The Nationals are coming off winning their first World Series title in franchise history. However, now that February is here, it’s time to switch gears for spring training as they look to repeat as champions.
The Washington Post’s Dave Sheinin joined Tuesday’s Doc and Galdi Show on the Team 980/95.9 FM to highlight areas of the team the Nationals should be focusing on during Spring Training.
“The obvious thing is replacing Rendon’s offense, and working with this new bullpen,” said Sheinin.
With Rendon gone, Washington may have to focus on giving up fewer runs if they cannot produce as many runs. All eyes will be on the Nationals highly lauded prospect Carter Keiboom this Spring, as he is the guy expected to answer the call and fill in for Rendon at third.
The Nationals grabbed another late-inning arm in Will Harris during free-agency. With his addition, the Nats will not have to solely rely on Daniel Hudson and Sean Doolittle every night.
Sheinin, however, thinks that finding a way to keep their veteran pitchers healthy, especially early on in the season, is the biggest obstacle the Nationals face heading into 2020.
“I will tell you that from experience, the number one thing is watching and easing guys like Scherzer, Strasburg, and even Patrick Corbin, though he’s younger, through the 2020 season,” Sheinin reluctantly states. “They pitched a solid month longer than normal, and those were high intensity innings in October.”
Sheinin uses what happened to the Boston’s pitchers last year as an example of why and how the Nationals should handle their starting rotation. David Price, Chris Sale, and Nathan Eovaldi all missed significant time last year for the Red Sox after an extended postseason run.
Spring Training is officially underway as the Nationals are set to have their first full squad workout today in West Palm Beach Florida, the same complex they share with the Houston Astros.