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Oct 20, 2023Liked by Haden Raymer

I'm interested in who you think will be in Rochester next spring!!

Will the coaching staff all return and what is a projected starting line-up for the WINGS.

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Hey Mike, sorry for the late reply but I hope I can answer your great question. Who is left on the coaching staff will largely be up to whoever the new head of the Player Development department is. If I had to guess, we likely won't see much more shake up this year, but 2025 we may see some large changes. As for the starting lineup, that gets a bit trickier. That can have a lot of variance day-to-day depending on how they decide promotions at the end of Spring Training. What I can tell you is you are going to see a lot of Jeter Downs, who still has an option, Robert Hassell III, Trey Lipscomb, Israel Pineda, and Darren Baker. I'd expect you'd see Yohandy Morales, Brady House, and Andrew Pinckney as well. Someone who isn't on those top 30 lists that I like and am excited to see if they can get up there is corner infielder Murphy Stehly and catcher Maxwell Romero Jr., two of the best hitters in the organization based on results last season.

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Based on their Harrisburg numbers, I can't imagine Crews is ready and am skeptical about Wood, though he hit .300 the last month, given the number of strikeouts. Also, unsure either would start in CF. Which brings this up: Do Nats expect Stone Garrett to be ready by Opening Day?

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From everything I have read, Stone Garrett will be healthy when everyone reports to Spring Training. Crews's approach was solid, but he was just unlucky. The whiffs for Wood weren't as bad as the K% would suggest. He's just super tall and has Double-A umpires who are far from perfect. Still was one of the best all-around players in Double-A in my opinion with good strike zone awareness and crazy power. I'd agree that they could use extra time in the minors, but with MLB's new Prospect Promotion Incentive, I don't think it's outrageous to suggest they could make the Opening Day roster. If they struggle after five-six weeks, then send them back down and regain that extra year of team control. A similar approach that the Mariners took with Julio Rodriguez in 2022, and Jordan Walker with the Cardinals last year.

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What do you th8nk are the chances Jacob Young cf and Kieboom 3B will be in the starting lineup opening day?

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Good question. Carter Kieboom's role on the roster can easily fluctuate with how Spring Training goes. Right now, the only internal options at third base are Jake Alu, Ildemaro Vargas, Kieboom, and potentially Trey Lipscomb, who had a good season at Double-A. The likeliest outcome for Kieboom is he serves as a lefty-killing third baseman with Alu or Vargas getting starts against right-handed pitching. Kieboom had a .799 OPS against left-handed pitchers and a .534 OPS against righies. As for Jacob Young, that comes to how ready Rizzo views James Wood and Dylan Crews are. If one of those two make the Opening Day roster, I would be shocked if Young is in the Opening Day lineup, but he certainly will be on the 26-man roster.

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What’s going to happen to Stephen Strasburg now? Is he still going to be able to retire or not?

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Great question! There has been no new news about the future of Strasburg since September. I however, think that once the season officially ends we will see some new news on that. I would assume that Strasburg, the Nationals and the league are going to come up with a solution. Remember, the Nationals and Strasburg seemed to be on the same page, but it looks like the league had some issues with Strasburg's contract status which is rumored why the announcement back in September didn't happen.

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