2019 Washington Nationals Preview

On February 18, 2019, in Sporting News, by admin

max scherzer washington nationals The Washington Nationals are a young and talented group that is likely losing slugger Bryce Harper (their best position player) to free agency.

With such a significant loss, someone else must step up and shoulder the offensive load, but that won’t be easy. Adam Eaton must prove he can stay healthy throughout a full season and there are plenty of questions surrounding Victor Robles and the kind of season he can put together in his rookie year.

Trea Turner, Anthony Rondon, and Juan Soto will have to step up to the plate this season in order for them to stay competitive and succeed in what looks like one of the toughest divisions in baseball. The newly added Brian Dozier and Yan Gomes will help the lineup, but they won’t make up for Harper’s loss.

Max Scherzer, a perennial Cy Young candidate, is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, but the rest of the rotation is not as solid. The addition of Patrick Corbin during the offseason certainly helps, but he has yet to prove that he’s worthy of the big contract that the Nationals gave him.

The addition of free agent Anibal Sanchez could also help the Nationals, but he’s far from a guarantee. Last year he was the Atlanta Braves’ most consistent starter as he posted a 2.83 ERA in 25 games, including 24 starts. Prior to that, however, while playing for the Detroit Tigers in 2016 and 2017, he struggled with a 5.87 and 6.41 ERA respectively.

Stephen Strasburg can also be a vital piece of the rotation, but he first needs to prove that he can stay healthy through an entire season.

The Nationals bullpen is also a concern as their closer, 32-year-old Sean Doolittle, missed two months last year with an injured left foot. Although he was a 2018 All-Star selection his health is a big concern. The Nationals are consequently considering acquiring free-agent closer Craig Kimbrel to bolster this group which also includes Justin Miller, Koda Glover, Trevor Rosenthal, and Kyle Barraclough among others.





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