Kimberly Cataudella

Quick Links

'It puts a smile on my face': Craig Stammen is back in Washington – with the Padres

'It puts a smile on my face': Craig Stammen is back in Washington – with the Padres

WASHINGTON -- Craig Stammen got his start with the Washington Nationals in 2009. For those counting, that was 10 years ago. His first game sporting a red jersey went well – a 5-4 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Stammen started the game and pitched deep into the seventh inning, facing 24 batters and throwing 85 total pitches. He gave up four hits, four runs and a walk before being replaced on the mound.

The Nationals took him as a 12th round draft pick in 2005. He remained in Washington’s farm system until 2009, when he was brought up to the big leagues. His surgery to repair torn flexor tendons ended his time in Washington in April 2015. His return this weekend (as a member of the San Diego bullpen) marked four years to the month since the pitcher has worn the Curly W across his chest.

“Walking through the hall of all the pictures of all my former teammates makes me miss them a little bit,” Stammen told NBC Sports Washington before the Sunday afternoon game. “Also makes me remember to text them to say hi.”

Before Sunday’s game in Washington, Stammen sat beside his cubby and looked around the visiting locker room. This time, his name is not plastered above a locker to mark his red-and-white prestige, but a simple “34” – his number with the Padres – takes its place.
Stammen had a record of 26-24 in his seven years with the Nationals, finishing with a 3.91 ERA. He made five starts and 191 relief appearances. In 2015 (when he underwent surgery), he only played five games. He signed a minor-league deal with the Cleveland Indians in February 2016, then signed with the Padres in 2017. 

Being one month into the 2019 season, this is Stammen’s third series back at Nationals Park as a member of the Padres. 

Stammen reminisced about his seven years with the Nationals before the afternoon game: “I miss all the guys, I wish I was still playing with them all.”

Ryan Zimmerman has been on the Nats’ roster since 2005, and he is the only player who hasn’t left Washington since Stammen’s first season. Stammen got to see former teammates Stephen Strasburg, Anthony Rendon, Joe Ross, Max Scherzer, Kurt Suzuki, Wilmer Difo and Matt Grace while in the District for the weekend.

Stammen said that he recommended restaurants to his teammates this weekend as the veteran Washingtonian while he soaked up time in the ballpark and ate at the clubhouse. While many former Nationals have restaurants that they ensure to hit up when back in the District, Stammen has one particular tradition that’s been 10 years strong:

“I make sure I play golf at TPC Potomac every time I come, that’s about the only thing I do every time I come back,” he said with a belly laugh. “One of my best golfing buddies, Harvey Haddock, always lets me on the [green].” Stammen said that they got together to play this weekend.

“It’s nice to come back to Washington, D.C.,” Stammen said. “It puts a smile on my face being back here. I have lots of good memories. It’s a familiar city, familiar ballpark, lots of familiar faces.”

MORE NATIONALS NEWS

 

Quick Links

5 things to know about Nationals call-up Carter Kieboom

5 things to know about Nationals call-up Carter Kieboom

Top Nationals prospect Carter Kieboom, a 21-year-old infielder, is coming to join the Washington Nationals for Friday’s game against the San Diego Padres.

Jake Noll was sent back to Triple-A Fresno on Thursday to open a 25-man roster spot, as Kieboom is not on the 40-man roster.

Here are five things to know about Kieboom:

  1. He had an absolutely sizzling spring training.
    In early March, Kieboom ripped two home runs off fastballs from Houston Astros’ Justin Verlander in their spring training match-up. In the bottom of the second, Kieboom homered to left center from a high fastball. In the fourth, he crushed another fastball to left-center field… on his first pitch. 
     
  2. Yes, you have heard the name before.
    Spencer Kieboom, Carter’s brother, is a catcher for the Harrisburg Senators, the Double-A farm team for the Nationals. He was drafted by the Nats in the 5th round of the 2012 MLB June Amatuer Draft and sent to the Auburn Doubledays, the Nats’ Single-A farm team. Spencer was brought up to play for the Nationals during the 2018 season, but he started with the Senators this past March. 
     
  3. Kieboom was ACC bound.
    He committed to play shortstop at Clemson University, but he was selected by the Washington Nationals with the 28th selection in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft. 
     
  4. Second base isn't his natural position.
    Kieboom began learning second base to hopefully take over for Brian Dozier in 2020, according to Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post
     
  5. Kieboom crushed it in the minors.
    With the Fresno Grizzlies this season, Kieboom has had 25 hits, 14 runs, three home runs and 18 RBIs. His batting average this season is .379, on base percentage is .506 and slugging percentage is .636.

 

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

By the skin of his teeth, former Nat Daniel Murphy avoids getting run over by Rockies' giant tooth

By the skin of his teeth, former Nat Daniel Murphy avoids getting run over by Rockies' giant tooth

You thought your Racing Presidents days were over, Daniel Murphy? Think again. 

Murphy, the second baseman for the Colorado Rockies and former first baseman for the Washington Nationals, was almost knocked over by a racing… tooth? The Comfort Dental Tooth Trot is a stadium staple at Coors Field, and Murphy got stuck in the action. 

Distracted, Murphy walked out of the dugout and right in front of the racers. He jumped out of the way as fast as he could, but couldn’t avoid getting shaken up by, you know, the giant tooth running toward him

Murphy was reinstated from the 10-day injured list Wednesday after fracturing his left index finger during the second game of the season. He was planed on the list on April 1 and missed 20 games. He was reinstated for Wednesday’s game against the Nationals to play first base and bat third, according to the Associated Press.

In 2016, Murphy was traded to the Nationals from the New York Mets, where he played for seven seasons. He signed a three-year, $3.75 million contract with Washington. He was traded to the Cubs in 2018, two and a half years into his time with the Nats. 

In December, he was traded to the Rockies to earn $19 million in 2019, according to Ken Rosenthal.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: