Jan 4, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT
US Presswire photo
Roger Bernadina could compete for the one open spot in the Nationals' lineup.
There are all sorts of ways to measure progress for a franchise trying to overcome years of losing records and catapult itself into contention, but here's one simple method: Look at how many roster spots will be up for grabs heading into spring training.
For the first time since they arrived in town seven years ago, the Nationals don't figure to have many spring roster battles at all.
Consider how much already is set in stone. Only one of the eight everyday positions is undecided at this point: the outfield spot that won't be occupied by either Jayson Werth or Michael Morse. (First base doesn't apply in this case, because there's no chance of an open competition there. Either Adam LaRoche retains his job or the Nationals go out and sign Prince Fielder, who obviously wouldn't have to battle for his lineup spot.)
There are two rotation slots up for grabs among three contenders: Chien-Ming Wang, John Lannan and Ross Detwiler. The loser perhapsRead more »
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