Washington Nationals News: For Nationals, rotation is no guarantee

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Good morning DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily! Start off your weekend with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Thomas Boswell discusses the Nationals’ stellar rotation and the impact it might have on the team’s success this season. As Boswell notes, the Nationals have an incredible rotation that should go a long way in helping them win another NL East title. But, according to Boswell, nothing else is guaranteed after that.

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Yes, the Nationals’ rotation as it currently stands should help lead the team back to the playoffs, but it doesn’t guarantee any postseason success. As the Nationals saw last October, having the best pitching means nothing if you can’t hit the ball and score runs.

The Nationals have one goal in mind this season: to bring a World Series trophy back to the nation’s capital. They’re rotation will certainly help them achieve that goal, but when all is said and done, it would take a team effort to win a World Series—a team that gets hot at the right time, both with its pitching, with its defense and with its offense.

Also in today’s Daily, the Post’s James Wagner discusses Matt Williams entering his second season as manager. Of course, Williams had a stellar 2014 season. He led an injury-riddled team to the playoffs and was named the National League Manager of the Year.

As Wagner notes, however, Williams needs to avoid a “sophomore slump” and continue to excel this season. But given his success last year and the lessons he learned over the course of the season and postseason, there’s no reason to believe he won’t be even better this season.

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

For Nationals, rotation is no guarantee

(Thomas Boswell, Washington Post)

No one can prove what the greatest pitching rotation of all time truly was. But the 1954 Cleveland Indians may illustrate, for the education of Washington baseball fans, the enormous strengths — but inevitable postseason limits — of any rotation, even one with four Hall of Famers.

The Nationals’ current staff is remarkable. But it’s unlikely to match those Indians with Early Wynn, Bob Lemon, Bob Feller and Hal Newhouser (who pitched mostly in relief that season) — all in Cooperstown — plus Mike (Big Bear) Garcia, who won 19, and the best right-left bullpen of that era, Ray Narleski and Don Mossi.

So the Indians went 111-43, one of the best records ever and far beyond the Nationals’ dreams. Then they got to the World Series. Read full article here.

Nationals hope to avoid a sophomore slump

(James Wagner, Washington Post)

VIERA, Fla. — Matt Williams was in his office in the bowels of Space Coast Stadium one morning when he heard a knock on the door. Ian Desmond took Williams into the nearby video room, where players and coaches can pore over game footage.

Teammates Danny Espinosa and Yunel Escobar had turned a double play the day before, but Escobar had been working on his footwork around second base to make sure he wasn’t in position to get hurt by a sliding opponent. Desmond wanted Williams to see the change.

There’s nothing unusual about a player soliciting his manager’s input. But the small moment made Williams happy. Read full article here.

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