Apr 18, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams (9) take the ball from reliever Tyler Clippard (36) in the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park. The Nationals defeated the Cardinals 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

District Daily: Nationals News 4/23


Checkout some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web:

Williams: We’ll see how bullpen roles play out

(Andrew Simon, MLB.com)

WASHINGTON — While Nationals reliever Drew Storen went through a rough patch last season, Tyler Clippard was the steady hand in the back of the bullpen, setting up closerRafael Soriano. So far in 2014, their fortunes have been reversed.

That dynamic was on display on Monday night against the Angels. Storen finished off the seventh inning by retiring Mike Trout with a man on base, but Clippard couldn’t hold a one-run lead in the eighth. Burdened with Ian Desmond‘s inning-opening error, he went on to allow four unearned runs, including Raul Ibanez‘s go-ahead three-run double.

…Given that situation, might manager Matt Williams change how he deploys his late-inning relievers?

“Really, all three of those guys, in theory, at the back of the bullpen are interchangeable, depending on workload, depending on what happens during the course of a series or during a week,” Williams said. “So I expect Drew to be ready to pitch at any point. He can pitch the seventh, he can pitch the eighth, he can close if need be. He’s done it before, and had success doing all three.” Read full article here.

Fister on track for rehab start on Sunday

(Andrew Simon, MLB.com)

WASHINGTON – Doug Fister took another step in his recovery from a right lat strain on Tuesday, throwing his second simulated game in extended spring training in Viera, Fla. The three-inning, 44-pitch outing went well, according to Nationals manager Matt Williams, and the right-hander is expected to return to Washington on Thursday before making a Minor League rehab start on Sunday.

“Felt good with everything,” Williams said. “Lots of grounders, and reported that he felt really good with it.” Read full article here.

Bryce Harper follows in Mickey Mantle’s non-hustling footsteps

(Dan Steinberg, Washington Post)

Proving yet again that everything old is one day new again, let me direct your attention to the below New York Daily News Service account of a 1960 doubleheader between the Senators and Yankees in the Bronx.

Mickey Mantle — the man Bryce Harper has said he idolizes more than any other MLB great – was benched in — you guessed it — the bottom of the sixth, for — you guessed it — not running out a groundball. He had been warned multiple times by his manager, and the possibility of a leg malady was deemed not an acceptable excuse. Neither was the close score a factor in the decision; and indeed, the home team eventually suffered a narrow loss. Next thing you’ll tell me, Kilgore was in the press box. Read full article here.

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