Five Storylines to Watch at Washington Nationals Spring Training

Credit: Mike Zarrilli / Getty Images North America

Credit: Mike Zarrilli / Getty Images North America

Getting Everyone to Opening Day in One Piece

Spring training was not kind to the Nationals leading into the 2015 season. They broke camp with Anthony Rendon, Denard Span, Jayson Werth, and Stephen Strasburg dealing with injuries. Werth got off to an extremely slow start, batting .175 in April. Span played in only 61 games all year. Strasburg was bothered by nagging injuries and struggled for the entire first half before emerging as a dominant force after the All-Star break. Rendon had a very puzzling season, appearing to play very tentatively after making his season debut in June. The Silver Slugger’s injuries were the most puzzling of all, as it never seemed as though the minor knee injury suffered while diving for a ball in an exhibition game should have kept him out of the lineup for two months.

The Nationals cannot afford to have any health issues crop up in February and March this year. They started slow, appeared to hit a groove in May and June, but came crashing back down to earth when many of their injured players returned to the lineup. The health issues proved too much for the Nationals to overcome last year, and the root of the problems emerged all the way back in the preseason. For the Nationals to unseat the Mets this year, health is key. As the team’s core ages, extra care should be taken to make sure that the starting lineup gets to April in one piece.

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