The Nationals added Edwin Jackson to their rotation, which gave me a good reason to run another update.

He’s a no-doubt rotation member, and actually goes straight to #1 on my rankings for them if you rank by innings. He, Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg, and Jordan Zimmermann make a pretty strong front four – perhaps not quite a match for the Phillies, but very strong. It also puts them in a position where at least one of Ross Detwiler or John Lannan goes underutilized (I have no idea where Chien-Ming Wang fits in, but I haven’t been able to run any projections that like him for 2012).
He pushes their projected record up a notch to 80-82. Their projected run totals – 4th best in the majors in the pitching, 6th-worst in batting – point to a seriously unbalanced team. Their offense has fallen into the “OK trap” – with the exception of Ryan Zimmerman at third, everybody on the roster looks to be an OK player for the position, neither good enough to help the team towards a title nor bad enough that an easy upgrade is available. Even the deservedly-maligned Roger Bernadina projects as an average major league hitter. You’re not going to do any better with a Marlon Byrd or Vernon Wells, who strike me as the kind of guys you might be able to get for a John Lannan.  And no, I don’t think Bryce Harper is a savior for this season – the K rates he’s shown make him a bad risk for jumping straight to the majors.

Clay Davenport’s Projections for 2012

generated on 2- 2-2012

AL East Won Lost Runs Runs A
BOS 95 67 807 675
NYY 91 71 797 697
TOR 84 78 767 743
TBY 83 79 708 691
BAL 74 88 693 759
AL Cent Won Lost Runs Runs A
DET 89 73 771 696
CWS 79 83 697 717
CLE 78 84 699 728
MIN 74 88 679 742
KCR 71 91 681 780
AL West Won Lost Runs Runs A
TEX 96 66 818 675
LAA 86 76 719 675
OAK 76 86 673 724
SEA 69 93 609 712
NL East Won Lost Runs Runs A
PHI 90 72 695 621
MIA 88 74 712 650
ATL 84 78 666 641
WAS 80 82 642 649
NYM 77 85 648 688
NL Cent Won Lost Runs Runs A
CIN 87 75 722 673
MIL 85 77 686 655
STL 84 78 691 662
PIT 72 90 660 744
CHC 68 94 616 729
HOU 65 97 587 723
NL West Won Lost Runs Runs A
ARI 86 76 724 676
COL 86 76 761 718
SFG 81 81 639 639
LAD 78 84 632 660
SDP 75 87 611 666
 

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