The Washington Nationals

Posted by Zotta Rendevouz

Even if they came out their first playoff appearance in five years, Atlanta Braves have yet to start a new chapter in the franchise plans.
The Washington Nationals will only be happy if you can take a step forward to take the baby to a winning season in the National Capital.

Led by new manager Fredi Gonzalez, Atlanta begins its 2011 season against Washington in the opener of a series of three at Nationals Park.

Braves begin a season without Bobby Cox as manager for the first time since 1989, a year before Cox began his second term with the club. In total, he has managed the franchise in Atlanta for 25 seasons, winning over 2,000 games, five National League pennants and World Series in 1995 before retiring at the end of 2010 season.

Atlanta tried to send Cox in the lead, winning the NL Wild Card to return to the playoffs for the first time since 1995 but was defeated in four games by the San Francisco Giants in the series of National League Division.

Gonzalez was hired Oct. 13 to replace Cox, after being fired by the Marlins in June he spent four seasons on the staff of Cox 2003-06 and was 276-279 during his three and half years with Florida.

Dan Uggla will start at second for the Braves after being acquired from Florida during the offseason and he will add some power to the Atlanta lineup. Uggla has set career records last season with a .287 average, 33 homers and 105 runs in flight, and is the player base only second in MLB history to notch four consecutive seasons of at least 30 circuits.

The acquisition price Uggla Braves All-Star relief utilityman Omar Infante and Mike Dunn and All-Star also moved Martin Prado on the left, while rookie Freddie Freeman is scheduled to start at first.

Not everything is new to Atlanta as Chipper Jones is back in its eighteenth season with the club. Set to turn 39 in April, Jones is trying to recover from surgery on his left knee that ended his season last year, beat 2008 champion and former NL MVP hit .387 in 21 games this spring.

Taking the ball for the Braves in the opening day of the third consecutive season of 37 years Derek Lowe, who finished second in the club last year with 16 victories, but there was a club of 12 actual losses in 33 starts with a 4.00 ERA. The right-hander, however, has won his last five starts of 2010 with a 1.17 ERA before giving up only three points in a pair of defeats in the playoffs.

Nationals Lowe met five times last year, going 2-3 with an ERA of 3.52.

Washington against Livan Hernandez's own veteran, who has 10-12 in 2010 despite a solid 3.66 ERA over 33 starts top clubs. The 36 - year-old also exceeded 200 rounds struck for the 10th time in his 15 seasons.

The right-handed Hernandez, who is preparing to make its debut on the fourth day of the opening for the franchise, went 2-1 with an ERA of 2.35 in five starts against the Braves last season, which makes two points or less four of those outings.

Hernandez tries to get off the Washington office of his right foot after the club posted its fifth straight losing season last year. Even if you avoid a third consecutive 100-loss campaign, people are not ready to above .500 since the club based in Montreal went 83-79 in 2003.

Help is on the way Stephen Strasburg, the first overall pick in 2009, had seen remarkable debut last season that ended prematurely because of an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. He should be able to contribute back to full time in 2012, which is also where the top draft pick in 2010 Bryce Harper could be ready for the big leagues.

The two are third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and right fielder Jayson Werth will provide a solid core of Washington. Werth made his debut with the Nats this afternoon after signing a $ 126000000 seven years to address this offseason. He has spent the last four years the Phillies, hitting .296 last season with a career-high 106 passes made during an average of 29 houses and 84 RBI the last three years.

Washington, however, lost first baseman Adam Dunn in free will and replaced by former Adam LaRoche Diamondback after two countries not Derrek Lee and Carlos Pena. LaRoche, who began his career with the Braves, was a career-best-100 RBI a season ago with 25 homers and a .261 average.

The second baseman also include a new look at Danny Espinosa, who is expected to improve the defense that committed 127 errors last season. Center fielder Rick Ankiel, another newcomer, also should help.

Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez enters his second season with the club and 14-time All-Star play Thurs 2500 th of his career today.

Washington won the season series in Atlanta last year, surpassing the NL East rival 10:18 times. This led to a victory in six of nine at Nationals Park.