Honestly. Just go read the first paragraph from last year.
It's gotten to the point that this is so bad that Nats fans are seemingly happy that Mike Cameron is gone because for some reason that clears things up, I guess? Try Ian Desmond? Maybe they bring up Bryce early and Werth can play CF? I think the fans have been beaten down so much that they've come to accept this annual failure. "Thank you sir! Can we have another inning of Roger Bernadina?!"
(Yes, yes if Bryce Harper can play CF this is a moot point but think about it; as a team they believe in Bryce's ability to play center so much they are probably going to take a 33 year old who last split time at the position in 2005 and use him there instead. That should tell us something.)
It doesn't make sense that it has taken the Nats so long to address this successfully. It's even more confusing since Rizzo has built this team into a pitching and defense first squad. If you are trying to perfect your defense after finding the right SS (which they haven't really done either), comes finding the right CF. Part of me wants to believe it's just really hard to fill that position and in a certain way it is. Centerfielders are highly valued and young ones especially are being hoarded even if they can't hit (I'm looking at you Dexter Fowler). But what if they lower their standards just a little bit? Take a look at last year. Here are guys that manned CF and had more than 400 ABs. There are two former Nats there (Byrd, Morgan) and they both can field! There are two guys that were traded for (Bourn, Rasmus) years younger than Ankiel. There's a guy that was had for a song last season in FA (Melky). Hell, Emilio Bonaficio played some games at center (not great) last year. Why didn't the Nats think about that? There have been options that would have made the Nats a better team overall without impacting whatever long range plans they have. It's hard to use that "hard to fill" excuse knowing that.
If they are so worried about defense, then Ankiel is ok but he can't be the best choice. I have to believe there is some true no-hit great glove guy somewhere. (Endy was available) If they are worried about trying to help the team win in combination, well I just noted there were better choices than Ankiel last year, I'm sure there will be this year. Only if they are looking for "Mr. Right CF" does this constant failure make any sense, and if that's the case the Nats are reaching a point where continuing the search rather than settling for "Mr. Good Enough CF" could be the difference between playoffs and not playoffs, between division crowns and wild cards.
Gah - I'm going back to my alternate universe, where the Nats are wondering if a never-traded, never-concussed Ryan Church's defense can hold out just a couple more years.