Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

Nats Early Season Roster Trends


Well, at least it wasn’t an elbow this time. Photo

As of 4/21/21, the Nats have already used 19 position players (Every single position player on the 40-man save Yasel Antuna, plus since-DFA’d Jonathan Lucroy and non-roster impacting call-up Cody Wilson). They’ve already used 16 pitchers (of 22 on the 40-man).

Thanks to the Covid scare ahead of opening day plus a spate of injuries they’ve already faced, no less than 14 players from their 26-man roster have already been on the DL this year. 14! Plus some unknown/unreported number of players from the alt site who may or may not have also been infected. We have no earthly idea what’s going on with Romero (zero IP in spring training, which usually implies either an injury or a disciplinary problem), and the team curiously called up Paolo Espino instead of any from 5 alternative starters sitting in Fredericksburg.

Amazingly … throughout all of this perhaps the team’s MOST fragile player (Ryan Zimmerman) has stayed healthy and productive. Who would have guessed!

The 2021 Nats were built using older players that we were hoping for bounce back seasons from. The team needed its big three starters (who combine to earn $93.9M of their $183M in payroll) to throw 6-7 innings of competent innings nearly every time out in order to have any chance of being competitive. Instead we’ve gotten up-and-down starts from Corbin and the DL list for Strasburg.

The trend so far is … not good. If the team is going to play whack-a-mole with injuries all year, filling in with a thinned 40-man roster, we’re going to end up with a similar record that we had last year. Its early right now, and we had to play divisional rivals short handed early, but the prognosis is not good right now.

We need to catch some breaks. Soto going on the DL is NOT such a break.

Written by Todd Boss

April 21st, 2021 at 11:23 am

2 Responses to 'Nats Early Season Roster Trends'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Nats Early Season Roster Trends'.

  1. When I was young, I thought a 9-8 game was just great. Now that I’m, ahem, more mature there is nothing more exciting than a 1-0 game. Every pitch is incredibly important.

    Sure is different having a very good bullpen. Could be great before it’s all over.

    Mark L

    21 Apr 21 at 7:37 pm

  2. Mark, yes, isn’t it weird for the Nats to start a season with an effective bullpen? Good to see Rainey looking more like his old self. And Hand looks to be as good as advertised.

    I’ve had difficulty thinking positive thoughts about the Nats’ prospects this year since the screwed-up beginning of the season. Yet I look at the standings, and despite all the problems, they’re only 1.5 games back. The Braves’ pitching problems are really biting them, with Fried and Smyly already on the IL, and the Mets can’t score. I know it doesn’t make a lot of sense to hope for a Nats’ surge while Soto and Stras are out, but there’s certainly a great opportunity for one while the rest of the division is spinning its wheels.

    The lineup really has to solidify. Bell has REALLY struggled after missing the COVID time. Schwarber is at .200 and Robles is at .204. Should Zim play more until Bell gets straightened out?


    22 Apr 21 at 10:04 am

Leave a Reply