25 men - who will they be?
Werth - Revere- Bryce - Rendon - Espinosa - Murphy - Zimmerman - Ramos - Taylor
Scherzer - Strasburg - Gonzalez - Ross
That's the 100% take it to the bank, starter-type Opening Day guys. 14. 11 spots left.
Rivero - Petit - Perez - Kelley
That's the OMG. He didn't make the cut? But he's getting paid and we need that guy there guys 20. 5 spots left.
Offensively this leaves 3 spots (assuming they take 13 hitters). It seems hard to imagine Clint Robinson not making the team given how he performed last year and his general 1B-OF abilities. That leaves 4 spots open.
Another MI is a must and the Nats have three choices. Turner is an easy call to be sent down because he can be and it may be advantageous to the Nats bottom line to do so. That leaves Drew or Ryan for that spot. Ryan is the better fielder and had the better Spring but has never hit in the big leagues. His last season ever approaching average was in 2009. Drew hasn't had quite the Spring Ryan has but he's been good more recently 2013, is a threat to go deep, and is no slouch in the field. His lefty bat is helpful but far less important in 2016 now that the Nats added two lefties to the starting lineup. Still it seems like Drew's spot to lose.
This leaves one spot open. The bench would be
Robinson - L, decent all around hitter, not great in field, not a runner
Taylor - R, pop, D, speed, issues making contact
Drew - L, pop, D, no speed, can't hit for average
Lobaton - S, bad hitter, can't run
There is an opening I guess for a contact guy that can run the bases, so Taylor doesn't have to be the first PR in at all times. Probably a righty bat. There isn't anyone on the Nats that really fits the "contact" bill, so if you go just for righty that has speed... Chris Heisey or Tony Campana wins out. Given Dusty's likely favoritism and Heisey actually playing in the majors recently... I give him the upper hand.
In the pen there are 2 spots left.
Rivero - L, Perez - L
Petit - R, Kelley - R, Papelbon
Pretty good balance, so far. Given that Petit is likely a sometimes innings eater and Papelbon is the closer, the first thing you'd probably want is another R to use. It's a tough call between Treinen, Martin and Gott. I feel like situationally Martin is the odd man out here. Hmmm. I'm going to say Gott makes the team and Treinen is sent down to the minors as a closer in training. Then again it's possible that Matt Belisle will make the team, given that he didn't exercise his rumored opt out clause this weekend. Ladson is reporting it but haven't seen it elsewhere. If it's true, it's true. Still I'll go Gott as of posting time.
For the last spot? It's hard to argue for anyone but Burnett who has looked good this Spring, has been good before injury, and specifically has been good in DC. The lefty arm maintains balance in the pen. If Belisle makes it... I don't think it changes this. Burnett is too proven to not start the season with for a team looking for bullpen stability.