Mar 8, 2014; Jupiter, FL, USA; Washington Nationals left fielderNate McLouth
(15) make san unsuccessful diving attempt on a ball hit by St. Louis Cardinals catcherYadier Molina
(not pictured) at Roger Dean Stadium. The game ended in a 4-4 tie after 10 innings. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Checkout these great Nationals articles from around the web:
Williams is confident in Carroll’s abilities
VIERA, Fla. — Nationals infielder Jamey Carroll is batting .133 (2-for-15) this spring, but that doesn’t seem to matter to manager Matt Williams. The skipper pointed out that Carroll can do the little things to make a team better.
As Williams pointed out, Carroll knows how to advance a runner and he gets on base often. In fact, Carroll leads the team in walks with five.
“He is a pro. He knows what he is doing,” Williams said. “He knows how to play the game, he knows what the situation of the game will dictate. He knows how to go about doing it. I shy away from saying the little things, but they are important things for your club. He knows what to do and how to do it.” Read full article here.
Washington Nationals’ Jose Lobaton finds mastery of English as key to reaching MLB
VIERA, Fla. — In 2006, catcher Jose Lobaton was in his fourth minor league season. At 21, the native of Venezuela had all the budding skills for a successful professional baseball career in the United States except one: He was struggling with English. At that point, however, it didn’t bother him.
“If I can hit, who cares if I don’t speak English?” Lobaton, who is in his first spring training with the Washington Nationals, recalls thinking to himself.
Then came a game that changed his mind.
Playing for the Lake Elsinore Storm, a San Diego Padres minor league affiliate, Lobaton and the pitcher were told by their manager that he wanted to avoid throwing breaking balls inside on an opposing player. Lobaton heard the opposite, called for an inside pitch and the batter blasted it over the fence for a home run.
The pitching coach was furious. He told Lobaton he needed to learn English and that he would be fined if he misunderstood instructions again. Lobaton was angry at the pitcher for not correcting him and upset with himself for the language issue.
“That was the last time I ever had trouble with a pitcher,” Lobaton said recently in Spanish, seated at his locker at the Nationals’ clubhouse at Space Coast Stadium. Read full article here.
Should Desmond be the Nationals’ No. 2 hitter?
A manager constructs a spring training lineup with plenty of objectives in mind. First and foremost, he wants to make sure his best players get as many at-bats as possible as quickly as possible before they take a seat after four or five innings.
But a manager also uses exhibition play to try some things out and put together various lineup combinations he may envision using on a regular basis once the regular season begins.
And knowing that, it’s hard to ignore the fact Matt Williams has penciled in Ian Desmond as his No. 2 hitter five times in seven total Grapefruit League games to date for the Nationals shortstop. Read full article here.