Adam Kilgore’s analysis of the starting lineup and pitching rotation for the 2012 Washington Nationals.
1. SS Ian DesmondThe Nationals handed Desmond their shortstop position in spring 2010, and ever since he has tantalized them. “I feel like I've shown everything,” Desmond says, “in flashes.” Consider the flash at the end of last season: 41 games in which he hit .305 with a .342 on-base percentage and committed only five errors. It made the Nationals hand him another position: the leadoff spot. But with Steve Lombardozzi and Anthony Rendon in the wings, this year could be make or break. If he cannot turn the flashes into consistency, he could get his next chance in a new city.J. Meric/Getty Images