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Nationals Minors: Five Syracuse Storylines on Triple-A Opening Day

The Washington Nationals' Triple-A affiliate, the Syracuse Chiefs, start their 2014 campaign this afternoon in a 2:00 PM EDT start. The Chiefs have some interesting players and prospects to watch. We take a quick look at five storylines to follow in upstate NY...

Christian Garcia is just one name to keep an eye on up in Syracuse.
Christian Garcia is just one name to keep an eye on up in Syracuse.
Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Today is Opening Day...uhh...again.

The Syracuse Chiefs start their 100th season of baseball in the Salt City and the Triple-A affiliate of your Washington Nationals are entering a new four-year PDC with the big league club.

Here are five roster storylines to keep an eye on in Syracuse:

1. Manny Delcarman and the June 1 decision

The eldest Chief has gotten life back in his arm and could easily find a spot in some big league bullpens.

He has said the right things so far, and is genuinely excited to be in Syracuse to continue to show that he is back, but if someone shows some interest in him then don't be surprised if he goes for it.

Delcarman was 3-3 in Norfolk last season with a 2.83 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 54 innings, showed a mid-90s fastball this spring, and if he gets off to a hot start he has an opt-out clause in his contract for June 1.

2. Brian Goodwin's first Triple-A campaign

We talked about it a few days ago, but Goodwin is the top position prospect in the organization right now and he is a phone call away.

He is probably going to need all of the season to work on his game, but the potential of the outfielder is interesting.

He will make some appearances in September in Capital City, but he is taking the next step right now.

3. Zach Walters and the bat of tomorrow

Walters led the team in homers last year and is entering his third (really second-and-a-quarter) go around in Syracuse.

He was a mid and postseason all-star last year for his work from both sides of the plate so the bat is there. He is a career .937 fielder at shortstop so where he would fit in the Nats infield is a little bit murky unless, again, there is an injury.

4. Tyler candidate?

There has been no official word that the Nats are looking to move Tyler Moore, of course.

In fact, he is an honest, talented guy and will only make the Chiefs better so, selfishly, I hope he doesn't get moved.

However, here are some tea them as you will: LaRoche isn't going anywhere unless he gets injured.

Moore is a lot better with every day at-bats instead of just pinch opportunities, Brock Peterson coming into the organization brings another power bat to first base, if Matt Skole is healthy in Double-A Harrisburg he could be the future at the position, and finally the injury bug makes teams do odd things during the season.

5. Ryan Mattheus, Christian Garcia, Xavier Cedeno

Bullpen help is just a phone call and a plane ride away for the Nationals this year with these three guys in Syracuse.

As you well know, all three have big league experience, and now they get a chance to work regularly.

Cedeno is probably the most intriguing simply being left-handed. Last year for Syracuse he allowed just five earned runs in just over 34 innings of work.

That is what I will be looking at in about you?