Good Morning Natstown 4/3/15

If God had a face, what would it look like?--Joan Osborne

When next I write to you, my dear readers, it will be Opening Day. A day when all the predictions mean nothing and all that matters is performance. Reality takes hold and all hopes and fears become meaningless. If the Nats win without Rendon, Werth, and Span it goes down in the books as a win. The fear that those three aren't around for however long they aren't around is the most overblown story line going in Washington right now. One is being replaced in the line-up by one of the top outfield prospects in the entire game of baseball, another by a former multiple time All-Star, and the other won't be out but a couple games if any, and the Nats don't have to forfeit games because they aren't playing with those three.

Let's talk about the real important issues here. What are the Braves doing? Someone needs to drive down to Atlanta and save them from themselves. It was around this time last year we were all commending the Braves for locking up all their young talent. It is crazy how much has changed in just a year's time. The Braves are a total non-factor in the division race and just traded for Trevor Cahill and plan on using him to pitch more than BP. Everyone thinks Freddie Freeman is going to get a ton of walks this season but why walk him when you've got a five run lead?

As much as people think it would be terrible for the Nats to lose Span, Werth, and Rendon for the season it might make the division more interesting or at least closer to something resembling fair. As it stands right now the Nats pitching staff alone is enough to walk over the division and if Harper has the breakout season we expect and Zimmerman can stay on the field then the Nationals wouldn't even miss any of the injured players and that's before we factor in Dan Uggla's march to Comeback Player of the Year.

You ask me how I feel about all the injuries the Nats have suffered and it's apathy. Perhaps I'm a fool for thinking that they can't lose and that even if they lose key players long term the other teams in the NL East simply aren't good enough to catch them. If the Nats really wanted to think long term and be fair at the same time they would loan out Tanner Roark to another NL East club. He'd be fresh for 2016 and the division would be a little tighter, but even that wouldn't be enough to make it a race. The Nationals are the big bad wolf and even if they lose a couple teeth the rest are still sharp.

James Wagner profiles Stephen Strasburg

Tom Verducci explores why Bryce Harper is hated.

ESPN previews the NL East.

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