Games #2 and #3 in split-squad action

Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

If today’s weather holds up, it is Austin Voth at the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, and Erick Fedde up the road in Jupiter. It is Voth who gets most of the starters today and manager Dave Martinez in his dugout. Continue reading

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We have Game #1 of Spring Training between the World Champion Nats and the team they faced in the World Series!

Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

It has been 116 days since we last saw our Washington Nationals playing in a baseball game. While these Spring Training games do not count for much, there is still some fun in it all. As expected, Max Scherzer will start the game on a strict pitch limit of approximately 30-pitches. Top prospect Carter Kieboom is starting at third base. There is a familiar outfield of Juan Soto, Victor Robles and Michael Taylor, and if there is any significance with that, you will notice that Robles is manning centerfield and Taylor is in rightfield. Last year, Robles was shifted to righftfield when Taylor was playing in the first half of the season. That was a move in which manager Dave Martinez was criticized for, and as a good manager he adjusted as Robles proved to be one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball in many metrics. Continue reading

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Second (rainy) Day in West Palm Beach on Friday; There is a #Nats baseball game on Saturday night!

Unlike the wimpy Mets, the Nationals worked out Friday in the rain. It was also MLB Network 30-Clubs-In-30-Days at the complex and you can see the tripod setup with lighting. Here’s a shot of the glove layout beside the Nationals clubhouse. Usually we see the players eating lunch out here. Continue reading

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First 24 hours in West Palm Beach

We got here mid-afternoon on Wednesday before the team was readying for the FITTEAM Ballpark season ticket holder event: plenty of time to leisurely shop the team store completely by ourselves . . . and get a great photo of one of the several 2019 World Series logos around the stadium. Continue reading

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The parade had marching bands, trolleys with players, Davey with the metal, and Mike Rizzo with the belt and victory cigar!

Photo by Tom Sileo for TalkNats

It was a legit World Series parade for the Washington Nationals that the city of West Palm Beach, Florida produced last night down on Clemantis Street in downtown. Almost all of the players were there to the surprise of many as they were transported in modern trolley cars. There was a marching band, and several convertibles with local dignatiaries as well as Nats royalty like general manager Mike Rizzo sporting a WWE victory belt and a cigar, and Dave Martinez hoisting the World Series trophy (aka Manfred’s piece of metal). One of the best parts of the parade was Anibal Sanchez using modern technology to facetime with Gerardo Parra who was enjoying the parade from 7,600 miles away in Japan at  8am in the morning. What would a World Series parade be like without some Baby Shark and some Calma, and of course you need some speeches which Davey and some of the players provided. We hope that Brian Dozier was enjoying this with his shirt off! Continue reading

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Max Scherzer has had very short offseasons before; Max will start on Saturday!

Photo by Andrew Lang for TalkNats

This is not the first time that Max Scherzer has had a shortened offseason due to his team’s previous years success in the postseason. When he was with the Detroit Tigers, he went to three ALCS and one World Series. After he pitched in the 2012 World Series and his team lost, Scherzer entered the following season even more motivated to move to the elite level of pitchers — and he won his first Cy Young award in 2013.  But there are some differences between then — and now. The three-time Cy winner did not pitch his first Spring Training game on February 22nd of 2013 and his first regular season start was not until April 6th of that year, and he was also a spry 28-year-old pitcher in his prime back in 2013. Baseball is cruel at times. There is age discrimination. They measure you in dog years sometimes. But if anyone can handle the rigors of a shortened offseason plus his prior year’s injury history it would be Mad Max.  Continue reading

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Reading the tea leaves of early Nats spring training camp!

Photo by Steve Mears for TalkNats

Early season camp includes literally hundreds of interviews and photos. There are so many that is hard to keep up with who said what and the context some times. Nothing really earth shattering has been said in Washington Nationals camp, but there have been some interesting conversations about batting orders that we will discuss. While the interviews, photos, and workouts were taking place, World Series signs were being affixed to walls and stanchions, and some players already want to turn the page on World Series talk. Outfielder Adam Eaton was quite outspoken yesterday that the 2019 World Series win was old news. The longest tenured Nats player, Ryan Zimmerman, felt it was time to turn the page. Continue reading

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Can’t steal these signs! Nats have World Series signs in their Spring Training home!

As the flatbeds rolled through Lot B to the player’s entrance of their parking lot at the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in the mid-morning, the arriving Washington Nationals players who were on a later schedule got to see the World Series signs. The rest saw the first sign up as they departed the facility. This colorful and whimsical depiction of the U.S. Capitol is a symbol of Washington D.C. and is the topper on signage of a red, white, and blue homage to the 2019 World Series champs. The combination of hardened plastic and sheet metal looked fitting to symbolize the accomplishment. The Capitol building was the backdrop of the Nationals World Series parade as seen behind the stage, and by choice they chose this logo for the signage. By the end of the day, workers were attaching the signs to walls and posts throughout the Nationals side of the complex that they share with their neighbors from Houston. In all, we have been told that four sets of signs will be on display to commemorate the Washington Nationals 2019 World Series victory over that Houston Astros team.  Continue reading

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The Nats Opening Day roster will look very different in the infield and bullpen! Fangraphs projects major regression in the rotation!

Jake Noll made the 2019 Opening Day roster as an NRI

As position players arrive at the Washington Nationals spring training facility in West Palm Beach, the count today should be 62-players in big league camp this year. There is always the remote possibility that another move(s) could be made. If everyone is healthy, the Opening Day roster is most likely 85 percent set. Last year, the roster changed dramatically due to injuries as the Nats placed three players on the 10-day IL to pare down the roster to the required 25 players. Those 2019 IL moves were fairly well-known as Michael Taylor was nursing a strained knee and hip, Howie Kendrick was working his way back from a strained hamstring, and Koda Glover was rehabbing a sore shoulder in his right arm. What it did was give other players opportunities like Jake Noll who was an NRI. Continue reading

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MLB Network ranks five Nats in their Top 100 including 3 in the Top 20!

Juan Soto is an MVP candidate for 2020

JUAN SOTO ranked 11TH, MAX SCHERZER ranked 14TH and STEPHEN STRASBURG ranked 20TH ON MLB Network’s top player rankings!

As we know, the Washington Nationals are loaded with superstar players and emerging stars. Juan Soto has moved up to No. 11 on MLB Network’s annual Top 100 Players Right Now! program that aired last night, while teammate Max Scherzer was ranked 14th and Stephen Strasburg was ranked 20th on the same list, Patrick Corbin ranked 48th, and Trea Turner was ranked 76th. These are the top rankings in all of Major League Baseball. Continue reading

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