The Nationals already have an extremely strong rotation. Starting it off is long-time ace Max Scherzer. Scherzer finished in the top-5 in Cy Young voting every year from 2013 up through 2019. Last year was the first year since 2012 he didn’t receive a Cy Young vote. Scherzer spent a bit of time on the injured list to start the season and while he didn’t put up the insane numbers fans usually see from the right hander, remember he did have an injury and 2020 was just a weird season overall.
Stephen Strasburg missed nearly all of 2020, only pitching 5 innings. He had to undergo carpal tunnel surgery back in August, however, the Nats feel he’ll be ready to go for the 2021 season. Plus, the long time National was outstanding in 2019 finishing 5th in Cy Young voting, and being one of their postseason heroes, tossing 36.1 innings of work and allowing just 8 earned runs and striking out 47 batters.
Lefty Patrick Corbin will also return with the Nats in 2021. Corbin had posted ace-like numbers between 2018 and 2019, having a 3.20 ERA, 2.98 FIP and 1.11 WHIP across 402 total innings. 2020 was not as strong for the lefty who had a 4.66 ERA, 4.17 FIP and 1.56 WHIP in 65.2 innings. Again, we are looking at a sample size in 2020 and he is an excellent bounceback candidate.
While Scherzer, Strasburg and Corbin give the Nationals three aces, the back of their rotation is very weak. Currently, Austin Voth and Erick Fedde make up the fonal two spots. Voth had a very solid 2019 season with a 3.30 ERA/3.79 FIP, but last year he had an ERA and FIP above 6.
Fedde was a former top prospect, but has just never proved himself. Last year, he had a 4.29 ERA, 6.15 FIP and 1.37 WHIP, and those are considered pretty solid numbers for him. Brault would even out the Nationals’ rotation giving them two lefties and two righties to start things off. Plus he would be a better option to fill out the back-end than the Nationals relying on both Fedde and Voth.