Tom Boswell has a column in today's WaPo about Nats traded away/let leave as FAs, and a "Sliding Doors" of what if they were re-signed/not traded. In tribute to my former life as a Yankees fan (Jerry Kenney, fielding a grounder sidesaddle at 3b, and throwing to Horace Clarke, who shies away from the sliding runner, blowing a chance for a DP), I'd look through the paper and work up lineups of ex-Yankees (and Mets, to fill out the roster). Boz' column made me wonder what a lineup of active ex-Nats would look like. I limited the roster to players who appeared in 1+ MLB games this past season. Players who spent all of 2023 on the IL are in a separate category; I also have a limited "taxi squad". Having contorted things more or less to my liking, I came up with an incomplete roster:
C (2): Yan Gomes (Cubs), Tres Barrera (STL)
IF (5): Josh Bell (CLE/MIA), Trea Turner (PHI), Anthony Rendon (LAA), Jeimer Candelario (Cubs), Andruw Monasterio (MIL)
OF (6): Juan Soto (SD), Michael A. Taylor (MIN), Andrew Stevenson (MIN), Bryce Harper (PHI), Kyle Schwarber (PHI), Josh Palacios (PIT)
SP (5): Max Scherzer (NYM/TEX), Lucas Giolito (CWS/LAA/CLE), Dane Dunning (TEX), Nick Pivetta (BOS), Robbie Ray (SEA)
RP (8): Jefry Rodriguez (BOS), Erasmo Ramirez (TB), Trevor Gott (SEA/NYM), Brad Hand (ATL), Reynaldo Lopez (CWS/LAA/CLE), Austin Adams (ARI), Wander Suero (LAD), Daniel Hudson (LAD)
Season-long Injured: Robby Ray (SEA), Blake Treinen (LAD), Mark Melancon (ARI)
Minors/Taxi: OF Blake Perkins (MIL), RP Taylor Hearn (TEX/ATL/KC), Rich Hill (PIT/SD)
Ray just barely slips in, with 3.1 innings pitched before blowing out his elbow. Likewise, Hudson pitched 3.0 innings in late June/early July in between 60-day stints. Alternatives aren't particularly attractive, with Rich Hill replacing Ray and Taylor Hearn replacing Hudson. The bullpen overall is shaky (just like real life!), without an established closer.
Your Zombie Nats starting lineup:
1. Schwarber, DH
2. Turner, SS
3. Soto, LF
4. Harper, RF
5. Bell, 1B
6. Rendon, 2B
7. Candelario, 3B
8. Gomes, C
9. Taylor, CF
Putting Rendon at 2B is stretching things, as (other than one appearance in 2019) he last played there in 2015. An alternative would be Monasterio, who played about 28% of his innings this season at 2B, in which case I'd move Candelario up to 7th and bat Monasterio 7th.
I'm sure I've missed somebody crucial. But, hey, there's only so much you can do over lunch.
As ever, YMMV.