After winning the World Series in 2019, the Washington Nationals may have a similar pitching rotation to last season. Stephen Strasburg re-signed with the team on a seven-year deal. Multiple other guys from last seasons Championship team are still on the roster heading into 2020. Here is a potential pitching rotation for the Washington Nationals to start the upcoming season.
1.) Max Scherzer
Max Scherzer has been one of the most dominant pitchers for multiple years now. Since 2013, Scherzer has finished top five in Cy Young voting for the League he was in at the time. He also won the award in 2013 with the Tigers, and then back-to-back in 2016 and 2017 with Washington. In addition, he has also made the All-Star Game every season since 2013. Since these feats in 2013, Scherzer has only had one season where his ERA was above 3.00 when it was 3.15 in 2014.
Even after signing a large deal with the team and being the 2019 World Series MVP, Stephen Strasburg may still be second in the rotation in 2020. This doesn’t mean he isn’t as talented as multiple aces in the MLB. For example, Strasburg posted a 3.32 ERA in the 2019 regular season over a career high 209 innings pitched. He’s battled injuries, and 2019 was likely one of his healthiest seasons on the mound as he got 33 starts in the regular season. Then came the Postseason, where he gave up just eight earned runs in 36 1/3 innings. The Nationals have one of the most notable one-two starters in thier rotation, and that can help a team out a lot over a long season.
3.) Patrick Corbin
Another pitcher who could be used as a one or two starter on some teams is Patrick Corbin. The southpaw finished 11th in the NL Cy Young voting last season. He pitched 202 innings, racked up 238 strikeouts, and had an ERA+ of 141. This season helped lower the 30-year-old’s career ERA to an impressive 3.80. The Nationals can put together another potential Postseason run, and if guys like Corbin can keep pitching this well, it can increase their chances.
4.) Anibal Sanchez
Anibal Sanchez pitched game one of the 2019 NLCS against the Cardinals. He pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowing just one hit and putting the Nationals in a position to win the game. They won 2-0 and went on to sweep the Cardinals to advance to the Fall Classic. Performances like these are very helpful to a team. Guys stepping up in the playoffs provide even more opportunities for an already talented team to win.
5.) To be Determined?
Multiple guys have an opportunity to be the fifth man in the rotation this season. Two of them are Joe Ross and Austin Voth. Spring training can be a big evaluator of who can earn this spot in the rotation.
Ross had a rough season on the mound. He made 27 regular season appearences including nine starts where he posted a 5.48 ERA through just 64 innings. Should he not be in the rotation, the Nationals may use him out of the bullpen sometimes this season.
Voth had a solid year in the small amount of appearances he had. He pitched in nine games, starting eight of them. Through those appearances, he picked up 44 strikeouts in 43 2/3 innings pitched, with just 13 base on balls. He also had a 1.053 WHIP. The 27-year-old should be a candidate for this spot in the rotation.
Feature Image Courtesy of pitcherlist.com