Early this morning, Manager Jim Riggleman sat in his office and effectively said the fifth starter spot was Tom Gorzelanny’s to lose. In the afternoon, Chad Gaudin went to the mound and may have inserted another shred of doubt into the decision.
Gaudin, brought to the Nationals on a minor league contract, continued his strong start to spring with five scoreless innings, striking out six and walking one while allowing four hits. Gaudin has been steadfast that he’s here to not just make the team, but break camp as a starter. It’s probably a longshot, but he at least helped himself today.
“He’s going to make it a tough call for us,” Riggleman said.
This spring, Gaudin has struck out 12 and walked two, an impressive ratio that Gaudin said owes to improved preparation and a better mental outlook.
“I know I’m here to compete for it,” Gaudin said. “I’ve been in that situation a couple times and fared out not so well. I’m going to take a little different approach. I’m not thinking about making the team or being the fifth starter. I just go out there and do what I know how to do.”
That’s all from Viera today, folks. Keep on the lookout for a story on Drew Storen for tomorrow’s paper. I’m heading to Kissimmee to watch Gorzelanny pitch. I’ll write about that tonight.