Nationals Baseball: Roster Guess

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Roster Guess

It's a hard Spring for me and yet that means an easy Spring for the Nats because what the hell hasn't gone according to plan? They have had only one injury, with Scherzer, that appears to be minor.  The market bore out a couple of opportunities to get better now for minimal cost in 2017. The team for all intents and purposes seems set. So why not just go ahead and assume it is with an OD roster?

Last year the Nats started with 12 pitchers, 2 catchers, 6 IFs and 5 OFs.  I'd expect something similar this year. I will take a small guess and say for the purposes of having an extra arm on hard, Max will start on the 15-Day 10-Day DL* but will be brought up right before his first start.

Pitchers
(Max DL)
Strasburg
Roark
Gio
Ross

Treinen
Kelley
Glover
Blanton

Romero
Perez
Solis
Cole (until Max back)

Thoughts : Nothing tricky about the first eight. Those are given.  Romero is out of options so they'll let him stay up or else they risk losing him in waivers. Perez is getting paid so he stays up.

I feel like they've already committed to Solis so he gets what amounts to the final real spot in the pen. Nathan has pitched ok but probably not well enough to outright win a spot here. If he's lucky he'll actually opt out on Friday because someone else will give him and his decent showing a secure spot. Martin deserves a spot more than Solis but you lose a little flexibility with another RH pitcher and the Nats have never seen overly keen on Martin.  Guthrie is probably the only real threat to take a spot from Solis, but I just feel they have their minds set and would need a continued flop from Solis and a dominant run from Guthrie to change their minds.

Why does Cole get the temporary spot? Because they've pretty much given up on him and don't care if they shuffle him about or use up an option on him. He's here for mop-up work.

Catchers
Wieters
Lobaton

Thoughts : The Nats really like Lobaton as the back-up, valuing his D and the pitchers have to be comfortable throwing to him. He loses a little with Ramos gone because Wieters hits better from the left side of the plate which was Lobaton's specialty, but I think he'll get this role and they'll let Severino get every day ABs in AAA.

Infielders
Zimmerman
Murphy
Turner
Rendon
Drew
Lind

Thoughts : No surprises. Robinson isn't paid Lind money so he gets the axe. His flexibility to play OF if necessary was nice but because of his bat and his ability was more of a "break glass" situation than actually usable everyday. 

Outfielders
Bryce
Eaton
Werth
MAT
Heisey

Thoughts : Heisey is paid and did well last year and Dusty likes him.  Heisey stays. MAT plays good defense, and is a fast runner, which makes him an ideal 5th OF (having Lind instead of Robinson helps MAT too as Clint filled an emergency OF / "better than a pitcher" runner role which Lind does not).  His hitting in Spring doesn't hurt, either. Goodwin can make a decent play to replace him but needs a repeat of his first few months of AAA last year.


Today we'll also play "Guess Max's First Start Date".  Wednesday the 5th (probably quickest possible return date), Friday the 7th (skips homestand), Saturday the 8th (slots back into #1 spot), and Monday the 10th (starts back first game of homestand) are all fine guesses assuming he stays on track.  I'll say :  Saturday the 8th.

*Ed Note - Been reminded that the 15-Day DL is the 10-Day no backdating DL this year. That changes things but I'm not sure how.  So right now my Max guess and the OD roster guess can't happen. I guess I'll think about it. Should take me as many days until Max's next start to come up with a final decision. 

13 comments:

G Cracka X said...

How many wins will the Nats get this year?

Harper said...

haven't decided. I was at 94 the other day.

James said...

Another good reason to start the season with A.J. Cole on the roster would be to get the rest of his suspension over with. I think he has three more games to go.

Robot said...

I'm worried about what sort of production we'll see from Zim and Werth, and Wieters will be a big drop from the 2016 Buffalo, but I think this is the most complete team we've seen yet. (Of course, I thought that last year, too, but CF (pre-Trea), Danny, and Zim all proved to be a bust.) I expect the competition in the division will be a little tougher this year, especially from the Nymets.

I'm thinking 95 wins again.

Fries said...

Going with the 10th for Max, let him start the season at home.

And I have to echo Robot, things are looking good. Still a little worried about injuries and the pen, but this team should win the division

Anonymous said...

I get that Oliver Perez is on a major league contract, but with Enny Romero out of options and better options available to fill the remaining spot. Why not just cut your losses with Perez of the 4+ ERA as you already have two lefty options (Romero and Solis) in the bullpen and give the spot to a veteran (Nathan) or prospect (Gott) who are better

Harper said...

Anon - the Nats don't spend 4 million dollars just to pay someone else more money too. Few sports teams will. If Perez had to pitch a lot they might be inclined to go with the best pitcher, but he's going to pitch fringe innings and face the occasional lefty as a LOOGY. It'll take him 2 months to get to 20 innings. The impact looks to be so minimal so the temptation to "not waste" money is strong

PhthePhillies said...

So. No true "long man" in the pen, Harper? Chelsea Janes seems to agree in today's WaPo. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/nationals-journal/wp/2017/03/21/do-the-nationals-even-need-a-long-man-in-their-bullpen/?utm_term=.eff71c72c703
I like the pen you posted for the reasons you stated.
The rest of the roster seems pretty predictable. I don't see anyone disagreeing with the 18 you have.
I think the 10th for Max.

PhthePhillies said...

Also Harper, when are you going to post about the line up?

Anonymous said...

Interesting articles on this site. Basically agree with the roster you selected though I like Severino more than Lobaton and Difo more than Taylor, but agree the Nats will go with Lobaton and Taylor. With that said, I am confused why you would consider taking anyone over Solis. Solis has shown he is equally good in getting LH and RH hitters out. When healthy he has been effective and Baker relied heavily on him in the postseason, pitching him every game and he did well. Martin doesn't have such a track record and Guthrie struggled majorly in the minors last season. For Solis not to make the team, he would have to be either injured or terribly ineffective.

ClassOf87 said...


Your roster guesses certainly seem reasonable to me. I have no problem with MAT as the 25th man, especially at the start of the season. His speed can help defensively and on the bases late. No true long guy but none of the guys they've looked at have been especially compelling, so might as well keep a guy who can bust 100 instead.

Froggy said...

I predict Zimmerman will be NL comback player of the year.

...or an owner of a restaurant near Nationals park.

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