Nats Make More Hires; Strasburg Pitches in AFL

Posted by Dave Nichols | Tuesday, October 27, 2009 | , , , | 0 comments »

The Washington Nationals today announced more front office hires:  Casey McKeon (son of Jack) as Director of Player Procurement and Jay Robertson as Special Assistant to the Genereal Manager.

Here's the nitty-gritty from the press release:
McKeon joins the Nationals after spending the previous seven seasons with the Colorado Rockies, where he was Assistant to the General Manager to Dan O’Dowd, the Rockies Executive Vice President and General Manager. The Rockies won the 2007 National League Championship in the first of two post-season appearances made during his tenure in Colorado. McKeon previously worked for Cincinnati, Cleveland and San Diego in various scouting capacities, including a stint as the Reds Scouting Director. McKeon served on Team USA’s Selection Committee in 2003. A graduate of San Diego State University, McKeon played two professional seasons as a catcher in the Tigers chain. He is the son of longtime baseball manager and executive Jack McKeon.

Robertson spent the previous eight seasons as Special Assistant to the General Manager with the Texas Rangers, where he worked under the leadership of John Hart (2002-05) and Jon Daniels (2006-09). Previously, Robertson spent 11 seasons with the Cleveland Indians, culminating with an appointment as Special Assistant to General Manager John Hart for the 2000-01 campaigns. His tenure in Cleveland included time as Scouting Director, during which Cleveland signed Richie Sexson, Sean Casey, Russell Branyan and Jaret Wright. Robertson pitched for five seasons in Toronto’s chain before enjoying both coaching and scouting stints with Philadelphia and Minnesota.
Both seem like solid baseball men with strong resumes.  Sounds like McKeon will assist Rizzo with the major league roster, and he can't get him in here quickly enough with the World Series getting started and the GM and Winter Meetings just around the corner.

Stephen Strasburg started for the Devil Dogs today in the Arizona Fall League, and was quite a bit better than the last time out.  He went 4.1 IP, allowing just one run (after he left the game) on one hit and two walks.  He struck out five and threw 42 of his 67 pitches for strikes.

Fellow Nat prospect Josh Wilkie relieved Strasburg after he gave up a double to the gap in the fifth, and Wilkie, who's had his trouble out in Arizona, gave up a two-out triple to let the run score.

But the good news is that Strasburg, the No. 1 overall pick in last spring's amateur draft, bounced back after his rough outing last week and really competed.  Accounsts say he had some trouble spotting the changeup, but that his slider was downright filthy and only one batter managed to pull the ball against him.