for a long reliever, which is what Tom is, at best.

Not sure what else we can say about Doug Slaten.  I feel like we’re due a long list of “Doug Slaten is so bad…” jokes here, so if you have any, please put them in the comments.  The difference in Slaten’s numbers between 2010 and 2011 are alarming.
2010: 3.10 ERA, 3.64 FIP, 1.30 WHIP, 0.44 HR/9
2011: 4.41 ERA, 5.66 FIP(!), 2.14 WHIP(!!), 1.65 HR/9

Former Rule 5 draft pick Elvin Ramirez was returned to the Mets already after missing all last season with a shoulder injury.  Clearly, won’t be back.

Collin Balester is a difficult one for me.  I love Bally*, and I hope I am wrong here because of his great, fan-minded personality and his badass mustache.  However, Bally has gone from starter, to ineffective starter, to reliever, to ineffective reliever, which is not a good path for someone to stay in the major leagues.  Compounding matters, Bally is out of options, so if he doesn’t make the Opening Day 2012 roster, he’ll end up on the waiver wire, and someone will want him because he still throws really hard.

Todd Coffey, or Big Pot as he’s called by FP Santangelo, was a fun addition to the Nats ‘pen this season.  He put up the 2nd best ERA of his career at 3.62, a 3.41 FIP, and the best run from the bullpen in all of baseball.  Coffey is a free agent, though.  The Nats may sign him for $1 million plus, but they may go with a minor league option like Craig Stammen.

This last one is the hardest to come to grips with: Livan Hernandez.  Livo has a warm spot in so many Nationals fans’ hearts, it’s hard to come to grips with the fact that he won’t be back next season.  After loyal service to the organization, including the first ever Opening Day start for the Nationals team, he is not likely to see the 25-man roster next season, and certainly not in the rotation.  Hernandez has an incredibly promising career in front of him as a pitching coach, and perhaps even a bench coach or manager, but he won’t be on the field for the Nats to start next year.

Joe Drugan

About Joe Drugan

Joe is the Managing Editor of The Nats Blog and host of the Nats Talk On The Go podcast. He's been blogging about the Nationals since 2010 and with The Nats Blog since 2011.