Washington Nationals News: Dusty Baker pushing Nats to improve defense
Today’s District Daily features stories on the Washington Nationals’ defense and the team’s minor league player development 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, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson discusses manager Dusty Baker‘s hopes that the team improves its defense in 2016. The Nationals were inconsistent on the field all year long last season, and several costly miscues played a role in the team’s failure to make it to the postseason.
Here’s what Baker had to say on the importance of defense, via Ladson’s article:
"“I’m real big on defense. Defense doesn’t win you games, it can certainly lose you games. The games we’ve lost, we’ve given away outs and it cost us — or when you don’t turn that double play, that’s big. The double play is the pitcher’s best friend. Nothing can get you out of trouble more than a double play.”"
According to Ladson, Baker is satisfied with the team’s performance this spring. The Nationals have dominated in Grapefruit League play, going 16-4-2 and playing well in all aspects of the game, especially hitting and pitching.
But, according to Ladson, Baker would still like to see the defense improve before the season starts on April 4. And if the Nationals want to return to their winning ways this season, they’ll have to be much better on the field than they were in 2015.
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Also in today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes writes an interesting story about the Nationals’ ever-successful player development system.
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.
Baker pushing Nats to improve defense
JUPITER, Fla. — Entering Saturday’s action against the Cardinals, the Nationals are 15-4-2 during the exhibition season. While manager Dusty Baker is pleased with the record, he would like to see improvements on the field before the regular season starts on April 4 against the Braves.
Baker would like to see his starting pitchers command the strike zone better and limit their pitch count per inning. He would also like to see fewer strikeouts from his position players, and to have the hitters advance runners from second with fewer than two outs. Read full article here.
Coordinators make sure players learn the ‘Nationals way’
(Chelsea Janes, Washington Post)
VIERA, Fla. — The tower in the center of the Washington Nationals’ minor league complex overlooks four fields and several bullpens that teem with dozens of Nationals minor leaguers. Golf carts zip around. Coaches toss and point and scribble. Fastballs fly, mitts pop, bats crack and groundballs bound through the infields. Hour by hour, day by day, the foundation of the Nationals’ organization is chiseled out of hundreds of meticulously selected big league hopefuls.
All of this — the workouts and practice plans, personalities and progress — is managed by the Nationals’ coordinators, who quietly affect every player in the organization. Their efforts are best understood from the tower’s vantage point, because their work is not always evident from the stands. Read full article here.