Both Ryan Zimmerman and Yunel Escobar will be playing different positions this season and some people are making a lot out of it. I have to say I don't understand. Baseball is a difficult sport to play but the rules are simple. It isn't like Ryan Zimmerman is going to be confused as to the way Rendon and Desmond are throwing baseballs at him and Yunel Escobar's brain isn't going to explode fielding ground balls just because second base is now to his right. There are only so many ways to record an out and they don't change that much position to position. Being able to play a position has a lot more to do with physical ability and both Zimmerman and Escobar have the skill sets to play their new positions.
Rob Manfred has been fun so far as commissioner. He confused people at first when he mentioned banning defensive shifts but since then he's said plenty of crazy things and then backed off in later interviews. In today's media market it is easy to get instant feedback and that is what Manfred is doing. He mentioned earlier this week about shortening the baseball season and the response wasn't a dramatic yes or no. He could have gotten a bunch of calls from the owners saying it would cost them revenue but the fans didn't reject or take to the idea. It was talked about more as a curiosity and with only eight games being dropped from the regular season schedule it could even increase revenue if it leads to a better product being put on the field or more playoff teams, but that is a much longer discussion. Speaking of longer discussions you can get all the long discussions you want from The Citizens of Natstown Washington Baseball Annual Volume III.
Chris Johnson from MASNSports.com is just one of the people talking about Zimmerman moving to first base but according to Zimmerman it's weirder for the fans and media than it is for him.
Most people are talking about Matt Williams being coy about when he's going to do his Babe Ruth impression but the important take away from his meeting with the media is the eighth inning could be a match-up inning.--Mark Zuckerman, Nationals Insider. This is very interesting but with both Thornton and Blevins the Nationals do have the ability to have two match-up innings or the starting pitchers could just go at least seven innings every night.
According to James Wagner of The Washington Post Ian Desmond is ready to have a big season after working hard all offseason. Desmond is one of the leaders of the team and this is likely his last season with the Nationals. There is just so much any player is worth and while Desmond has been one of the best shortstops in baseball over the last three seasons the Nats have to have a line they stop at. With that being said Ian Desmond has every right to try and maximize his value and if the last couple free agent classes have been any indication he'll be able to do just that. There are a lot worse things the Nationals could do than letting Desmond play out his contract. Remember Sparky Anderson said he could win a pennant every year if he had 25 players in a contract year.
If you like obscure baseball facts then Thomas Boswell is the man to read, and as it turns out Matt Williams' grandfather played for the only DC baseball team to win a World Series. It's been a long time since DC has had a World Series winner or a championship of any kind and there is no better year than 2015 for it to happen. I've always found it funny how much Boswell follows fan thinking and before any games have begun he's all sunshine and rainbows but we all know he's going dark side at least once this season.
Ryan Sullivan of NatsGM.com, and contributor to The Citizens of Natstown Washington Baseball Annual Volume III brings us his top ten Nats prospects. Prospect lists are great and fun and everyone loves them but damn if I don't feel like I've seen more this spring than ever before.
Last but not least, Citizens of Natstown made a significant free agent acquisition of our own this offseason. Tune in today around noon for the announcement.
Until tomorrow Natstown...