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Washington Nationals Preview

ABOUT BASEBALL breaks down & previews the 2005 Washington Nationals.

2004 Record: 67-95, last place in NL East (as Montreal Expos)
Ballpark: Robert F. Kennedy Stadium
Manager: Frank Robinson

2005 Prediction: 79-83, fourth place in NL East

National Newcomers:
George Arias (IF) from Japan (Hashin Tigers)
Gary Bennett (C) from Brewers
Vinny Castilla (3B) from Rockies
Wil Cordero (1B) from Marlins
Jose Guillen (OF) from Angels
Cristian Guzman (SS) from Twins
Jeffrey Hammonds (OF) from Giants
Esteban Loaiza (SP, rhp) from Yankees
Antonio Osuna (RP, rhp) from Padres

Gone, Goodbye:
Tony Batista (3B) to Japan (Fujuoka Hawks)
Einar Diaz (C) to Cardinals

Davis (OF) via trade
Macier Izturis (IF) to Angels(Minor Leaguer)
Juan Rivera (OF) to Angels
Seung Song (RHP) to Blue Jays

Endy Chavez CF
Cristian Guzman SS
Jose Vidro 2B
Jose Guillen RF
Brad Wilkerson LF
Vinny Castilla 3B
Nick Johnson 1B
Brian Schneider C

Livan Hernandez RHP
Tony Armas, Jr RHP
Esteban Loaiza RHP
Tomo Ohka RHP
Zach Day RHP
Chad Cordero RHP - Closer

FUN FACT: Only the Arizona Diamondbacks averaged less runs per game than Montreal's 3.9 in 2004.

Outlook: Most are picking the Nationals to finish dead last as if this is an expansion team. The fact that these guys are out of empty Olympic Stadium should produce enough juice (not the steroids kind) in their bodies to get 'em going as a fresh new team in a new location. The starting rotation has some experience & talent and the anemic offense was bolstered this offseason with the additions of Guzman & Guillen. Expect the Nationals to be competitive for most of the season - and just fall short of .500.

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