Washington Nationals are a Work in Progress

Work in Progress
(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

The Washington Nationals are a work in progress as they enter the one-month mark for spring training 2023. After winning the World Series in 2019, they have finished in last place in each of the last three seasons. They have decided to (re)build around a core of players including veterans and prospects.

Since Camp Began

Since camp began, Manager Dave Martinez has been working with all different level of players to prepare them for the regular season. He is ready to watch his young players grow, and mature and has told all of his players that another 100-loss season is unacceptable.

Veterans

This team a work in progress, but they do have some veterans to build this team around. Pitcher Patrick Corbin, who had a miserable season, is looking to bounce back. Pitcher Trevor Williams comes over from the New York Mets. He has looked good in camp, and hopes to be a good contributor as a number two or three starter. They even brought back Sean Doolittle as an NRI (non-roster-invitee) to see if he can provide some leadership to a young bullpen.

Centerfielder Victor Robles will look to be the leader of this team. He has been with the Nationals since 2017. Once considered a five-tool player, coaches and fans will be looking for him to liven up to those skills both on and off the field.

Middle Infield

The Nationals have the youngest middle infield in second baseman Luis Garcia and shortstop CJ Abrams, both 22-years old. This team will look to build around them. Abrams has added muscle weight and has looked good at fielding his position with some spectacular plays already during spring training. As for Garcia, he has worked on his footwork and has shown much better plate discipline while waiting for his pitch. Both are on the rise.

Others to Contribute

The Nationals also have others who will be counted on to contribute. Keibert Ruiz will be the full-time catcher. He just signed an eight-year contract with a pair of club options for 2031 and 2032. He is still learning the defensive side of catching, but has already received high praise from his pitchers.

The legend of Joey Meneses certainly grew during the World Baseball Classic. He hit two home runs for Team Mexico in the upset win against Team USA. He is slated to play first base and DH for the team and hopes to provide some pop with his right-handed bat. After bouncing around the minors for ten years, he found a home with the Nationals. Last season in 56 games, he hit .324 with 14 doubles and 13 home runs.

Stephen Strasburg

Right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg is not at spring training because of continued issues he’s had following a July 2021 surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He continues to experience complications and there is no set timetable as to when, or even if, he might return to the mound.

Challenging 2023

The priority for this team is their youngsters and prospects to develop into All-Star caliber players. With the potential of guys like Abrams, Garcia, Ruiz, and others, Washington has a bright future.

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James Marshall

James Marshall

Jim Marshall has lived in Phoenix, AZ for 50 years. He is an avid baseball fan, but enjoys all of Arizona's local sports teams, including Diamondbacks, Suns, Cardinals and Coyotes. In addition to the four major sports, he closely follows the Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers and Arizona State Sun Devils. Jim's passion for baseball continues beyond the field as he is an avid collector of baseball memorabilia. His favorite athlete of all time is Baseball Hall of Fame member Harmon Killebrew. In addition to watching, reading and talking about sports, he takes time to travel and appreciate the great state of Arizona with his lovely wife, Patti.

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