Good morning DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily! The Nationals suffered another defeat yesterday afternoon, this time at the hands of the Braves. But as we’ve said many times before, Spring Training games mean absolutely nothing. Nevertheless, there’s still plenty of news to talk about coming out of the Nationals’ camp.
In today’s District Daily, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson discusses Tony Gwynn Jr.’s chances of making the Opening Day roster in light of Denard Span‘s injury. As we wrote yesterday, Span underwent core muscle surgery and is expected to miss the start of the regular season.
When the Nationals signed Gwynn to a minor league deal last week, it didn’t look like he had much of a shot at making the Opening Day roster. With the injury to Span, however, it now looks more likely that we’ll see Gwynn in a Nationals uniform on Opening Day. While Span’s absence will likely give Michael Taylor a shot at the starting center field job, it opens the door for Gwynn to make the Opening Day bench.
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Also in today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince discusses the injury problems the Nationals will have to deal with early in the season. As Castrovince notes, the Nationals entered Spring Training with monumental expectations to repeat as NL East champions and possibly play deep into October.
While the team can certainly still accomplish those lofty goals, the first several weeks of the season will be a major test for a team that was supposed to cruise through the summer with one of the deepest rosters in baseball. But if the Nationals are able to overcome their injuries early on and win games once they return to full-strength later in the year, the team’s lofty goals will likely be well within reach.
We’ll continue to monitor the team’s preparations for the 2015 season over the next days and weeks, so be sure to stay tuned to DoD for all your Nationals Spring Training needs. For now, start off your day with these great articles from around the web:
With Span out, Gwynn has shot to make Nationals
VIERA, Fla. — With Nationals outfielder Denard Span not expected to be ready for Opening Day because of a right core muscle injury, outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. has a chance to make the team as a backup. So far, Gwynn is making the most of his opportunities.
Entering Tuesday’s game against the Marlins, Gwynn is 3-for-5 with two runs scored — not bad for a guy who started Spring Training last week. Gwynn credits Triple-A Syracuse hitting coach Joe Dillon and Nationals hitting coach Rick Schu for his early success. Read full article here.
Season’s tests will come early for Nationals
“Where’s my ring?” — that confident question recently uttered by Bryce Harper— has quickly become the short version of all that is expected out of the Nationals. Most people are touting them as the most obvious of Major League Baseball’s early favorites, and some take it a step further and consider them a club capable of pushing toward a 100-win total not broached in this parity-soaked sport since 2011.
This is all basically borne out of a gargantuan investment that added Max Scherzer to a rotation that was already probably the best in baseball. But rings don’t come on the might of rotations alone, and on Monday, with the news that Denard Span will miss Opening Day and beyond, we were reminded that the Nats are facing some early offensive obstacles that will test their depth and could, for all we know, inspire trade discussions. Read full article here.