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Offseason Lowdown: Nats Face Uphill Battle

February 23, 2007 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Infielder Dmitri Young is getting a second chance with the Washington Nationals.
Let’s hope that Dmitri Young winds up being more valuable to the Nats than what Sanford and Son peddled.

I wish I had more encouraging news for Nationals fans, but I’m afraid it looks like 2007 will be a very long year. And sorry, there’s not a hell of a lot of help on the way from the farm system. But hey, watching Ryan Zimmerman continue to develop into one of the NL’s top hitters should offer some consolation, and John Patterson will definitely surprise more than a few people this year. In this week’s Offseason Lowdown, we offer up our 2007 preview of the Washington Nationals.

We examine the team’s strengths (such that they are) and weaknesses; assess their off-season acquisitions; identify the key question facing the team; project the starting lineup and pitching rotation; and highlight two of their best prospects.

Get the complete scoop on the Nationals in this week’s Offseason Lowdown.

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6 Responses to “Offseason Lowdown: Nats Face Uphill Battle”

  1. James Morris says:

    Is that Dmitri Young or a homeless shelter reject? Do these guys not make enough money to afford to cut their lettuce once in a while? How does he get his bucket over that afro puff during batting practice?

  2. RotoRob says:

    Ha ha…actually, I came across this awesome photo of him:

    http://www.fireluispujols.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/05/DY.jpg

    But I didn’t want to use a shot of him in a Detroit uni.

    Of course, I’m a big fan of Big Ben’s fro flying, so….

  3. [...] While I would rather get high on something besides pitchers, I much prefer James over Hill. James definitely has serious sleeper potential and could be a steal, whereas I don’t agree that Hill has a job sewn up. As a I wrote in my season preview of the Nationals, it’s all up in the air as far as their rotation goes. I mean, I’ve got to give him props as a Canadian boy, but I am concerned with the Nationals and their inability to keep pitchers healthy. Hill could be a great bet this year, but James will be. [...]

  4. [...] I enjoyed your article about my team, the Nationals, but want to bring to our attention a small factual error in your comments. [...]

  5. [...] Another National with a gold opportunity this spring was starting pitcher Tim Redding. As recently as four weeks ago, Redding was projected to be Washington’s No. 2 starter in a wide-open race that included John Patterson as ace and a cast of thousands competing for the rest of the jobs. Well, earlier today Redding was outrighted to Triple-A (Joel Hanrahan, another starter projected to break camp with a job, was also optioned out). Redding, 29, can decline the assignment and become a free agent, but let’s get real here. Does he think he’ll have a crack at a job somewhere else after failing in this camp? Redding, once considered a better prospect than Roy Oswalt when the two were both Astros’ farmhands, was just brutul this spring, giving up 16 hits and 11 earned runs in four appearances and 8 2/3 innings. With Redding out of the picture, it looks like another one-time stud prospect — Jerome Williams – will break camp with a rotation spot for the Nats. [...]

  6. [...] To the surprise of almost no one, Washington is having serious issues with its pitching, currently ranked 15th in WHIP, 15th in quality starts and 14th in ERA in the NL. Shawn Hill has been excellent and Jason Bergmann has been a revelation (for now), but the rest of the rotation is a mess. Matt Chico is suffering from serious control problems; “ace” John Patterson has been simply awful and is dealing with biceps soreness; and Jerome Williams has landed on the DL with a sprained ankle, sparing the team of his ugly command issues for the time being. As we discussed just before spring training started, Washington’s strategy was to go with the cast of thousands approach to build a rotation. Well, it may be time to reshuffle those deck chairs on this particular sinking ship, but don’t count on Chris Michalak getting the call. You may recall that Michalak emerged out of the blue last year to help out the Reds, but he’s currently on the DL for Triple-A Columbus with a strained quadriceps and wasn’t exactly off to a blazing start before getting hurt (6.00 ERA). So who do the Nats turn to? Joel Hanrahan, projected to make the rotation, but slapped around in spring training and sent down, has been superb (1-1, 1.69 ERA, 0.94 WHIP in four starts), but he’s also on the DL. Another option is Emiliano Fruto, 2-1, 3.08, who has been virtually unhittable (10 hits in 26 1/3 innings), but his control problems are holding him back (20 walks) and obviously the Nats already have enough pitchers who can’t find the strike zone. That leaves veteran lefty Mike Bacsik (1-2, 3.16), who hasn’t been dominant (26 hits in 25 2/3 IP), but you have to love that command (21 K/3 BB). He’s only recently been forced into the Columbus rotation because of injuries, but he may soon be needed more with the parent club the way things are going. [...]

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