The Nationals took another step closer to Opening Day on Saturday, having their first live batting practice of the year. The session started at approximately 11 a.m. this morning, with Doug Fister taking the mound against shortstop Ian Desmond and second baseman Anthony Rendon.
Nats about to start first live BP. Doug Fister is not an L screen man.
— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) February 22, 2014
Rendon smashed one of Fister’s sinkers over the fence. Desmond hit one in the gap. Otherwise, air and grounders. Heavy sink, they say. — Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) February 22, 2014
According to multiple Tweets from those who watched the live session, Fister was very sharp, despite giving up some big hits. New manager was particularly impressed with Fister’s session:
The excitement of the first live batting practice session was dampened by a rain delay which fortunately began right after Fister’s session was over.
The rain did eventually let up however, allowing Luis Ayala to get work in against Bryce Harper, Denard Span, Nate McLouth, Wilson Ramos and Scott Hairston. Nationals prospect Sammy Solis also participated in today’s session, throwing against a handful of players and drawing rave reviews from his teammates.
Sammy Solis just faced a bunch of big-league hitters. Their reaction? LaRoche: “Real good.” Zimmerman: “I like it.”
— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) February 22, 2014
Several other players also participated in today’s drill. We should be seeing more live batting practice sessions over the next few days, with exhibition games just around the corner. Stay tuned to District on Deck for all the Nationals coverage you need this spring, and join us as we try to survive the final 37 days before Opening Day.