WASHINGTON – The Washington Nationals open the season Thursday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Stephen Strasburg will start Washington and be opposed by Ryan Dempster.
The Nationals made a series of moves during the off-season including adding Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson to the starting rotation. It also added depth to the bench with the signings of Mark DeRosa, Chad Tracy, Xavier Nady and Brett Carroll.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson has made it no secret that he believes the Nats can win this year and contend for the National League East title. He says his pitching staff has the “potential” to match up against any in the league and, if his team stays healthy, he feels they will be a good offensive club.
Here is a look at your 2012 Nationals, position-by-position:
1B. Adam LaRoche – LaRoche spent the better part of the spring getting his work in on the back field on the minor-league side as he continued to strengthen his surgically repaired shoulder. He also battled a foot injury which limited his ability to run. He was able to play in the final week of spring and will be on the Opening Day roster. LaRoche is looking to rebound from his injury-plagued 2011 season. He is in the final year of his two-year, $16-million dollar contract.