Washington Nationals Preview – Phillies Nation
2010 Previews

Washington Nationals Preview

Washington Nationals (59-103, last place in NL East)

There were not many positives for the Washington Nationals in 2009.  Their below average offense and pitching resulted in the worst record in baseball. 

Manny Acta managed 87 games before getting the boot.  Jesus Flores, Christian Guzman and others suffered injuries.  Adam Dunn looked lost in the outfield. The woes were endless.  Heck, they couldn’t even spell their name right.

The one bright spot for the Nationals was Ryan Zimmerman, who earned a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in 2009.  The 24-year old third baseman batted .292 with an .888 on-base plus slugging percentage.

Although it was very painful to watch the Nationals last season, there is reason to believe that the Nationals won’t be as terrible as they were in the past.

The 2010 Season

It’s so easy to write off the Nationals.  They aren’t going to contend this year, and perhaps not for a few more.  However, the Nationals always seem to be that pesky team that doesn’t quit and gives up a good fight — at least it seems that way when the play the Phillies.

The Nationals are young, but they added a veteran presence.  The Nationals signed Jason Marquis, Ivan Rodriguez, Chein-Ming Wang, and Adam Kennedy.  While none of these moves are hugely significant, they could change the vibe of the clubhouse, which no longer include Lastings Milledge or Elijiah Dukes.

The new veterans could certainly help out some of the younger and talented players.  Ian Desmond has a lot of potential, and earned the starting shortstop job this spring.  In addition, the speedy centerfielder  Nyjer Morgan is capable of stealing 50 bases, or more.

Although Stephen Strasburg did not break camp, there’s a great chance that he could be in the Nationals’ starting rotation by June.  Strasburg impressed this spring, and many said that they’ve never seen the ball explode out of a pitcher’s hand like Strasburg.

As of now, the Nationals’ one-two punch is Jason Marquis and John Lannan, who has improved throughout his career.

While Strasburg is the organization’s biggest pitching prospect, Drew Storen should not be overlooked.  The reliever has closer potential and could be called up this season. 

For now, the Nationals will go with Matt Capps as their closer, who will attempt to rebound from a poor season with the Pirates.

The Nationals aren’t ready for contention this year, but may in about two or three years.  And if they draft Bryce Harper in this year’s draft — look out!

Prediction: 69-93



  1. Burrgundy

    April 3, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Excellent piece. Right on target with the Nationals. Enjoyable and enlightening

  2. maxhole

    April 3, 2010 at 11:38 am

  3. Blaise

    April 3, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Didn’t those pesky Nationals go like 2-16 against us last year?

  4. Johnny

    April 3, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    I like the direction the Nats are moving in. They already have a decent offense. Now they just need to improve their rotation; Strasburg certainly will help.

  5. Brooks

    April 3, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Honestly the thing that scares me most is the fact that Pudge Rodriguez is now a National. It seems where he plays the teams excel. Florida & the Tigers both went to the WS with Pudge, the Rangers were in the post season 3 times before being stopped by the Skankees (96, 98 & 99). A 13 time GG winner, 14 time AS, former MVP (OK, could have been a little juice involved..) and a 7 time Silver Slugger. He is 38 now, has not had nearly the pop he used to but the guy still scares me.

    Other than that and Ryan Zimmerman this is definitely another last place finish for the Nationals. And aye, Blaise, last year the Nats were our bitch.

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    July 28, 2010 at 9:48 am

    First of all, I think this post a great deal of what I’ve been pondering for quite a while. On the one hand, I can see the point of what you’re saying yet on the other, can we not possibly look at the situation from the perspective of those involved, rather than merely observing it from our own ignorant view. Regardless of the places you visit on this earth you will see things you like, and things you are not too fond of. The vital element of this is to merely accept it as it is and not to be drawn in to all the hype that surrounds it. I honestly believe in this case, that is precisely what has come to pass, though I might possibly be wrong. I would certainly like to get other peoples’ views on this pressing issue.

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