Washington Nationals 2015 Preview

21
Mar

2014 Record – 96-66

Key Additions

SP Max Scherzer, SS Yunel Escobar

Key Departures

1B Adam LaRoche, RHP Rafael Soriano, RHP Tyler Clippard

Projected 2015 Lineup

  1. CF Denard Span
  2. 3B Anthony Rendon
  3. 1B Ryan Zimmerma
  4. RF Bryce Harper
  5. LF Jayson Werth
  6. C Wilson Ramos
  7. 2B Yunel Escobar
  8. SS Ian Desmond

Projected 2015 Starters

  1. Stephen Strasburg
  2. Max Scherzer
  3. Jordan Zimmermann
  4. Gio Gonzalez
  5. Doug Fister

Breakdown

That pitching rotation. Oh man. It almost hurts to look at. How is anyone going to score any significant runs in the first seven innings this season? Barring some injury, you’ve got five guys who could potentially be the starter on many teams in the league. That’s just dirty beyond belief. And it isn’t like the lineup has any major problems here. This is one of the deepest outfields in the league, and the strongest from the top. There’s a reason why many are predicting that the Nationals win it all this year, and I can’t find many reasons to disagree.

X-Factor – Wilson Ramos

Ramos has been hurt often over the last couple of seasons, so basically his health is the question mark here. If he’s able to play four out of every five games, this team is going to be in a much better position than they will be if he’s hurt again, especially when you consider that catcher is the position where they’ve got the least depth. Jose Lobaton is a fine backup, but he did next to nothing at the plate in 2014.

Most To Prove – The Team

There’s not a lone guy on this roster who is out to prove all that much. The team is favored to win the world series according to multiple experts, so all that’s left to prove now is that they can actually do it.

2015 Impact Prospect – Michael Taylor – OF

Taylor has proven his chops at every level so far, and he could be a big part of this offense moving forward. Especially when you consider that two of the players projected to be in the starting lineup are starting the season on the disabled list, it seems likely that Taylor is going to be a factor from the start.

Why They’re Worth Watching

I’ve talked about it already, but this team is the favorite to win the National League pennant, and depending on who you talk to, the world series. That alone should be reason enough to watch, but their dominant pitching staff should be a treat for any baseball nerd.

Best Case

Someone on this staff wins Cy Young, Harper wins MVP, and the team stays healthy. 102-60

Worst Case

The rotation is battered by injuries, Zimmerman underplays, and the rest of the division is better than expected. 88-74

Projected Record – 100-62

About the author: Alex Lowe

A former college athlete in a sport that no one cared about, Alex now spends most of his days being a furiously biased Bulls and Braves fan. When he's not busy with that, he still imagines his 5'7" self making an improbable rise to NBA stardom.