New Nationals manager Matt Williams has completed his first interview at the Winter Meetings.
He talked about many things including Spring Training, sitting the regulars more so they can stay healthy, health of players that had surgery this offseason and Davey Johnson. Yes, that’s right, Davey Johnson.
First Williams talked about Stephen Strasburg and his health coming off surgery. He said that the rehab is going “phenomenally” and should be “full go” on first day of Spring Training. As for Adam LaRoche,
"Williams said on LaRoche “He’s been pulling back his bow, so his elbow is in good shape,”"
As for Davey Johnson, Williams wants Johnson to attend Spring Training so he can pick his brain a bit about the team. Johnson has yet to accept the offer, but has said he’s worried about stepping on Williams toes.
I’m not sure if this will be a good or bad thing at the moment, but bringing back Johnson is kind of strange to me.
Williams has spoken to eight or nine players so far. He said this about the situation and how they felt about last season.
"Williams: “They’re disappointed how season went. They want to make amends for that.”"
Williams believes the Nats need to improve their team defense, offensive efficiency, and speed. I have brought up each of these things one time or another. Everyone can see that they need to fix these things. Williams is prepared to do that.
Williams also has a lineup in mind, but won’t share it just yet. Wants Span in leadoff spot, lots of options for two hole and wants Bryce Harper in situation where he can steal bases. Not so sure about Span in the leadoff spot, but that’s just me.
He went on to say that Ryan Zimmerman‘s shoulder is 100% but,
"Williams: “it still needs to get a little bit stronger.”"
He is confident that he can play third base. We will see how this goes as the season goes on. Will his shoulder end up bothering him? That is still the big question.
Lastly, he is okay with Harpers style of play.
"Williams: “You can’t control that. You can’t tell him: Don’t play like that.”"
These are all good things to hear, but they just have to be put into motion. Will be key to see how the lineup shakes out and if things change throughout the season or not.