Washington Nationals: Top Takeaways from First Week of Spring Training

rshinberg
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 22: Michael Taylor #3 of the Washington Nationals poses for a portrait on Photo Day at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches during on February 22, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 22: Michael Taylor #3 of the Washington Nationals poses for a portrait on Photo Day at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches during on February 22, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

After one week of games, the Washington Nationals spring training is in full swing.  We look at two primary takeaways as the Nats get ready for the season.

After four long months of waiting, the Washington Nationals are playing baseball again!

Sure, the starters may be throwing merely two innings, and the position players only see two at-bats, but it is baseball nonetheless.

As the Nationals enter their second week of spring training, here are some takeaways from the first week of games.

No Injuries to Key Players

It’s obvious but pertinent.  Injuries are some of the worst things to come out of sports, and injuries in exhibition games can be devastating to a team.

More from District on Deck

Even though the players likely to receive roster spots aren’t diving for every fly ball, or going full throttle when rounding the bases, injuries can still occur.

The most significant injured player for the Nationals right now is Koda Glover.  After a shortened outing on Feb. 25, the right-handed relief pitcher was diagnosed with a right forearm strain and will be shut down for the time being.

Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post noted Glover’s UCL is unharmed, and that his elbow is fine.  Due to Glover’s injury history, shutting him down a precautionary move.

Another minor area of concern is Ryan Zimmerman, as he has only played in one game.  Zimmerman infamously sat out last season’s spring training and batted .184 in March and April.

Zimmerman was slated to play Friday, but manager Davey Martinez held him out until Saturday due to illness.  In his two at-bats on Saturday, he went hitless.

The Nats have a relatively clean bill of health heading into March, and hopefully, the situation only improves as the month unfolds.

Outfield Competition Heating Up

With the caveat of Victor Robles only having 15 total plate appearances this spring, he looks ready to leap into the big league lineup.

In those 15 plate appearances, Robles has five hits, one home run, three RBI’s, five runs scored, three walks, and two stolen bases.

On the flip side, Micahel A. Taylor is playing even better than Robles.

In 13 plate appearances, Taylor has six more total bases than Robles (13 to 7) and only two strikeouts.

In the four years since his debut in 2014, Taylor did not establish himself as an everyday player despite a plethora of opportunities.

With Juan Soto’s emergence and Adam Eaton under contract until 2021, this might be Taylor’s last shot to crack the starting lineup before Robles takes over for good.

Next. Introducing Victor Robles. dark

If Taylor wants to become an everyday player with the Nats, it is now or never.  The competition between him and Robles will be fascinating to watch as we get later into March.

facebooktwitterreddit