I wanted to post this before the season started, but I forgot, even though I typed it out at the end of last week. Now that the season is two games old and "we" are already 2-0, I don't want people thinking that any positivity in the following is based on those two wins. Of course, hope always springs eternal, and those of us who followed these fellas back when they were the Expos know not to give our hearts away to them so soon.
What I expect to see this year:
Surprising starting pitching.
Ryan Zimmerman is a year older and should be better.
Dmitri Young was good, but a healthy Nick Johnson is better. Plus trading Young should bring back some good player for the future.
The outfield is far better subtracting Ryan Church and adding Lastings Milledge.
The catching combination of Paul LoDuca and Johnny Estrada are way better than Schneider and Flores were last year.
The infield has lots of depth. The outfield has lots of potential, if not overpowering.
Of course pitching will be an issue this year, as for most teams. Depth wise, there just isn’t a lot there as far as stars or even potential stars. There should be serviceable guys to hold them in games, but won’t be too many days of shut outs and amazing stats at the end of the season. There seem to be good players on the horizon, as far as minor leaguers, but Nationals fans must be starting to feel like its time to start seeing the results of the rebuilding process. If we don’t, then its not rebuilding, it’s just fallen into ruins.
I expect 3rd place, likely 4th, but nearly a .500 team should be not just hoped for but expected.