Saturday, December 31, 2011
Living on the Edge: The Revised Starting Rotation and Center Field
When I first started this "Living on the Edge" series, I stated that the purpose of this team is to improve from being almost .500 to more like a 90 game winner. There is no guarantee that 90 will get you in the play-offs, but it should be enough. Let's not forget, the new wild card spot that makes it even more likely.
We begin our exploratory journey with the starting rotation. 2012 has been the year Nationals fans began to look to. Finally, the Nats rotation would have two guys that could be at the top of most rotations; Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmerman. Now, another name has been added to that group Gio Gonzalez.
With these three guys at the top of the rotation the Nats have created quite a dynamic duo. Each of these three young power pitchers can easily hit mid 90's. Also they finally have balance in their rotation with a righty, lefty, and righty respectively at the top of the rotation. No one is saying that this trio will be the best tro in baseball but they would be in the conversation.
The best thing to me is the new addition to the rotation has a longer history of success. He has proven he can pitch 200 innings and win 15 games. per. This year it might not happen but imagine Him, Strasburg, and Zimmermann doing that in 2013.That isn't even factoring in the rest of the rotation next year or in the future.
Chein Ming Wang is the wild card of the rotation. He has shown over his career that he can pile up wins, when he stays healthy. If not, "Mr Reliable" John Lannan will be there to take 180 to 200 innings.
The most long term upside belongs to Ross Detwiler. After his conversation with Randy Knorr, he finally seems to have figured 'it" out. If he builds on what he did down the stretch the Nationals could have one of the best rotations in baseball. Especially if the defense does it's job.
Speaking of defense, it appears the Nationals have found their CF for next year, Jason Werth. I like this decision. There weren't many options on free agency and they keep their options open. If someone like Brian Goodwin can progress enough, maybe they find the long term piece from the farm. If not there is next year's free agent class.
For this year though, it means that Ian Desmond will be the lead off hitter for the Washington Nationals.
That is a discussion for a different time though. I think Werth will be a solid center fielder, until a better solution comes along. Basically, things are going to look quite different in DC this spring.