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1 NATIONALS

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OVERALL RANK 3

ENEMY LINES

A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP WASHINGTON

This is one of the only teams that can beat the Cubs, but the window is closing.... Bryce Harper's shoulder bothered him all year, and he got out of rhythm. He's healthy now. A lot of people hate him, but I love him. He has the most controlled violent swing I've ever seen.... The sky is the limit for Trea Turner. He can run and throw, he's got good hands, he's a good hitter.... Adam Eaton is a true centerfielder and top-of-the-order bat.... Daniel Murphy has tremendous ability to get his barrel into the zone, keep it in the zone and hit the ball hard.... Anthony Rendon has a great approach, short and quick to the ball.... The wear and tear Ryan Zimmerman has had on his shoulder and arm—he's just not the same.... Matt Wieters will do a great job managing the staff and the game. That was a good signing.... Max Scherzer might be at the top of my list if I had to win a game and my life depended on it.... Every little ache ends up a DL trip for Stephen Strasburg, but he's still extremely gifted.... I love Tanner Roark. He looks like he could be sitting at the bar from Cheers, but he has four quality pitches.... Gio González can't pitch just on stuff any more. He's got to command better.... Joe Ross has the stuff to be a No. 3 starter.... Hopefully all of Shawn Kelley's save opportunities come with a two-run lead. I like him in the seventh or eighth inning.... I like Koda Glover and Blake Treinen. Either has the stuff to close.... Michael Taylor got to the big leagues too soon and struggled. He lost a lot of confidence.

MANAGER DUSTY BAKER

2ND SEASON WITH WASHINGTON

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

SS TREA TURNER [DEFENSIVE STAR] [BARGAIN] [RISING]

R-R .342 .370 .567 3.5

LF JAYSON WERTH [INJURY RISK]

R-R .244 .335 .417 0.3

2B DANIEL MURPHY [BARGAIN]

L-R .347 .390 .595 4.6

RF BRYCE HARPER [TEAM MVP]

L-R .243 .373 .441 1.6

3B ANTHONY RENDON [BARGAIN] [RISING]

R-R .270 .348 .450 4.1

CF ADAM EATON [NEW ACQUISITION] [DEFENSIVE STAR] [BARGAIN]

L-L .284 .362 .428 6.2

C MATT WIETERS [NEW ACQUISITION] [DECLINING]

S-R .243 .302 .409 1.7

1B RYAN ZIMMERMAN [INJURY RISK] [DECLINING]

R-R .218 .272 .370 -1.1

BENCH

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

1B ADAM LIND [NEW ACQUISITION] [DECLINING]

L-L .239 .286 .431 -0.3

IF STEPHEN DREW

L-R .266 .339 .524 1.0

OF CHRIS HEISEY

R-R .216 .290 .446 0.0

W-L ERA K/9 WAR

RH MAX SCHERZER

20--7 2.96 11.2 6.2

RH STEPHEN STRASBURG [INJURY RISK]

15--4 3.60 11.2 3.3

RH TANNER ROARK [BARGAIN] [RISING]

16--10 2.83 7.4 5.5

LH GIO GONZÁLEZ [DECLINING]

11--11 4.57 8.7 0.8

RH JOE ROSS [INJURY RISK]

7--5 3.43 8.0 2.1

SV ERA K/9 WAR

RH SHAWN KELLEY

7 2.64 12.4 1.4

RH JOE BLANTON [NEW ACQUISITION]

0 2.48 9.0 1.7

NEW ACQUISITION

2016 STATS

(R) ROOKIE

TEAM MVP

DEFENSIVE STAR

INJURY RISK

BARGAIN

RISING

DECLINING

MODEST PROPOSAL

After years of having no true leadoff hitter, the Nationals now have two: Trea Turner was promoted last summer, and Adam Eaton was acquired in a trade over the winter. Dusty Baker seems committed to Turner in the No. 1 slot, which is fine, but he has been less sure of Eaton's place, batting him as low as seventh this spring. Balance is a concern, with lefties Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy in the middle of the order, but batting Eaton low in the lineup is a waste of his OBP. He should be no lower than second; if breaking up the lefties is a concern, bat him leadoff with Turner second.

BOTTOM LINE

A healthy Harper and some well-matched additions could push the Nats deep into October.