The Nationals are in the middle of its first full season of a “re-boot” and are busy identifying and developing young talent, the 2019 World Series MVP pitcher that they spent a significant amount of salary has only pitched in one game and doesn’t seem to be returning to the team in 2022 and their other star pitcher Patrick Corbin is continuing to struggle on the mound. The new young talent has also been struggling at the plate.
The first half of the 2022 season for the Washington Nationals was defiantly forgettable. The 2019 World Series Champions ended the first half of the 2022 season with the worst record in Major League Baseball and many questions around the future of outfielder Juan Soto. But before we head into the second half of the 2022 season, let’s take a quick look at what we all could be looking for during the second half of the season.
Patrick Corbin and the pitching rotation
With Stephen Strasburg seemingly done for the 2022 season, all eyes will be on LHP Patrick Corbin. Could the brief All-Star break for the struggling left-hander be a good reset for him to finish the 2022 season strong and head into the off-season on a high note? Will Corbin even wear a Washington Nationals uniform at the end of this season? Besides Corbin, the Nationals will need other pitchers, such as RHP Josiah Gray, to continue to take steps forward.
Will we see Anibal Schachez remain healthy enough to hold a spot in the pitching rotation so that the team doesn’t need to promote pitchers that aren’t 100% ready for the majors? Will Joan Adon be able to stay with the team in the majors, or will he continue to bounce between the minors and the majors?
Trade Deadline Acquisitions
The biggest question surrounding the Washington Nationals is who will the team trade for prospects at this year’s trade deadline. I will not mention Juan Soto here, as that is another article or three.
Let’s talk about how Josh Bell, Nelson Cruz, and Kyle Finnegan have all been mentioned as possible trade bait for other MLB teams competing for playoff spots, which prospects will be wearing a curly W in the future.
Will the Nationals be able to cash in on Josh Bell’s .311 batting average, 50 RBI, 13 home runs, and .895 OPS with at least one prospect that could help the team in the long term? Will the Nationals be able to cash in on Kyle Finnegan’s impressive 43 strikeouts over 36.2 innings pitched?
Cade Cavalli and Cole Henry’s future
Another big question for Nationals nation is will we see our first glimpse of projected future key pieces, such as Triple-A right-handers Cade Cavalli and Cole Henry. Both prospects have been performing extremely well at the triple-A level and might make an appearance at the major league level by the end of the season.
Does it make sense for the team to promote these prospects during the second half of the season? Does it make sense for them to finish the year still at the triple-A level and have them start fresh with the team at the start of the 2023 season?
The future of Juan Soto at least for 2022
This is the biggest question that will be outstanding for the team. Thankfully, we will know soon (in only two weeks) if Juan Soto will even be wearing a Nationals’ uniform for the remainder of the 2022 season.
Once that question has been answered, the team will hopefully be able to move forward without the Soto issue being a distraction, at least until the end of the 2022 season. Hopefully, the Nationals will not trade the 23-year-old superstar, and the team can focus on improving and continuing their re-tool.
Prospects, Prospects, Prospects and Prospects
While games will be played at the major league level, many eyes will be focused on how the Washington Nationals farm system looks. From prospects in Fredericksburg to prospects in Rochester, the National’s farm system should start to center stage for the remainder of the 2022 season.
Related Article: Rochester Red Wings Report: The First Half in AAA
Will RHP Jackson Rutledge end his season at a higher level in the farm system? Where will Brady House end his 2022 season? Or will any other prospects will enter the spotlight and make significant improvements.