Since the middle of Spring Training in right field the Nats have
- Released Elijah Dukes
- Named Willie Harris the opening day starter
- Said Willie Harris and Willy Taveras would platoon
- Started Mike Morse because the match-up was favorable
- Called up Roger Bernandina when Morse went down
- Called up Justin Maxwell and sent down Bernandina because the Nats were going to face lefties, even though Bernandina was a 5th OF unlikely to start.
The Nats have also
- Chose Garrett Mock for the rotation, over Scott Olsen, believing he had "#3 stuff"
- Demoted Mock after one start in order to keep 8 men in the bullpen.
- Brought back Olsen.
I guess at least the Nats HAD an idea of what they wanted to do with the rotation. Let Lannan, Marquis anchor the top two spots for now and see what Detwiler et al would do in the other spots until the three they really care about were ready. It was a dumb plan. You can't go into a season, even if it's just half a season, and say "Oh we're just going to see what shakes out in the 5th spot... and the 4th spot... and the 3rd spot." But it was a plan. Unfortunately for Detwiler and fortunately for us, he went down with an injury which forced the Nats to bring in Livan. Livan should eat innings, have the occasional good game, and the occasional bad one and be ready to be cut if necessary later on. Exactly the kind of guy they should have opened the season with anyway.
They had no plan what to do post-Dukes and now the Nats fans are reaping the benefits. This is especially frustrating after watching the Nats go with the "no plan" option for CF for 5 seasons. At last the Nats OF was set. It probably wasn't going to work out, but at least for a year you knew who was going to be out there and what exactly the team was looking at. Oh well.
It's frustrating but indicative of the Nats philosophy as a whole. They DO have a plan. They want to get better through development of minor league talent, which they can control cheaply for a number of years, supplementing it with a smart signing or two. But much like they had no idea what to do once Dukes was let go, or now that Mock and Stammen both look awful, the Nats have no plan for the intermediate time frame between point A and point B, between "Today" and "Winning Team". They are going to muddle through, and Nats fans are going to get a bucketload of Willy Taveraseses and Craig Stammens until they get there.