Two moves the Nationals can make to improve offense
After 36 games, the Washington Nationals stand tied in last place of the National League East with the Marlins, but on the bright side, only three games out of first place. Despite the early COVID outbreak, and an injury that has kept Stephen Strasburg out for over a month, the Nationals remain right in the thick of things in the highly competitive division. Despite the bouts of inconsistency and struggles with runners in scoring position, the Nats have for the most part, performed adequately well despite being four games below .500.
However, if this team is serious about making a run in October, the offense is going to have to improve and make some savvy acquisitions to get this club to the top of the division. The Mets are going to be tough, despite Jacob DeGrom hitting the shelf. The Phillies rotation is potent behind Nola, Wheeler, and Eflin, with Bryce Harper performing up to expectations and leading the offense. The Braves have a strong offense, but the question is whether their starting pitching and bullpen will be able to perform better than they have up to this point. Atlanta’s rotation is still very young and after a year, the league is sure to make the necessary adjustments. Miami is still going through a youth movement, but are coming off a surprise playoff berth in 2020, and should remain in the hunt, but the injury to Sixto Sanchez is a huge blow to that rotation.
For the Nationals to get back to the postseason, they need to address the issues on offense.
The Nationals are in an interesting position, as they have plenty of battle-tested veterans and young stars, and with the impending addition of Strasburg to the rotation, things are looking up in DC. With Scherzer performing at Cy-Young levels in his final season under contract, Mike Rizzo and his staff have no reason to not go all-in. The rotation, if healthy, should remain a strength, in addition to a bullpen with plenty of power arms. With Tanner Rainey struggling, the Nats could benefit by adding another low-cost arm at the deadline who profiles as a set-up man and can bolster Hand, Harris, and Hudson at the back-end.