FanGraphs projections for the Washington Nationals in 2024

The offseason has just 19-days remaining before we click into preseason mode as Spring Training camp opens for the Washington Nationals on Valentine’s Day. While we expect another starting pitcher to be signed by the Nats, nothing is certain — and the roster still has some question marks as to the 26-players who will be named to the Opening Day roster on March 28.

There were some sizable adjustments by FanGraphs today for all teams as their WAR and standings Win/Loss projections were tweaked. The Nats move from 67 wins to 66.25 wins in their latest look at the team.

Yes, it was good to see Dylan Crews‘ numbers adjusted up, and not a surprise to see Nick Senzel adjusted down. Every player without an extensive history will have to prove himself. That is why we play the games.

FanGraphs has your Nats starters as:

  1. CJ Abrams SS LH
  2. Lane Thomas RF RH
  3. Keibert Ruiz C SH
  4. Joey Meneses 1B RH
  5. Joey Gallo LF LH
  6. Stone Garrett DH RH
  7. Luis Garcia 2B LH
  8. Nick Senzel 3B RH
  9. Victor Robles CF RH

That seems to be a lock for Opening Day at this point. A lot can change of course. Of note, Garcia is out of options, and Garrett has three options remaining.

Starting rotation:

  1. Josiah Gray RHP
  2. MacKenzie Gore LHP
  3. Jake Irvin RHP
  4. Patrick Corbin LHP
  5. Trevor Williams RHP

This is where the Nats could sign another starter and push Williams into the bullpen. The immediate starting depth is Jackson Rutledge and DJ Herz. At some point, Cade Cavalli should be ready to return mid-season from his UCL surgery 10 months ago.

The bench:

  1. Riley Adams C RH
  2. Ildemaro Vargas IF SH
  3. Nasim Nunez IF SH
  4. Carter Kieboom IF RH

While Garrett would be the fourth outfielder, do we really think manager Dave Martinez will have three primary infielders on his bench and not a top defensive outfielder? Remember, this is FanGraphs projections, not ours. Kieboom is out of options, keep that in mind. Jacob Young and Alex Call both have remaining options. And Young has such loud tools with his speed and defense that he might be competing with Robles for the starter’s job if we can be honest here. This will be a tough decision for general manager Mike Rizzo.


  1. Kyle Finnegan RHP
  2. Hunter Harvey RHP
  3. Tanner Rainey RHP
  4. Jordan Weems RHP
  5. Robert Garcia LHP
  6. Dylan Floro RHP
  7. Jose Ferrer LHP
  8. Joan Adon RHP

That bullpen makes sense if Williams remains in the rotation. Adon is out of options, and so is Rainey and Weems who should both make the roster. The odd men out are Mason Thompson and Joe La Sorsa. Both Ferrer and Garcia have options remaining if Rizzo and Martinez needed a spot to hide Adon.

Some would say the best-26 should go north, and you would like that — but most likely if everyone is healthy — that is your starting lineup as FanGraphs projected it. And Crews, James Wood and Brady House will all start their seasons at the top of the minor leagues. There are three roster spots that could open up with 60-day IL moves for Stephen Strasburg, Cade Cavalli, and Zach Brzykcy who are all injured.

Let’s face it, every team has these roster crunch issues, and the questions to go with top prospects. The best-26 rarely make it onto the Opening Day rosters as teams struggle to find spots for players out of options, and players on expensive multi-year contracts. Adon and Kieboom are those players on the fence without options, and Strasburg is on a painfully expensive multi-year contract — and he will be placed on the 60-day IL at some point during Spring Training when the team needs his roster spot.

Tomorrow will be the Nats’ annual Hot Stove event for full-and-half package season ticket holders. Rizzo and Martinez should answer some of these questions. At some point soon, one player has to be moved off of the 40-man roster to make room for Gallo. If another pitcher is signed, another spot will have to open — so even the 40-man roster isn’t set. We will have two more of these roster articles leading up to Opening Day in just 62-days.

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