District Daily: Nats News 3/25


Mar 15, 2014; Jupiter, FL, USA; Miami Marlins second baseman

Rafael Furcal

(15) is back safely as Washington Nationals first baseman

Adam LaRoche

(25) receives the throw on a pickoff attempt at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Checkout some great reads from our fellow Washington Nationals writers:

Versatile Kobernus has chance to make club

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

JUPITER, Fla. — Nationals outfielder/infielder Jeff Kobernus has a chance to make the team out of Spring Training. It helps that he has been versatile under manager Matt Williams, playing second base and all three outfield positions. He can also provide speed off the bench.

“We are going to continue to give him opportunities. Kobe offers a lot of things to us,” Williams said.

Kobernus admitted that it’s in the back of his mind “a little bit” about making the 25-man roster. Read full article here.

Manager Matt Williams mulls final decisions on Washington Nationals’ opening day lineup

(Adam Kilgore, Washington Post)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Matt Williams developed acid reflux sometime in the last week. He stays awake all night. The Washington Nationals’ roster provides him fun and frustration. It wracks his nerves and stimulates his mind. Decisions he will need to make soon occupy him. They are decisions he never needed to make before. “When you’re the infield coach, man, you just go bang fungoes,” Williams said.

In the last week of spring training before his first opening day as a manager, Williams must choose the final spots of his first 25-man roster. The initial version of the Nationals seems settled aside from three positions. They need to determine their fifth starter, which could in turn determine the last reliever in their bullpen, which may indirectly be tied to the final available bench spot.

The Nationals will fly to Washington on Thursday after their final Grapefruit League game. Williams plans to finalize the roster before players board the plane. For the next three days, Williams will grapple with a new pressure. He will be the one who tells players they did not make the team, and he will be the one who most shapes the complexion of a major league team.

“It’s been fun, though,” Williams said. “It’s a fantastic learning experience. All of it is. But to be one of the real voices in our 25-man roster construction, what we want on our bench and how we’re going to go about doing it, it’s a pleasure to do. It’s a lot of fun. We have to make the right decisions, though.” Read full article here.

Adam LaRoche is a social butterfly, not just with the Nationals, but beyond baseball

(James Wagner, Washington Post)

VIERA, Fla. — The morning after he was traded from the Detroit Tigers in early December,Washington Nationals starter Doug Fister already had first baseman Adam LaRoche’s cellphone number, and neither can remember how that happened. The two had rarely crossed paths in their careers except for a brief conversation at first base last season. Fister has spent his five-year career in the American League with the Seattle Mariners and Tigers, and LaRoche has spent nearly all of his career in the National League.

Yet, the Nationals’ social butterfly and one of the most well-liked players in baseball, had already gotten in touch with the team’s biggest offseason acquisition, welcomed him to Washington and told him what to expect from his new surroundings. “Just letting him know that guys are great and everybody is fired up,” LaRoche said.

“He’s just a good dude,” Fister said recently, appreciative of LaRoche reaching out. “A really good guy.” Read full article here.

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