Good morning DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily! The Washington Nationals finally broke out of their offensive funk yesterday, beating the New York Mets in an 11-7 slugfest. And with Spring Training winding down this week, there’s plenty of news to talk about coming out of the team’s camp in Viera, Fla.
In today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson discusses namanger Matt Williams being unhappy with the team’s shaky defense. As Ladson notes, the Nationals’ defense has struggled throughout Spring Training, committing 27 errors in 26 games.
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Williams has every right to be unhappy with his players for their poor performance in the field this spring. It may just be Spring Training, but any kinks in the team’s defense now can easily carry over into the season. As we saw with the Nationals early last year, poor defense can contribute to a slow start to the season, and given the injuries the team will already be dealing with, players need to make sure they do all the little things right.
Also in today’s Daily, Ladson discusses general manager Mike Rizzo’s confidence in the Nationals’ roster. As Ladson notes, Rizzo believes that the team has plenty of depth to overcome its early-season injury problems, and he’s right.
The Nationals signed many players to minor league deals this winter and a few of them could end up breaking camp with the big league club. They didn’t expect much coming into Spring Training, but players such as Tony Gwynn, Jr. and Dan Uggla may have a chance make the big league club and take the place of injured players on the Opening Day roster.
Check out the articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, be sure to stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals Spring Training needs.
Williams unhappy with Nats’ shaky defense
VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals have played 26 games during Spring Training and have made 27 errors. Manager Matt Williams admitted that he was not pleased by the amount of errors the team has made this spring.
Before the start of the Grapefruit League season, Williams and his coaching staff worked hard with players to improve the defense, which ranks 26th in fielding percentage entering Monday’s action against the Cardinals. Last year, after a slow start, the Nats finished in the middle of the pack.
“There is major room for improvement. It’s one of those things that sticks in my craw a little bit, because we work so hard,” Williams said. “But nonetheless, we just keep going, keep improving, keep working. We work on it every single day. We just keep at it. That’s all we can do.” Read full article here.
Rizzo confident in roster, sees opportunity for NRIs
VIERA, Fla. — Even though the Nationals are faced with their share of injuries, general manager Mike Rizzo said he is satisfied with the roster he has in place, and he doesn’t see himself making trades before the start of Opening Day.
“Things could be worse,” Rizzo said. “Like I’ve always said, ‘One man’s injury is another man’s opportunity.’ We expect all those guys back in pretty quick order. We’re not too down about it. It’s nice to have your full complement of guys on the first days of the season, but to get them soon thereafter will be fine.” Read full article here.