We have entered the darkness. All that lay ahead is the abyss, beckoning, calling for us to enter and leave behind the cares and worries of hope. The darkness wants only to me embraced. There is nothing left to believe in. Bryce Harper has a hurt knee that is very reminiscent of Anthony Rendon's hurt knee in Spring Training and we see how long it took him to get over that. The Nats with Harper were in trouble. The Nats without Harper are dead. This is a team where the only thing that went their way was Harper's breakout. Aside from that everything was against them.
With Zimmerman, Werth, Rendon, Span, Harper, Strasburg, Stammen, Fister, and Desmond all either missing significant time or not performing close to expectations the 2015 Washington Nationals never stood a chance. They were a shell of the team that was supposed to take the field and outside of May could never string together series of good baseball. The Nationals have a lot of issues heading into 2016 but health is the main one. Werth and Zimmerman won't be any younger and it will be close to impossible to trade those contracts off the roster.
The bullpen will remain a disaster unless Mike Rizzo can make some smart trades and signings but the desire of Drew Storen to be traded away won't help the Nationals improve for 2016. In order to have a good 2016 the Nationals are going to need some good luck when it comes to the injury department, Bryce Harper to repeat 2015 and play the final month and a half of the season, young players like Trea Turner, Joe Ross, and Michael Taylor to perform, and for the pitching to be better than it was in 2015. If all those things go the Nats way in 2016 maybe they can contend for the division. At least then there is hope. For 2015 there is only the endless beckoning of the darkness.