The Nationals have made the playoffs in 2 of the last 4 years with 2012 and 2014 being sandwiched between poor 2013 and 2015 campaigns of failed expectations. With 2 .300 hitters fleeing the club this past winter, coupled with the loss of Ian Desmond to Free Agency, this club needs Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon healthy and on the field in 2016. If they struggle in production or health, the efforts of reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper will not matter.
Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer)
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Bryce Harper fashioned one of the greatest years we have ever seen by a 22 year old, and the Washington Nationals still only finished with a 83 – 79 record – and plenty of victories behind the NL Playoff Bar.
Harper took home the MVP efforts, and has to be wondering if his supporting cast has his back for the 2016 campaign – if he can make it safely to base at least 300 times again like he did in 2015.
Perhaps the biggest factor Washington struggled down the stretch was injury. Ryan Zimmerman couldn’t stay on the field – despite racking up a productive 74 RBI on 346 PA.
Denard Span missed 101 games, which is definitely too bad considering the squad was 36 – 25 in games he was featured in.
Jayson Werth never got on track after injuries plagued him early and often – and had his worst year in a decade – after finishing with top 18 votes for MVP in the previous two seasons.
2014 stalwart Anthony Rendon only mustered a half a season of injury riddled play at a .707 OPS after putting forth a Silver Slugger campaign – with a top 5 MVP vote the previous year.
Ian Desmond also had added a horrible 1st half of the year, before he corrected his problems at the plate, and stopped booting the ball around in the second half. Read the rest of this entry