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Washington Nationals vs Milwaukee Brewers: Series Preview With Brew Crew Ball. Pt. 2.

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Brew Crew Ball: Despite spending a fair amount of money this offseason, the Nats still have to be considered long shots to win the NL East. How do you define a successful season for this team in 2011?

Federal Baseball: The continued improvement of the Nationals' young core of players and prospects is what anyone who agrees that the team isn't going to compete this year is hoping for in terms of 2011 being a successful season. Watching Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa develop further, seeing if Wilson Ramos can handle an everyday role, seeing if Jordan Zimmermann's stuff comes back as good or better than it was before he had Tommy John surgery.

Everyone will be watching Strasburg's recovery and following along to see how far Bryce Harper moves up during his first season. I'd like to see the Nats sort out their outfield this season. They decided Nyjer Morgan wasn't part of the future. Now they have to find out if Michael Morse and Roger Bernadina will be part of the teams that compete in the next few years or if they need to get an outfielder to play alongside Jayson Werth and eventually (everyone's assuming) Bryce Harper in outfield. If Jordan Zimmermann's healthy and Strasburg's back late in the year or just ready for Spring Training that'll be the sort of thing I'll think of as making it a successful season.

• Read the rest of the Nats/Brewers series preview Q&A at Brew Crew Ball...