Start off your weekend with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web:
Healthy perspective has Stras raring to go
VIERA, Fla. — Right-hander Stephen Strasburg said it’s an honor to be the Nationals’ Opening Day starter for a third year in a row, and when he takes the hill against the Mets in New York at 1:10 p.m. ET on Monday, he wants to set the tone for what is expected to be a big year for the team.
The 25-year-old Strasburg, however, doesn’t want an Opening Day assignment to be his greatest accomplishment. He wants to play in the postseason for the first time and help the Nationals win their first World Series title.
“I want to show teams from the first game on that we are going to go out there and compete,” Strasburg said. “You are going to have to bring your best game to beat us. I really hope that I’m pushing to make starts in October. That’s the thing, and it starts on Opening Day. You have to stay focused, keep working hard, make sure your stuff is there and still doing well in October.” Read full article here.
This Could Be Year That Nats Don’t Go Bust
The Nationals almost made it through spring training without any negative developments. However, new fourth starter Doug Fister’s likely absence for a couple of weeks with a lat strain suffered yesterday doesn’t change the big picture as Washington makes its final preparations for Monday’s season opener against the Mets in New York
The lack of drama was good news for a still relatively young team – only nine of the 25 players on the likely Opening Day roster have turned 30 — that didn’t handle the “World Series or Bust” hype well last year.
The Sunshine State’s weather wasn’t always sunny for the Nats, but as they headed north after posting a 15-13 Grapefruit League mark, they couldn’t have asked for a better beginning – other than Fister’s injury — under rookie manager Matt Williams. Read full article here.
Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos is hoping for an injury-free season
VIERA, FLA. — To prepare for the season he prays will be his healthiest yet, catcher Wilson Ramos returned this winter to where his career began. On the same baseball field in his home town of Valencia, Venezuela, where he trained before he signed as an amateur in 2004 at age 17, he and his younger brothers, Natanael and David, both minor league baseball players, helped him strengthen his legs.
They worked out. They ran in the outfield. They held an elastic band around Ramos’s waist and pulled him back as he ran to provide resistance. Then Ramos spent about a monthplaying in the Venezuelan winter league, serving as a designated hitter to save his legs for the season. This offseason, he no longer had to worry about knee rehab or hurting his hamstrings when running. He simply trained and played baseball, unwilling to allow injuries to define him. Read full article here.