The Washington Nationals will be one of the top teams in baseball for years to come. After finishing the 2012 season at 98-64, which was the best record in the league, they got knocked out in the American League Divisional Series against the Cincinnati Reds. However, a deep run by a young team making their first postseason appearance is not expected.
The following season, they had what was considered somewhat of a down year, winning 86 games and missing the playoffs. Although 86 wins would be pretty good for most teams, the Nats were just coming off of a 98-win season, which mad their 2013 campaign a bit of a let down to their standards.
However, in 2014, they came back stronger than ever. Thanks to their extremely dominate pitching, they ended the season with a record of 96-66, which was good for tops in the National League and tied with the Baltimore Orioles for the second-best record in all of baseball.
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Just how dominate was the pitching staff for the Nationals? Well for starters, they maintained a team-ERA of 3.03 throughout the season, which easily finished as the best for any team in the Majors. The next closest team-ERA was held by the Seattle Mariners, who’s pitching staff ended the year with an ERA of 3.17.
Four of their five starting pitchers finished the season with an ERA that landed top 16 in the National League. Their new acquisition Doug Fister, whom they acquired after spending three years in Detroit, was particularly impressive. He started 25 games, finishing with a record of 16-6, an ERA of 2.41 (fourth-best in the National League), and a WHIP of 1.08.
Not too far down the list falls Jordan Zimmermann, who also finished the season with an ERA under 3.00. He, however, pitched in 199.2 innings compared to Fister’s 164. With that being said, although his ERA was 25 points more than that of Fister’s, Zimmermann landed top-five in National League Cy Young voting.
Oct 6, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Doug Fister (58) pitches during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants in game three of the 2014 NLDS baseball playoff game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
They did finish ninth in the league in average and tenth in the league in team home runs last season, which is not bad at all, but the inconsistency continues to be their issue. Their star outfielder Bryce Harper has battled injured since he stepped into the big-leagues in 2012, and durability continues to be an issue for the youngster.
He missed 62 games last season, and struggled a bit in the time that he was healthy for. But just to show how impressive this team was last season, they won 96 games without their star player at full-health the entire season.
So to answer the question; no, the Nats do not have to make any moves this offseason. However, adding another bat or two would certainly help.