The Nationals face a tall order over the final series of the season, as they’ll run into the powerhouse Astros in this year’s World Series. To an extent, it feels like the Nats are playing with house money after the brutal start to the season. But this team has been knocking on the door for years and doesn’t want to waste its opportunity to cash in fully with its own star-laden roster.
Here are the 25 players who’ll appear in uniform for the D.C. organization:
- Javy Guerra
- Daniel Hudson
- Tanner Rainey
- Fernando Rodney
- Joe Ross
- Anibal Sanchez
- Max Scherzer (probable game 1 starter)
- Stephen Strasburg (probable game 2 starter)
- Wander Suero
The Nats have tweaked their pitching staff several times throughout the postseason, but haven’t yet added to the number of arms they’re carrying. It’ll again be eleven pitchers for the Washington club, with hopes that the team won’t need to rely much at all upon several of them.
Southpaw Roenis Elias moves off the roster after being added for the NLCS. Presumably, the team decided the extra lefty wasn’t needed for the lefty-leaning Astros, though having the additional match-up option might have been nice. Right-handed reliever Wander Suero takes his place. It’s notable that Suero has had success against both right and left-handed hitters, though his bottom-line results this year didn’t quite match up to his promising peripherals and the club hasn’t trusted him with a postseason appearance since a rough showing against the Dodgers.
Like Elias, Hunter Strickland was acquired at the deadline in hopes he’d contribute. But the righty is again off the roster after a rough NLDS showing. That leaves Hudson as the lone mid-season trade piece who’s contributing; his good work has been pivotal. The Nats are also still carrying Cabrera, who was signed just after the trade deadline and played a big role down the stretch. He has not been utilized much in the postseason, but could see added opportunites with Kendrick expected to DH for games in which that slot is available.
Meanwhile, the Nats have made a somewhat unexpected move with their long man role. Austin Voth is off the roster; he had been a potential long man but wasn’t needed in the NLCS. He’ll be replaced by Ross, who is a candidate for similar duty. Ross has also been tasked with pinch running at times in the past and might also be used in that capacity.