Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year's Resolutions: Nationals 2011 Edition

As we enter the new year, Nats fans all over are trying to put 2010 in the past in favor of a happier 2011, complete with far more Curly Ws. While we can't really resolve things on behalf of the Nats, we're going to run down a list of things we'd really like to see the team commit to in 2011.
  • Infield: Defense, defense, defense. And there's no way that this desire shouldn't come true. The Nats look to be on the verge of signing Adam LaRoche, which would be a marked improvement over Adam Dunn defensively. Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa should provide well above average defense in the middle. Desmond's errors should be cut significantly from 2010, and Espinosa's services, even in his first full season, will be much better than the Guzman/Kennedy platoon. The Nats infield is rounded out with one of the best defensive infielders in the sport: Ryan Zimmerman. There's not much to resolve here, except to meet expectations.
  • Outfield: The addition of Jayson Werth's range, arm, and offensive pop is an obviously positive addition. We'd like to see a continuously improving Roger Bernadina take better at-bats and continue to play well defensively. The lack of range of Michael Morse and the inconsistency of Nyjer Morgan remains an issue, and we'd like to see these two commit to improving in these aspects of the game in the off-season. Edit: How did we forget? Rick Ankiel! That's something. We're not sure if it's something to commit to be happy about in 2011, though. Time will tell.
  • Starting Pitchers: With the Nationals starting rotation as it looks today, there's a lot left to be desired. But to keep a long, disappointing story short, we'd like this rotation to make every effort to make it through 6 innings more often than in 2010, which was not often. The Nationals starters averaged only 5.5 innings pitched per start. It can't hurt to get some 7 inning performances from guys not named Livan Hernandez either.
  • Bullpen: After a great 2010, it's about continuing where they left off for this group. We'd like to see Drew Storen to improve and solidify himself into the closer's role. It'd also be nice to see Sean Burnett be a little bit better against lefties than on 2010.
  • Catchers: It's extremely likely that the Nationals will go into the first week of the season with 3 catchers: Ivan Rodriguez, Wilson Ramos, and Jesus Flores. With 2 of these 3, the main concern his health. This trio needs to be comfortable enough to share a lot of time to ensure that they all stay healthy enough to meet expectations.
So these are just some of the things we hope the current version of the 2011 Nationals have resolved to improve upon this season.

Are there things you hope the Nats resolve to do in 2011? Post them in the comments.


  1. Zimmerman great defensively? He lobs balls over to first like they're grenades... If we don't get a tall first basemen with a great reach and an impeccable ability to dig balls out of the dirt, Zimmerman will show to be below average defensively... Ian is good but lets hope for a 25% reduction... I'm trying to be realistic... Ankiel will start in left and crack many doubles in Nats park. A poor replacement for fan loved Willingham... Storen will become the closer, bulpen will be weak, and why they didnt offer Thompson a contract, I will never figure out... Pudge will mentor Ramos to become 2012's opening day starter, Flores will forever be a back up.

  2. I think there should be one section. The fans: I'd like to see more Nats fans at a Nats game than those rooting for the other team! Come Nats fans! Show some support!