Thursday, August, 5, 2010, 7:07 p.m.
By Holden Kushner
Stephen Strasburg is slated to return to the mound next Tuesday at home against the Florida Marlins. Originally, the Nationals' brass was expecting to shut down Stras for most, if not all, of September. That plan has probably changed.
One member of a National League front office believes the Nationals wont shut him down completely, keeping the rookie right-hander to a maximum of 50 innings over seven or eight starts.
Non-shocking Strasburg stats:
Strasburg has started five home games for the Nationals. The average attendance for those five &8232;games is 37,298.&8232;
Number 37 was expected to start a sixth home game on July 27th. He was scratched from the start, and Miguel Batista took the ball. Attendance that night was 40,043&8232;&8232;.
The average attendance for the six home games started by Strasburg is37,756.&8232;
The 46 games not involving Strasburg average is just 22,872.
Thats right, almost 15,000 less fans per home game (Thanks to Josh at The Elias Sports Bureau for the top-secret numbers).
Adam Dunn reportedly has been claimed on waivers by a mystery team. My best guess is that its the Colorado Rockies. Colorado would want to block the offensively challenged Giants and Padres from claiming and acquiring Dunn.
The Rockies would have to know that GM Mike Rizzo would not allow Dunn to leave without receiving a heavy return because of the two draft picks the Nationals would receive if Dunn opts to leave Washington and become a free agent. It would be wise for Rockies GM Dan ODowd to ensure that the two teams ahead of him in the NL West dont get a crack at the Nationals' first baseman.
By the way, according to my friend Bill Chuck of NY Times fame, only Albert Pujols (279) has out homered Adam Dunn (272) since 2004.
Finally, the Right Field situation:
Mike Morse has impressed at the plate in his limited chances. Through 99 AB, the 28 year-old Morse has a remarkable .999 OPS (On Base Slugging Percentage) to go along with seven home runs.
Roger Bernadina has hit just six HR in 234 AB. The 26 year-old owns a mediocre .748 OPS.
Right field is a position where a team expects power. Bernadina has been given ample time to try to earn the job.
Mike Morse has been a fringe major leaguer over ten professional seasons. His past includes a suspension in 2004 after testing positive for steroids. His production in limited play does warrant more opportunities given that Bernadina doesnt look to be an everyday player, and the team is well on its way to finishing in the cellar of the NL East once again.