Kasten optimistic about 2009 Nats
Declining to discuss Lugo, team president offers insight into club
VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals president Stan Kasten declined to discuss shortstop Carlos Alvarez Daniel Lugo, who previously called himself Esmailyn Gonzalez, when he arrived for Spring Training on Friday.
Kasten confirmed Wednesday that Lugo falsified his name and age. The Nationals and Major League Baseball are investigating the situation.
"That's something I'm not going to talk about until the next time I tell you guys I'm going to be talking about it," Kasten said.
Kasten was willing to talk about the 2009 Nationals, and he is optimistic the team will improve on last year's 102-loss campaign.
"I like our depth and the possibilities -- position-wise," Kasten said. "I really like our potential for the veteran bench we could have. That's very exciting to me. But like everything, it always has been and always will be about pitching. We have decided to go with young pitchers, and that's a little bit of a crapshoot.
"As they develop, there are bumps and bruises in the development scheme, but it's the right way to go as we are putting this team together. If three or four of our young pitchers hit their stride, it's going to be a terrific season."
There are a plethora of outfielders and first basemen on the Nationals' roster, and Kasten didn't rule out Washington making trades before Opening Day.
"It's likely, because we have surpluses in some areas, and that's something I haven't been able to say since I've been here," Kasten said. "So I'm sure we are going to have talks with everyone. It's also an extra-long Spring Training this year. It's just one more week of that stuff going on."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.