With Opening Day still two weeks away this is starting to feel like the longest Spring Training ever. Pitchers are throwing five innings already and they've all got two more starts. What are they going to do in those last starts? Throw complete games for the fun of it. The only reason that it is good that Opening Day isn't next week is that the Nats have a ton of injured players that need that extra week to get back on the field.
The extra week can also double as an excuse for us to debate who we think is making the team. I had my picks before Spring Training started and it looked like everything was going to be perfectly logical but now McLouth isn't going to be ready to be the fourth outfielder, Mike Carp has been outplayed by every other left handed hitter brought to camp, and Tyler Moore just won't stop hitting baseballs. A lot of people have worked under the assumption that Kevin Frandsen is owed a spot because he stuck with the Nats for all of 2014 but that isn't the case at all as he would only cost a fraction of his already small salary to get rid of, and as a right handed pinch hitter he's been outplayed by both Uggla and Moore. The Nats never do what makes sense though and I expect the roster that goes north will have at least one surprise on it.
I haven't linked to many Spring Training games stories and here is one from James Wagner of The Washington Post presented in a news and notes style. It is covering more than just the game and gives some encouraging news on Michael Taylor. Center fielders with power, speed, and defense are a rare breed and Taylor has a chance to be one of the more important Washington Nationals players this season. I saw video of that opposite-field homer and it was damn impressive.
Dave Nichols of District Sports Page examines Dan Uggla's chances of making the Nationals. Dan Uggla was on my list before Spring Training begin and nothing has happened to knock him off of it. Tyler Moore has never been able to hit in the majors, Kevin Frandsen provides nothing special and can easily be replaced by a number of players at AAA, and those are the two players Uggla is competing with when it comes to the right handed pinch hitter role. Between Lobaton, Espinosa, and Gwynn Jr. or whoever is the fourth OF seven of the eight positions are covered with first being the lone exception and whoever is the left handed pinch hitter can handle that.
Here is one of those stories I was talking about last week. Jayson Stark from ESPN provides us with his explanation of why the Marlins could be a playoff team. Again no one is writing this about the Pirates or the Giants.
To prove that hot takes aren't limited to one side of an argument Noah Frank tells us how Bryce Harper is once again right in his never ending argument with Matt Williams. I hear that when they get back to DC they're going to gather their boys and rumble in Southeast.
Because everything is being analyzed these days Sports on Earth gives us a ranking of third base coaches.
Until tomorrow Natstown...