The Nats have signed two pitchers! Starters no less! Jerome Williams and Brandon Claussen! Wait! Why am I yelling!? It was Jerome Williams and Brandon Claussen.
Jerome Williams has been discussed a fair amount on the Nats blogs. A exciting prospect has become a disappointing pitcher, with everything headed in the wrong direction. Simply put, since 2003 he's become far more hittable. What happened? Undisclosed injury? Loss of concentration? Or the most likely culprit, too fat? We don't know but seeing if the Saint can straighten him out is worth a gamble.
Brandon Claussen, former Yankees phenom, was roughly on the same path as Jerome but being a bit older, he's less of a prospect. Add in a rotator cuff injury and I don't see how Brandon will be helping this team anytime soon. In the long run, I can see Randy St. Clare making more of an impact on Brandon than Jerome. Brandon's issues are all about control. Far too many walks, far too many balls left up in the zone which then end up up over the OF wall. This was exactly the issue facing "My Boy" John Patterson going into 2005. I'm not saying Brandon can have a JP2005 type of year, Patterson has better stuff. But with the same kind of improvement in his control, Brandon could easily morph into a solid #3 for this team. But will this ever come to fruition if Brandon never makes it out of AAA?
While I presonally am still waiting for a pitchers who has tossed more than 100 major league innings last year (OK O'Connor got up to 105) , Brandon and Jerome are two of the better scrap-heap type pitchers a team can pick up to see if they can LITB it.
Now, let's get one dependable mediocre arm in the rotation.