2311486, The 2014 Washington Nationals|
Posted by Call It Anything, Tue Oct-07-14 07:49 AM
A lot of things went wrong last year and they still won 86 games. With Doug Fister, full-time Anthony Rendon, and Jeremy Blevins this team is better on paper. Meanwhile the injury bug has bit the Braves with Medlen and Beachy. Everything is set-up for this team to win the division and compete for the pennant. But after 2013, I think there has been a check on expectation as both a team and a fan base. That being said, this might be the best team that we see in Washington in a while.
Some questions I have going into the season:
-How healthy can this team be? Anthony Rendon, Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Wilson Ramos, Ryan Zimmerman, and Jayson worth are key players who all have had "injury prone" labels attached to them at some point in the recent past.
-Can Doug Fister be the healthy ground ball machine that we traded for?
-Will Adam LaRoche be jettisoned for a better 1B? He's 34 years old, coming off a season in which he looked kind of old and very average. There are several options here. Go out and get somebody on the trade market. Move Zimmerman over and shuffle cards in the infield. Which leads to...
-Will Ryan Zimmerman's yips get worse? The elite defensive 3B that we all knew and loved 5 years ago is dead. After an embarrassing first month, he was tolerable at the corner. But by 2015, he'll flip sides on the infield. Will it be earlier?
-Can Danny Espinosa regain his strike zone? The number one thing that went wrong in 2013 was Espinosa. He's never going to hit .275 but he walked enough and carried a little pop to make him a relatively valuable bat (just don't tell 90% of the fan base that). But the strike out machine that couldn't buy a walk has been relegated to defensive stud off the bench. It's entirely possible that he's the best defensive SS in the organization. If somebody gets hurt in the infield, he'll be the first guy in to plug the hole. Can he look like the 3 win player he was in 2011-2012?
-Who's going to make the jump to hyperspace? Strasburg, Harper, and Jordan Zimmermann have all been tossed out for potential hardware this year. They're all entering their prime. Will any of these guys have that transcendent season?
More out there, I suppose, but no time for pontificating. Opening Day is upon us.