I think we saw with Zimmermann/Stammen/Balester/etc what happens rushing pitching. Storen needs to be held off 'till 2011, and I've yet to hear any serious talk about him beginning '10 in DC. So that still leaves us with either a closer who will doom whatever chance we have of competing next season or playing musical chairs with the closer and still not competing, if we don't take advantage of the last three weeks and pray for a miracle in finding a one year stop gap.
Storen, like many of our prospects, has potential, but is completely unproven, not to mention untested over an extended period of pro ball. There is always a chance that a player can rise rapidly through a system. RZ is an exception to the rule, and essentially, developed as a batter at the major-league level.
This organization needs to stop thinking of acquiring one or two-year stop gaps under the misguided assumption that they have a future star waiting in the minor league system. The Nats minor league ranks have been completely underfunded and underdeveloped given that this was supposed to the be the main focus. There has been some periodic injection of young talent, but it is not anything that should be assumed to bear fruit. Sure, you can see something serviceable come out of it, but that doesn't mean it will provide the quality needed.
The farm continues to need more attention for the long haul if there is any hope that it will produce valuable players. But until this team starts acquiring legitimate big-league talent one way or another, they will continue to flounder. There is just far too much reliance on mediocrity, projects, retreads, and unproven rookies with lower ceilings.
Kasten is a bullcrap artist. He continues to claim that we are seeing the results of the draft investments they made since they came in. That is really not true. Most the young pitchers we have seen this year were in the system before the Lerners came in, and much of it was never really the highly touted ones. The most notable of the bunch he was referring to was Jordan Zimmermann, who was indeed drafted with a Soriano pick. He's promising, but now he is out until 2011.
This team is desparate for pitching, and needs to do what real baseball teams do for a change. This is not about being cheap or not. It is about running a legitimate baseball franchise that actually desires to do better than put a AAAA disgrace on the field that has little chance of being anything better than historically bad. They just don't demonstrate any desire to win.