- Sport

Washington Nationals roster and schedule for 2020

NATIONALS ROSTER (projected)
When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.

In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the Nationals roster to begin the season:

Catchers:
Yan Gomes
Kurt Suzuki

Infielders:
Eric Thames
Starlin Castro
Carter Kieboom
Trea Turner
Howie Kendrick
Asdrúbal Cabrera

Outfielders:
Juan Soto
Victor Robles
Adam Eaton
Michael Taylor
Andrew Stevenson

Starters:
Max Scherzer
Steven Strasburg
Patrick Corbin
Aníbal Sánchez
Austin Voth
Erick Fedde

Relievers:
Sean Doolittle
Daniel Hudson
Will Harris
Tanner Rainey
Wander Suero
Roenis Elías
Ryne Harper

BREAKDOWN:
The Nationals shocked the world last year, recovering from an abysmal start to the season to win an NL Wild Card before cutting through the Dodgers, Cardinals, and Astros to win the first championship in franchise history. While the roster is largely unchanged, there is one gaping void: the loss of third baseman Anthony Rendon, who signed with the Angels. Rendon, a perennial MVP candidate, led the majors with 126 doubles and the NL with 44 doubles while smacking 34 homers with a 1.010 OPS last season. He’ll be replaced by the young Carter Kieboom and the veteran Kendrick and Cabrera. Those are some large shoes to fill.

With Rendon out of the picture, Juan Soto becomes the crux of the Nationals’ offense. Last year, he tied Rendon with 34 homers while knocking in 110 runs. He also, impressively, drew 108 walks, by far the highest on the team. The Nationals will likely have to utilize their speed even more. Last year, Soto stole 12 bases while Adam Eaton swiped 15, Victor Robles 28, and Trea Turner 35.

As was the case in 2019, the pitching will be how the Nationals punch their ticket to the postseason. Max Scherzer finished third in Cy Young balloting, his seventh consecutive top-five finish. The club retained Stephen Strasburg and brings back Patrick Corbin as well. There really isn’t a better 1-2-3 in the game. The rotation will be rounded out by Aníbal Sánchez and one of Austin Voth or Erick Fedde, though both are likely to see starts during the season.

The back of the bullpen is led by closer Sean Doolittle, who posted an uncharacteristically high — for him — 4.05 ERA last year. He still saved 29 games and averaged better than a strikeout per inning, so they’re in good hands. Daniel Hudson and Will Harris will work the seventh and eighth innings leading up to Doolittle.

As mentioned in the Braves preview, it’s tough to make any definitive statements about a 60-game season. Variance is going to have much more of an effect than it would in a 162-game season. Additionally, the NL East is highly competitive. It would be wrong to say with any degree of confidence that the Nationals will win the NL East. For example, the updated PECOTA standings from Baseball Prospectus only project a five-game difference between first and last place in the NL East. What we can say is that the Nationals will give everyone a run for their money in 2020.

NATIONALS SCHEDULE:
Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.

July 23, 25-26: vs. Yankees
July 27-28: vs. Blue Jays
July 29-30: @ Blue Jays
July 31-August 2: @ Marlins
August 4-5: vs. Mets
August 7-9: vs. Orioles
August 10-13: @ Mets
August 14-16: @ Orioles
August 17-19: @ Braves
August 21-24: vs. Marlins
August 25-27: vs. Phillies
August 28-30: @ Red Sox
August 31-September 3: @ Phillies
September 4-6: @ Braves
September 7-8: vs. Rays
September 10-13: vs. Braves
September 15-16: @ Rays
September 18-20: @ Marlins
September 21-23: vs. Phillies
September 24-27: vs. Mets

About thotamcom

Read All Posts By thotamcom