Washington Nationals News: Have Nats fans forgiven Jonathan Papelbon?

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Sep 23, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon (58) reacts after hitting Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (not pictured) during the ninth inning at Nationals Park. Baltimore Orioles defeated Washington Nationals 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon (58) reacts after hitting Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (not pictured) during the ninth inning at Nationals Park. Baltimore Orioles defeated Washington Nationals 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /
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Today’s District Daily features stories on Jonathan Papelbon and the Washington Nationals’ farm system.

Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s James Wagner discusses Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon. As Wagner writes, Papelbon’s teammates have probably forgiven him for the embarrassing dugout incident late last season that culminated in him choking NL MVP Bryce Harper. Whether or not Nationals fans have forgiven him, however, is a different story.

As Wagner notes, Papelbon will likely enter the season as the Nationals’ closer. The team reportedly tried to trade him this offseason, but Papelbon’s age and baggage makes him all but impossible to trade.

Harper has said multiple times that he and Papelbon are fine, and they very well might be. But many fans wanted the team to trade Papelbon this offseason, and after the incident with Harper, he probably won’t get a very welcome reception at Nationals Park this spring.

While Papelbon may not be the fans’ favorite player right now, there’s no doubt he can get back in their good graces if he pitches well next season. As Wagner writes, performance matters — if Papelbon dominates in the ninth inning and helps lead the Nationals back to the postseason, his incident with Harper will be long forgotten.

Also in today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson discusses the state of the Nationals’ farm system in an interesting interview with Assistant General Manager Doug Harris.

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

Nats players may have forgiven Jonathan Papelbon, but have the fans?

(James Wagner, Washington Post)

As the Nationals prepare for spring training, one player faces a unique challenge, albeit one he brought upon himself. Jonathan Papelbon missed the final seven games of last season while serving two suspensions, one from Major League Baseball for throwing at Manny Machado and the other for fighting Bryce Harper in the dugout during a game.

Their offseason moves indicate the Nationals plan to keep Papelbon. The team overhauled the bullpen (four players out, four in) but while the Nationals entertained offers, Papelbon is not easy to trade. He is 35. He’ll earn $11 million this season. He’s rubbed people the wrong way while playing for three teams. And he isn’t the power pitcher he once was. Read full article here.

Assistant GM Harris discusses state of Nats’ farm system

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

Since 2009, Nationals assistant general manager Doug Harris has overseen the development of the farm system. Under his watch, the Nats have seen players like Bryce HarperAnthony RendonJoe Ross and Tanner Roark work their way to the Major Leagues. MLB.com caught up with Harris recently to talk about the current state of the Minor League system.

MLB.com: Let’s talk about Lucas Giolito, the team’s No. 1 prospect, according to MLB.com. What has impressed you the most about him? Read full article here.

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