February 15, 2013; Viera, FL, USA; A general view of Washington Nationals players reflected in a puddle of water during spring training at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals 2013 Opening Day Roster Prediction #1

With Spring Training games officially underway, there are many who believe that there is no room on the roster for someone to surprise and take a spot. That very well may be true, but I will now go on the record (admittedly early) and take a stab at who I think we will see in Washington Nationals uniforms come April 1 (assuming no injuries or suspensions to come).

Starting Rotation
Stephen Strasburg
Gio Gonzalez
Jordan Zimmermann
Dan Haren
Ross Detwiler

This is understandably the easiest part of the prediction besides the first 10 position players. I’m not a genius if I nail this one.

Rafael Soriano
Drew Storen
Tyler Clippard
Ryan Mattheus
Craig Stammen
Zach Duke
Henry Rodriguez

This was a tough group to put together after Stammen. I really like Zach Duke and think that he may be the best left-hander in camp. If they choose to have him stretch out as a starter in AAA, then his role can be filled by Will Ohman or Bill Bray (whichever is better in camp). Rodriguez is on the bubble. If anyone else impresses in camp, he may be the odd-man out.

Starting Lineup
C- Kurt Suzuki
1B- Adam LaRoche
2B- Danny Espinosa
SS- Ian Desmond
3B- Ryan Zimmerman
LF- Bryce Harper
CF- Denard Span
RF- Jayson Werth

Do I really need to explain?

Wilson Ramos (C)
Steve Lombardozzi (UT)
Roger Bernadina (OF)
Tyler Moore (1B/OF)
Chad Tracy (PH/IF)

I was thinking of going off of the board and putting someone like Micah Owings or Will Rhymes on the bench, but I don’t see them unseating Moore, Tracy or Lombardozzi. Same thing with Chris Snyder assuming Ramos is healthy enough to break camp with the team.

Chris Marrero is said to be having a great spring so far both in games and in the cage, but as of now, I don’t see who he would replace should everyone remain healthy.

I will do this a couple of more times throughout Spring Training. One about half-way through and another closer to the end of Spring Training.

What do you think? Who can surprise and sneak their way onto the roster?

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  • JCCfromDC

    This the first I’ve seen anywhere of having Zach Duke stretched out as a starter and sent to AAA; the expectation is that he’s not a LOOGY, that he’s the LH long reliever replacing Tom Gorzelanny. That shouldn’t be that difficult as Gorzelanny was only effective when it didn’t really matter. Were you thinking of Christian Garcia in the “stretch him out, start him in AAA” role? That’s where most of the buz has been.
    Micah Owings is likely going to AA to prove he can play 1b every day and hit every day. He’d go to AAA, but that spot is taken by Marrerro unless someone makes the Nats a trade offer they like.

    • Jared Book

      Thanks for responding! No, I meant Duke. He was Syracuse’s best starter last year, and with the team needing depth in the rotation he could be the 7th starter (or 6th if Chris Young chooses to not go to the minor leagues). I also expect Duke to take Gorzelanny’s role in the bullpen but if one of the other left-handers impresses he could remain a starter where he has been for most if not all of his professional career.

      • Dave

        I think Duke signed a Major League contract this year, so I don’t think he can go to Syracuse without passing through waivers. Most of the talk I have heard in terms of “stretching him out” just seemed like it was in terms of being able to move from the bullpen to an emergency start (and/or in case of any injuries, especially in ST).

        • Jared Book

          Yeah, that’s it. I think he will be a member of the bullpen. It was hard to see how they plan on using him in ST because it started raining after only one inning. I think the depth the team now has means they can afford to give him the Gorzelanny role and emergency starter.

          I don’t see him being stretched out in AAA. I do see him being stretched out over the spring if injuries hit, but other than that he’ll fit into the Gorzo role.