Washington Nationals 2011 Preview

2010 Record: 69-93

2011 Projected Roster

  • Catchers: Ivan Rodriguez, Wilson Ramos
  • Infielders: Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche, Michael Morse, Jerry Hairston Jr.
  • Outfielders: Jayson Werth, Nyjer Morgan, Roger Bernadina, Rick Ankiel, Laynce Nix
  • Starters: Livan Hernandez, Jason Marquis, Jordan Zimmerman, John Lannan, Tom Gorzelanny
  • Bullpen: Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, Sean Burnett, Todd Coffey, Henry Rodriguez, Doug Slaten, Collin Ballester

Notable Signings

  1. Jayson Werth: 7 years, $126MM
  2. Adam LaRoche: 2 years, $18MM
  3. Rick Ankiel: 1 year, $1.5MM
  4. Tom Gorzelanny: traded for 3 prospects
  5. Jerry Hairston Jr: 1 year, $2MM

Notable Losses

  1. Adam Dunn
  2. Adam Kennedy
  3. Joel Peralta
  4. Wil Nieves

Top Prospects

  1. Bryce Harper – OF
  2. Derrek Norris – C
  3. Wilson Ramos – C
  4. Cole Kimball – RHP

Key Position Battles

  • Left Field: Roger Bernadina vs. Rick Ankiel vs. Michael Morse – Rick Ankiel has not proven that he could stay healthy for an entire season so it is very unlikely that he will win this job at 31 years old. The most likely scenario is Bernadina and Morse will be in a righty/lefty platoon. In limited time last year Morse hit .289/.352/.519 and Bernadina brings great speed to the table. It is impossible to pick between the two at this time. Left Field Pick: Roger Bernadina & Michael Morse platoon
  • Closer: Drew Storen vs. Tyler Clippard – Clippard exploded out of the gate last season in the Nats bullpen but he will be better suited in the set up role. Drew Storen took over the closing job last year when Matt Capps was shipped off to Minnesota and showed shades of brilliance. Clippard is certainly a long shot and Storen should have this job on lock with his power arm. Closer Pick: Drew Storen

It is scary to think how good this team can be in a few years. Right now, they still have some work to do. Jayson Werth was given an insanely long contract that is very hard to explain. I expected him to get big money but not so many years considering he is already 31 years old. The fact is though he brings tremendous defense and an above average bat to the table for Washington. The issue is they do not have the pieces around him to contend and likely will not until he is in the back end of the 7 year deal. However, a matured Wilson Ramos behind the plate(after being schooled by Pudge Rodriguez,) Bryce Harper, and Stephen Strasburg are on the field full time this will be a dangerous team of contenders. Strasburg is out for the entire 2011 season after having to undergo Tommy John surgery but upon his return he should be as strong as ever. As for this year, they should be slightly improved with Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche manning the middle of the order with Werth. Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa may be poised to come into their own at any moment as well. Finally, the return of Jordan Zimmerman and his live arm to the rotation help to add some punch to their rotation. If only they had Strasburg now this could be an 80 win team.

WTP Projected 2011 Record: 71-91

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About jacarfagno

Live, Breathe, and Bleed Baseball
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