Nationals News: Harper’s passion for game keeps things interesting

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Good morning DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily! The Nationals finally broke out of their Spring Training funk Monday afternoon, defeating the Astros, 2-1. And while the result of a Spring Training game is absolutely meaningless, there’s still plenty of important news to talk about coming out of Viera, Fla.

In today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Phil Rogers discusses the potential for greatness that Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has entering the 2015 season. As Rogers notes, the stage is set for Harper to finally break out this season.

Of course, Harper has already accomplished more in three seasons than many players accomplish in their careers. He’s been a Rookie of the Year, he’s been an all-star twice, and he put on a show in the postseason last year at the ripe-old age of 21.

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But now, at 22 years old, Harper could be ready to take things to the next level and finally have a season that lives up to his immense talent and potential. Not only does Harper have the opportunity to put up otherworldly numbers, but he also has the responsibility of carrying a Nationals lineup that is expected to help guide the team to a long postseason run. All of this is easier said than done, of course, but if anyone can do it, it’s Harper.

Also in today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson discusses the competition for the Opening Day starter role. As Ladson notes, manager Matt Williams is still undecided as to who will get the job, which isn’t really surprising given the options he has to chose from.

The case can be made that any of the team’s top-4 starters is worthy of getting the Opening Day nod. And while the competition will likely go down to a choice between aces Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer, it won’t be an easy decision for Williams to make.

Fortunately, none of this matters. Once the season is underway and baseball’s weird schedule takes over, the sure-fire plan for sending your ace to the mound to face the other team’s ace pretty much goes out the window. One thing’s for certain, this is a pretty fantastic problem to have.

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.

Harper’s passion for game keeps things interesting

(Phil Rogers, MLB.com)

VIERA, Fla. — Bryce Harper is talented, and he doesn’t mind you knowing it.

That’s a great thing for those of us who love Major League Baseball but, at times, it can be a challenge for his manager.

One of those moments quietly popped up in the Nationals’ 2-1 victory over the Astros on Monday at Space Coast Stadium. It was no big deal, in and of itself, but the widely differing viewpoints of Matt Williams and Harper — not to mention a case of mistaken identity on the part of Harper — created a scenario that will be interesting to watch over the course of the season. Read full article here.

Williams still debating who will start Opening Day

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

VIERA, Fla. — Nationals manager Matt Williams has yet to name his Opening Day starter for April 6 against the Mets at Nationals Park.

It’s a tough decision for the skipper because all five starters — Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez — deserve to make the start because of what they have accomplished during their careers. Strasburg has been the club’s Opening Day start the past three years.

What goes into the decision on who is on the mound come Opening Day? Read full article here.

Next: Clint Robinson Making Good First Impression

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