Washington Nationals News: Who will protect Bryce Harper in Nats’ lineup?

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Oct 4, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) waits on deck to hit against the New York Mets in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 4, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) waits on deck to hit against the New York Mets in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports /
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Today’s District Daily features stories about Bryce Harper’s protection in the Washington Nationals’ lineup and manager Dusty Baker.

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, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson discusses who might protect Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper in the lineup next season. As Ladson notes, a large part of Harper’s success depends on the success of those around him in the lineup.

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Harper was the heart and soul of the Nationals’ offense last season, and he benefited from players such as Yunel Escobar protecting him in the lineup. But the offense was also hampered by injuries all season long, with key players like Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman spending significant time on the disabled list.

As Ladson notes, Harper will be far better off next season if both Zimmerman and Werth stay healthy and productive all year long. If both players complement Harper’s success at the plate, Harper will likely see more pitches to hit and he could be in for yet another dominant offensive season.

Also in today’s Daily, Ladson discusses some interesting comments made by former player Jeff Kent about Dusty Baker’s potential with the Nationals.

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

Who will protect Harper in Nats’ lineup?

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

WASHINGTON — The Nationals have made some solid acquisitions this offseason. They added two left-handed hitters to balance the starting lineup, signing free-agent second baseman Daniel Murphy and trading for outfielder Ben Revere from the Blue Jays. By getting Revere, the Nationals have their leadoff hitter to replace Denard Span, who signed with the Giants.

“We [gave] our manager, Dusty Baker, a lot of different ways to go,” general manager Mike Rizzo said recently. “We feel good about where we are at — balance-wise in the lineup, athleticism, speed.” Read full article here.

Kent believes Baker will bring out best in Nats

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

WASHINGTON — Former Major Leaguer Jeff Kent expects Dusty Baker to have a successful run as manager of the Nationals. Kent said Baker will bring a comfortable atmosphere, which will allow the players to play the game the right way.

Kent should know. From 1997 to 2002, he flourished with the Giants under Baker, who was then the manager in San Francisco. Kent hit .297 and averaged 29 home runs and 115 RBIs during his six years with the Giants, and he won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 2000. Kent said it helped that Baker knew Kent’s talent level and put him in the middle of the lineup the moment he arrived. According to Kent, it gave him so much confidence on the field. Read full article here.

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