Washington Nationals News: How might Nats’ new bullpen compare to last year’s?

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Sep 23, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon (58) looks in for the sign during the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles 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) looks in for the sign during the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles 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 the Washington Nationals’ revamped bullpen and prospect Victor Robles.

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

In today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes discusses the Nationals’ revamped bullpen and how it might compare to last year’s ‘pen. As Janes notes, the bullpen will look very different in 2016 than it did last year, with new players and coaches taking over as part of a massive overhaul.

Drew Storen, Matt Thornton and Casey Jannsen will not be back with the team next year. All three were crucial parts of the ‘pen last season, and they’ll be replaced by the likes of Shawn Kelley, Trevor Gott and Yusmeiro Petite. Tanner Roark will also shift back to the bullpen next season, leaving yet another vacancy in the ‘pen for the Nationals this spring.

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The bullpen was one of the team’s biggest weaknesses last season, which is why general manager Mike Rizzo decided to overhaul the ‘pen this winter. Hopefully for the Nationals, the bullpen can string together a better season in 2016 and help lead the team back to the postseason.

Also in today’s Daily, Jim Callis of MLB.com discusses how Nationals prospect Victor Robles has some of the best tools of any of the Top-1oo prospects.

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.

How might the Nationals’ renovated bullpen compare to last year’s version?

(Chelsea Janes, Washington Post)

Sometime around 4 p.m. on the afternoon of April 7, eight men will amble out to right field Nationals Park, march through the door in the fence in the corner, and find seats on a bench in the Nationals’ bullpen. More than likely, five of them will be making that walk for the first time.

Of the seven relievers who would likely have comprised the end-of-season bullpen were it not for September call-ups, four will not be back in 2016. Drew Storen is a Blue Jay. Casey Janssen and Matt Thornton remain unsigned and unlikely to return. Tanner Roark will almost certainly start again. Bullpen coach Matt LeCroy will manage in the minors. Read full article here.

Best package of tools among Top 100 Prospects

(Jim Callis, MLB.com)

Ever since Byron Buxton started tearing up the low Class A Midwest League and emerging as baseball’s best prospect in 2013, the Twins center fielder has been drawing comparisons to Mike Trout.

Trout had done the same three seasons earlier, earning parallels to Mickey Mantle. Veteran scouts said Trout had the best combination of tools they had seen in years. Now they’re saying that Buxton has the best combo since Trout.

No one on MLBPipeline.com’s just-released Top 100 Prospects list comes close to matching Buxton. Using the 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 represents average, we projected Buxton (No. 2 on the Top 100 behind Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager) as a 65 bat, with 55 power, 80 speed and 70 arm strength and defensive ability. That’s a total of 340, and it represents a future .300 hitter with 20 homers and 40 steals per year — not to mention Gold Glove defense in center field. Read full article here.

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