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Reliever Jerry Blevins understands his role in the Washington Nationals’ bullpen
Jerry Blevins finds one personal trait of particular importance to his career and, without getting too philosophical about it, his life: honest self-evaluation. At some point this weekend, Blevins likely will jog from the left field corner of Turner Field to face two “large human beings.” The thought that crosses his mind will not burden him. It will reinforce an understanding.
“You know going in, ‘This is the reason that I’m here. These are the guys I need to get out,’ ” Blevins said. “As a grown man, you understand what your job is. I understand I have to get left-handed hitters out.”
The Washington Nationals searched this winter for a left-handed reliever, in part with the Atlanta Braves in mind. They acquired Blevins in a trade with the Oakland A’s by sacrificing sprinter-quick outfield prospect Billy Burns. The success of that deal hinges on Blevins’s ability to neutralize Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward, Atlanta’s two best left-handed hitters. Read full article here.
Back at third, Zimmerman works on sidearm motion
WASHINGTON — Ryan Zimmerman was in the Nationals’ lineup at third base for a second consecutive game on Thursday after sitting out on Tuesday with right shoulder soreness.
Manager Matt Williams was pleased with how Zimmerman looked in the field in his return, and he had no qualms about putting the third baseman back out there again in the series finale against the Marlins.
…”I thought he was good. Got challenged right away,” Williams said. “No ill effects. He reported today that he felt good. We went through another session today out there and he’s got no issues, which is good. So hopefully that little adjustment will take some pressure off the shoulder.” Read full article here.
Matt Williams wastes no time putting his stamp on Washington Nationals
No guessing is needed to determine new Manager Matt Williams’s plans for the Washington Nationals. With his handling of struggling outfielder Bryce Harper, Williams quickly has made his intentions clear.
As he tries to help Harper emerge from a season-opening slump, Williams has been aggressive — overly so, some Nationals observers would contend — in moving Harper throughout the batting order like a pinball. In the team’s first eight games, Harper has hit second, fifth, sixth and seventh. That’s enough movement to make a grizzled 10-year veteran dizzy, let alone a 21-year-old outfielder hoping to put together his first big season.
But for the most part, I like what Williams has done. There’s nothing wrong with a first-time manager establishing his style right away. And the talented Nationals could be in trouble if Williams appeared timid after being entrusted to run a veteran club facing big expectations. Read full article here.
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