The past several weeks have been very eventful in NatsTown. So far this Hot Stove season has seen the Nats find a first-baseman (via last man standing WWE-style), add several valuable bullpen arms, and stock our bench with several legitimate veterans. What this means for the 2011 club is simple, the most eventful portion of the season for this team might just be Spring Training. With that in mind, I want to take a quick look at our 40-man roster, and who might be settling in on the 25-man roster once the regular season begins.
Traditionally the 25-man roster is situated as such. 12 Pitchers (5 starters, 7 relievers). 2 Catchers. 1 each for the 7 remaining positions. 4 Bench Players (2 OF and 2 IF/Utility).
Here is a breakdown of what the Nats currently have (including Spring Training Invites), compared to what they will need to cut down come March 31st. And as a special treat, without looking at any statistics I am going to denote my guesses with a *.
Catchers (2 total):
Infielders (6 total):
Jerry Hairston Jr.*
Outfield (5 total):
Jonathan Van Every
One of the great details about our current roster design is that several of these players I have *'ed have the ability to play all around the field (Hairston, Gonzalez, and Morse) thereby increasing their chances of making the 25-man.
And now comes the most difficult of them all. Pitchers. I'm going to break them down between starters and relievers.
Starters (5 total):
Relievers (7 total):
Wow. That is an awful lot of players from which to choose. Now here are some of the battles we should expect to see solved this spring (analysis as we get closer to decision time).
Catchers - Wilson Ramos and Jesus Flores vs. Pudge Rodriguez
- Who starts on Opening Day? Will we see both of the young stud's replace the veteran HOFer? Will Flores finally be healthy?
Infield Bench - Alex Cora vs Alberto Gonzalez
- Does Gonzalez have a leg up because of his history on the club, or will it go to the more experienced Alex Cora?
Outfield - Left-Field - Rick Ankiel vs. Roger Bernadina vs. Michael Morse
- Will there be a straight lefty-righty platoon? Who will start Opening Day? Will all 3 make the roster?
Outfield Bench - Losers of Left-Field Starter battle vs. Matt Stairs
- Will the veteran's big left-handed bat and power potential keep him on the roster?
Starting Pitchers - Battle for the 5th Rotation Spot
- Will Gorzelanny win the 5th spot? Will he be handed the job even if he has a bad spring? What happens to those who don't win the 5th spot; minors or release? What will a healthy Chien-Ming Wang look like? Will Detwiler finally reach his potential? What will a dominant Venezuelan Winter Leagues performance mean for Yunesky Maya, has he turned the corner?
Bullpen - Battle for the Bullpen
- Who will be given a spot based on last year's performance? Will Storen be sent to the minors? Will Todd Coffey and Chad Gaudin be given spots regardless of performance? What will Henry Rodriguez do? Will Balester control the ball enough to earn a spot? Will Chad Gaudin earn a spot?
I hope you enjoyed our quick look at all the possible battles that will take place this year down in windy Viera!
Any other battles that you are looking forward to? Sound off in the comments.