Mar 3, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA;Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams (9) hands the ball to pitcher Danny Rosenbaum (65) as he comes on in relief in a spring training exhibition game against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

District Daily: 3/4


Checkout some great Nationals articles from around the web to start off your day in today’s District Daily:

Vettleson prides himself on ‘team first’ attitude

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

VIERA, Fla. — It was the morning of Feb. 13. Outfielder Drew Vettleson woke from a good night’s sleep and realized there were several missed calls on his cell phone.

It was the Rays, who were desperately trying to reach him. When he returned the call, he learned that he was part of a four-man trade that sent him, catcher Jose Lobaton and left-hander Felipe Riveroto the Nationals for right-hander Nathan Karns.

Vettleson, 22, was shocked. The Rays did all the talking. But after he got off the phone, he was excited to join an organization that wanted his services. And before he knew it, he was in the Nationals’ Minor League accelerated camp, where top prospects hone their skills under the watchful eyes of assistant general manager Doug Harris and the Minor League coaching staff. Read full article here.

Roark out to show he’s no one-summer wonder

(Jim Hawkins, MLB.com)

TAMPA, Fla. – Tanner Roark has been dreaming about pitching in the Major Leagues since he was 4 years old. Last season, suddenly, his dream came true.

Now the 27-year-old right-hander would like to prove to the Nationals and to the baseball world that last summer’s performance was no fluke.

Roark, who is competing with Ross Detwiler and Taylor Jordan for the fifth spot in the rotation, or a place in the bullpen as a long reliever, pitched the third and fourth innings on Monday and faced the minimum six batters, limiting the Yankees to two singles. Both runners were erased, one via a double play and the other trying to stretch a single into a double.

“Today, for his first outing, he was in the zone good,” said manager Matt Williams. “That was what we saw last year. More of the same.”

The difference this spring is that Roark is definitely competing for a roster spot. Read full article here.

Williams ready to help Nats put poetry in motion

(Mike Bauman, MLB.com)

The first week of March is not typically a time for baseball awards. But excellence must be rewarded in a timely fashion.

So we’re awarding the best managerial quote for February, Grapefruit League category, to Matt Williams, the new skipper of the Washington Nationals.

The topic at hand in a recent post-workout session between the manager and the media was how so much of baseball can be considered to consist of “unnatural” movements. The very act of throwing a baseball often falls into this classification, explaining why pitching arms are prone to injuries.

Williams offered a conclusion to this discussion by saying:

“Nothing is natural in this game. But everything is poetic in this game.” Read full article here.

Ross Detwiler Will Be A Pleasant Surprise for Washington Nationals

(Brian Skinnell, Rant Sports)

…Whenever Detwiler mixed in a curveball against the Yankees, he gave the opposing hitters troubles. In his lone recorded out in the second inning, a lot of that can be accredited to his use of the curveball. He was able to keep them off balance and it certainly gave him the advantage.

Since there is a battle for the fifth pitching spot, people tend to assume that it will be the weakest part of the rotation. However, if your rotation also consists of Stephen StrasburgGio GonzalezJordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister, it’s hard to find a fifth pitcher that is just as strong. However, they may have found a diamond in the rough in Detwiler. Read full article here.

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