The Nationals had few glaring weaknesses during their 98-win season, but one did stand out like a sore thumb: Their inability to prevent opposing teams from stealing bases at will against them.

Nationals catchers threw out only 16.5 percent of basestealers last year, the second-worst rate in the majors ahead of only the Pirates (11 percent) and well below the MLB average (26 percent).

Too often, though, those catchers took the blame for something that wasn't really their fault.

"The catching corps has never been the problem," manager Davey Johnson said. "I mean, we've got six guys here who can catch and throw. That's never been a problem. You always steal on the pitcher. But there were too many loopholes there where guys could steal."