WASHINGTON -- With Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline fast approaching, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said he was pleased with his team's starting pitching depth prior to Saturday's game against the Rockies."We're comfortable with what we have," Rizzo said. "We like what we've got. We think we have four quality starters
WASHINGTON -- With Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline fast approaching, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said he was pleased with his team's starting pitching depth prior to Saturday's game against the Rockies.
"We're comfortable with what we have," Rizzo said. "We like what we've got. We think we have four quality starters that can match up with anybody, and [Edwin] Jackson, [Erick] Fedde, [A.J.] Cole, [Austin] Voth and that group, I think we feel good about our depth."
Starting pitching has been the foundation of the Nationals since they became perennial postseason contenders during the past six seasons. Washington has been linked to a few names on the starting pitching market during the past week, with teams believing the Nats' level of aggressiveness is tied to the health of right-hander Stephen Strasburg, who is on the disabled list with a nerve impingement in his right elbow.
Strasburg threw a bullpen session Saturday and Rizzo said he came through it "very well." From the moment they placed him on the DL, the Nats said they believed Strasburg could potentially only miss one start and so far he continues to clear the hurdles necessary to make this stint on the DL a short one. Strasburg will throw a simulated game to fully test his arm before he is activated from the DL, but if he is healthy, it would limit the immediate need for a starter.
Rizzo's comments certainly do not mean the Nationals will not acquire a starting pitcher, and he always remains open to a deal that could potentially help improve the team even when there does not appear to be an immediate need.
The Nationals are still searching for potential upgrades in the bullpen, which seems to be their primary target ahead of the Deadline. They are one of a plethora of teams who have pursued Tigers left-hander Justin Wilson. MLB.com's Jon Morosi reported Saturday that the Nationals and Padres have had discussions about left-hander Brad Hand as well.
So even after a deal to acquire Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from the A's and adding Howie Kendrick from the Phillies on Friday night, the Nationals are not done and will be one of the teams to watch ahead of Monday's Deadline.
Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.