Now that the Nationals are healthy and Trea Turner is back and cycling around the bases, Dusty Baker is burdened with the best of problems: how does he build his lineup? Earlier this week, Court Swift discussed his optimal lineup with everyone healthy, but here we’re going to look at the options I think Dusty will be seriously considering for the long-term. Normally I would say that with a team this talented and deep, they can go the route of playing matchups and the hot hand. But Dusty is far too traditional for that, so my thinking is that within the next week or so he’s going to really decide on a lineup to stick with (until the next injury changes everything). I see three likely options.
If you stayed up to watch the entirety of Wednesday’s game, perhaps the only drama in the late innings was to see whether or not Trea Turner would get another at-bat, and with it a chance for a second consecutive cycle. The accomplishment is laughably improbable; the career record for cycles is three, set by four players. The only player to match the feat since World War 2 is Adrian Beltre.
Is 2015 Bryce Harper back? Has he risen from the grave? After a disappointing 2016 season, Nationals fans want nothing more than the return of MVP Bryce Harper.
I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I did the thing Nats fans aren’t supposed to do. Maybe it’s just a gag reflex from being a DC sports fan too long. I’m not sure. Whatever the reason, I need to apologize because during the offseason I doubted Mike Rizzo. I mean I genuinely thought he was off his rocker. Continue Reading Rizzo Proves His Worth Again
One thing that is apparent when looking at the Washington Nationals’ depth chart for outfielders is that the organization has a problem. Fortunately, it is a good problem to have, as the Nationals have managed to build and maintain a solid crop of outfielders that may very well help the team as it approaches a pivotal point in its future.
Welcome back to the latest in a series, in which we review the previous week in Nationals baseball and power rank the players according to their performance. This is an extremely unserious exercise; at no point should it ever be confused with actual baseball analysis. Don’t worry, I will do my best to make sure that is obvious. Without further ado: your Washington Nationals, ranked according to power.
Hearts of Nationals fans everywhere were broken when it was made clear that Wilson Ramos would not be returning to the Nationals for the 2017 season. The catcher lovingly nicknamed “The Buffalo” was in the last year of his contract, suffered a torn ACL near the end of the season, and ended up signing with the Tampa Bay Rays in the offseason. So the question remained: who could replace the fan-favorite coming off the best season of his career?
Court Swift has already written about the importance of the head-to-head matchup against the Mets this year. I couldn’t agree more with this sentiment, considering all the facts before us. I want to go further, however, and contend that all things being equal, the single biggest factor in determining the division race this year will be Daniel Murphy.
Debate over who should lead off for the Nationals began as soon as Mike Rizzo dealt three top pitchers (they may leave our farm system, but never our hearts) for Adam Eaton. Eaton’s calling card was his ability to lead off and play great outfield defense – two things Trea Turner did for the 2016 version of the Nats. But Eaton took Turner’s centerfield spot, so Turner took Danny Espinosa‘s shortstop job, and Danny was sent home to California to grow his beard. Turner managed to keep his leadoff job coming out of spring training, but not coming off the DL as Dusty Baker used the return of Turner to switch a few things up. I wouldn’t stop there — I’d go a step further. Here would be my lineup: