Washington Nationals: Predicting the Opening Day roster after latest cuts

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Infielders

Lots of people who follow baseball would tell you that 2018 is the Nats’ final opportunity to win it all because of Bryce Harper‘s impending free agency. However, that is not the case.

For one, the Nats have Victor Robles rapidly ascending through the organization. He may be ready this year, but will certainly be ready to possibly take over for Harper in 2019.

In addition to having Robles in the organization, the Nats have several young stars on the major league roster. Two of their most notable young stars, Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon, reside on the left side of the infield.

In Turner and Rendon, the Nats have two players that they can build around for years to come.

To round out the infield, the Nats have Ryan Zimmerman at first base and Daniel Murphy at second base. Unfortunately, Murphy will not be ready for Opening Day due to an offseason knee surgery. During his absence, Howie Kendrick will likely get most of the reps at second base.

Zimmerman has been mysteriously absent this spring, only playing in one Grapefruit League game. Instead of playing in the Nats’ exhibition games, he elected to get his work in during minor league games.

This has led to speculation that Zimmerman is hiding an injury, but he and the Nats insist that he is healthy and will be ready for Opening Day.

Coming off the bench for the Nats will be Matt Adams and Matt Reynolds. Adams, a 29-year-old slugger, will primarily back up Zimmerman at first, but he can also spell Adam Eaton in left field.

Adam Lind did a phenomenal job in this role last year, and Adams is essentially a younger version of Lind. Although not having Lind’s bleached hair around the team will be weird, they are in good hands with Adams.

Along with Adams, Reynolds will serve as a backup infielder. Although he is not a very well-known player, he can be a great asset to have on the bench.

Reynolds’ most beneficial trait is his versatility. Throughout the spring, he has played every infield position and left field. If the Nats are going to have a short bench, this versatility is essential.

Despite his strong spring, Reynolds may not break camp with the team. Adrian Sanchez and Wilmer Difo provide similar skillsets and could potentially beat him out. However, Reynolds has a slight edge.

Between Sanchez and Difo, Sanchez has the best chance of making the team.

Difo has a bright future, but struggles if he is not given regular playing time. He has also had a dreadful spring, so he could benefit from playing everyday in the minors before potentially becoming the starting second baseman next year.

The Nats had an excellent infield last year, which should remain true in 2018. Don’t be surprised if all four starting infielders are named all-stars.

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