Washington Nationals: Who’s winning the third base competition?

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 22: Asdrubal Cabrera #13 of the Washington Nationals waits on deck against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning in Game One of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 22, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 22: Asdrubal Cabrera #13 of the Washington Nationals waits on deck against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning in Game One of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 22, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 26: The Washington Nationals logo in centerfield grass before a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park on July 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 26: The Washington Nationals logo in centerfield grass before a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park on July 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /

Prediction

The most likely outcome, given the uncertainty of when exactly the season will start and if any exhibition games will be played prior to Opening Day, is Cabrera opens as the everyday third baseman. Castro will likely be the primary second baseman, but he, Difo and/or Kendrick could spell Cabrera from time-to-time until Kieboom is promoted indefinitely.

Barring injuries or an unforeseen circumstance, it’s unlikely that we see Kieboom on the Nationals roster on Opening Day. He should begin as the everyday third baseman for AAA-Fresno – where he batted .303 with 79 RBI in 2019 – when the season begins and if he hits the ground running, we could see him in Washington by the All-Star Break.

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