Posts Tagged ‘Ricky Nolasco’

Zim’s Return Powers Nats in Florida

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

The Nats are now three games over .500 following a convincing 7-1 hooking of the Marlins in Florida. The Nats were powered by two Ryan Zimmerman home runs and the ace-like pitching of former Marlin Scott Olsen. Zimmerman, who has been nursing a spate of sore hamstrings, homered in his first and second at bats — going 3-4 with three RBIs in the victory. Marlin hurler Ricky Nolasco, Florida’s most effective front-liner, was lights-out in his two previous starts (against the power hitting Phillies and Rockies), lasted only four innings against the Nats, giving up eight hits and five earned runs. “He got some pitches up. He looked like he wasn’t the Ricky that we’ve seen,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said after the game. “He struggled through four innings. Now we move on to his next start.” While Washington has been playing well despite Zimmerman’s semi-rehab on the Nats’ bench, for Washington center fielder Nyjer Morgan, the return of Zimmerman meant even more victories down the road. “We have our horse back,” he said.

Scott Olsen provided the Nats with his second consecutive quality start, pitching six innings of five-hit ball. Olsen’s performance was particularly humbling for the Marlins, his former team. Nolasco had little to say about Olsen’s performance: “He threw well. He’s getting stronger as the year goes on,” said Nolasco. “Good for him. We’ll try to go get ’em tomorrow. We’ll move on from this one.” But Olsen was upbeat about his performance against his former team. “I’d be lying to you if I said it didn’t mean a little more,” Olsen said. “The effect of being traded has worn off, but it is nice to finally beat them, nice to pitch well against people you played with and you know.” Olsen admitted that he couldn’t throw his slider for a strike in the first innings of the contest, but settled down thereafter, mixing his pitches and depending on a stellar Washington defense.

“A Fit For Us”

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Sure it’s the off-season, sure there’s a lot of other things to do and yes, there’s not always a lot to report (or comment on), but everytime one of us droogs sits down to write something for CFG, we are stopped cold by the idea that Mike Rizzo’s Big Idea for strengthening the Nats’ front four includes setting out hook and bait for Florida Marlins right hander Ricky Nolasco.  It’s not that Carlos Enrique is such a bad pitcher — it’s just that he’s not what Nats fans had in mind for an off-season upgrade of baseball’s worst starting rotation. Once upon a time, the list for a rotation make-over included the possibility of signing John Lackey or Jon Garland. Those were the days: “We don’t think that the free-agent class leads us to [pay big money],” Mike Rizzo told Nats beat reporter Bill Ladson. “I believe the things we need or want the most are out there, and we are going to address it. I don’t see us going after that super free agent like Matt Holliday or Jon Garland. I don’t see us playing on that level. We don’t think it’s a fit for us.”

It’s the last sentence that is bound to send shivers through the upper arms of Nats’ fans: when Mike Rizzo says that something’s not “a fit for us,” what he means to say is: “we’re not going to spend money to improve.” Ladson then opines that Nolasco’s name is being bandied about — which is hardly a surprise since, if you’re a Marlin, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll be traded. This isn’t the first time that Nolasco’s name has been linked to anywhere-but-Miami: Yardbarker says that Nolasco and Jorge Cantu are on the block (as well as Dan Uggla, of course): “Trading Nolasco, who had a terrible first two months of 2009 and returned to form after being sent down to the minors, should net the Marlins some top major league ready prospects. Nolasco pitched better than his 2009 stats indicate, so there should be many teams looking to deal for him.”

Okay, fine. So the Nats line up a trade for Nolasco. What top prospects in their top-notch farm system do they give up to get him? A recent Baseball America ranking of MLB farm systems put the Nats at #26, with this comment:  “They have the best prospect in the game in No. 1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg, plus solid talents in catcher Derek Norris, right-hander Drew Storen and shortstop Danny Espinosa. Beyond that, though, the Nats have very little help, especially at the upper levels, which is a pity considering the state of the big-league roster.” Who of that bunch would you give up to get Ricky? Derek Norris? Drew Storen? Danny Espinosa? How about: none of the above. It may be, of course, that Rizzo has something up his sleeve that will equal the Nyjer Morgan theft. Or it may be that Rizzo’s veto of signing a “super free agent” (a description he applies to Jon Garland) means that the Nats go into the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis next week with nothing to offer — and come out empty handed.