Washington Nationals: A.J. Cole must trust his stuff


Washington Nationals pitcher A.J. Cole makes his debut and Dusty Baker talks to The Washington Post. That and other goodies in the Daily Washingtonian.

Good Morning Washington Nationals fans!

Today is Tuesday, April 3, 2018. The Nats tremendous start continues after they pounded the Atlanta Braves 8-1 on Monday. At 4-0, they are in first place in the National League by a game and a half over those snowed-out New York Mets.

Lost in this early offensive explosion by Washington is their defense. From Tanner Roark‘s hockey goalie impression to Wilmer Difo‘s diving stops, the Nats are flashing some leather.

More from District on Deck

For A.J. Cole, who makes his 2018 debut tonight, that is a good thing.

Cole, along with other back end starters, have a hard time gaining confidence with their pitches. Because the Nats are good with the glove, he must relax and not be afraid of contact. Keep the ball low in the zone and let the fielders behind you do the work.

If he can stop nibbling once he has two strikes on a hitter, Cole can crash through his glass ceiling and be a consistent starter. He must trust his stuff and his teammates.

Julio Teheran gets he call for Atlanta. You wonder if he solved his SunTrust Park problems yet.

Anyway, here are your must-read links:

District on Deck previews the Nats-Braves series

After sweeping the Cincinnati Reds to begin the season, the Nats now visit the Atlanta Braves. Both teams are into the end of their rotation and SunTrust Park is a launching pad, so things could get interesting. Drew Douglas previews the three-game set.

The Washington Post interviews Dusty Baker

Dusty Baker led the Nats to two consecutive division titles, but was dismissed after failing to advance past the National League Division Series. Now, he has been hired as a special advisor with the San Francisco Giants. Dave Sheinin catches up with the Nats’ old skipper.

Call to the Pen profiles Adam Eaton

Adam Eaton got off to a tremendous start last April, before a torn ACL ended his season six months early. Now, he is back and better than ever. Could his hot start signal the beginning of an MVP candidacy? Tim Boyle ponders his chances.

MASN provides updates on Daniel Murphy and Koda Glover

Most of the Nats’ key players are healthy, but Daniel Murphy, Koda Glover, and Joaquin Benoit all began the season on the disabled list. Benoit would provide solid bullpen depth, but Murphy and Glover play key roles. The Nats got off to a great start without them, but their absence will be felt eventually. Byron Kerr updates their status.

Next: Nats/Braves guide

Congratulations to the Villanova Wildcats on their basketball championship! Well deserved. Enjoy your Tuesday.