5 Reasons Why Washington Nationals Will Win 2014 World Series
Washington Nationals: 2014 World Series Champs?
The 2013 season for the Washington Nationals has been nothing short of a nightmare that seems eternal. Every possibly worst-case scenario has played out, from injuries to the pitching rotation, an inconsistent bullpen and bench to an offense that either scores copious amounts of runs, or looks as though a little league team could one hit them. Frustration and futility has been the name of the game for the Nationals in 2013, and pretty much the complete antithesis of their magic 2012 season.
Things are only getting worse, as Bryce Harper is reportedly traveling back to D.C. to have further testing done on his injured hip. Of course, this happens when Washington is easily playing their best baseball of the season and have pushed themselves back to the fringes of the NL Wild Card race. This, of course, could be a blessing in disguise, since it allows some younger players to try and earn 2014 bench spots, and it allows Harper to come back even stronger in 2014 if there is something wrong with his hip.
Washington may have dashed any chances at a World Series title in 2013, and probably a playoff appearance as well. Sure, many prognosticators and analysts believe this is all because of the Strasburg shutdown of 2012, and they are obviously misinformed. As previously stated, every possible worst-case scenario has played out. Three of Washington's five starters have ended up on the DL for assorted ailments, the bench has fallen off significantly and the bullpen, aside from specific players, has been very inconsistent. All these facts aside, here are five reasons why Washington will bounce back in 2014 and win the World Series.
5. Davey Johnson Retires
Yes, this actually may be a good thing. Johnson is a fantastic manager, don't get me wrong, but his swan-song season may have put a little more pressure on a young Washington team to send him out on a high note. Of course, injuries and ineffectiveness can never be predicted, but Washington will probably hire a Manager this winter who will manage the team for years to come, and provide some stability that could do wonders for the players.
4. Mike Rizzo is the GM
Until he proves otherwise, Mike Rizzo being the GM of this team will always be an asset. Why? The guy always has a plan. Mark it down, Rizzo has and will continue to assess his team's weaknesses and do everything he can to address them. Rizzo has shown he is one of the top GMs in the game, and will do all he can to fix some of Washington's problems this winter.
3. There Will Be a Bench Makeover
Let's address a weakness for Rizzo, shall we? The bench was a major problem this season, and Washington probably will have a much different looking one in 2014. Corey Brown will probably be an addition for 2014 after a few strong seasons in the minors, both because of his left-handed bat and defense, and the now-gone Roger Bernadina. The bench will definitely look different in 2014.
2. The Rotation is Still Really Good
There has been a movement to "kill the win" for pitchers because of how team dependent it is as a stat. As misinformed and pointless as that movement is, there is no denying the stat is team dependent. Jordan Zimmermann has 16 wins and Stephen Strasburg has six, which leads the team in ERA. The Nationals rotation is still really, really good, and will only get better with the additions of a Taylor Jordan or Tanner Roark.
1. Ownership Has Money, and Will Spend
Washington has one of the richest ownerships in baseball, and they have given no indication of a fear to spend money. When Rizzo has wanted to add salary, he has been able to. The Lerner family has as much to do with the team's success any year as the management does, and could be the lynch pin to a 2014 World Series victory.