Mar 27, 2014; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper (34) runs to first base against the New York Mets in spring training action at Tradition Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Metzroth: Bryce Harper Will Dictate the Direction of This Team


As part of a short series leading up to and through the opening week of the season, District on Deck writers will share their thoughts on several questions regarding the 2014 Washington Nationals. These are just the opinions of our staff, so feel free to voice your own in the comments below! Today we will continue with Erik Metzroth, a District on Deck writer since 2013.

What are your thoughts of the roster general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Matt Williams have put together?

It’s tough to argue with anything Rizzo has done this year (or any year, for that matter), but you have to wonder if signing Frandsen will be the final straw emotionally for Tyler Moore. Other than that, I love that the GM/manager combo kept Espinosa on the roster, understand the role change for Detwiler even if it felt wrong at first blush, and hope that Jordan (not Roark) will be the guy that gets bumped from the rotation when Fister comes back.

Who will be the best/most important player on the Nationals this season and why?

If Jordan Zimmermann can continue what he’s been doing over the last two years, I don’t think it’s crazy to say he’ll be the starter for 25 percent of the team’s wins this year. So, in one sense, he’s maybe the most important guy for me. However, I think everything rests on what Denard Span can do, especially in his first AB of every game. If he can hit .275 overall, and do it without a sub .250 month, it’ll take a lot of pressure off of the starters.

What will be the single most important development for the Nationals in 2014 and why?

Bryce Harper will dictate the direction of this team from beginning to end. As long as he maintains an edgy even keel, the sky’s the limit. If he hits a rough patch at the plate and allows that to cause him to forget about hitting the cutoff man or get ejected or question Matt Williams sitting him for a day, things could get weird fast. Let’s hope none of that happens. Please.

Any other thoughts on the 2014 Washington Nationals?

Having Drew Storen in the pen is a huge gamble. The Nats could win big if he pays off in the late innings. But let’s not forget that when playing the lottery, you usually lose.

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Tags: Washington Nationals

  • Darlene Langley

    I gotta agree about Storen. He hasn’t looked good during spring training and the Nats has mishandled him so badly over the last year and a half that I have to wonder whether Drew isn’t going to get it together until he is with another team.