The Washington Nationals season came to a screeching halt before it began. Due to a positive COVID test, their series with the Mets was initially delayed for two days, then postponed altogether. In the end, four players tested positive for COVID, although only one was symptomatic, while others were quarantined due to being in close contact.
Until Sunday, the identity of those players was a mystery. However, some of those names have now been released, although this does not mean that those players are necessarily tested positive.
Washington Nationals depth to be tested early
Having those players, and potentially others, on the sidelines will be an early test of the Nationals’ depth. Washington had reportedly planned on bringing Yadiel Hernandez, Luis Garcia, Tres Barrera, and Sam Clay to the major league roster, and others could follow. The signing of Jonathan Lucroy could indicate that he will also be added to the major league roster, although he had inked a minor league deal.
At this point, the Nationals will need to replace at least two starters in their everyday lineup. Washington had been counting on Kyle Schwarber to be an important part of their offense, hoping he would return to being a feared power hitter to help protect Juan Soto. Josh Harrison, surprisingly named the Nationals’ starting third baseman, had resurrected his career in Washington last season, leading to the hope that he can replicate his success.
Jon Lester’s loss is also significant. While he may not be the pitcher he once was, he was still being counted on to shore up the back of the Nationals’ rotation, something that had been a sore spot last year.
It is entirely possible that more players will be named as time goes on. Likewise, when the Nationals finally step on the diamond, it should be easy to determine which players are sidelined when they are not available. For a team looking to rebound from a dreadful showing in 2020, this is not the start to the season they were hoping for.
The Washington Nationals’ depth will be tested early. The four players confirmed to be quarantined are important pieces to their roster.