Washington Nationals: Five biggest storylines for the 2018/19 offseason

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WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 05: Bryce Harper #34 and Manager Dave Martinez #4 of the Washington Nationals sit in the dugout before the home opener against the New York Mets at Nationals Park on April 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 05: Bryce Harper #34 and Manager Dave Martinez #4 of the Washington Nationals sit in the dugout before the home opener against the New York Mets at Nationals Park on April 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Washington Nationals Davey Martinez
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The Davey Dilemma

So far, all signals out of the Washington Nationals camp have indicated that manager Davey Martinez will return in 2019. But the Nats manager is also a big storyline to watch out for this winter.

Martinez struggled in his first year as the leader in the dugout, with the team falling to its underwhelming 82-80 record. However, GM Mike Rizzo has come out in support of Martinez, saying that he “hasn’t considered any other scenario”.

But remember, the Nationals also wanted Dusty Baker back initially, until, well, they didn’t. So could Martinez’s job be in jeopardy? Unlikely, but never say never. Rizzo phrased his support of the manager interestingly, in that, he could consider another scenario.

Assuming he does stay, which seems the likely outcome, Martinez simply has to improve in multiple areas. He knows it. Rizzo knows it. The fanbase knows it.

While it did seem that he was finally getting a handle on the rigors of managing, he was still struggling with the little things. But he’s set to adjust that this season, as he told Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports the following:

"“I’ll have meetings this winter with the coaches,” he said. “And we’ll have a different approach to spring training as far as doing fundamentals and what I want to see.”"

It’s one thing to say these things, it will be another to actually put this into practice. He mentioned they’ll have days where they won’t hit at all and have days solely working on “hitting the cutoff man, turning double plays, turning double plays from shifts positions, pickoff plays”.

Thankfully, it appears as though there won’t be any camels this time. Phew.

The changes Davey Martinez makes to his management style throughout the offseason will certainly be something to watch. Expect it to be night-and-day different from last season.

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