Players are about a month away from their report date and spring training is right around the corner. Why not take a first stab at what the Senators’ opening day roster might look like? Without any kind of insider information, I’m basing these guesses on who’s currently under contract and player placement from the major league level down.
Things can obviously change between now and opening day with free agent signings, injuries, player releases, and the option of extended spring training. For instance, if the Nationals go out tomorrow and sign Javier Vasquez to a minor league deal odds are good he’ll get slated into the AAA rotation causing a ripple effect down each level of the organization.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments.
Brian Broderick – His last three appearances in 2012 were as a starter and I expect him to return to that role in 2013
Rob Gilliam – Per his usual with players he acquired, Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo is likely to continue giving Gilliam a shot at returning to form
Paul Demny – After a mostly disasterous season last year as a starter, his permanent move to the bullpen appears imminent
Rob Wort – Great tidbit from @NationalsPR: Wort posted a 15.1 SO/9 ratio in 2012, which was tops among all MiLB pitchers with at least 40 IP
The catching situation of the top five receivers in the organization largely depends on the health of Wilson Ramos to begin the season. After that, it’s a crapshoot with a large glut of catchers the Nationals have under contract so you might as well draw two or three names out of a hat at this point.
Brian Goodwin – A mid-season promotion will open up the centerfield position for Michael Taylor
Matt Skole – Despite only playing 18 games at Potomac at the end of 2012, it wouldn’t be shocking if Skole finds himself on the fast track especially after a very successful Arizona Fall League
Anthony Rendon – Expect the third baseman to be headed north to AAA Syracuse if he gets off to a fast start with the bat
Even though I have seven infielders listed, I highly doubt they’ll break camp with this and a 12-man pitching staff. But until the Nationals sign another free agent pitcher (whether major or minor leaguer), I believe they’re at least an arm short in Harrisburg for now (and that obviously excludes any potential injury).
One note to consider is I left off four pitchers (Brad Meyers, Cameron Selik, Matt Purke, Sammy Solis) who are all coming off injuries last season. With the question of their health and the Nationals’ history of treating injuries conservatively, their placement in the system would have been even more of a guess than the rest of the list so I left them off with the assumption that they would stay behind in Florida to begin the season.