MLB MLB Team News NL East — 04 April 2010

2009 regular season record: 59-103, Fifth place, NL East

Major Offseason Acquisitions: Jason Marquis (COL), Matt Capps (PIT), Ivan Rodriguez (TEX), Chien-Ming Wang (NYY), Adam Kennedy (OAK), Brian Bruney (NYY)

Major Offseason Losses: Mike MacDougal (FA), Austin Kearns (CLE)

Projected Lineup (2009 stats):

1. CF-Nyjer Morgan (.307 BA, .369 OBP, 3 HR, 39 RBI, 42 SB)

2. SS-Ian Desmond (.280 BA, .318 OBP, 4 HR, 12 RBI)

3. 3B-Ryan Zimmerman (.292 BA, .364 OBP, 33 HR, 106 RBI)

4. 1B-Adam Dunn (.267 BA, .398 OBP, 38 HR, 105 RBI)

5. LF-Josh Willingham (.260 BA, .367 OBP, 24 HR, 61 RBI)

6. 2B-Adam Kennedy (.289 BA, .348 OBP, 11 HR, 63 RBI)

7. C-Ivan Rodriguez (.249 BA, .280 OBP, 10 HR, 47 RBI)

8. RF-Willie Harris (.235 BA, .364 OBP, 7 HR, 27 RBI)

Projected Starting Rotation/Closer (2009 stats):

1. LHP John Lannan (9-13, 3.88 ERA, 206.1 IP)

2. RHP Jason Marquis (15-13, 4.04 ERA, 216 IP)

3. RHP Craig Stammen (4-7, 5.11 ERA, 105.2 IP)

4. RHP Livan Hernandez (9-12, 5.44 ERA, 183.2 IP)

5. RHP Garrett Mock (3-10, 5.62 ERA, 91.1 IP)

Closer: RHP Matt Capps (5.80 ERA, 27 saves)

2010 outlook: The Nationals looked like one of the worst teams in MLB history early in the season, as they posted a dreadful 26-61 record going into the All Star Break.

However, they were much more respectable in the second half of the season, when they went 33-42.

Washington was apparently looking for veteran leadership during the offseason, as they picked up guys like Adam Kennedy, Ivan Rodriguez, and Jason Marquis.

Top-to-bottom, the Nationals lineup is fairly solid.

There’s great speed at the top with Nyjer Morgan, and he’s going to be followed by new shortstop Ian Desmond, replacing Christian Guzman.

The middle of the order packs a punch with Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn, and Josh Willingham, who combined to hit 95 home runs and drove in 272 runs last season.

The pitching rotation is much more uncertain, but is headed by 25-year-old John Lannan, who was the Nats’ most consistent pitcher in ’09.

Washington is also extremely excited about last season’s no. 1 overall pick, Stephen Strasburg.

Strasburg, who was great in Spring Training, was optioned down to the minors to begin the season.

However, the consensus is that he should be in a big league uniform by midseason at the latest, and he’s been hyped as one of the best pitching prospects to come around in quite some time.

While the Nationals may finish in the basement of the NL East yet again, they definitely have some solid pieces moving forward.

2010 Prediction: 69-93, Fifth place, NL East

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Taylor Smith

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