Dec 19, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT
US Presswire photo
Sean Burnett struggled in the first half this season, then turned it around.
We've spent plenty of time this offseason talking about several areas the Nationals are hoping to bolster — the rotation, the outfield, the bench — but there's one aspect of the roster that has barely drawn mention so far this winter: the bullpen.
That's testament to the quantity of quality arms the Nationals have stocked away down there, a unit that posted the majors' fifth-best ERA this year (3.20) despite throwing the fourth-most innings (520 2/3) while also leading the league in relief wins (31).
Even so, plenty of teams with top-notch bullpens could find themselves needing to make offseason changes for a number of reasons: free agency, retirement, an inconsistent arm or two.
What makes the Nationals' relief corps less in need of help, though, is the fact every returning member is 29 or younger and under club control for at least one more season.
Closer Drew Storen is only 24. All-Star Tyler Clippard will turn 27 just before pitchers and catchers report for spring training. Lefties SeanRead more »
NL EAST STANDINGS
WED: Diamondbacks at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Diamondbacks at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Strasburg gives Nats 'what the doctor ordered'
- Strasburg tames Diamondbacks in 8-1 victory
- Gonzalez on the Nats' rotation: 'I want to catch up' (VIDEO)
- Nats' McLouth to have shoulder surgery, out for season
- LaRoche, Desmond and Fister take on the ice bucket (VIDEO)
- Strasburg, Nationals go for eighth straight win against Arizona
- State of the Nationals' bullpen: Exhausted
- Around the NL East: Are the Marlins legit contenders?
- LaRoche finally gets to savor first walk-off homer
- Nats beat Diamondbacks in third straight walk-off win