"Dream Team" includes Zimmerman, Scherzer, Strasburg

A new book out on baseball puts together an all-time "Dream Team" for all 30 franchises in Major League Baseball. Tom Stone wrote the book in 2019, so it does not include the Nationals' run to a World Series title. But it is interesting to see how he stacks up current Nationals with Expos players from 1969-2004.

Stone's outfield consists of Tim Raines, Andre Dawson and Vladimir Guerrero. The author lists Bryce Harper as the backup in left field and right field. You can imagine that outfielders Juan Soto and Victor Robles have not had enough time to put a significant dent in all-time numbers. Stone wrote that Soto and Robles had just arrived on the scene. The book was published prior to the Nats' October run and does not mention the outstanding season the duo put together in 2019.

zimmerman-receiving-throw-pickoff-gray-at-rockies-sidebar.jpgAround the infield, Stone places Tim Wallach, Ian Desmond, Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman and Rendon are also listed as backups at third base. In one scenario against left-handed pitching, Stone has Rendon batting second and playing second base.

Starting pitchers include Steve Rogers, Max Scherzer, Dennis MartÍnez, Stephen Strasburg, Pedro Martínez, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio González and Javier Vázquez. Stone has Jeff Reardon, Tim Burke, Mike Marshall and John Wetteland as relief pitchers. The catchers are Gary Carter and Wilson Ramos. Carter is the franchise's all-time player.

If Stone were to revisit this list in 2030, especially with the Nationals World Series title in tow, the names at the top of each position might be a little bit different. This exercise is just not as fascinating yet for the Nationals/Expos, who date back to 1969, as it would be for franchises such as the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs or Dodgers. Even still, it is fun to play the best Expos against 10 years of the Nats as see what an unbiased eye concludes. Today's Nationals stack up pretty well.

The book is titled "Now Taking the Field" and is published by Acta Sports.

* MASN replays two "Nationals Classics" today. At 3:30 p.m., you can watch the 16-inning marathon win over the Brewers from June 24, 2014. Rendon and Zimmerman had big hits in this extra-inning affair. Then tonight at 11:30 p.m., you can watch a Nats win from July 6, 2010. It is a replay of a classic Zimmerman walk-off homer in a win over the Padres. It was Zimmerman's second homer of the game.

* A preliminary roster is up on the high Single-A Fredericksburg Nationals website. The pitchers include right-handers Tomas Alastre, Angel Guillen, Jacob Howell, Jake Irvin, Gabe Klobosits, Malvin Pena, Luis Reyes, Ryan Tapani and Jackson Tetreault, as well as left-handers Tim Cate, Alex Troop and Nick Wells. The only catcher listed so far is Alex Dunlap. Infielders are Phil Caulfield, Aldrem Corredor, KJ Harrison, Gilbert Lara and Francys Peguero. In the outfield, the roster has just three players listed as of May 1: Telmito Agustin, Gage Canning and Armond Upshaw.

All of these rosters can change when the Nationals decide what will happen with players and college draft picks intended for short-season Single-A Auburn. Of course, there had been some rumors (subsequently reported as false) that Minor League Baseball might scuttle the season altogether and have the players just work from West Palm Beach in extended spring training. As with everything that is related to the coronavirus shutdown related, schedules and game planning are still on hold.

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