While we eagerly await the end of the MLB lockout Nationals fans are wondering what does success looks like for a team that is at the beginning of a “re-tool,” or whatever phase the team is in at this point.
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We thought that we would try to answer that very question by coming up with some goals that the team needs to work on achieving during the 2022 season.
Goal #1: Evulate Younger Players
With a bunch of new prospects and young talent, the Washington Nationals have a tall task ahead of them and 2022 might be the perfect year to perform some major evaluations of all this young talent. The Nationals have a lot of great young talent and now it’s time for the team to really see how these players perform over the course of hopefully a full season. Players such as Josiah Gray, Keibert Ruiz, Lane Thomas, and Riley Adams just to name a few are going to be in the spotlight during the 2022 season.
Another player that the Nationals need to make a final decision about the future is third baseman Carter Kieboom. It seems that the Nationals are planning on keeping Kieboom and giving him chance after chance to prove that he can become the player that they envisioned. Maybe Kieboom isn’t the player that they envisioned him being but there should be no more excuses.
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Goal #2: Remain Competitive Enough
With a roster full of young talent while seeing what type of players will fit into the new Nationals, remaining competitive on the field is going to be a really hard goal. Watching young talent at times is frustrating and exciting however, the Nationals should make at least one move to excite the fan base and keep the team moving in the right direction. We aren’t talking about going out and signing a big free agent, there are plenty of second and third-tier veteran players that are available that would be a good addition to this young roster. If the Nationals could be in a position to at least be in the mix for the majority of the season, the experience that the younger players will get will be invaluable to their growth.
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Goal #3: Get Stephen Strasburg Healthy and on the Mound
After only a couple of innings and appearances after his amazing 2019 season, the question of how healthy Stephen Strasburg has once again surrounded the team. Getting Strasburg out on the mound for a prolonged stretch of games without him getting further injured should be a big goal for the team. With Max Scherzer no longer the ace of the team, the Nationals will look to Strasburg to lead the team and be that ace that he was before Scherzer came to town.
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Goal #4: Patrick Corbin
The past two seasons for Patrick Corbin have been rough, to put it mildly. After having a great 2019 both during the season and in the postseason, Corbin’s 2020 and 2021 were pretty bad. In 2021 Corbin went 9-16 with an ERA of 5.32 in pitching a total of 171.2 innings. During the shortened 2020 season, he went 2-7 with an ERA of 4.66
Realistically, the Nationals can’t trade him with his current contract, so the Nationals need him to return to his 2019 form ASAP.
Hopefully, during this offseason, Corbin was able to look over some tape and make the adjustments that he needs to make so that he can be successful in 2022 because the Nationals need him to be as the team continues to build for the future.