Here’s the deal: I think the Washington Nationals may very well be the best team in the NL East and probably one of the best teams in the entire National League. The Nats have made some great off-season moves and I gotta say, I am quite impressed.
First of all, hiring Matt Williams as the manager was a great move. I grew up in Arizona, so I watched him as a ballplayer and third base coach for over ten years. The man clearly knows baseball, and not only that, but he knows how to play the game the right way. He always played with class and made sure the players he coached did the same. He’s probably going to be aggressive, but I think that will be a good thing. And let’s not forget that he has one of the best pitching staffs in the majors. I think Williams will do a great job as manager.
Second of all, they have a dope rotation. Trading for Doug Fister was a very smart move and I can safely say I would not want to face anyone on their pitching staff. They have a few guys on reserve for the fifth spot, but in all honesty, I would not worry too much about that right now.
The Nats don’t have a whole lot of holes to fill, with the exception of an everyday second baseman and probably a solid back-up catcher. Of the two men battling for second base, Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa, I would bet on Rendon, if only because Espinosa had a dreadful year last year. The back-up catcher is so up in the air at this point that it is probably not going to get cleared up until later in the offseason, at least in my opinion.
In order to be successful, the Nats also need Bryce Harper to stay healthy. He will go into Spring Training around 99.99% healthy and I sure hope he can stay that way! He plays hard and really goes after it, which is one of the reasons he is such a bright, young star, but he really needs to be careful! Bryce, if you’re reading this (probably not), PLEASE pay attention to where the warning track is. It’s there for a reason.
I had the chance to see the Nationals play last year and it was a fun game to watch. Well, sad for me because my team lost, but boy do those Nationals play some good baseball. I was impressed with how hard they tried and how they took advantage of every opportunity. Last season, they were the preseason favorite to win the NL East and it was kind of disappointing to see them not live up to the hype. They are a solid team with talent to spare. I would be very surprised if they did not win the NL East.
Of course, we will have to see how the other teams fare, but I would put some money on the Nats. Not a lot of money, but that’s only because I am in college. The Nats will be bomb, so long as Bryce Harper stops running into walls and they don’t get plagued with injuries.
So, you know, try really hard to not run into walls. And take your vitamins. Drink your milk. Do whatever to stay healthy.
Here’s an article about the Nats and a brief look at some of their postseason moves: