Good morning DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily! While the District got more snow this morning, things continue to heat up for the Nationals down in Viera, Fla as position players continued to arrive.
Yesterday saw the arrival of outfielder Bryce Harper, a player who will undoubtedly play a big role in the Nationals’ success this season. In today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson discusses Harper’s high expectations for the 2015 season, both for him and for his club.
As Ladson notes, Harper is extremely confident in his ball club and believes it has what it takes to bring home the Commissioner’s Trophy come October. Of course, a lot of things have to go right for that to happen–including Harper himself staying healthy.
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Also in today’s Daily, Ladson discusses a player who will arguably be just as important to the Nationals as Harper in 2015: Anthony Rendon. Rendon was the heart and soul of the Nationals’ lineup all of last season and will undoubtedly play the same role next year.
As Ladson writes, Rendon isn’t fully satisfied with his performance from last season and is always looking to improve. Not only does Rendon look to improve with the bat, but he also looks to continue to improve his game at third base now that he has officially replaced Ryan Zimmerman at the position.
There will be plenty more news coming out of Nationals’ camp in the next several days, so be sure to stay tuned to DoD. For now, start off your day with these great Nationals articles:
Harper confident in Nats’ World Series chances
VIERA, Fla. — Outfielder Bryce Harper badly wants to help the Nationals win a World Series title. In fact, Harper sounded pretty confident Wednesday afternoon that the Nationals could go all the way this year. It helps that the team signed right-hander Max Scherzer to a long-term deal.
Harper, 22, even joked that the Nationals have such a solid staff that he doesn’t have to worry about playing defense.
“To be able to have a guy like Scherzer coming, I started laughing,” Harper said. “I was like, ‘Where’s my ring?’ It’s absolutely stupid how good our staff is. To add a Cy Young, to add a guy that is unbelievable in the postseason. If you have to go to a five-game set, you have to face [Jordan] Zimmermann, [Doug] Fister, Scherzer and Stras [Stephen Strasburg]. Good luck. That’s insane. … It’s hilarious having to go there and face them. It’s absolutely stupid. We have the best staff in all of baseball. I don’t care what anybody says.” Read full article here.
Striving to improve, Rendon ready to man third
VIERA, Fla. — Anthony Rendon finds it amazing that he is replacing Ryan Zimmerman at third base, because while growing up in Houston, Rendon admired Zimmerman from afar. Zimmerman, who is the face of the Nationals, is moving across the diamond, replacing Adam LaRoche at first base.
“I don’t think I’m replacing anybody,” Rendon said. “I’m just helping the team. … He is going to be a great first baseman. It will be exciting to watch him play.”
Like Rendon, Zimmerman isn’t much of a talker, but he has helped Rendon in a quiet way. Zimmerman taught Rendon to take it one day at a time and stay relaxed. Read full article here.