Washington Nationals News: Nats could have one of the best lineups in baseball

Mar 20, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) runs the bases after hitting a home run against the Detroit Tigers during the fifth inning at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 20, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) runs the bases after hitting a home run against the Detroit Tigers during the fifth inning at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /
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Today’s District Daily features stories on the Washington Nationals’ offense and Max Scherzer’s hopes for his final Spring Training start.

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 Thomas Boswell writes an interesting column on why he believes the Nationals should have one of the best hitting lineups in baseball this season.

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As Boswell writes, the Nationals have a deep and diverse lineup, led by last year’s NL MVP, Bryce Harper. The team has a unique blend of speed, power and veteran hitters in the lineup and a bench that will likely be deeper than any the team has had since 2012.

Of course, as Nationals fans know all too well, having a great lineup on paper means absolutely nothing. The team has been raking this spring, but injuries and slumps could and likely will slow them down at some point this season. But with the team’s offensive depth, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the offense this season.

Also in today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson discusses Max Scherzer’s start against the Cardinals earlier this week and how the right-hander is approaching his last start of the spring. As Ladson writes in his article, Scherzer will try to be efficient on the mound and stay ahead in the count in his final tuneup before the regular season.

In other Nats news, the team announced today that Tyler Moore has cleared waivers and was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse. With the move, the Nationals free up a spot on their 40-man roster. Moore had been competing for a bench spot this spring.

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.

The 2016 Nationals should have one of the best hitting lineups in baseball

(Thomas Boswell, Washington Post)

VIERA, Fla. — Nationals hitting coach Rick Schu pointed at a bruise on his face the size of a baseball. “Danny Espinosa hit me,” he said, pausing for effect, “with a line drive. Hey, he’s swingin’ better!”

“I was scared to death,” said Espinosa after a ricochet off a pitching screen knocked Schu flat.

The Nats hitters will deal out lots of lumps and maybe even scare a few pitching staffs half to death this year. The Nats have their flaws, but this crew should be one of the best hitting teams in the National League in recent years. They’re 15-4-2 in spring training, and scoring 7.3 runs in their last dozen games as regulars have played more. On Wednesday and Thursday they beat the Yankees and Cards best starters, Masahiro Tanaka and Adam Wainwright, 13-0 and 8-2. Read full article here.

Scherzer aiming for ‘cruise-control’ counts

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

VIERA, Fla. — It’s Wednesday night. Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer knew he would be facing his pal, Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright, the next day at Space Coast Stadium, so they texted each other and basically said, “Game on.”

Yes, it’s Spring Training, but Scherzer wanted to show in Thursday’s 8-2 victory over the Cardinals that he is close to being ready for the regular season, which is less than two weeks away. Read full article here.