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MLB Washington Nationals

5 Questions the Washington Nationals Must Answer During Spring Training

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Five Spring Training Questions for the Washington Nationals

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Folks, baseball is just days away. In roughly a week’s time, the boys of Summer will be heading south for the Spring to get things going.

Here’s the timeline for the Washington Nationals. On Thursday, Feb. 13, pitchers and catchers will report. Five days later on Feb. 18, the rest of the squad will arrive to start work. Ten days later on Feb. 28, the team will begin their preseason baseball action against the New York Mets.

Let that sink in. It feels like forever ago one of the world’s greatest games ended. The wait is nearly over, friends. Soon baseball will be back. As teams head south, they take their storylines with them. Along with those storylines they bring deep burning questions that fans and media members alike must have the answers to.

For the Nationals, the 2014 Spring Training session brings many questions with it. Players recovering from injuries, new faces and positional battles are all among things that fans should keep an eye and an ear out for. After the way the team finished its 2013 season, fans should be excited. When you look at the overall picture of what happened in 2013, fans should be even more excited to finally begin a new season of baseball.

On the following five slides you’ll find five questions that the Washington Nationals must answer at Spring Training this year. Will they be answered right away? Nope. Are they questions that you can just walk right up to a player and get the answer to? No way! You’ll have to tune into Spring Training and see how things pan out for the Nationals.

Brian Skinnell is a freelance sports writer for RantSports.com and contributor at Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter and add him to your network on Google.

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5. How's Bryce Harper's Knee Doing?

MLB
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper has, by himself, made his knee quite a storyline this spring. He told reporters last month that it was injured worse than what people had originally believed. He also said that the doctor had to do some serious repair work over the offseason. Does he truly enter Spring Training at 100-percent? Will he get off to a slow start because it’s bothering him?

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4. Who Will Play Second Base?

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Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a battle between Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa, and it’s one that I am especially excited for. Rendon is a better hitter, but Espinosa is a better defender. However, when Espinosa finds his swing he can hit the ball a mile. Last year, Rendon took over the spot when Espinosa went down with a fractured wrist. This year, Espinosa has a chance to take his spot back. Who will win?

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3. Who Will Be the Backup Catcher?

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Wilson Ramos is going to be the Opening Day starter at catcher. Who will be his backup? Sandy Leon, Jhonatan Solano, Chris Snyder and Koyie Hill will all be in Spring Training fighting for that spot. Of those four, who comes out on top? Will it be the newcomer in Hill? How about the two vets, Leon and Solano? Could the underdog of this tale, Snyder, surprise and steal the show?

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2. Who Will Be the Fifth Starting Pitcher

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

In my opinion, it’s Ross Detwiler’s spot to lose. However, he faces some stiff competition in Taylor Jordan and Ross Ohlendorf. Either one of those three could come out as the fifth pitcher in a rotation that’s shaping up to be MLB’s best. Is there a fourth name in the mix that maybe we’re not seeing? Who will step up?

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1. Is 2013 Behind Them?

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Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 season was a real disappointment for the Nationals and their fans. After making it to the postseason for the first time since moving to D.C. in 2012, they flopped and floundered their way to a second place finish in the NL East. They have a new manager with a new mindset in Matt Williams and some new players in Doug Fister, Jerry Blevins and Nate McLouth. Can they put 2013 out their minds and continue to move forward?