Uncut MLB Season Preview: Washington Nationals

Uncut MLB Season Preview: Washington Nationals
Credit: wTOP News

The Washington Nationals won the World Series in 2019 against the Houston Astros. Unfortunately, the capital’s team took a drop in 2020 and finished last in the National League East. In both seasons, the Nats started 19-31. Unfortunately, the two seasons went two different routes.

With every team in the NL East rising fast, the Nationals need to do whatever they can in 2021, with a full season.

2020

Coming off a championship season, the Washington Nationals had to make a decision between two players: infielder Anthony Rendon and World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg. The franchise chose Strasburg, by signing him to a seven-year/$245M extension. Anthony Rendon left the capital to join the Los Angeles Angels.

Strasburg missed most of the 2020 season with a nerve issue in his pitching hand.

From August 29th to September 3rd, the Nationals lost seven games in a row. The losing streak spanned from the Boston Red Sox series to the Phillies series, all the way to the Atlanta Braves series.

Starter Patrick Corbin had one of the worst years in his MLB career, going 2-7 with a 4.66 ERA in 12 games. Austin Voth did not do much better as he went 2-5 with a 6.34 ERA in 11 games.

Bullpen reliance, starter inconsistency, fielding errors, and occasional lackluster offensive production became big factors in the Nationals’ 2020 season.

Additions & Subtractions

One of the bigger moves that the Washington Nationals made in the offseason was trading for Pittsburgh Pirates’ first baseman Josh Bell in exchange for Eddy Yean and Will Crowe.

The team re-signed the following players to one-year contracts: Trea Turner, Josh Bell, Juan Soto, and Ryan Zimmerman. Washington also added starter Jon Lester, catcher Alex Avila, and outfielder Kyle Schwarber, all on one-year deals.

Catcher Kurt Suzuki departed in free agency which was the reason for the Avila signing. Yan Gomes and Avila will compete for the starting catcher spot during the Spring.

Unfortunately, the team lost Michael A. Taylor to free agency. However, making moves for Schwarber and some of the other players offset the Taylor loss.

Power-hitting outfielder Eric Thames walked as well with Howie Kendrick retiring after 2020.

The team also lost a power bat in veteran infielder Asdrubal Cabrera and a key outfielder in Adam Eaton.

Season Preview

So far to start the spring, the Washington Nationals are 0-1-1, as they faced the Houston Astros and the St. Louis Cardinals. The Nats will see those two teams frequently, as Major League Baseball put a limit to how many teams each team can face.

The starting rotation, with Jon Lester added, will need to have a bounce-back season and rely less on the bullpen.

Second-year player Carter Kieboom needs to have a better season offensively. Kieboom only had one extra-base hit last season, though he flashed his glove really well. Trea Turner needs to have a better season defensively while maintaining his stellar offensive production.

This team desperately needs a bounce-back season, coming off of a last-place finish in 2020. The New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, and Miami Marlins are rising to the top, while the Atlanta Braves continue to be one of the best teams in baseball.

 

 

 

 

Alex Gajovich-Protich
About Alex Gajovich Protich 20 Articles
Alex was born and is a current resident of Brooklyn, NY. For 12 years, he was raised in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania. He is a lifelong New York Knicks, Yankees, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and Giants fan. Alex also writes for LastWordonProFootball and hosts his own podcast, "Big Blue In The Bronx". The Podcast is available on Podbean, Youtube, Overcast, Castbox, Spotify, Apple, and Google Podcasts. Alex hopes to attend Long Island University in Brooklyn to get a degree in Sports Communications.
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