SLIGHTLY OFF BASE
The Nationals' rotation will be much improved in 2012, with the addition of Jackson, the trade for Gio Gonzalez and a full season of Stephen Strasburg. But the team hasn't addressed its most glaring weakness: a lack of OBP, particularly at the top of the lineup. Washington was 12th in the NL in runs last year and 12th in OBP, and it hasn't added anyone who will help that figure rise. Most problematic are the top two spots in the lineup, where the team combined for a hideous .285 OBP. Hoping that shortstop Ian Desmond (.298) and second baseman Danny Espinosa (.323) improve their on-base skills isn't much of a plan. The Nationals need to use their pitching depth to trade for a centerfielder who can bat atop the lineup. Otherwise, the money spent on starting pitching will just mean they lose games 3--2 instead of 4--2.