- The Washington Times - Monday, June 8, 2009

THE BUZZ

Tracking the Nationals’ news and trends from the last week:

DOWN - JOEL HANRAHAN

Lost closer’s job for the second time this year after loss to Mets; chances of regaining it appear slim

DOWN - RANDY ST. CLAIRE

Pitching coach took the fall for bullpen’s early struggles, Daniel Cabrera’s ineptitude

UP - JOHN LANNAN

Had first complete game of his career Saturday; did all the things well that he did last year

UP - ADAM DUNN

Took called third strike that kept Randy Johnson’s 300th win in stride — and even had some fun with it

MINOR LEAGUE WATCH

Bounced out of the team’s starting rotation just before the season and passed over by both Ross Detwiler and Craig Stammen for a call-up, right-hander Collin Balester is finally having some success at Class AAA Syracuse after a rough start there. He is 2-0 with a 0.78 ERA in his last four starts, allowing a .197 batting average in that span. He might be another player who is viewed differently by acting general manager Mike Rizzo than by former GM Jim Bowden, but Balester is still only 23 years old and has plenty of time left to make an impression.

STRASBURG WATCH

Providing your weekly dose of updates on San Diego State right-hander (and presumptive Nationals No. 1 pick) Stephen Strasburg:

With San Diego State being eliminated from the NCAA tournament, Strasburg’s college career is (presumably) over. The big day arrives Tuesday, when the Nationals almost certainly will make him the No. 1 pick in the MLB draft. Strasburg’s advisor, Scott Boras, is planning to hold a news conference for the right-handed phenom at his Newport Beach, Calif., headquarters, after he is drafted Tuesday; Strasburg won’t meet with the media at San Diego State or at his parents’ home in San Diego.

Season stats:13-1, 1.32 ERA, 109 innings, 65 hits, 19 walks, 195 strikeouts

Ben Goessling

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