Rachel Levitin: Time to focus on the 2013 Nationals' positives over negatives

With a win against the Colorado Rockies last night, the Nationals are back at .500 with a 32-32 record and are six games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the NL East.

There's been a lot of talk about expectations for the 2013 Nationals and how they're not living up to the alleged hype. Instead of getting bogged down in that, it may be best to realign expectations moving forward for the rest of the season. It's time to focus on what is working as opposed to what's not.

Ian Desmond, for example, is having a solid season. He's come through several times with a big hit when needed, like last night for example. The Nats beat Colorado 5-1 and Desmond got three RBIs, two during a three-run sixth inning.

Anthony Rendon has been called up for the second time this season and with Danny Espinosa down for the count, he's coming into his own at second base. Sure, he's fumbled a few defensive plays, but he is helping the Nats at a time they need it with his discipline and offensive ability.

General Manager Mike Rizzo trimmed some fat from the team by releasing Zach Duke and Henry Rodriguez and called up pitchers Ian Krol and Fernando Abad. And that seems to be working out so far. The pair have worked 12 1/3 innings since being called up from the minors and haven't allowed a run yet.

Jordan Zimmermann's proving himself worthy of being called an ace in the hole time and time again. He improved to a 9-3 record as of Sunday after the Nats' 7-0 victory over Minnesota in Game 1 of the doubleheader sweep.

All in all, even with Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper on the disabled list and a continually changing roster, the slight alterations being made are bound to find a sweet spot where the Nats find themselves settling into a groove. If not, though, expect the musical chair 25-man roster to become the norm until they do.

Rachel Levitin blogs about the Nationals for We Love DC, and will be sharing her observations about baseball in the nation's capital as part of MASNsports.com's season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our little corner of cyberspace. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.

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