Washington Nationals News: Dan Uggla seeing offseason work pay dividends


Good afternoon DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily! Check out some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson sits down with Nationals second baseman Dan Uggla to discuss his offseason work and how it has payed off so far. As we know, Uggla fell from being one of the best-hitting second basemen in the game to one of the worst over the last few years. But, as we saw this spring, Uggla appears to be getting back into form.

This offseason, Uggla addressed an eye-tracking issue that was making it hard for him to see the ball when he was hitting. With the issue behind him, Uggla not only earned a minor league deal with the Nationals, but he also made the Opening Day roster—a feat that seemed all but impossible at the beginning of Spring Training.

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Needless to say, the revival of Uggla’s bat has been one of the best surprises of the spring for the Nationals. It’s still far too early to say with certainty that Uggla is back to his dominant form. But if he continues to hit well over the next few weeks, it’s safe to say that signing Uggla is one of the best moves the team has made, and a move that can pay off big time this season.

Also in today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s James Wagner discusses Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann and how the two players have accepted the fact that their days with the Nationals might be coming to an end.

Of course, both players are entering the final year of their contracts and, barring a last minute extension to either of them (which is unlikely), they are expected to hit free agency after this season. It’ll be interesting to see what both players can bring to the ball club in what will most likely be their last season playing in the nation’s capital.

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 needs.

Uggla seeing offseason work pay dividends

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

Entering Spring Training, second baseman Dan Uggla was a long shot to make the Nationals’ Opening Day roster. Yunel Escobar was expected to be the everyday second baseman, but an injury to Anthony Rendon has Escobar playing third base.

Believed to be well past his best days, Uggla went 12-for-46 (.261) with two homers and six RBIs in Grapefruit League play. It helps that he can see the ball much better after addressing his oculomotor dysfunction, an eye-tracking issue that was inhibiting his ability to focus on one object.

Today, Uggla is Washington’s starting second baseman. MLB.com caught up with Uggla recently to talk about his comeback, the Nationals and the Braves. Read full interview here.

Ian Desmond, Jordan Zimmermann coming to grips with short-timer status

(James Wagner, Washington Post)

From the moment he reported to Viera, Fla., for spring training, Ian Desmond has made it a point to give his thanks. Before he took his first grounders at shortstop in February, he gave hugs to groundskeepers he has known for years. At dinner at a popular Italian restaurant in Viera in his final week of spring training, he thanked the manager for all the kind service over the years. Before Saturday’s exhibition game, the final tuneup before the season, he hugged the security guards who keep watch near the dugout during games.

For Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann, two homegrown stars drafted and developed by the Nationals, this could be their final season in Washington. Despite efforts, the Nationals haven’t been able to sign either to contract extensions and neither player wants to negotiate during the regular season. It’s hard to say goodbye — and Desmond isn’t sure what is going to happen after the 2015 season — but he is covering all his bases. Read full article here.

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