Good morning DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily! The Nationals lost their third game in a row last night, but that doesn’t matter. Nevertheless, there’s still plenty of important news to talk about coming out of the Nationals’ camp.
In today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Jamal Collier discusses who will be the Nationals’ leadoff hitter going into the regular season. Of course, the Nationals are in need of a new leadoff hitter after Denard Span had core muscle surgery earlier this week. Span will likely be out for the first few weeks of the season and even though Michael Taylor is likely to replace him in center field, finding his replacement in the lineup order won’t be so simple.
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As Collier notes, the Nationals have plenty of options. The team could go with players such as Anthony Rendon and Nate McLouth, or they could entrust the leadoff role in youngster Taylor. Regardless of who bats from the No. 1 spot to start the season, it won’t be easy to fill the shoes of Span.
Also in today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Mike Bauman discusses the Nationals’ postseason goals in 2015. As Bauman notes, the Nationals have failed to make it past the NLDS in their two playoff appearances. Of course, many expect that trend to end in 2015 since the Nationals have one of the deepest rosters in baseball and the best pitching staff in the game.
But what happens in the playoffs and what happens in the regular season tends to be very different. The Nationals could win 103 games and then lose in four games in the NLDS. That’s just how the game works, and the inherent randomness of the playoffs has sunk many great teams before.
Be sure to check out the articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Nationals Spring Training needs:
Who will lead off for Nationals with Span out?
JUPITER, Fla. — Trying to replace Denard Span presents various challenges for the Nationals, one of which is who will fill the center fielder’s role in the leadoff spot.
Prior to Tuesday’s game against the Marlins, Nationals manager Matt Williams named three players — Michael Taylor, Anthony Rendon and Nate McLouth— who he believes could occupy Span’s spot at the top of the lineup. Span is expected to miss four to six weeks after having surgery on his right core muscle.
“We have a number of guys, good guys that have the ability to get on base for us, create a little bit of havoc and set our lineup in motion,” Williams said. Read full article here.
Nats aim to break through after postseason shortcomings
The Washington Nationals are so good that when they don’t win, disbelief persists.
This is a tribute to their talent. The best pitching staff, by the numbers last season, became even better with the acquisition of free-agent ace Max Scherzer.
The problem is that questions are still lingering about the Nationals losing a National League Division Series to the San Francisco Giants last October. The Nats, understandably, would like to move on. And you imagine that they will move on, to a highly successful 2015 regular-season campaign, and maybe a breakthrough in the ’15 postseason. Read full article here.