The 2012 Washington Nationals: Reasons to Look Forward to Nationals Baseball
Going into 2011 there were reasons for Nationals fans to feel optimistic about the upcoming season. Even with their ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg, basically out for the season. Before it started, with pitchers, Jordan Zimmerman, Jason Marquis, John Lannan and others. An infield that had 1B Adam Laroche, 3B Ryan Zimmerman. An up incoming middle infield with SS Ian Desmond and 2B Danny Gonzalez. Catchers Wilson Ramos, a good manager in Jim Riggleman. Even with Jim Riggleman unexpectedly resigning in June, with the Nationals finally going over 500. Over a contract extension and with the Nationals bringing in Davey Johnson a proven winner the New York Mets and Orioles. Ryan Zimmerman gets hurt early in the season, the Nats best player and lose him for about half of the season. The Nationals still showed signs of competing and becoming a contender. With the emergence of Michael Morse in the outfield and at 1B. With Adam Laroche going down with an injury. And other players coming on as well.
Ian Desmond made good improvements at SS but still isn’t a very productive at the plate. The Nationals want him to be their Leadoff Hitter but he hasn’t become very effective at the plate. Doesn’t hit for a very high average yet and strikes out a lot. 2B Danny Gonzalez showed excellent power at 2B but also strikes out a lot. A very good Defensive 2B, both 3B Ryan Zimmerman and 1B Adam Laroche are back healthy. And if they return to 2010 form, the Nationals are looking great in the infield. Especially with Wilson Ramos returning as their Starting Catcher. Michael Morse the Nationals best player in 2011, hitting 300, 30 HR and 100 RBI. Moves back to RF. Jayson Werth, who had his worse year ever in 2011. Hopefully bounces back in 2012. If that happens, the Nationals will have a very good OF. The question is who will be the National CF and Leadoff Hitter. Roger Bernadina and Mike Cameron will battle for that slot.
If the 2012 Nationals stay healthy, they should have their first Winning Season. In their short history, their starting pitching with Steve Strasburg. Coming back to go along with Jordan Zimmerman, Edwin Jackson and Gio Gonzalez. Is loaded, the questions are do they find a leadoff hitter and a Starting CF. Does Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Laroche bounce back. And does Michael Morse prove that 2011 is not a joke. And does Ian Desmond and Danny Gonzalez take the next steps offensively. If the Nationals have a Winning Season, then they’ll be contention to make the playoffs.