The Washington Nationals have one of the best pitching staffs in the MLB, but they are entering 2013 with enormous expectations for the first time in franchise history. This pitching staff has the looks of a World Series Champion with a great balance of dominant lefties and righties.
It all starts at the top with the Nats, who are committed to Stephen Strasburg as their ace after shutting him down for the 2012 postseason. I was not a fan of the team ending his season so prematurely, but if the rest equates to Strasburg winning a championship, then it will be worth it. Reports from Nats camp has the team stretching Strasburg to pitch in 200 innings this year. In three seasons before now, he has pitched in a total of 251.1 innings.
Moving on, Ross Detwiler may be poised for a breakout campaign this year after winning a career-high 10 ballgames last year and solidifying the back-end of the rotation with a respectable 3.40 ERA. As a fifth starter, I think Detwiler will excel mainly because he will be in such a competitive staff where great outings are going to be contagious.
With the Atlanta Braves adding some offensive depth and the Philadelphia Phillies looking to be prominent yet again, the Nationals pitching staff is going to have to perform if they hope to repeat as NL East champions.
Manager Davey Johnson has a talented club, but if the pitching staff doesn’t pitch up to par, it’s going to be a long season for the Nationals.