|2010 Season Preview: Washington Nationals||| Print |||Send|
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on April 01, 2010
2009 Regular Season Record: 59-103
1B - Josh Whitesell* (Free Agent from D'Backs)
2B - Adam Kennedy (Free Agent from A's)
IF - Eric Bruntlett* (Free Agent from Phillies)
OF - Chris Duncan* (Free Agent from Red Sox)
OF - Willy Tavaras* (Free Agent from Reds via A's)
OF - Kevin Mench* (Free Agent, played in Japan last season)
LHP - Eddie Guardado* (Free Agent from Rangers)
LHP - Chuck James* (Free Agent from Braves)
RHP - Brian Bruney (Trade with Yankees)
RHP Chien-Ming Wang (Free Agent from Yankees)
RHP - Tyler Walker (Free Agent from Phillies)
RHP - Miguel Batista* Free Agent from Mariners)
RHP - Jason Marquis (Free Agent from Rockies)
RHP - Matt Capps (Non Tendered, from Pirates)
*Signed minor league contract.Strengths: Offense
Last year the Nationals finished in the lower half of the National League in terms of runs score. That shouldn't be as much of a problem this year as the Nats offense actually looks fairly formidable. While not everyone in the lineup has managed to put it all together, any offense that features Nyjer Morgan should give the middle of the lineup a chance to score plenty of runs. And the next four in the lineup Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham offer plenty of power. Zimmerman and Dunn are well known quantities, but Willingham has been plagued by inconsistency. After that the Nats will be counting on 38 year old Ivan Rodriguez to at least hit for average in front of the light hitting Adam Kennedy.
Weaknesses: Starting Pitching, Defense.
The starting rotation is promising, but that's about all you can really say about it. Only John Lannan and Jason Marquis are locks for the rotation, but the rotation could go from mediocre to moderately solid if Scott Olsen and Chien-Ming Wang bounce back from their injuries to regain their effectiveness. Stephen Strasburg, the most touted pitching prospect, possibly of all time, won't start the season with the big team, but he might well get a shot a few month down the road. The team signed Livan Hernandez to minor league deal, and he'll probably get a rotation spot to open the season. After that it's wide open with at least five contenders for the final rotation spot.
No matter what happens the Nats will open the season with a thin rotation, but it could get a lot better as the season moves on.
One question that need answering: