Game #17 matches up Verlander and Strasburg!

Photo by Lynn G. for TalkNats

Sometimes Spring Training games are “must see” T.V., and you will have to wait until tonight for this game that will feature Justin Verlander versus Stephen Strasburg. There was a time when Strasburg was compared to Verlander for that big fastball and great secondary pitches. The Washington Nationals have less than two weeks remaining on the Grapefruit League schedule, and games like tonight show that spring training has moments that the true Floridian baseball fans have to love. Think about it. There are Florida residents who can watch a future Hall-of-Famer like Verlander and savor that until next year at this time because their alternative when the Grapefruit League ends is driving hours from Palm Beach County to the south to watch the Miami Marlins, and why would they do that? Continue reading

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Game #16 Nats head back to Jupiter with Scherzer!

Photo by Andy Ward for TalkNats

Tell us if you have heard this before — the Nationals have a Grapefruit League road game in Jupiter at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. The 14-mile drive up I-95 is also great for Nationals fans to make the short drive up the road to see the team in another venue, and today they get to see Max Scherzer on the mound. Bonus! For the Cardinals, they give right-handed Jack Flaherty the start.  Continue reading

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Whither the #Nats Opening Day bullpen?

Trevor Rosenthal watches and waits in the bullpen. (Photo for TalkNats by Lynn G)

An enduring mystery of baseball is the churn of relief pitchers. Like a sock that vanishes somewhere between the washer and the dryer, the God-given talent and ability of a quality reliever can seemingly dry up in between one season and the next. In a sport marked by the consistency of its stars, relievers are a remarkable volatile quantity.

All of that leads into the question we ask every spring: Who is going to be in the Washington Nationals’ bullpen on Opening Day?

Some of the names we know. Sean Doolittle heads into his third season handling the ninth for the Nats, after he was acquired midway through the 2017 season. His primary setup man will be Trevor Rosenthal, signed after a year off recovering from “Tommy John” surgery to replace a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Spelling both those guys and providing another high-leverage arm in the middle to late innings, there’s Kyle Barraclough, for whom the Nats traded some international bonus money to the Miami Marlins last October. Homegrown Nats southpaw Matt Grace rounds out that “core four”, likely pitching in a number of roles, from long relief to lefty matchup to setup, as he has in the past.

For the rest, we have to read tea leaves.

Continue reading

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Game #15 Spring forward to a day game after a night game!

MLB Network graphic

For those who forgot to spring forward with daylight savings time, you need to change your clocks now or just tune into the Washington Nationals game at 12:05 pm this afternoon. For those veterans who played in last night’s game, they get the morning off, but the coaching staff has a quick turn to get back to the park as the road team. The good news is the Nats are the road team at their home ballpark because the Nats face their neighbor Houston Astros in the their shared stadium at the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Continue reading

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Game #14 The rare Grapefruit League night game at FITTEAM!

Photo by Andrew Lang for TalkNats

The Nationals kicked off the 2019 Grapefruit League season with a night game, and they will do the same tonight with Anibal Sanchez on the mound at the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Sanchez will face the team who gave him his start as the Marlins travel in as the visiting team for this game. If you have not seen a Marlins game this year, expect to recognize few players although Curtis Granderson was added as an NRI and should make their roster. Fans will have the choice of watching this game in real-time on MASN or the radio coverage with Charlie & Dave.  Continue reading

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Game #13 The Nats travel up to Jupiter for Corbin/Wacha

Photo by Andy Ward for TalkNats

The Washington Nationals by now are used to making the 14 mile road trip to the north to Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium which is the Spring Training home to the St. Louis Cardinals and the Miami Marlins. They are part of the four team configuration along with the Nats and Astros that call Palm Beach County home.  Continue reading

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Game #12 has aces on the mound with Strasburg and deGrom

Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

If today was a regular season game, it would be a heavyweight match-up between the starting pitchers. Today’s game matches up Stephen Strasburg and the reigning Cy Young award winner Jacob deGrom who brings the new-look Mets to the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches for the first time this season. Will we see any of the Mets new players like Robinson Cano?  Continue reading

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The new and projectible Trea Turner compared to Rickey Henderson and Tim Raines

Trea Turner 75 80 steal attempt

Possibly the biggest news out of the Washington Nationals camp yesterday was when manager Dave Martinez disclosed his entire batting order, and yes, Trea Turner is his choice at lead-off with Adam Eaton in the 2-hole. Last season it was the reverse with Eaton leading off and Trea in the 2-hole. Also, Martinez wants to be more consistent in his batting order formation during his second season.

Last year, DMart had a total of 89 different line-ups. The most consistent line-up was used just 11 times last season, and repeating the same batting order was more inconsistent. The Eaton-Turner-Harper-Rendon-Soto-Zimmerman-Wieters-Difo-Pitcher was the most common batting order at just 10 times in 2018. That means there were 152 other batting orders. Of course many of the issues with the batting order was due to injuries because the batting order that received the second most usage included Mark Reynolds and Spencer Kieboom in a batting order that was used 6 times. Continue reading

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Michael Taylor in south Florida is a very good Michael Taylor!

Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

What would Spring be without (a bit of snow apparently in the North) and a heated discussion on Michael Taylor within southern Florida where he scorches the ball in the regular season and Spring Training. Continue reading

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The future of Joe Ross and his development!

Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

Spring Training is at the halfway point, and I am sure that I am not the only one who has been tuning in to watch the Nationals‘ Grapefruit League games. There is still so much to talk about in regards to this team before spring training wraps up. Wanting to discuss Joe Ross at some point, this is a good time to do it. Continue reading

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