Washington Nationals Could Have Historic Rotation


The Washington Nationals already had one of the better pitching rotations in the MLB heading into this past weekend.

With Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez, Tanner Roark and Doug Fister – along with relief pitchers such as Tyler Clippard, Craig Stammen and Rafiel Soriano – the Nationals allowed only 3.03 earned runs per game last season, one of the best ERAs from a pitching staff in the last 25 years.

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And when you add the 2013 American League Cy Young winner in Max Scherzer to the mix, expectations are only going to go up.

Washington signed Scherzer to a seven-year deal on Sunday and in doing so, greatly increasing their odds of repeating as NL East champions.

Scherzer’s numbers speak for themselves. He has a career ERA of 3.58 (3.15 last season in Detroit), struck out 252 batters last season, allowed just 18 home runs in each of the last two seasons, pitched a complete game last season and has accumulated 39 wins over the last two seasons. And to go along with his Cy Young award, Scherzer has been to two All-Star games.

Combine that with the numbers the rest of Washington’s pitchers put up last season – Strasburg had a 3.14 ERA, Fister at 2.41, Roark at 2.85, Gonzalez at 3.57 and Zimmerman at 2.66 – there’s no question that the Nationals have the potential to field one of the best starting rotations that the MLB has seen in a long time.

However, there are a few things that may hold this pitching staff back. For one, there’s been speculation that the Nationals are now looking to shop Zimmermann since he will become a free agent after the 2015 season. But as NBC Sports reported, Washington is planning to keep Zimmermann on the team.

The Nats will also have to make up for the loss of Clippard and Soriano in the bullpen. Clippard was just traded for Yunel Escobar and the team opted to not resign Soriano at the beginning of the offseason.

While the bullpen still features Stammen, Jerry Blevins and Drew Storen, they need more relief pitchers for manager Matt Williams to go to. You just can’t go through an entire 182-game season with three reliable relief pitchers.

But Washington still has a few months to get their bullpen together, and if this offseason has shown baseball fans anything, it’s that the Washington Nationals are going all-in for the 2015 season.

Next: Yunel Escobar Provides Security for Nationals