Nationals News: Chad Tracy returns as a special instructor

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Good morning DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily! Yesterday’s game against the Astros ended in an anticlimactic 6-6 draw, but there’s still plenty of interesting news to talk about coming out of the Nationals’ camp.

In today’s Daily, the Washington Post‘s James Wagner discusses former National Chad Tracy, who is back at Spring Training as a special instructor for the Nationals. As Wagner notes, Tracy has been looking for ways to get back into baseball after retiring last year. According to Wagner, Tracy tried his hand at being an agent, but what he really wanted was to be closer to the game.

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The fact that Tracy is returning to the Nationals is exciting news, even if he might only be back with the team for the rest of Spring Training. Tracy was not only a fan-favorite throughout his time in D.C., but he was also a key bench player for the Nationals during their division-winning 2012 campaign. Tracy was the leader of the ever-popular “Goon Squad”, the coalition of productive bench players that played a crucial role in the Nationals winning their first ever NL East title in 2012.

Also in today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson discusses the Nationals’ latest round of cuts, in which they sent promising catching prospects Pedro Severino and Spencer Kieboom to Minor League camp.

While Severino and Kieboom are definitly part of the team’s future and it would’ve been nice to see them stay with the big league club a little longer, they’ll have a far better chance to get regular playing time in the team’s minor league camp. As Opening Day approaches, the Nationals will soon begin to cut more and more players.

Be sure to checkout the articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Nationals Spring Training needs.

Chad Tracy returns to the Nationals as a special instructor

(James Wagner, Washington Post)

Quitting baseball isn’t easy. It’s more than a game. It’s a lifestyle, an identity and sense of being. Chad Tracy wrestled with this dilemma as he stared down the end of his playing career. After he spent two seasons with the Nationals as a key bench player, he signed a minor league deal with the Angels last year but was released near the end of spring training. He joined the agency that represented him, Octagon, and tried his hand at being an agent. But something was still missing.

“For me, it’s about being happy these days,” Tracy said. “I’ve played baseball all my life. … I know one thing: that’s being around baseball and being out on that field makes me happy.”

So this year, Tracy, 34, called Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo, the man who drafted him in 2001 with the Diamondbacks, and explained his still burning desire. Rizzo told Tracy to come to Viera, Fla., spend time with the coaches and minor leaguers, and see what he pulls him in. Read full article here.

Nats send high-potential catchers to Minor League camp

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals had another round of cuts Friday morning, sending catchers Pedro Severino and Spencer Kieboom to Minor League camp.

The two backstops needed at-bats, which would not be easy to come by on the Major League side. Severino, the Nats’ No. 11 prospect according to MLB.com, and Kieboom (ranked at No. 20) were only able to get one at-bat each. Read full article here.

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