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***OFFICIAL*** Washington Nationals ongoing thread


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Speaking of attendance, do all teams provide comparable number? Do some do tickets sold and others do actual attendance or do they all do the same thing? I'm wondering because there was no way there were 45,000 people at the Nats-Mets game last night, but that's their reported attendance. When watching Nats home games, the reported attendance seems reasonable compared to what you see in the seats.

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This is the worst Nationals team yet. These guys suck. I have never said that in the past 4 seasons but now they deserve it. Sad part is every pitcher on the roster is overachieving.

Odds they will be on the bad end of a no hitter this year?
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I assume Guzman is our All Star? Does Flores have a chance?

No way... not ahead of McCann, Martin, Soto..
I figured it'd be Rauch, but I could see Guzman.
I think it will be Guzman.. I don't think Rauch gets enough save opps unfortunately..
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Balester! :thumbup:

It was so refreshing to see a starting pitcher actually hit 94 and 95 on the radar gun. It was also great to see him get out of similar trouble that Mock couldn't in his first start. I would have liked to see Balester pitch into the 6th with a 6-1 lead, though. I know his pitch count was getting high, but I think they should have let him pitch until someone got on base.

Now, where's Detwiler?

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Just awful

For one thing, I can't believe Lenny Harris still has a job

I'm starting to wish Acta would get the hell out too

This team should not suck this bad

Oh well, this season is over, I don't even watch anymore. I hope the seats are completely empty by the end of the year. This product does not deserve an audience.

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Time to dust this baby off yet?

Here's to a more interesting but ultimately disappointing season.

I would like to see Bowden get the axe for this Esmailyn Gonzalez mess, but I doubt we're that lucky. I wonder how many more Reds we'll take on before Opening Day. I just hope Ryan Freel doesn't show up and launch himself on top of one of my kids.

Odalis is staying home. Thankfully, we now have Daniel Cabrera to fill that void. What we really need are more crummy outfielders and less everyday first basemen.

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So, what basic lineup are we looking at here?

SS Cristian Guzman

OF Lastings Milledge

3B Ryan Zimmerman

1B Adam Dunn

OF Elijah Dukes

OF Josh Willingham

C Jesus Flores

2B Ronnie Belliard

I assume OF will rotate with Kearns. Do Gonzalez or Hernandez play over Belliard most of the year? Desperately need a lead-off man.

5-man rotation (in no particular order)?

Sean Hill

John Lannan

Scott Olsen

Daniel Cabrera

Collin Balester

Does Bergman belong in the starting 5? I assume Hanrahan is the closer. Will Detwiler make an appearance?

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I like Lannan, I think he'll continue to improve on his numbers from last year, and god willing rack up a few more wins. He'll probably never be a stud but he should be a serviceable fantasy plugin and as good a late round pickup as anybody.

As for things like the lineup and the rotation, and how those are going to shake out, I really have no idea. If you ask me the only guys at this point who are a lock to play everyday are Dunn, Milledge, Zim and Guzman. :thumbup: I'm looking forward to seeing how it all comes together.

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Is Christian Guzman for real? Seriously?

Strange question for a guy who's 9 years in, but.. I'd say he's had a pretty decent career. No fantasy god, but that's not what it's all about. Who else would they play at short?
Not an ideal leadoff man but decent fantasy value as long as he sticks there
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John Lannan has been named the opening day starter.Roster prediction from the WaPo:

Official Beat Writer Roster Prediction PostWe have just less than three weeks until Opening Day, and those three weeks could do much to alter, or even annihilate, this prediction. During the next three weeks, for instance, we'll know if the Nationals thin out the first base-outfield crowd by trading Nick Johnson, Josh Willingham, etc. We'll know if Shawn Hill is facing opposing hitters, or facing another Dr. James Andrews appointment. We'll know if the Nats sign another arm for the bullpen.But enough caveats. Here's your Official Beat Writer Roster Prediction Post.Catchers (2)Jesus FloresWil NievesComment: This position is more clear-cut than any other, and that's because both players listed above performed at or above expectations last year. Flores will begin his second year as the full-time catcher; expect 450-550 at bats and a lot of progress. Nieves got his chance last year because of some injuries. He calls a decent game and hits just enough to stick around, probably fighting off non-roster signee Javier Valentin. Only if Flores' elbow injury becomes a lingering problem does Valentin crack the roster.Infielders (6)Nick JohnsonAnderson HernandezCristian GuzmanRyan ZimmermanWillie HarrisRonnie BelliardComment: Johnson, if healthy, will get most of the at bats at first base. Hernandez starts at second; Acta really likes the guy, but if he falters -- and remember, his track record before coming to DC was nonexistent -- then Ronnie Belliard might get yet another chance to show his value. Even as a bench player, Belliard is important here for his versatility. Harris, too. (And because of the outfield depth, he'll be seeing more time as an infielder this year.) The real problem with this list is the lack of an ideal shortstop behind Guzman. Granted, the Nats expect CG to play almost every day -- and here, he'll have to, because neither Harris nor Belliard is a good fit at shortstop. Anderson Hernandez has a little SS experience, though, and can fill in every so often. Alberto Gonzalez has plenty of potential, but he's better off getting at bats every day with Class AAA Syracuse.Some of the names you don't see: Pete Orr, Kory Casto and Dmitri Young.Outfielders (5)Adam DunnLastings MilledgeElijah DukesJosh WillinghamAustin KearnsComment: Whew, what a pile-up. For now, let's assume Dunn plays three out of four games in LF and plays one of four days at 1B. That reduces the wear on Johnson at first base, and opens plenty of at bats for a fourth outfielder. And indeed, on a good team, somebody like Josh Willingham represents an ideal fourth outfielder. Those players can still get 300-350 at bats per year -- and you can be sure that injuries, at some point, will give somebody in this position regular playing time. Remember, Milledge was on the DL last year for about a month. Dukes had three separate trips to the DL.The real dilemma here is Kearns. Unless he somehow gets at bats and raises his value, he's tough to trade. (Unless Jim Bowden gets another GM job.) Maybe another trade or an injury opens the door for him to play more regularly, but until then, he's an expensive bench player. I know the Nationals like his reliability in RF and his clubhouse presence, and they're hoping his work with Rick Eckstein can help him return to old form. But Milledge and Dukes have to play most days in CF and RF.The crop of outfielders just behind this current group are promising. Roger Bernadina and Justin Maxwell have had fine springs, but they will be in Syracuse. As for Wily Mo Pena? I can't imagine a scenario where he's worth keeping on the team. His value as a bench player is nil.Starting pitchers (5)John LannanScott OlsenDaniel CabreraJordan ZimmermannShawn HillComment: The first three are clear-cut. The bigger decisions come with the last two spots. If Hill is healthy -- and I'm writing this sentence for the 43rd time this spring -- he'll be in the rotation. His track record says that won't happen, but if you can't be optimistic about a pitcher's health in March, you're either heartless or working as a scheduling secretary at the Alabama Sports Medicine Center. Yeah, the Nats are saying Hill's health is a bonus, but without it, their rotation could have two 22-year-olds. Jordan Zimmermann is 22. Same with Collin Balester. Shairon Martis turns 22 at the end of March.In terms of readiness to pitch in the big leagues, I'd rank the contenders thusly: Zimmermann, Martis, Balester. The Nats might consider dispatching Zimmermann to Syracuse for the first couple weeks of the season, just to delay the start of his arbitration clock, and there's a little logic to that. But this spring, Balester has not looked ready. He's still too wild and mistake-prone. Martis looks more polished, good at keeping the ball low, but still, he had a 5.66 ERA in his cup-o-joe last September. Both Martis and Balester are better off learning and growing at Syracuse. By the end of the year, the Nats could have one of the youngest, most intriguing rotations in baseball. Zimmermann, for sure, will be there by then. Same with Stephen Strasburg, provided Scott Boras allows it and the Lerners facilitate it.Relief pitchers (7)Joel HanrahanSaul RiveraJason BergmannJulian TavarezGarrett MockMike HinckleySteven ShellComment: Anybody got some darts, here? Really, I'm just aiming for the target and hoping to hit ... something. Maybe I'm relying too much on the brief success that some of these guys had late last year, because really, Shell and Hinckley haven't given the Nats much reason to make this team. I am listing Hinckley here for one reason alone: he's a lefty. The team needs a lefty. (Do we already miss Charlie Manning?) Mock will be a serviceable arm, and Bergmann might surprise some people in his new, full-time role. Tavarez is a proven commodity, and that alone gives him a boost. Rivera and Hanrahan are locks.

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