Washington Nationals Preview History
2012 Washington Nationals Preview
Falling just one game short of breaking a franchise record for wins in a season, the 2011 Washington Nationals drew the attention of many as a team on the rise. With the addition of all-star Gio Gonzalez and reliever Brad Lidge, the Nationals will try to compete with the game’s best rotation in Philadelphia in 2012.
Stephen Strasburg will be the headliner this season after missing almost all of 2011 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Strasburg, perhaps the most hyped No. 1 draft pick of all-time, will go into the season as Washington’s ace and the Nationals are confident he is making a full recovery from the reconstructive surgery. Strasburg has pitched only 167 total innings of professional baseball, but will bring a huge crowd with him to every game he starts as fans clamor to see the man that struck out 14 batters in only seven innings in his first major league appearance.
Edwin Jackson also joined the rotation in the off-season, coming in on a one-year deal after being traded twice in one day in last season. Jackson had a solid 2011, putting up a 3.79 ERA over almost 200 innings. Jackson pitches equally well against righties and lefties and should figure to be Washington’s No. 4 starter this year behind Strasburg, Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmerman.
Offensively, the Nationals look to young catcher Wilson Ramos to fulfill the potential most scouts believe he has. Ramos hit 15 HRs in limited action last season and has plus defense behind the plate. Washington is most interested in the production of Jayson Werth, who they plunked down $126 million for in the 2010 offseason but has greatly disappointed thus far. Werth dropped 64 points of batting average from 2010 to 2011, as well as hitting 20 less doubles and seven less home runs. A return to the production levels he saw in Philly will go a long way to sending the Nationals to the postseason.
2011 Washington Nationals MLB Preview (2010 record: 69-93, fifth place in NL East)
Ever since the Montreal Expos moved to D.C. and became the Washington Nationals, they have been unable to be relevant in the competitive NL East. They have finished last every year except for 2007 and never above .500 since their inception in 2005. However, with some talented young players and a few offseason acquisitions, they may be ready to take a step in the right direction.
The Nationals made one of the biggest moves of the winter when they acquired Phillies slugger Jayson Werth for a hefty sum. The powerful right-hander will provide some pop in the middle of a lineup that has been lacking in recent years. Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is coming off one his best seasons last year - where he batted .307 and hit 25 home runs - and will be a reliable player both on the field and in the batter’s box. Top prospect Bryce Harper will likely sit in the minors, but he gives Nationals fans hope for the future.
Pitching may be a question mark for the Nationals, as youngster Stephen Strasburg is expected to sit much of the year recovering from surgery. Instead, they will rely heavily on Livan Hernandez, who is coming off one of his better years, but at 36 may not be as durable as he once was. Former Cy Young contender Chien-Ming Wang is expected to compete for a spot in the rotation, but he has been plagued by injuries in recent years.
2010 Washington Nationals MLB Preview:
It took a few seasons for the Washington Nationals to acclimate to their new Mid-Atlantic home, but a few years of building have made DC's team an exciting underdog to watch in 2010.
One thing is for sure, the Nats have the bats to terrorize opposing pitchers and keep runners on the bases. Young third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has been the cornerstone of the team since he joined the club in 2005, the franchise's first season in Washington. He's only 25 years old, but Zimmerman has already eclipsed 30 home runs in a single season, and reached the 100 RBI mark twice.
Before the 2009 season, slugger Adam "Big Donkey" Dunn joined Zimmerman to form the core of the Nationals' lineup.
The pair of sluggers and consistent producers like shortstop Cristian Guzman and outfielder Nyjer Morgan have made fools of any team who have written off the Nationals in the past. But with the recent hype surrounding pitching prospect and number one draft pick Stephen Strasburg, Nats fans are inclined to believe that the best is yet to come.
Strasburg's fastball has been clocked at 102 miles per hour, and fans turning out to Nationals Park to see the phenom perform are urged not to blink. Don't miss this pitching sensation in action with the Nationals.
2009 Washington Nationals MLB Preview:
The Washington Nationals had the worst record in Major League Baseball in 2008, so there is no where to go but up in 2009. Nationals Manager Manny Acta will count on Adam Dunn, Elijah Dukes and company to get things done. If Washington does get some momentum going expect big crowds to come out to beautiful Nationals Park to see this team compete.
2008 Washington Nationals MLB Preview:
It is an exciting time to be a baseball fan in the Washington, D.C. area this season as the Washington nationals are poised to put their past struggles behind them and appear to be ready for a playoff run. With new ownership, new management, and a new stadium to be opened 2008, the Nationals have made the changes necessary to make a big impact in the National League. You'll see D.C. baseball fans fill the beautiful new Nationals Park to see their team come into its own and contend for division honors and a pennant.