Washington Nationals News: Werth set to play defense in Minors game

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Good morning DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily! There’s plenty of news to talk about coming out of the Washington Nationals’ camp in Viera, Fla., so let’s get right to it.

In today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Jamal Collier discusses outfielder Jayson Werth, whose surgically repaired right shoulder continues to improve as Opening Day gets closer and closer. As Collier writes, Werth is aiming to be ready to go by Opening day April 6 against the Mets, but he still has a ways to go in his recovery and continues to feel some pain in the shoulder when he swings at pitches outside the zone.

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But Werth’s recovery is going quicker than expected, and he’ll take another big step in that recovery later today when he plays defense in a minor league game––his first live game action of the spring. Needless to say, Werth is a fundamental part of the Nationals’ lineup and the fact that he might still be on track to be ready for Opening Day is great news for him and for the team.

Also in today’s Daily, Collier discusses yesterday’s dominant start from left-hander Gio Gonzalez and the key role that catcher Wilson Ramos played in his success. As Collier writes, both Gonzalez and Ramos gave credit to their battery mate for the phenomenal start.

Of course, seeing Gonzalez perform so well in Spring Training is a great sign for the Nationals. Although the Nationals have the best rotation in baseball, the sometimes-inconsistent Gonzalez is considered to be the rotation’s weakest link, so to see him play as well and even better than the other four starters is an encouraging sign as to what we should expect to see from Gonzalez in 2015.

Check out the articles below, they’re definitely worth the read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals Spring Traning needs.

Werth progressing, set to play defense in Minors game

(Jamal Collier, MLB.com)

VIERA, Fla — When he first arrived here for Spring Training, Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth could barely get his right arm in position to throw without his surgically repaired right shoulder tightening up.

“I just wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to really let it go,” Werth said.

Now Werth’s shoulder has improved quickly enough that he is slated to play defense in a Minor League game on Friday, his first game action of the spring. The Nationals are able to create a more controlled environment there for Werth, who still feels pain while hitting. Read full article here.

Batterymates Ramos, Gio trade credit for terrific start

(Jamal Collier, MLB.com)

VIERA, Fla — Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez turned in a terrific outing during Thursday’s 10-inning scoreless tie against the Tigers, and afterward he wanted to give credit to his catcher, Wilson Ramos.

Gonzalez said Ramos called the game with a specific plan. Even when Gonzalez would try and shake him off, Ramos would put down the same sign.

“When I’m 100 percent sure that that pitch is right in that moment, I will call it and call it and call it until he takes his foot off the mound,” Ramos said. Read full article here.

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