Daily Notes: Mostly Compelling Debut Scheduled in D.C.

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.

1. Featured Game: Baltimore at Washington, 19:05pm ET
2. Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Featured Game: Baltimore at Washington, 19:05pm ET
Regarding the Purpose of These Notes
This edition of the Daily Notes, broadly speaking, is designed to amuse and/or inform the FanGraphs readership, which readership is generally composed of individuals concerned with thoughtful baseball analysis.

Regarding Another Purpose of These Notes
This edition of the Daily Notes, more particularly, is intended to alert the readership to a mostly compelling debut scheduled to occur Tuesday night in Washington, D.C. — namely, the debut of Nationals right-handed pitching prospect Nate Karns.

Regarding Nate Karns, Five Salient Points
With regard to Karns and what about his debut is mostly compelling, here are five relevant facts:

• Throws fastball in about 92-95 mph range, according to internet sources.

• Throws curve to which Keith Law, for example, has addressed a short love poem.

• Has posted a 55:18 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 45.0 innings in Double-A Eastern League this season.

• Posted 148:47 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 116.0 innings last season between Class-A and High-A.

• Before that, missed all of 2010 and about half of 2011 to labrum surgery and subsequent rehab.

Prospect Status
Here’s where Karns was ranked among Nationals prospects on various preseason organizational lists:

Baseball America: 5th.
Baseball Prospectus: 5th.
Bullpen Banter: N/A (of 15).
FanGraphs: 13th.
Keith Law: 5th.
John Sickels: 6th.

Mediocre Footage: Karns’ Fastball
Here’s footage from a decidedly off-center camera angle of Karns throwing his fastball at 93 mph past Mike Baxter in spring training:

Karns Baxter FA SS K

Mediocre Footage: Karns’ Curveball
Here’s footage from that same game of Karns’ curveball at 84 mph — in this case, to strike out Mets catching prospect Travis D’Arnaud:

Karns TD SwStrk K

Non-Extant Footage: Karns’ Changeup
Reports suggest that Karns throws a changeup; however, the author — who, to be clear, was employing minimal effort — was unable to find any footage of Karns throwing it during the spring-training game from above.

Also Worthy of Note
Also worthy of note with regard to this game is how very young right-hander Kevin Gausman is starting it for Baltimore. Gausman made his debut last Thursday, during which he demonstrated considerable promise but also ultimately conceded four runs to Toronto in five innings (box).

Important Video: Kevin Gausman’s Swinging Strikes Set to Van Halen
For no immediately discernible reason(s), the author produced the following video last week, which video depicts all of Kevin Gausman’s swinging strikes from his debut and is set, for some reason, to a 14-year-old French girl’s rendition of the solo from Van Halen’s “Eruption”.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast
Per the results of our crowdsourcing project from the 2011-2012 offseason, FanGraphs readers prefer Washington Radio, probably (link).

Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
San Francisco at Oakland | 22:05 ET
Mike Kickham (54.0 IP, 9.0 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 at Triple-A) faces Jarrod Parker (54.2 IP, 119 xFIP-, -0.4 WAR). The former makes his major-league debut. Originally a sixth-round pick by San Francisco out of Missouri State in 2010, the left-handed Kickham was ranked sixth among Giants prospects entering the season by our Marc Hulet.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: San Francisco Radio or Television.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 5.7.

Note: the following table is entirely sortable.

Away SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Paul Maholm ATL 5 8 5 5 3 TOR Bran. Morrow 12:37
Jorge de la Rosa COL 3 7 5 5 6 HOU Jordan Lyles 14:10
Kevin Gausman* BAL 10 9 9 2 9 WAS Nate Karns* 19:05
Jeanmar Gomez PIT 3 7 6 8 8 DET Rick Porcello 19:08
Zach McAllister CLE 4 9 6 5 7 CIN Mat Latos 19:10
Kevin Slowey MIA 4 0 4 7 5 TB Jer. Hellickson 19:10
Hiroki Kuroda NYA 4 6 7 7 10 NYN Matt Harvey 19:10
Cliff Lee PHI 6 1 6 7 6 BOS Ryan Dempster 19:10
Edwin Jackson CHN 6 4 7 0 10 CHA Chris Sale 20:10
Scott Diamond MIN 3 3 5 5 8 MIL Alfredo Figaro* 20:10
Tyler Lyons* STL 7 2 6 6 7 KC Ervin Santana 20:10
Mike Kickham* SF 7 5 5 6 3 OAK Jarrod Parker 22:05
Joe Blanton LAA 5 4 5 2 6 LAN Hyun-Jin Ryu 22:10
Edinson Volquez SD 2 7 4 6 4 SEA Brandon Maurer 22:10

To learn how Pitcher and Team NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.

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