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Nationals announce Opening Day roster

Mar 29, 2014, 7:16 PM EST

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After Saturday’s exhibition game was canceled, the Washington Nationals officially announced their Opening Day roster. There were no surprises this time around, as after Doug Fister was looking primed for a DL stint on Thursday, it became clear the Nats were going to keep both Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan.

Aaron Barrett has made the bullpen and Danny Espinosa has earned a spot on the bench. Other than that, you probably know the rest.

Anyways, without further ado, here it is:


The Nationals open their season on March 31 at the New York Mets.

  1. Whynat - Mar 29, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    From last thread. Does anyone know where the craft beer stands are going to be located?

  2. NatsLady - Mar 29, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    If you want to see what happened to everyone else, look here.

  3. Eric - Mar 29, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    So am I the only one that remains unconvinced that Rendon is, without question, the 2B starter? I really feel it’s up in the air or possibly even leading Espi.

    What is it that causes Mark, Kilgore, Wagner, folks here, etc, to say things along the lines of “the Nats are acting as though Rendon us the 2B starter.”?

    What actions give this impression? Playing time at any given position? If so, did Rendon outpace Espi by all that much at 2B?

    • Eric - Mar 29, 2014 at 9:09 PM

      To clarify, I’m not asserting that the Nats are actually leaning towards Espi starting at 2B, just that it wouldn’t surprise me if we learned that they are.

      • Jb - Mar 29, 2014 at 9:30 PM

        There are 162 games to be started. Sounds like both Rendon and Espinosa will be getting a share of them. Nothing wrong with this “competition” continuing all season long. They both need to play well for this team to succeed.

      • Eric - Mar 29, 2014 at 9:52 PM

        Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if that’s how they’re used to start the season..

  4. Sonny G 10 - Mar 29, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    Jb – Mar 29, 2014 at 9:30 PM
    There are 162 games to be started. Sounds like both Rendon and Espinosa will be getting a share of them. Nothing wrong with this “competition” continuing all season long. They both need to play well for this team to succeed.

    I like that idea, if Espi has his stroke back. Maybe they can both hang around until another full time position opens up…like maybe next year if ALR is gone.

    • Candide - Mar 29, 2014 at 10:22 PM

      That’s been my dream scenario all along. Espi learns how to hit again, well enough so that Matt can move him back to second, slide Rendon back to third, and move Zimm to first, and LaRoche goes duck hunting.

      • nats128 - Mar 30, 2014 at 12:05 AM

        That seems to be the optimistic hope. I read that suggestion right after Espi hit the 2 HRs earlier in the week.

    • natsjackinfl - Mar 30, 2014 at 6:10 AM

      It’s not hard to envision a scenario that allows both to get 350 AB’s provided Espinosa has fully embraced his new approach at the plate with improved results.

      Rendon splitting time between second base and third while Espinosa splits time between second and shortstop as well as spelling each other at second.

      The key is with the “improved results” thing with Danny.

      • Section 222 - Mar 30, 2014 at 7:13 AM

        Not hard to envision, but do you really think it will happen? A three way rotation among Espi, Desi, and Rendon? I dont. You might do that if you had three players of equal skills, but you don’t. I would guess that if all three were healthy Ian will play 150 games at SS, Rendon 130-140 at 2B. That leaves 40 starts at most for Espi. I can live with that, and I hope he can too.

        The problem is exactly the proviso you’ve identified — whether he “has fully embraced his new approach at the plate with improved results.” If we don’t know the answer to that with complete confidence now, why should we take the risk that the answer is not what we want now that the games count? We made a big mistake last year, and you were one of the most vocal proponents of making a change. Have you really seen enough from him this spring to wipe the slate clean when a very capable replacement is ready to go?

        Injuries or a big dropoff for Rendon will of course change the calculation, but based on what we’ve seen so far, would you really make a change at 2B?

      • pdowdy83 - Mar 30, 2014 at 9:13 AM

        222 you are leaving out the off days for Zim and Laroche. Rendon would play 3rd in a lot of those also opening up another set of games at 2nd for Espinosa if he is playing well. So that looks like a possible 55-65 starts. Which with a 4 at bat per game average would land him around 240 at bats before factoring in pinch hitting. If he gets around 300 plate appearances and maintains a K rate lower than his career total I am perfectly fine with it.

        We can’t forget he was a 3 win player in 2 out of 3 seasons an Rendon only has a partial season under his belt.

      • Sonny G 10 - Mar 30, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        A big 10-4 on your key!

  5. Section 222 - Mar 29, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    Espi will get at bats, but it’s a big mistake not to get Rendon going as the starting 2B. He has a huge upside this year, whereas all we can reasonably hope for for Espi is that he isn’t as terrible as he was last year. This just isn’t the time to let Espi “learn to hit again.” If he didn’t play well enough to win the job in ST, it’s time to put him on the bench and let him get used to that role.

    • Eric - Mar 30, 2014 at 12:56 AM

      I think the same can be said for Rendon. I don’t we’re the only outfit that has noticed his 27% K rate this spring.

      If Williams has said he’s leaning towards Rendon (as per Pete Wood below), I believe it, but I haven’t read that quote anywhere. All I’ve read is media and fan speculation. Barring a Williams quote (existing or forthcoming), I’ll believe the lineups as they are posted each day.

      • DaveB - Mar 30, 2014 at 6:39 AM

        It wasn’t a hard lean, but definitely a little tilt there:

        “I would say that we’ll take a hard look at Anthony for game one”

      • Section 222 - Mar 30, 2014 at 7:03 AM

        Sorry, but Rendon won the job last year. For all the talk of an open competition, he didn’t have nearly enough to prove this spring. There are two questions here: (1) Are you really confident that Espi has returned to 2011, or even 2012, form? (2) Are you really worried about Rendon based on his ST performance?

        I answer both questions No. You?

      • Section 222 - Mar 30, 2014 at 7:04 AM

        Enough= As much. Need coffee.

      • Eric - Mar 30, 2014 at 9:25 AM

        I’m a little concerned about Rendon’s K rate this spring, but I’m also with you in that I’m not convinced that Espi has definitively and persistently “figured it out.”

        More importantly than either (to me), though, is this question: if Rendon won the job last year, why is there any talk of a competition whatsoever?

        I’ll take it line up by line up until Williams says something more definitive than (to paraphrase) “we’ll look hard at Rendon for opening day.”

  6. Pete "Hit 'n Run" Wood - Mar 29, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    Manager Matt Williams has said he is leaning towards having Rendon at 2B

  7. JW - Mar 30, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    Rendon will start at 2nd on Opening Day and the home opener. But Espinosa will get a significant number of starts. Most will be at 2nd (some when Rendon is subbing for Zim at 3rd) but a few will be at short. This will continue as long as Espinosa maintains his spring performance and/or Rendon severely ramps up his spring performance. Rendon may be due for a sophomore slump. It happens.

    • Eric - Mar 30, 2014 at 9:26 AM

      I don’t even take it as a given re: season and home openers, though it does appear Rendon will get a “good hard look for game one”, whatever that means 😉.

  8. richardp6 - Mar 30, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    Understanding that spring training stats can be a bad predicter, what was Espinosa’s this spring?

    • Eric - Mar 30, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      Espi’s stats

      If you’re on mobile you’ll need to switch to desktop view (click “Full” in upper right corner) to see 2014 ST stats.

  9. letswin3 - Mar 30, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    I can’t believe that some of you are looking at Rendon’s K’s in ST. Danny led the entire league in K’s in the full 2012 regular season.. and then couldn’t find a hit as he stunk up the team with his hitting in ’13, before Davey finally threw in the towel and agreed with Rizzo to send him down. Rendon looks to be a long-term big league hitter, and I won’t be surprised if he provides substantial improvement this season. If, as some of you suggest, they try to string out the competition, I’m concerned that Rendon will take that as a vote of “no confidence”, and young guys can sometimes have fragile egos. Are we going to create a second “head case” by pandering to a proven one? If Danny serves a traditional bench role and shows that he has changed his swing for the fences approach and reaches a reasonable batting average, then he will have earned increased innings at several positions, but I see no reason to prolong a “competition” that he lost in 2013 … how many times must Rendon prove himself.

    • Eric - Mar 30, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      I take the fact that there’s competition at all as a vote of deferred confidence re: Rendon. All ST Williams touted Espi’s improved approach and dramatically reduced K rate.; if they noticed that about Espi, they certainly noticed the opposite re: Rendon’s K rate.

      If Rendon truly had their confidence, why aren’t they showing it by naming him the starting 2B right up front?

      As always, I want to be clear that I don’t think Espi has won this thing, I just don’t see the basis for the apparently conventional wisdom that Rendon has this locked up.

  10. langleyclub - Mar 30, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    Rendon had the edge heading into Spring, and he kept it. Rendon does not have as long a leash as the other 7 position player starters, but even so, Rendon will have to play himself out of the starting role at 2B.

    Regardless, Espinosa will get his fair share of at bats as he plays if any infielder gets hurt or needs a day off. As an FYI, Ryan Zimmerman has not played more than 147 games in any of the last 4 years, Ian Desmond is going to get more days off now that the Nats have a competent reserve SS, and Anthony Rendon has a history of injuries. Also, ALR is going to get days off against tough lefties. So, Espinosa is going to get close to 300 ABs (maybe more) even if the starting IF stays relatively healthy and productive.

    • texnat1 - Mar 30, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      Another season, another series of post by Eric concern trolling about Rendon while overlooking the mountain of problems with Espinosa,

      It would be a mistake not to let Rendon play every day and develop. Particularly for a team that has a problem with getting people on base.

      • Eric - Mar 30, 2014 at 4:52 PM

        Trolling? Please do go on.

      • Eric - Mar 30, 2014 at 4:54 PM

        And, nowhere have I overlooked concern about Espi. On the contrary I’ve repeatedly stated that I am not convinced yet that his new approach will stick.

        I’ve only asked for evidence to support the repeated claim in the media that Rendon has locked this up.





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