Opportunity is There!

The Nationals' Zach Walters. (Photo courtesy of David Manning-USA TODAY Sports)

The Nationals’ Zach Walters. (Photo courtesy of David Manning-USA TODAY Sports)

With the recent spate of injuries to the opening day roster, the Nats have called on several new bench players as well as Syracuse call-ups (i.e., Zack Walters– above) to show what they can do!

With the bullpen tired from overwork in the Atlanta series they needed a fresh arm who could pitch long relief if needed.  Blake Treinen filled that need, so space was made on the roster by sending Aaron Barrett down, since he had just pitched in consecutive games.  Treinen has impressed with his ability to remain calm under pressure and get hitters out.  No one doubts that  “Bear” Barrett will return soon though.

Zack Walters and Steve Souza, who both were outstanding in Spring Training, are already seeing playing time against The Marlins.  Zack had his first “bomb” tonight (April 15) and Steve got his first major league hit!  Catcher Sandy Leon is filling the roster spot of the injured Wilson Ramos, and he smacked his first major league homer last night (April 14)!

Kevin Frandsen and Danny Espinosa are red hot with the bat and are seeing significant playing time.  Danny is showing commendable calmness when hitting and has cut way down on strike-outs, compared to 2013.  Though Frandsen has not played much in the outfield prior to this season, he showed his infield experience in Atlanta by back-handing a ground shot to the left-field corner (normally a double) and firing it to second quickly to hold the batter to a single!

Both Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan are in the starting rotation while Doug Fister comes back from injuries.  They are showing good poise but need to lower their earned run averages.

Rizzo surprises fan-base

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo speaks during a media availability at their spring training. (Photo courtesy of Fox News.)

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo speaks during a media availability at their spring training. (Photo courtesy of Fox News.)

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I first picked up on the Kevin Frandsen rumors Tuesday evening (3/25). I remembered seeing him playing with the Phillies last year, but nothing about him had really made a big impression on me. So I was very surprised when it came out that Mike Rizzo had snatched up Frandsen within 2 minutes of when the Phillies gave him his walking papers! I was even more blind-sided when not one but all three of Tyler Moore, Jeff Kobernus and Jamey Carroll were let go.

Where I had been thinking the 5 bench players would be Carroll, McLouth, Lobaton, Kobernus and Walters,……….we now have Espinosa, McLouth, Lobaton, Frandsen and Hairston!

After doing a little research, it does appear Frandsen could turn out to be a good pick. He can play several infield positions and is a tough competitor who never gives up.

Well, at least I got one pick right; Aaron Barrett made the bullpen🙂 And if Doug Fister’s arm turns out to be ok, we will learn who the 5th starting pitcher will be on Saturday, after the game.

I’m still concerned about the bullpen and the bench overall quality. But we are close to Opening Day and maybe it’s time to shut up and see what happens between now and April 15:)