Mar 3, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Tanner Roark (57) warms up for the fourth inning as they play the New York Yankees in a spring training exhibition game at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

District Daily: Nats News 3/19

Checkout some great reads from our fellow Washington Nationals writers:

Hopeful Roark shows efficiency in Minors game

(Bill Ladson,

VIERA, Fla. — Nationals right-handerTanner Roark pitched in a Tuesday afternoon game against a Tigers Minor League team at the Nationals’ Minor League complex and didn’t give up a run in five-plus innings.

In his last inning, Roark was able to get three quick outs, but then pitched to a few more batters before he reached his 75-pitch limit. Roark was supposed to pitch against the Tigers’ Major League team on Monday, but the game was cancelled because of rain.

“He threw the ball real well,” pitching coach Steve McCatty said. “You go to these Minor League games … usually the reverse happens and you worry about pitch counts. [The Nationals' Minor League team] did a very nice job for him defensively. … I thought he spotted the ball extremely well.” Read full article here.

Nationals use drone without FAA approval, then seem to brag about it

(Associated Press via Fox Sports)

A small, four-rotor drone hovered over Washington Nationals players for a few days during spring training in Florida last month, taking publicity photos impossible for a human photographer to capture. But no one got the Federal Aviation Administration’s permission first.

“No, we didn’t get it cleared, but we don’t get our pop flies cleared either and those go higher than this thing did,” a team official said when contacted by The Associated Press. The drone flights ceased the next day. The official wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be named.

The agency bars commercial use of drones no matter how seemingly benign. The lone exception is an oil company that has been granted permission to fly drones over the Arctic Ocean, and it took an act of Congress to win that concession. Read full article here.

For Washington Nationals’ Jayson Werth, hitting is a journey without end

(Adam Kilgore, Washington Post)

VIERA, Fla. — Jayson Werth holds tight to an idea about hitting. His close friend Raul Ibanez, the ageless outfielder now playing for the Los Angeles Angels, once told him, “If you can hit, you can do anything.” Werth found it irrefutable, a simple edict spun from perfect logic.

“Because it doesn’t work both ways,” Werth said. “Just because you can do something else doesn’t mean you can hit. If you can hit, you can do anything. Because it’s the hardest thing to do. There’s nothing harder. I can bake a cake. I could figure out a way to do algorithms. But a guy that knows how to do algorithms could never hit. It’s literally the hardest thing to do. If you can do the hardest thing, you can do anything else.”

For Werth, hitting is a ceaseless pursuit that fascinates and frustrates. Werth has swung a bat for 30-some years and taken 4,464 plate appearances in 11 major-league seasons. And still, hitting remains a fluid endeavor. It requires maintenance and vigilance over a career. It saps physical strength and mental energy over a season. Read full article here.

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