- - Tuesday, April 3, 2012


37 Stephen Strasburg

Age: 23 - B/T: R/R

He’s back where he belongs, atop the Nationals rotation but his 160-inning limit will make this year a prelude to when the reins are fully off.

47 Gio Gonzalez

Age: 26 - B/T: R/L

His stuff has drawn rave reviews and his curve can baffle hitters. He’ll have to keep the walks down and adjust to a new league.

27 Jordan Zimmermann

Age: 24 - B/T: R/R

A full year for Zimmermann could be tantalizing but he’ll have to overcome the wall he hit often last year where one bad pitch late in a game would ruin his day.

33 Edwin Jackson

Age: 28 - B/T: R/R

Brings playoff experience to a young rotation but whether the Nationals are tinkering with his mechanics or not, finding consistency from start to start will be the key for him.

31 John Lannan

Age: 27 - B/T: L/L

Not letting trade rumors or uncertainty affect him, all Lannan has to do is find his rhythm and he’ll be the No. 5 starter the Nationals need.


36 Tyler Clippard

Age: 27 - B/T/: R/R

Arguably one of the best setup men in all of baseball, the Nationals will happily take a repeat of his 2011 All-Star season, excelling in an invaluable role.

63 Henry Rodriguez

Age: 25 - B/T: R/R

If he can continue harnessing his electrifying stuff, Rodriguez is poised to become one of the preeminent setup men in the league and will get a chance to close in Drew Storen’s absence.

54 Brad Lidge

Age: 35 - B/T: R/R

The seasoned veteran is healthy, pitching as well as he has in a long time, and ready to help fill the closer role until Drew Storen returns healthy.

17 Sean Burnett

Age: 29 - B/T: L/L

Looking for a bounceback season after an up-and-down 2011, Burnett switched sides of the rubber and went back to the windup before turning in another stellar spring.

52 Ryan Mattheus

Age: 28 - B/T: R/R

Hard-throwing righty now fully recovered from 2009 Tommy John rightfully makes major league team now but Drew Storen’s return may force the Nationals to exercise his minor league option due to roster crunch.

32 Tom Gorzelanny

Age: 29 - B/T: L/L

Former starter will serve as a long man but could likely get regular use even if not in long-relief situations.

48 Ross Detwiler

Age: 26 - B/T: R/L

A future starter, Detwiler will serve as a long reliever but will be kept mostly on a starter’s schedule. Most likely candidate to start in case of emergency and whenever another starter is needed.


3 Wilson Ramos

Age: 24 - B/T: R/R

A solid rookie season in the books and drawing raves for his work with the pitchers this spring, the Nationals hope for more of the same after a turbulent winter for Ramos.

26 Jesus Flores

Age: 27 - B/T: R/R

With the ability to be more than just a backup catcher, Flores is finally fully healthy and gives the Nationals perhaps one of the best catching tandems in the game.


25 Adam LaRoche

Age: 32 - B/T: L/L

Maintaining health is the key for LaRoche, who could be a valuable piece for a Nationals lineup that missed his left-handed presence last year.

18 Danny Espinosa

Age: 24 - B/T: S/R

His up-and-down rookie season in the books, Espinosa’s consistency will be key now that he’s entrenched at second base and in the No. 2 spot in the lineup.

6 Ian Desmond

Age: 26 - B/T: R/R

As the leadoff hitter, Desmond knows his role in the Nationals’ offense this season is integral and his improvement will be key to the team’s improvement as a whole.

11 Ryan Zimmerman

Age: 27 - B/T: R/R

Fully healthy and with his contract settled once and for all, the Nationals will look for a return to All-Star status for the Face of the Franchise.

7 Mark DeRosa

Age: 37 - B/T: R/R

After two seasons lost mostly to a devastating wrist injury, DeRosa’s healthy and ready to contribute. Though he’ll likely start often, his versatility makes him arguably the most valuable member of the bench.

1 Steve Lombardozzi

Age: 23 - B/T: S/R

The Columbia, Md., native will see time at third, shortstop, second and left field as the Nationals attempt to get him in the lineup nearly every day even without a starting job to give.

18 Chad Tracy

Age: 31 - B/T: L/R

Davey Johnson singled Tracy out as the most improved player in camp. With Rick Ankiel requiring a DL stint, Tracy earned himself a spot on the team as a backup first baseman/left fielder.


28 Jayson Werth

Age: 32 - B/T: R/R

Nationals manager Davey Johnson is leading the pack of those who think Werth is primed for a big season after a mostly disastrous 2011 at the plate.

2 Roger Bernadina

Age: 27 - B/T: L/L

His potential is tantalizing but his inconsistency is maddening. Could find himself as a fourth outfielder but the opportunity is there for him to be more.

15 Brett Carroll

Age: 29 - B/T: R/R

A long-time Marlin who became a journeyman in just one year, Carroll’s a solid right-handed complement to Ankiel. He can play all three outfield positions and has a strong arm.

21 Xavier Nady

Age: 33 - B/T: R/R

Unemployed until mid-March, Nady signed a minor league deal that quickly became much more. The versatile veteran provides insurance in the outfield and at first base.


38 Michael Morse

Age: 30 - B/T: R/R

A right lat strain derailed Morse’s spring training but the Nationals will welcome the cleanup hitter back with open arms when he’s able to return and can only hope for a repeat of his breakout 2011 season.

22 Drew Storen

Age: 24 - B/T: S/R

Arm soreness and strep throat delayed Storen’s progress this spring but an MRI revealed only elbow inflammation and the closer isn’t expected to miss much time.

24 Rick Ankiel

Age: 32 - B/T: L/L

Lingering quad tightness hampered Ankiel throughout the spring and while the Nationals are optimistic he could return by the opening homestand, he’ll join Double-A Harrisburg to rehab.

40 Chien-Ming Wang

Age: 32 - B/T: R/R

A left hamstring strain derailed his quest for the No. 5 spot in the Nationals’ rotation but he was looking stronger and pitching better than he had in years before injury. Could be back by late April, early May.

65 Cole Kimball

Age: 26 - B/T: R/R

Needing rotator cuff surgery after just 12 major league appearances was a cruel fate for Kimball. He’s scheduled to begin throwing off a mound in April but not expected back until after the All-Star break.

14 Chris Marrero

Age: 23 - B/T: R/R

Marrero has made exceptional progress in his recovery from a torn left hamstring suffered playing winter ball. Initially his timetable for recovery was around the All-Star break but it appears he’ll be ready before that.

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