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Diving into the depths: Washington Nationals

Feb 2, 2010, 7:06 PM EDT

This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Washington Nationals
1. John Lannan
2. Jason Marquis
3. Scott Olsen
4. Miguel Batista
5. Craig Stammen
6. Ross Detwiler
7. Shairon Martis
8. Garrett Mock
9. Stephen Strasburg
10. Collin Balester
11. J.D. Martin
12. Matt Chico
13. Marco Estrada
14. Aaron Thompson
Not that it’s saying much, but I liked it better before the Batista addition. The Nationals have indicated that he was signed for the rotation, but Stammen and especially Detwiler are better bets.
1. Matt Capps
2. Tyler Clippard
3. Sean Burnett
4. Brian Bruney
5. Tyler Walker
6. Eddie Guardado
7. Garrett Mock
8. Jason Bergmann
9. Miguel Batista
10. Craig Stammen
11. Logan Kensing
12. Doug Slaten
13. Ryan Speier
14. Drew Storen
15. Joel Peralta
16. Collin Balester
17. Marco Estrada
18. Victor Garate
19. Luis Atilano
20. Jesse English
The bullpen is an even bigger mess. Storen will eventually work his way up, but like Strasburg, he seems destined to open the season in the minors. I don’t have a lot of faith in Bruney, Walker or Guardado, but they’ll have to pitch their way off the team in camp. The Triple-A pen might be better than the major league pen at the start of the season.

1. Jesus Flores
2. Ivan Rodriguez
3. Wil Nieves
4. Jamie Burke
First base
1. Adam Dunn
2. Mike Morse
3. Chris Duncan
4. Josh Whitesell
Second base
1. Cristian Guzman
2. Alberto Gonzalez
3. Willie Harris
4. Eric Bruntlett
5. Pete Orr
Third base
1. Ryan Zimmerman
2. Eric Bruntlett
3. Mike Morse
4. Pete Orr
1. Ian Desmond
2. Cristian Guzman
3. Alberto Gonzalez
The Nationals want Orlando Hudson for second base, so the depth chart could be shaken up again. There’s also been talk of signing a first baseman and returning Dunn to the outfield, though I don’t think that’s going to materialize. The only spot here that’s completely set is third base. I’m listing Flores ahead of Rodriguez, but much of that will depend on how he looks in spring training as he continues his recovery from shoulder surgery.
Left field
1. Josh Willingham
2. Willie Harris
3. Justin Maxwell
4. Chris Duncan
5. Roger Bernadina
6. Jerry Owens
Center field
1. Nyjer Morgan
2. Justin Maxwell
3. Roger Bernadina
4. Willie Harris
5. Jerry Owens
Right field
1. Elijah Dukes
2. Justin Maxwell
3. Willie Harris
The outfield is in better shape. Maxwell is ready for an extended look in case of an injury and Harris remains a capable reserve. Joining those two and the backup catcher on the bench should be two from the group of Morse, Gonzalez and Bruntlett.

  1. carlos - Feb 2, 2010 at 7:49 PM

    Miguel Batista, great name, bad pitcher.

  2. joeysdadjoe - Feb 2, 2010 at 7:52 PM

    This team is starting to look better.Sign Hudson and
    Morgan cf
    Guzman ss
    Zimmerman 3b
    Dunn 1b
    Willingham lf
    Dukes rf
    Hudson 2b
    Flores c
    Dukes scares me but who knows

  3. Cheap Seat Chronicles - Feb 2, 2010 at 8:40 PM

    I gotta say, if the Nats sign Hudson, there’s no way that Guzman stays in the two-hole.
    Guzman hit .284/.306/.390 last year compared to Hudson’s .283/.357/.417…
    Guzman’s career OBP is .307, Hudson’s is .348…
    If the O-Dog goes to Washington, he’ll be slotted in the two-hole and the Nats will have one of the nastiest lineups in all of baseball one-through-six, especially if Morgan can prove last year [his first full-season as an everyday player] wasn’t a fluke.
    If the pitching overachieves this team could be a real darkhorse next season, but the pitching would have to DRASTICALLY overachieve. The offense, however, is there…

  4. NastyNate - Feb 2, 2010 at 9:29 PM

    Went to a Nationals game last year, and had the best stadium food EVER. The half-smoke was out of this world.

  5. NastyNate - Feb 2, 2010 at 9:31 PM

    Went to a Nationals game last year, and had the best stadium food EVER. The half-smoke was out of this world.

  6. Geezer - Feb 2, 2010 at 10:47 PM

    Nasty, you should try the mother ship of the half smoke, Ben’s Chili Bowl. A DC institution.
    And Matthew, to us Nats fans the bullpen looks pretty good – a collection of mediocrities hoping for league average performance. Last year it was a collection of nobodies hoping somebody could overachieve and become mediocre. Without another dependable starter it’s going to be another long year. Might win 70.

  7. Todd Boss - Feb 3, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    I have a feeling Batista is not really going to be in the rotation. He was a reliever last year, isn’t getting any younger, and probably slots in better as the mop up/long man out of the bullpen. The guy w/ the rubber arm who doesn’t care what his ERA is b/c he’s there to eat innings and absorb bad losses.
    Nats go one of three ways:
    – sign a reclamation project like Wang or Bedard to incentive laden deal for the #4 spot
    – Go with 4/5 starter from the kids. Martin, Detwiler, Stammen, Martis and Chico battle it out for two spots. Then the worst performer gets shipped out 6/1 when Strasburg is done with his arbitration-delaying AAA stint.
    – Trade Willingham (or less likely Dunn) for a starter. This was rumored to have *almost* happened earlier in the year.

  8. search engine optimisation - Feb 8, 2010 at 6:15 AM

    Hi, good site. I look forward to your next post. Thanks, Rebecca

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