Washington Nationals: 5 story lines for Spring Training

rjuckett
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 7: Pablo Sandoval
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 7: Pablo Sandoval /
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washington nationals
washington nationals /

JIGGLING THE OFFENSE

Although you cannot take anything serious from spring numbers, it will be interesting to see how Martinez sets his starting lineups.

Forget the first couple weeks. Those trips to the plate are about seeing live pitching and getting timing back in order. But, as we creep past St. Patrick’s Day, watch where Rendon, Turner and Eaton are in the lineup.

Expect Eaton to leadoff on Opening Day. His ability to read pitches and take an extra base is further developed than Turner. But, will Rendon fill the two-hole and take Werth’s role of driving pitch counts higher in front of the heart of the order or will Turner and his speed work at two?

With Murphy still questionable for the season opener in Cincinnati, it is hard to get a true sense of what Martinez will do. As much as Wilmer Difo progressed as a regular player last year, his offensive skills are not in Murphy’s league. Unless Murphy plays in Florida, it might be May before we see a healthy lineup which Martinez is comfortable.

Again, the numbers are not important. What you want to see is potential. Can we see in mid-March the lineup used in October?

Keep an extra eye on how well Turner and Difo work together in the infield. In 2019, they could be Opening Day starters long term.

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