Good morning DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily! The Nationals had another workout Monday as they continue to prepare for the 2015 season, so there’s plenty of news to talk about coming out of Viera, Fla.
In today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Jamal Collier discusses Ryan Zimmerman‘s progress at first base. As we know, Zimmerman will officially become the team’s full-time first baseman this year after an arthritic right shoulder forced him to move across the diamond from third.
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While the transition won’t be easy for Zimmerman, it’s one he has to make and it’s one the Nationals need him to make smoothly. Given the work he’s already put in this spring, however, it looks like Zimmerman will be ready to go at first base sooner, rather than later.
Also in today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson discusses reliever Aaron Barrett, who is entering his second year after a dominant rookie season in 2014. This season will be a big test for Barrett as he looks to overcome a disastrous appearance in the NLDS against the Giants last year. Check out Ladson’s article below, it’s definitely worth a read.
Be sure to stay tuned to DoD in the coming days and weeks for all your Nationals Spring Training needs. For now, start off your day with these great articles from around the web:
Zimmerman puts in extra work at first base
VIERA, Fla. — After the Nationals completed their workout on Monday, Ian Desmond and Ryan Zimmerman went to Space Coast Stadium to get some extra work in the infield with manager Matt Williams and defensive coordinator and advance coach Mark Weidemaier.
“Hold on skipper,” Weidemaier said. “I’m going to put a timer on it.”
“Average Major Leaguer gets down that line in 4.1 [seconds]” Weidemaier said as Williams slapped a ground ball toward Desmond.
Desmond ranged quickly to his left and fired the ball toward Zimmerman at first, who caught it cleanly and looked over his shoulder at Weidemaier, who was standing down the first-base line. Read full article here.
Barrett makes most of each opportunity with Nats
VIERA, Fla. — Nationals right-hander Aaron Barrett vowed to never let adversity get the best of him. He learned how to take the good with the bad by watching how players such as Adam LaRoche, Ian Desmond, Craig Stammen and Drew Storen reacted to certain situations.
“You just learn about their character, the way they handled themselves in tough times and good times,” Barrett said. “… Just knowing that these guys have been through the good and the bad in their careers, you learned as much as possible, just the way those guys go about their business. It helped me a lot.”
Barrett was a rookie last year, and he was solid for Washington. His 2.66 ERA doesn’t tell the whole story. Manager Matt Williams had trust in Barrett, 27, in the late innings. Barrett was often facing a tough right-handed hitter, and he held righties to a .192 average. In the seventh and eighth innings, he had a combined 1.98 ERA. Read full article here.