2012 Roster Projection: Washington Nationals

Ladies and gentlemen, the focus is now officially on 2012. For all of us, except for maybe Cardinals fans, it's time to move on from 2011. This year is so last year anyways. So here at MLBDD we're spending some time projecting each team's 25-man roster for Opening Day 2012. We're not projecting trades or free agent signings here, so this is purely focusing on the talent that each team already has in-house. The 2012 season may not start soon, but we can still think about what it might look like.

Starting Lineup (ages are based on April 4, 2012)

Catcher: Wilson Ramos - Age 24

First Base: Adam LaRoche - Age 32

Second Base: Danny Espinosa - Age 25 (as of 4/25/12)

Third Base: Ryan Zimmerman - Age 27

Shortstop: Ian Desmond - Age 26

Left Field: Mike Morse - Age 30

Center Field: Roger Bernadina - Age 27

Right Field: Jayson Werth - Age 31

Full batting order, bench, starting rotation and bullpen projections, as well as some of my thoughts, are included below the fold.

Batting Order

1. 2B Espinosa 2. RF Werth 3. 3B Zimmerman 4. LF Morse 5. 1B LaRoche 6. C Ramos 7. CF Bernadina 8. SS Desmond

Bench

C Jesus Flores, 1B Chris Marrero, IF Steve Lombardozzi, OF Erik Komatsu, OF Corey Brown

Starting Rotation

1. RHP Stephen Strasburg - Age 23

2. RHP Jordan Zimmermann - Age 25

3. LHP John Lannan - Age 27

4. RHP Chien-Ming Wang - Age 32

5. LHP Ross Detwiler - Age 26

Bullpen

Closer: RHP Drew Storen - Age 24

Others: RHP Tyler Clippard, LHP Sean Burnett, RHP Henry Rodriguez, LHP Doug Slaten, RHP Collin Balester, LHP Tom Gorzelanny

Some Quick Thoughts

  • The starting lineup should be mostly similar to 2011 barring trades, which are admittedly quite possible. LaRoche should be healthy this time around, bumping Morse to left field, and right now Bernadina is the de facto starting center fielder.
  • It's almost assured that the Nationals are going to add some bench pieces. The current projected bench is essentially a bunch of prospects, and while the Nationals are the kind of team that should be depending on young talent, taking it to a near exclusive level probably isn't ideal when they're actually closing in on contention.
  • It's been rumored that they want to add another starting pitcher, and they've been tied to big names like Mark Buehrle, Yu Darvish and C.J. Wilson, so keep that in mind. The locks are probably Strasburg, Zimmermann and Lannan at this point.
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