I haven’t gotten the sense that the Nats have made much national news during this most somnolent of spring trainings, but there have been a few things happen these past couple of months that have reminded us fans that there’s a new sheriff in town, and his name is Davey Martinez.
- The daily Circle of Trust meeting before workouts start; I don’t think anyone’s doing the fall backwards into teammates’ waiting arms, but there’s definitely a touchy-feely component to it.
- There was the day that a couple of coaches rode camels onto one of the fields prior to workouts starting; the message was something about getting over the hump this year.
- Another pre-workout golf competition that involved hitting wedges to an unseen target (marked by balloons) a bit more than 100 yards away, with airhorn blasts letting the golfer know how close to the target the ball landed. Word was some of the guys were pretty good, and some of the guys had never touched a golf club in their lives.
- Pitchers might bat eighth this year, because apples never fall far from the Joe Maddon tree.
- In related news, Bryce Harper might bat second, or even lead off, perhaps joining other sluggardly lead off hitters.
- Ryan Zimmerman, who’s totally healthy according to everyone, played in exactly one Grapefruit League game this spring – the first one. Since then, he’s been getting his work in on back fields, and that is all the people need to know.
- In unrelated news, Bryce Harper was seen working out at first base, with a first baseman’s glove and everything. (It’s reasonable to project a Nats’ future outfield of Eaton, Taylor, and Victor Robles being able to cover everything from foul line to foul line, and I can wishcast Harper into re-signing and playing 1B, can’t I?)
- Miguel Montero, last seen in Nats Park throwing Jake Arrieta under the bus while going 0-7 on trying to throw out base stealers, has won the job as the backup catcher for the Nats. I always thought “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” was supposed to benefit both you and them, so we’ll see.
The snow has mostly melted around here, and things count for real starting Thursday. I’m hoping this year that I have a rooting interest during the NLCS, at least, but we’ll see how things play out.