Washington Nationals Preview

By Charlie Wright on January 28, 2014

Don’t let the frigid weather fool you. Baseball season is right around the corner, and the Washington Nationals are preparing to head down to Viera, Fla., for spring training. Seeing as the off-season is coming to a close, now is as good a time as any to assess the team as it is currently constructed.


With the addition of Doug Fister in a trade with Detroit over the winter, the Nats boast one of the most formidable rotations in all of baseball. Fister, who could be the number-two starter or even the ace on some other pitching staffs around the league, will slot in at number four. Stephen Strasburg will head the rotation, and hopefully he can become the workhouse the team had envisioned when they drafted him with the first overall pick in 2009. Following him will be Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmerman, completing a group which GM Mike Rizzo recently called the “Big Four.”


The Nationals had a myriad of issues offensively last season. Bryce Harper was not healthy for most of the year, and Adam Laroche failed to approach the lofty numbers he had achieved the previous season. Also, the bench production experienced a sharp decline from 2012, as Davey Johnson received next to nothing from the likes of Roger Bernadina, Chad Tracy and Steve Lombardozzi in part-time roles. On the bright side, Rizzo brought in free agent Nate McLouth, and the team will have lefty-killer Scott Hairston for an entire season. With Harper presumably healthy, the hope is that the offense will be firing on all cylinders this year, but that remains to be seen.

Unresolved Situations

The final spot in the bullpen is still open, as is the fifth spot in the rotation. It would appear Ross Detwiler has the inside track as the fifth starter, but a bad spring could open the door for Tanner Roark, Nate Karns or Taylor Jordan. If Detwiler was not in the rotation, he would likely be in the bullpen. But assuming Detwiler is the fifth starter, the final bullpen spot is up for grabs between Ryan Mattheus, Erik Davis and Xavier Cedeno. Mattheus’ 2013 campaign was derailed by injury, while Davis and Cedeno received brief cups of coffee with the big league club late in the season. New manager Matt Williams has expressed interest in having a secong lefty in the bullpen, which opens the door for Cedeno. There is also a dark horse candidate for the role, left-hander Sammy Solis. In his first season back from Tommy John surgery, Solis pitched well as a starter in the minors. He projects to be a future starter in the majors, but for now the team could utilize him out of the pen. Michael Natelli elaborates on Solis and the bullpen here.  


It should be a great year, as the Nats look to forget last season and make another playoff run. Spring Training is only a couple weeks away, so the season will be here soon enough.

I am a freshman Journalism major and a big local sports fan.

Follow Uloop

Apply to Write for Uloop News

Join the Uloop News Team

Discuss This Article

More Uloop Sports Articles


12 Photos
Circle Arms Apartments
8 Photos
Summer Sublet Terrapin Row, College Park
8 Photos
The Blairs
1 Photo
University View I Summer Sublet
19 Photos
Latrobe Apartments
See all UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND Housing Listings


Receive recent University of Maryland news and classifieds on your Facebook Feed. Click the button below and then click "Like"


Back to Top

Log In

or Sign Up
Post FREE Listings
Student Start Here
Post Jobs for Students
Employers Start Here
Housing Providers
Post Available Housing
Housing Start Here

Enter College Name to See Local Results

Log In

Contact Us

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.
By clicking Get Started or Sign In you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service

Add a Photo

Please select a photo to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format