Checkout some great reads from our fellow Washington Nationals writers:
Nate McLouth’s career has taken him from all-star to Class AAA to a talented Nats outfield
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — From where he stands, Nate McLouth can look back at his journey and smile. He has certainly earned it. The 32-year-old with slick blonde hair from Whitehall, Mich., has the job security of a two-year deal with the Washington Nationalsworth $10.75 million, plus a third-year option. The Nationals have playoff aspirations, and he is their first outfield option off the bench. He is in a comfortable place with teammates from other stops along his nine-year major league career.
Less than two years ago, he was nowhere close to any of this. The Pittsburgh Pirates released him and his .140 batting average on May 31, 2012. He had struggled the previous two-plus years, too, posting a .229 average with the Atlanta Braves. He was once an all-star and a Gold Glove winner, but that summer, after he was cut, he was back home in Knoxville, Tenn. He hoped to relax with his wife, Lindsay, and their two dogs, but he couldn’t.
“It was strange,” McLouth said earlier this week, seated at his locker inside the Nationals’ clubhouse at Space Coast Stadium. “I thought I would enjoy relaxing at home. I wanted to enjoy it. But I wanted to get back. That’s how I knew that I wanted to keep going.” Read full article here.
Jayson Werth on the Nationals being ‘aggressive’ baserunners
Like the rest of the players in Nationals spring training, Jayson Werth has gotten to know his new manager more. He has found Matt Williams easy to talk to. As the season goes along, Werth said he will get a better sense for Williams and his personality, through the highs and lows of a season. But there’s one philosophy that Werth is already pleased to share with Williams: their ideas about baserunning.
The baserunning philosophies in place during Werth’s time with the Nationals have been different from what Williams is preaching this spring. Williams’ offensive ideology may be a little more aggressive than Werth’s, but the right fielder said the two “are in line.”
“The key to stealing bases is being aggressive,” Werth said. “We’re where we need to be. This will be the first year that it’s like this.” Read full article here.
Jamey Carroll and a potential spot on the Nationals’ bench
Through the first week of spring training games, Jamey Carroll has seen action all over the infield. He has come in the game to relieve Ryan Zimmerman at third base one game, taken over at shortstop for Ian Desmond another game and played at second base once Danny Espinosa exited a game. As the Nationals consider Carroll for a potential utility role on the opening day roster, they are playing him often and at various positions. He has played in five of the six games so far, and notched one hit in eight at-bats and walked three times.
Carroll, who turned 40 two weeks ago, believes his skills are best suited for a National League. The right-hander is versatile and he is a capable pinch hitter. And he hopes that he makes his case to earn a spot on the Nationals bench. With Danny Espinosa competing for the second base job with Anthony Rendon, could Carroll sneak in as a utility infielder/pinch hitter? He hopes to make his case. Read full article here.