WASHINGTON (AP) -Only two National League teams have a staff ERA higher than Washington's 4.71, and Nationals general manager Jim Bowden took a not-so-veiled shot Thursday at the starting rotation he assembled.
Asked whether he'll have a tough roster decision to make once right-hander Shawn Hill is ready to come off the 15-day disabled list, Bowden smirked.
``You're not watching our pitching staff? The decisions are really easy. It's simple: Get me better pitching,'' the GM said. ``I've got lots of moves I can make.''
The Nationals allowed 10 runs in each of their previous two games, against the Florida Marlins on Monday and Wednesday. Both nights, Florida scored seven runs while Washington's starters - Tim Redding, then Jason Bergmann - were in the game.
Hill had hoped to be Washington's opening day starter, but he went on the disabled list during spring training with a bothersome right forearm. He is slated to make a second minor league rehab start Sunday at Triple-A Columbus.
Bowden was asked whether that upcoming appearance will be enough for Hill to be ready to pitch for the Nationals.
``I hope so. I'm rooting for him,'' Bowden said. ``I don't like watching starting pitchers give up seven runs a game. I'm not a fan of that. I don't want our fans to have to watch that. So I'm looking for pitchers that are going to stand up and get people out, keep us in ballgames.''
Redding is 1-1 with a 0.82 ERA - six of the runs he allowed in his four innings Monday were unearned - and John Lannan is 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in one appearance. But the numbers look far worse for Bergmann (0-1, 10.45), Odalis Perez (0-1, 6.00) and Matt Chico (0-1, 5.56).
Perez started Thursday's game against Florida, hoping to end Washington's six-game skid.
``We're playing hard. We're playing good baseball. Are we getting every clutch hit we need? No. Are we getting the quality starts maybe we need to win? No,'' manager Manny Acta said. ``But we're still playing decent baseball out there. The guys are playing hard, working hard, giving me the effort.''
The Nationals think they could have their closer, Chad Cordero, back by the weekend. The right-hander, who went on the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis before pitching in a game, is scheduled to make a second rehab appearance at Class-A Potomac on Friday.
He threw one inning there Wednesday, and Acta said, ``He had good command. Just want to see him one more time out there.''
``My shoulder felt great. I was able to throw my fastball and my slider for strikes, and that's what I really needed to go down there - to see if I was able to do that,'' Cordero said.
His velocity was around 86-88 mph, Bowden said, which is 3-5 mph slower than where Cordero tops out.
``We're not concerned,'' Bowden said.
Notes: OF Wily Mo Pena (side muscle) went 3-for-3 with a double and homer at extended spring training Thursday. He'll play at Columbus on Saturday. ``We'll take it day by day, but I'm hoping at least by next weekend he's playing (for Washington) - and maybe earlier,'' Bowden said. ... The team isn't sure when 1B Dmitri Young (lower back) will be able to resume baseball activities. ``It's been slower than we had hoped,'' Bowden said. ... OF Elijah Dukes (hamstring) will be brought back slowly. ``We're not putting him back on the field until his hamstring is 100 percent,'' Bowden said. ``I'm not rushing him.''

Recent MLB Discussions

dod 1st 5 thats it on Thu, Oct 2016 by Timmy1961
dod/cubs on Thu, Oct 2016 by Michael Cash
mlb early play on Wed, Oct 2016 by sharkey11

Top MLB Public Bets


MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Kershaw tries to keep visitors' run going The Cubs seized a 3-2 edge in the NLCS by winning Games 4 and 5 in Los Angeles. Will Clayton Kershaw be able to save the Dodgers’...
Thumbnail North Siders' bats rise as NCLS progresses Anthony Rizzo is still batting well below .200 in the playoffs. Yet the Chicago first baseman seems to be heating up at precisely...
Thumbnail Hosts ask Urias to give them 3-1 NLCS edge Tonight, Julio Urias will make history in Game 4 of the NLCS. The Dodgers simply hope that it’s for all the right reasons.
Thumbnail Francona needs relief corps to thrive again The Blue Jays suddenly have life in the NLCS. Now, though, can they truly put fear in the Indians and send the festivities back to northern...
Thumbnail Arrieta tries to lift visitors at Chavez Ravine After getting punched in the mouth in Game 1 of the NLCS, the Dodgers struck back on Sunday night. Can they keep running with the Cubs as the action...
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Team Pages