Thursday, March 11, 2010

what do you make of the washington nationals

The Nationals had quite the busy off-season adding some veteran presence to their roster in an attempt to climb out of the NL East cellar. Now, no one is calling them a contender, but if you take a close look at what their opening day roster might look like, you could be surprised. Here's a look at what the National's did this offseason, dishing out contracts worth nearly $30 million.

  • Jason Marquis (SP)
  • Scott Olsen (SP)
  • Chien-Ming Wang (SP)
  • Matt Capps (RP/CL)
  • Ivan Rodriguez (C)
  • Adam Kennedy (2B)
  • Willy Tavares (OF)
Marquis will be their #1 starter after winning 15 games with the Rockies last year. John Lannan will likely be their #2. While only winning 9 games last year and in 2008, his ERA was below 4.0 which is nothing to be ashamed of. Wang won 19 games in back to back seasons (with an ERA below 4.0 as well) with the Yankees and if he is healthy the #3 spot is likely to go to him. The #4 spot will be Scott Olsen who had some up and down years with the Marlins but he is at the worst consistently average. Matt Capps is no bum, he has 66 saves in the last 3 seasons combined. While the #5 starter spot is technically up for grabs, the Nats have this small little investment (4 yr $15 million) made in Stephen Strasburg as well. They claim to not want to bring up him to the big leagues this season, but lets be real here, it's going to happen at some point in the season.

While their pitching has improved significantly from last year, their offense will end up being relatively similar. A full season with Nyjer Morgan at the leadoff spot will undoubtedly help their offensive production. Morgan was hidden in baseball purgatory (Pittsburgh) before coming over last year and tearing it up for half the season.

1 Nyjer Morgan (in 49 games Morgan batted .351 and had 24 stolen bases last year for the Nats)
2 Christian Guzman
3 Ryan Zimmerman (.292 BA, 33 HR, 106 RBI...Zimmerman is a stud)
4 Adam Dunn (Career high .267 BA, 38 HR, 105 RBI)
5 Elijah Dukes
6 Josh Willingham
7 Ivan Rodriguez
8 Adam Kennedy

While I don't see the Nats finishing anywhere relevant, it would not at all surprise me if this team won close to 80 games and didnt finish below .500 for the first time since 2005. I would also not be surprised at all if the Nationals finished up with a better record then both the Mets and Marlins this year. That's right, I said it.

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