Continued from page 1

There are, as Johnson put it, “too many outs in the lineup,” right now.

But this is largely the same team the Nationals won 98 games with in 2012. It’s the same team that looked like a preseason monster. And that’s why it appears they’ll look for improvement from the talent they have, instead of making drastic changes.

“You have to be comfortable with the players you have and the roster you have,” Rizzo said. “You have to have a pulse on what your players are all about and what their track record is. You always have to balance what’s best for the player. Sometimes what’s best for the player is to send him down to the minor leagues to get more work, to get more comfortable, to try and make adjustments at a less stressful situation.

“But there comes a time in development where you have to learn how to grind it through and get through it at the major league level. I think we put together a roster that we feel is going to contend. … We feel we have the roster in place to win a lot of games. We felt that in spring training, we felt that in the winter, and I still have all the confidence in the world that this is the team that’s going to play deep into the season.”