First, a correction to yesterday's GB&U. I typed too fast without confirming information I already knew to be true. Scott Olsen is scheduled to start tonight in Florida, not Craig Stammen. Stammen did retain his spot in the rotation, but it was pushed back a couple of days to allow Olsen to pitch on his regularly scheduled day.

Olsen, 25, the most experienced starter on the Nationals roster with 109 career games started, returns from the disabled list, where he has been recovering from shoulder tendinitis. He was put on the 15-day DL on May 17.

He went 1-0 with a 4.60 ERA in four total starts with Class-A Potomac and Triple-A Syracuse during a rehabilitation assignment.

Stammen indeed stays in the starting rotation, with Shairon Martis sent down to Syracuse. Martis (5-3, 5.25) has struggled throwing strikes in his most recent games, and the team hopes that some refinement in the minors returns him to the pitcher that they saw in spring training. In his last eight stats, he's walked 22 and struck out just 13.

He has more walks than strikeouts on the season (34 Ks, 39 BBs), and while he may never generate big K totals, he needs to concentrate on not allowing so many base runners by free passes.

Stammen will start Tuesday night against Florida. The 25-year old right hander is 1-3 with a 5.49 ERA in seven starts in Washington. His stay in the bullpen lasted just one day.

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On Sunday, the Nationals announces that they traded OF Ryan Langerhans to Seattle for INF Mike Morse, in a swap of organizational depth. With Lastings Milledge close to returning full-time from the broken finger that has sidelined him the past five weeks, the team needed to clear some playing space in Triple-A Syracuse.

Morse, 27, is a .300 (90-for-300) career hitter with 18 doubles, three home runs and 37 RBI in 107 big league games with Seattle from 2005-08.

With Tacoma of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League this season, Morse was batting .312 (81-for-260) with 14 doubles and 10 home runs in 66 games. His 52 RBIs ranked 10th in the PCL.

Langerhans, 29, hit .212 (58-for-273) with 11 doubles, four triples, nine home runs and 34 RBI in 176 games with the Nationals spanning two (2007-08) seasons. In 242 plate appearances with Syracuse this season, he hit .278/.371/.488 with nine homers and 40 RBIs.

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Speaking (round-aboutly) of Milledge, apparently there was some fire to the smoke signals over the weekend that the Pirates were interested in taking him off the Nationals hands. Specifically, the rumor was the Nationals offered Milledge for Nyjer Morgan, and the Pirates replied and had the temerity to ask the Nats to throw in one of the young starters as well.

This would be a very bad mistake.

Morgan is a 29-year old spare part. Yes, he currently has 18 stolen bases, but he ALSO leads the NL in caught stealing with 10. He is slugging .350 in 274 plate appearances this season.

He has three home runs in 610 career plate appearances, with a lifetime OBP of .348. He's a good fielder, but not great despite his obvious speed. And -- he's a left fielder, not a centerfielder.

Whatever you think of Milledge and his attitude and performance thus far in his major league career, he is already a much better player than Morgan ever was or will be, and trading a 24-year old with the skill and talent of Lastings Milledge for a spare part just because your current outfielders can't catch a cold is a very, very bad idea.

An idea so bad, you'd think it was Jim Bowden's idea.

1 comments

  1. Curly's Folks // June 29, 2009 at 9:47 PM  

    We had a great time with you guys!!!!