Nationals name Mock to rotation, leaves one spot open

Washington Nationals vs St. Louis CardinalsThe Washington Nationals have given Garrett Mock a spot in the rotation to start the season according to the Washington Post. Mock has a 4.50 ERA and 9/1 K/BB ratio in 14 innings of work this spring.

While some think Mock is better suited for the bullpen the soon to be 27 year old right hander impressed the Nationals brass enough to get another crack at starting in the majors.

Mock will join Jason Marquis and John Lannan in the rotation.

That leaves two final places in the rotation and four pitchers — Craig Stammen, J.D. Martin, Livan Hernandez and Scott Olsen — will compete for them.

Earlier this winter manager Jim Riggleman stated that he planned to use Olsen in one of the rotation spots if he was healthy. Thus far Olsen has yet to show he’s capable of holding down a spot and considering the other options have pitched fairly well he may need some additional rehab time.

J.D. Martin would have appeared to be a good option to be in the rotation as he did fairly well last season and hasn’t done too bad this spring as both runs allowed came in the same contest against St. Louis on March 10. He’ll pitch again in the next couple of days which may be a make or break session.

Craig Stammen, another pitcher who relies on control and ground balls, still has an outside chance. After being ineffective in his first outing against Atlanta he rallied for four innings  of three hit ball with four strike outs against St. Louis last Tuesday.

Then there is always Livan Hernandez who seems to be a fixture in Washington. Hernandez three three innings allowing a run against St. Louis a week ago. He’ll go again in the coming days and may be able to put the finishing touches on the rotation spot if he pitches well.