Washington Nationals Have More Issues than Replacing Davey Johnson

Davey Johnson

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

It is well known that legendary manager Davey Johnson is retiring after this past season. Naturally one of the biggest things on the Washington Nationals radar is to find a good manager to replace Johnson. They should be able to do an admirable job of that considering all of the good names, both experienced and not that are on the market. However, they have a lot more do worry about than manager.

They have a decent offensive attack as it was presented in the month of September but that wasn’t the case all season long and will not be next season either. They need to cut ties with Adam Laroche at first base. They could then get the best out of the line-up by getting a new third baseman and moving Ryan Zimmerman over to first. If that worked out well they would still have a lot to worry about.

Their starting staff is respectable but not nearly as good as it seemed like it would be. David Price will be available and could be someone they could go after as they are rumored to be somewhat interested in the idea. If not him they will need someone or multiple pitchers to solidify and deepen the starting rotation.

From there the focus needs to go to the bullpen. They have a great closer potentially but the rest of the crew let them down this past season. Basically, they cannot go into 2014 expecting to play all season long the way they did in the season’s final month. That will not happen. They need to be deeper on the bench, starting rotation and the bullpen. If they do not improve in those areas it won’t matter who is managing them.

David Miller is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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  • revdrbuck

    I’m not convinced that Mr. Miller did much research before writing his article. Mike Rizzo has stated that Ryan Zimmerman will not be moved to first base and indeed will be the Nats third baseman next year. Danny Espinosa, Steve Lombardozzi and Anthony Rendon will all be given a chance to win the second baseman’s job in spring training. Since Rendon was a first round draft pick and was rushed to the big leagues in 2013 to play a position he had not played professionally and did a better than adequate job in the field he seems like the likely starter. First base is an issue. There aren’t any great first basemen available in free agency this year with James Loney being the best of the bunch. It seems more likely given Adam Laroche’s contract that he’ll remain, perhaps platooned with Tyler Moore who at age 27 should be given a chance to prove himself on a more regular basis.

    Starting pitching is fine. Strasburg, Gonzalez and Zimmermann are all proven starters. Detwiler should return from the disabled list. Roark, Jordan, Karns and Ohlendorf will contend for the fifth starters job with possibly two of them becoming long relievers.

    I’m not sure why Mr. Miller thought Ty Clippard was part of the crew that let the Nationals down last season. With a 6-3 record with 33 holds and a 2,41 ERA he seems like he did a fine job. Craig Stammen at 7-6 and a 2.76 ERA seemed to do well also. The biggest need will be for two left handed relievers, likely to have to come from outside the Nationals organization.

    The bench was an issue last year with Lombardozzi finally finding his stroke and Clippard performing ok after being sent to minors. Chad Tracy is likely to go and I’m not sure Solano is a major league hitter as the back up catcher. Scott Hairston seems likely to stay although his performance wasn’t all that great either.

    Hope this adds some needed clarification and details to Mr Millers article.

    • David Miller Rant

      I intentionally didn’t go into deep detail on each and every reliever but as a whole they were not as strong as they needed to be other than the closer. That was my point there. As far as Zimmerman goes, I don’t agree with a lot of what M. Rizzo does and that would include not moving Zimm to first base. I think that would be a good solution because not only of Laroche’s issues but also because of the shoulder problems that Zimmerman has had and continues to have. The starting rotation could very well be good enough with the gentlemen you mentioned but then again it was supposed to be the best in MLB this year as well. I simply think they should go get some more depth there sort of like the Los Angeles Dodgers did going into and during the 2013 season.

      Thanks for your comment and how detailed it was. It is always refreshing to read well informed comments. I hope this clears up where I was coming from and my POV. Thanks again.