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August 15, 2013

Skewed Left

The Nationals' New Future

by Zachary Levine


If you like the Washington Nationals, and we certainly do here, you’d better find some way to like what you’re seeing in 2013. You’re probably going to be seeing a lot of the same in 2014, especially in the area that’s been the most depressing.

The offense has cratered from a 2012 team that won 98 games before losing in the NLDS to the Cardinals. But while this is going to be the main answer to the question of what went wrong, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the answer to what needs to change in an offseason of many questions in Washington, from the manager’s seat on down. What needs to change is very little, and that’s probably more a function of the fact that what can change is very little.

Yes, they’re the National League’s most disappointing team—or at least a close second in that category to the defending champions. This isn’t the Angels, though, with their future commitments largely tied up in cash vortexes on the wrong side of their primes. There is actually very favorable roster construction here. The Nats’ top players are for the most part still young and, if not improving, then certainly not supposed to be declining rapidly.

So what exactly happened here this year?

First of all, it must be said the Nationals aren’t really dead-dead. They’re 8 ½ back of the second wild card and after sweeping the Phillies and taking the first two of three from the Giants, they have a 2.4 percent chance of making the postseason.

Still, how did they go from 98-64 and fired up to be getting the whole team back plus Denard Span and Rafael Soriano to now losing more than they’ve won and putting a whole new tenor on getting the band back together for 2014?

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (08/15)
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Premium Article Skewed Left: Fisking a... (08/08)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Skewed Left: Miking Up... (08/22)
Next Article >>
Premium Article What Scouts Are Saying... (08/15)

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