The Nats are excited for the 2022 season and believe we are prepared to compete for first place in the NL East division. We are hoping for an improvement in our offense from an average / on base perspective and hoping that we have improved our bullpen’s consistency and ability to hold leads. Our starting pitching is among the best in the NL and we are hoping for another excellent year from our rotation (with a newcomer!).
So, without further ado, let’s talk players:
Mark Davies, SP – Mark Davies is the anchor of the staff and he demonstrated why with a strong season in 2021. Davies was tied with Hultzen for the best WAR among pitchers at 7.6 and led the league in the strikeout to walk ratio. Davies was rewarded during the offseason with a long term contract that should keep him with the Nats through the 2028 season.
Ed Reith, SP – Reith has been a solid contributor in the rotation since his acquisition after the 2018 season. In each of his three full seasons with the Nats, Reith has pitched over 190 innings and won 14 games. His ERA of 3.74 in 2021, however, was the highest it has been since he became a Nat. The Nats are looking for Reith to continue to find ways to win games and to eat up innings in 2022.
Nick Pickett, SP – Pickett posted a 3.16 ERA in 2021 and pitched 139 innings despite some long stints on the IL. The Nats are hoping that Pickett can remain healthy in 2022 and get his innings count up again while maintaining his strong ERA. We’d also like to see Pickett’s BABIP return to its 202 level.
Scott Trevail, SP – Trevail is the leader of the Nats and takes his role as team captain very seriously. The Nat’s management believes that our stable, well run clubhouse is directly due to the leadership of Trevail. Trevail is tough and stays on the field. In 2021, Trevail threw over 180 innings and pitched to a 3.0 WAR. The Nats are looking for Trevail to continue his strong leadership and to deliver innings in the rotation.
Jackson Kowar, SP – Newcomer Kowar will make his ML debut in 2022. We expect Kowar to slot in as the 5th starter. Kowar had a strong 2021 at Syracuse and the Nats are expecting him to be able to perform effectively in the rotation. Kowar has proven he can keep the ball in the yard and the Nats want to see him continue to do that in Nationals Park.
Hector Santiago, Closer – The Nats are bringing back Santiago in the closer role for 2022. Up until September of 2021, Santiago was “lights out” in terms of finishing games. But in September, Santiago blew 4 saves – saves that would mean the difference between winning the NL East and not making the playoffs. The Nats are hoping to get a full year of performance out of Santiago in 2022.
Chris Roach, Setup – Chris Roach will join the team in 2022 after being acquired for Ben Revere in early 2021. At Syracuse, Roach put up solid numbers and demonstrated that he can also keep the ball in the park and can get outs when needed. The Nats bullpen struggled early in 2021 and we are hoping Roach can play a pivotal role from the start of the season.
Arodys Vizcaino, Setup – Vizcaino returns for 2022 to reprise his setup role ahead of Santiago. Vizcaino has been solid since he was acquired from Colorado during the 2020 season. His ERA has come down dramatically from Colorado. The Nats want to see Vizcaino give up fewer hits in 2022.
Brian Ames, Setup – Ames will come into spring training as a presumed setup man for the Nats. But, he will also likely compete for that spot during the spring and might move down into the deeper part of the pen if he does not perform. Ames is a valuable arm to have because he can also start if needed.
Harlan Carter, Middle Relief – Carter was plucked off waivers from Detroit in November. The Nat’s scouting team liked what they saw in Carter and advised the pickup. Carter threw 93 innings at the Toledo affiliate of Detroit in 2021 and performed well. He keeps the ball down but has been known to give up hits. Carter will be asked to compete for this role in the spring.
Bobby Milton, Long Relief / Emergency SP – Milton moves to the bullpen for 2022. He was a solid contributor in the rotation in 2021, but the Nats definitely want to improve the bullpen arms in 2022. Milton may be called upon to move back to the starting rotation if one of the guys there falters or gets injured.
Wes Martin, Long Relief / Emergency SP – Martin cam up to the Nats in 2021 and performed well out of the bullpen. Martin will continue to play a long relief role in 2022. Martin can also start. Martin gives up very few home runs and holds opponents to a low batting average.
Ed Palmer, C – Palmer bounced back in 2021 from a down year in 2020. His average bounced back to .285 and he smashed 32 homers. Palmer ranked among the top catchers in nearly every major offensive category and the Nats are hoping for another strong year from him.
Randy “The Real” Deal, C – Randy Deal will very likely serve as the Nat’s backup catcher in 2022. Deal had a strong season for Syracuse in 2021 and is currently performing very well in the Winter Development League. The Nats expect deal to be a solid backup for Palmer in 2022.
Loren Rogers, 1B – During the offseason, the Nats traded Devin Lewis to the Tigers. That frees up 1B for Loren Rogers. Rogers played in 115 games in 2021 and batted .260 with 21 HRs and 63 RBIs. The Nats are hoping to see similar production or better from Rogers in 2022. Nats insiders believe that Lewis will need to prove himself capable of holding down the 1B job because Matthew Grace is only one season away from being ready for the ML team.
Cesar Lopez, 2B – Lopez is the team’s major free agent acquisition for 2022. He shares the duties of the captain with Trevail. The Nats are hoping for Lopez to hit for some power in 2022 and plan to bat him in the 3 spot ahead of Palmer.
Anthony Rendon, 3B – Rendon will play 3B for the Nats in 2022. This will be the last year of his contract and it is unlikely the Nats will bring him back for 2023. The Nats are expecting Rendon to perform pretty much as he did in 2021 and to bring a bit of power to the lineup. The 2023 picture at 3B is cloudy. It could be T.J. Snow (backup in 2022) or porentially super-sub Matthew Ryan. We
Juan Cintron, SS – Cintron was a surprise in 2021 and played his way into earning the starting role for 2022 at SS. Cintron batted .295 in 2021 with an OBP of .328. The Nats are expecting Cintron to continue to hit for average and to play a solid defense at SS.
Victor Robles, CF – The Nats acquired Robles from the Tigers in the Devin Lewis trade. Some GMs felt that the Nats could have gotten more for Lewis, but the Nat’s front office became more and more enamored with Robles as talks progressed and, ultimately, pulled the trigger to bring him to the team. The Nats are expecting to see an improvement from Robles over his rookie season in Detroit and are excited to see his fielding ability and his baserunning ability in action.
Roberto Lopez, RF – Lopez was acquired in 2021 from the Rays along with T.J. Snow for Oneil Cruz. Lopez performed well playing a strong defensive right field and putting up an OBP of .330. He also stole 20 bases while only being caught 4 times. The Nats are expecting similar production from Lopez in 2022 and will put him at the leadoff spot.
??, LF – The starter in left field will depend upon performance in the spring. Rymer Lyriano and his big contract looms large, but he will have to demonstrate that he can put up some offense and especially produce some power with his bat. Jose Gonzalez hit for average and was always on base in 2021, but was something of a liability in the field. Finally, Bill Wells can bring some pop and can drive in runs, but he strikes out a significant amount and does not get on base enough. We will see what happens in LF for the Nats!