Until the Winter Meetings start, there really is little to write about when your team is not making big moves. Maybe today will be the day for the Washington Nationals. Maybe not. In the meantime, BleacherReport did a prediction on every team’s starting lineup for Opening Day of 2024 which is now exactly four months away from March 30, 2024 in Cincinnati.
This is B/R’s Projected Starting Lineup:
- 1. SS CJ Abrams
- 2. RF Lane Thomas
- 3. 3B Jeimer Candelario
- 4. 1B Joey Meneses
- 5. C Keibert Ruiz
- 6. DH Tommy Pham
- 7. 2B Luis Garcia
- 8. LF Stone Garrett
- 9. CF Victor Robles
- SP Josiah Gray
(bolded type for possible new acquisitions)
The main part of what BleacherReport is doing by adding free agents to each team’s roster, makes this an exercise looking past the players under team control. Yes, the Nats need additions at the corner infield, and what B/R has done is to move Joey Meneses to first base and get a new DH with their projection of Tommy Pham, and re-acquiring Jeimer Candelario for third base. Also of note, they have Josiah Gray starting Opening Day instead of a new acquisition.
While that lineup appears to be within the realm of possibilities without boldly going with top prospects Dylan Crews and/or James Wood on the Opening Day lineup, the Pham acquisition goes in that small list of players mentioned in side-conversations about the Nats adding Rhys Hoskins or Jorge Soler for DH. Of course you could go with Hunter Renfroe, Rowdy Tellez, and Daniel Vogelbach too.
The list goes on-and-on depending on the budget and whether general manager Mike Rizzo prefers a left-handed DH over those right-handers — that also has to include righties like J.D. Martinez and Justin Turner. The list of lefties is very limited which makes a signing of Candelario as a switch-hitter more strategic until Wood is ready. He is the most significant left-handed bat in the Nats’ system.
In Rizzo’s previous comments, he was clear about adding a middle of the order bat as a priority along with more pitching. As they say, you can never have enough good starting pitching.