Before the start of Spring Training, I touched on the key roster battles the Nationals were faced with. Most of those don’t have significant clarity yet, but one appears to have taken center stage: the fifth starter role.
Aside from Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin— who will make their debuts over the next two days — and Max Scherzer— who just made his second appearance last night — every starter has thrown one time. With that in mind, here’s a look at how round one went for the men whose jobs are most in limbo and how they project going forward. Continue reading “Round One of Spring Training Goes to Austin Voth and Joe Ross”→
Whereas point guard and shooting guard are crowded positions in some regard — although not as much anymore, with Justin Robinson waived, Chris Chiozza in Brooklyn on a two-way deal, and Garrison Mathews banged up — small forward has been the position where you ask yourself, “Do they really have to play someone?” For a variety of reasons, this group hasn’t lived up to its billing. However, there should be hope moving forward. Continue reading “Wizards Progress Report: Small Forwards”→
Whereas the point guard position is in a state of flux from top to bottom, there is some certainty at shooting guard. The starter isn’t a mystery, and the pecking order behind him is also relatively clear.
With that said, the Wizards need more from this group (from multiple perspectives) if they want to separate from the other teams near the bottom of the league standings — which no one outside the organization can definitively say they do want. That process starts at the top — in terms of both players and staff. Continue reading “Wizards Progress Report: Shooting Guards”→
In many respects, point guard was the Wizards’ most uncertain position entering the season. Aside from John Wall— who might not even play this year, due to his Achilles injury — Washington didn’t retain a single player at the position who ended last season on its roster.
Rather than making a splash, Tommy Sheppard opted to sign a former All-Star to a one-year “buy low” deal, a lifelong backup for two years, an undrafted rookie to a semi-guaranteed deal, and another youngster who has split time between the NBA and the G-League to a two-way contract. Continue reading “Wizards Progress Report: Point Guards”→
He’s already won Comeback Player of the Year once before. If Jonny Venters pitches next year, he should win it again by default.
Venters has already undergone “three and a half” Tommy John surgeries. He also looked like his prime self — one of the most dominant left-handed relievers in baseball — in 2018. The fact that he was even available in late May (when the Nationals signed him to a minor league contract) was largely due to his checkered past health-wise. Continue reading “The Adventure of Jonny Venters in D.C.”→
If Anthony Rendon isn’t your top-rated free agent in Washington, it’s because Stephen Strasburg is. Once viewed as an overrated, overhyped prospect who would never rediscover his pre-Tommy John surgery self, Strasburg became the unequivocal ace of a star-laden starting rotation.Continue reading “A Monster Deal for Stephen Strasburg?”→