Pitchers and catchers were already in town along with some of the position players who arrived early, but the full squad finally showed up in West Palm Beach on Monday, and it really had Washington Nationals' skipper Davey Martinez excited. It really did. “As they start trickling in I start realizing, 'Hey, it's game on. They're here, they're excited,'” Martinez said on Monday afternoon, “... and today after seeing them all and getting their physicals, I am really excited about tomorrow. “The pitchers and catchers set the precedents already, I mean, so far it's been unbelievable. “The energy, the excitement, it's been a lot of fun,” he added, “so just these guys coming in and everybody being
The 2019 Major League Baseball season is just over one month away and, you guessed it, one of the game's biggest superstars - Bryce Harper - remains unsigned. For Philadelphia Phillies second-year manager Gabe Kapler, the free agency frenzy isn't on his radar as he leads his team's first workouts of the year together from sunny Clearwater, Florida. But with high-volume coverage and speculation surrounding Harper's chances of landing in the City of Brotherly Love, tuning out the noise is no easy task; especially when said noise comes in the form of push notifications sent directly to your phone. They were just like, 'Pop, pop, pop' — here's a story, here's a story,” Kapler told the Washington
Kendrick said last summer he would be ready for spring training. He said it again in the winter. This week, he's proven it.
Sure, free agent Bryce Harper is not in the Nationals clubhouse, but this most dangerous team has reloaded. “We had several needs that we had to fill,'' Washington general manager Mike Rizzo told The Post on Tuesday at the club's training facility at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. “We wanted to be much better,'' Rizzo said. Through free agency and trades, the Nationals added left-handed starter Patrick Corbin and right-hander Anibal Sanchez, second baseman Brian Dozier, catchers Kurt Suzuki and Yan Gomes, and relievers Trevor Rosenthal and Kyle Barraclough — to go along with such building blocks as third baseman Anthony Rendon, left fielder Juan Soto, center fielder Victor Robles, shortstop Trea Turner, first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and, of course, starters Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Victor Robles' potential seems near limitless ahead of what should be his first full major league season, and so do the ways Nationals manager Dave Martinez can use the sparkplug center fielder in Washington's lineup. Martinez could put Robles at the top of the order - first or second - but he already has a handful of players with years of experience in those spots. He could hit him somewhere in the middle - sixth or seventh - and see whether his power potential translates to the scoreboard. Or he could get creative. "We might have him hit ninth and have that second leadoff hitter, and let the pitcher hit eighth," Martinez said Monday as position players reported for spring
The Washington Nationals finally had their first full-squad Spring Training workout Monday, a much-needed reprieve from the long winter that's left most baseball fans dissatisfied with the amount of offseason action. Mike Rizzo and Co. were among the busiest front offices in the sport this winter, signing the most-expensive free agent of the offseason (thus far) and fortifying seemingly every weak link on the roster. There was, however, one area Washington was comfortable leaving as is: manager. Davey Martinez's rookie season as the Nationals' skipper was decidedly underwhelming — the team missed the playoffs and finished with a record just two games over .500. But despite the lack of results,
Overall in 2018, in his fourth major league season, Kyle Barraclough, 28, put up a 4.20 ERA, a 4.98 FIP, 34 walks (5.50 BB/9), 60 Ks (9.70 K/9), and a .194/.325/.350 line against in 55 2⁄3 innings pitched, with a .172/.308/.299 line vs lefties and a .215/.341/.396 line against right-handed hitters on the year. “I think it was just the perfect storm of — I had some obvious — there are some peripherals and things that you can look at that people would consider, 'Oh, he was getting a little lucky,' which in baseball obviously happens all the time,” Barraclough said this week when asked what was behind his second half issues, and he did have a .160 BABIP-against in the first half, and a .405 BABIP-against after the Break. In October 2018, the right-hander was traded to the Washington Nationals, who sent the Miami Marlins international slot value in return.
The National League East saw a new champion in 2018, as the Atlanta Braves arrived to contention sooner than anticipated to snatch the crown from the Washington Nationals. Consequently, the teams in the division have been among the most active in the big leagues this offseason. The New York Mets drew first blood by acquiring Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz from the Seattle Mariners. Then the Nationals responded by awarding left-hander Patrick Corbin with the richest contract given to any pitcher in this free agent period. And last Thursday, the Philadelphia Phillies made a big splash by trading for J.T. Realmuto, one of the best catchers in baseball. The division seems to be fairly winnable for
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - When Yan Gomes was traded from the Cleveland Indians to the Washington Nationals on the last night of November, he had new pitchers to text, scouting reports to compile and statistics to sift through. That's what happens when a catcher changes teams. It's his job to know each of his hurlers, inside and out. For Gomes, that process started with Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Sean Doolittle. Then, the Nationals signed Patrick Corbin a few days later and Anibal Sanchez a few weeks after that, and they rounded out their rotation by bringing back Jeremy Hellickson this month. But how Gomes would work with his pitchers was not the only question of his offseason. The Nationals
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The last time Patrick Corbin was the new kid in the clubhouse, he was 22 years old, not yet a two-time all-star, not yet worth $140 million to a team hitching at least some of its World Series hopes to his left arm. A lot has changed. And maybe a lot hasn't. "I mean, it's the same game," Corbin said Thursday. "So you try to have your same routine and do that." Here is the routine the Washington Nationals are banking on: Corbin takes the ball, Corbin mows through opposing lineups, Corbin gives them a chance to win every start because his six-year deal was twice as lucrative as the next-biggest deal this offseason. They want that to feel like clockwork. A lot hinges on it.
Position players have reported. Juan Soto is back. Howie Kendrick is having fun again. It feels like summer in February, folks — just four days until the first game, during which we get an exhilarating three innings of major league players. Here's what's fresh from Florida: Nats VP Doug Harris needed help to beat cancer a second time. He found it in the game. (WaPo) Harris had already beaten leukemia once. But it showed back up last Spring Training, prompting the Nats' front office and countless players and fans to chip in to get Harris a new treatment (CAR T-cell treatment), which cost a pretty penny. After a long treatment, large needles, and a sold World Series ring, Harris is healthy again.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Every day, the Washington Nationals pitchers throw bullpen sessions here in spring training, with five pitchers lined up on mounds that are 8 feet apart. Over the years - or decades - reporters get a sense of the quality of the arms in a team's entire organization by standing behind a chain-link fence only a couple of steps behind those mounds, walking up and down, watching pitch after pitch from the whole staff, seeing the movement, speed and location of every throw. This spring, as you walk behind that fence, you may see more major league quality arms than ever before - almost 20 of them. That doesn't equal a great staff. You would rather have six Hall of Fame thoroughbreds
The Nationals phenom Juan Soto arrived to his first major-league camp Monday. That's a strange phase following his dynamic 2018.