Washington Nationals: Opening Day 2017 Roster Projection
By Ricky Keeler
1B Adam Lind
Unless Ryan Zimmerman gets hurt during spring training, the odds are the Washington Nationals will only carry two first basemen on the Opening Day roster. This is because Daniel Murphy also has the ability to play at first as well.
The two candidates for that spot would be Adam Lind or Clint Robinson. Right now, you have to give the edge to Lind because of his ability to hit the long ball. He has hit 20 home runs in each of the last two seasons and 20+ home runs in three of the last four years.
Last season, Lind hit 15 of his 20 home runs at SAFECO Field, which is impressive when you consider it’s not a hitter friendly ballpark. He also made line drive contact over 20% of the time, which was an upgrade from his time with the Brewers (18%). That stat is courtesy of Fangraphs.
After a down 2016, Robinson will have a lot to prove in spring training. While Robinson can play left field a little bit, Lind does have that experience as well. However, he has not played at the position since 2010. Plus, Robinson did struggle last year as a pinch hitter (.184, one home run, four RBI’s, 11 strikeouts)
Lind or Robinson would help out in the power department, but with the Nats giving Lind a one-year deal and a mutual option for a second year right before spring training, it would make more sense to project him as the backup first baseman right now over Robinson.