Saturday, February 13, 2010

NL East Capsule: My Predictions - The Nationals

If there is a team that could be considered the polar opposite of the juggernaut-like Philadelphia Phillies that team would be the Washington Nationals. The Nationals are a team on the rise under GM Mike Rizzo, in his short tenure he has added the best defensive OF in the game and made some moves to prepare the Nationals for contention in the not-to-distant future.

Washington Nationals

SS: Christian Guzman
CF: Nyjer Morgan
3B: Ryan Zimmerman
1B: Adam Dunn
LF: Josh Willingham
RF: Elijah Dukes
C: Ivan Rodriguez
2B: Adam Kennedy
Bench: OF Willie Harris, C Jesus Flores, IF Ian Desmond, OF Michael Morse, IF Alberto Gonzalez

Pitching Staff:
SP: Jason Marquis
SP: John Lannan
SP: Craig Stammen
SP: Scott Olsen
SP: J.D. Martin
CP: Matt Capps
RP: Brian Bruney, Tyler Clippard, Jason Bergman, Eddie Guardado, Sean Burnett, Garrett Mock

The Nationals offense was good in 2009 and occasionally even looked great. The pitching staff, however, was abysmal. GM Mike Rizzo took steps to fix that by drafting Stephen Strasburg the 2009 amateur draft and by signing Jason Marquis in the offseason. There is also news today that the Nationals are the front-runner to sign Chien-Ming Wang from Free Agency... we'll see. Rizzo also completely remodeled the bullpen by adding Matt Capps, Brian Bruney, Eddie Guardado, and Garrett Mock (among others). The pitching staff "should" be better in 2010, the young arms have had some seasoning and they have added some stability.
Also, both the offense and defense should be better this year. A full year of Nyjer Morgan in the OF (and no Adam Dunn), dramatically improves the Nats defense. The offense added Adam Kennedy to play 2nd and Ivan Rodriguez at catcher.
There are many reasons to be optimistic about the Nats in 2010, but the biggest reason will likely start the year in AAA - Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmerman two of the best young pitching prospects in baseball and they are preparing to join the Nationals... soon. In 2010 - I think Nats fans should prepare for more of the same old, same old... 5th place in the NL East.

1 comment:

  1. I must disagree with you here, i think the Nats did a great job of adding the pieces they needed to get out of the 5th spot in the east. i think their batting order is above average, and their bullpen is solid now with the addition of a veteran like guardado, the lively arm of bruney, a lot of upside in clippard. not to mention burnett has good stuff and pitched well last year, and as you have stated zimmerman and strasburg will be ready any day now, and should prove very valuable later on the season. Now with the addition of wang, who when healthy won 19 games in back to back seasons, i believe the Nats will be adding at least 15 wins to their record, and finish ahead of the Braves at least, who rid themselves of last year's stud. if the nats pitching can hold up i believe they will vacate the 5th spot in the nl east. i think one of their best moves was getting pudge the wise old vet calling the shots behind the plate, and as youve stated nyjer patrolling the outfield can cover a lot of ground. i think dukes improves a lot this season, and if guzman has a year like last year, the Nats might even have some luck (ie. the injury plagued mets fall apart, or the marlins lose a couple of their studs to injury) and finish third behind the Phils and the Mets/Marlins(whichever finishes 2nd in the division). anyways overall good assessment but i expect big things from this lineup this year, mark my words. great blog too, love the content, however id like to see a little more news concerning that other time that resides in NY...