2021 Spring Training: Heating It Up With the Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals had a rough 2020 season after they won the World Series in 2019 for the first time in franchise history. Washington took down the Houston Astros in seven games that season. If the Nationals want to get back to the playoffs this season, they are going to have to perform much better.

Washington made some key moves in the offseason in order to get back to being a championship contender. The Washington Nationals will be a force to be reckoned with if they are fully healthy. Washington will be fighting with the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves for the National League East Title.

The Nationals should be better than the Philadelphia Phillies and the Miami Marlins this season. Washington will be looking to be much better this season under fourth-year manager Dave Martinez. General manager Mike Rizzo made the necessary moves this offseason to help out Martinez’s ball club.

The Washington Nationals will be very good defensively and fundamentally sound. The biggest question is going to be whether or not they can hit the baseball this season and score runs. Washington has a pivotal season ahead of them.

Starting Rotation

Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, Jon Lester, and Austin Voth. If Scherzer and Strasburg can stay healthy, they will be just fine. The bottom of the rotation including Lester and Voth will be solid. Corbin is going to be extremely streaky from time-to-time for the Washington Nationals.

Bullpen

Daniel Hudson (Closer), Will Harris, Brad Hand, Wander Suero, and Kyle Finnegan. The Washington Nationals bullpen is also questionable, but Hudson, Harris, and Hand should be a solid seventh, eighth, and ninth inning trio.

Projected Lineup

(C) Yan Gomes, (1B) Josh Bell, (2B) Luis Garcia, (3B) Carter Kieboom, (SS) Trea Turner, (LF) Kyle Schwarber, (CF) Victor Robles, and (RF) Juan Soto.

Turner is one of the best leadoff hitters in all of baseball, especially for the Washington Nationals. He is a threat to steal bases anytime he gets on base. Bell was acquired in trade via the Pittsburgh Pirates this past offseason. He will prove power to the lineup.

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Kyle Schwarber is also going to provide power to the lineup. He is always a threat to hit a home run at every at-bat. Schwarber played with the Chicago Cubs. Martinez was the bench coach in 2016 for the Chicago Cubs and this played a role in Schwarber coming to the Nation’s Capital.

Juan Soto is the heartbeat of the Washington Nationals. He has the potential to win an MVP Award in the National League one day. Soto is the face of this franchise and is one of the most talented players in the MLB.

Key Dates

Sunday, February 28th: Spring training opener against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Thursday, April 1st: Home opener against the New York Mets.

Friday, April 9th: Road opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Dodgers will raise the 2020 World Series Banner.

The Washington Nationals could either win the National League East, get in the playoffs as a wild card in the National League, or miss the postseason entirely.

Do you think the Washington Nationals will make the playoffs this season or no? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

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