The Washington Nationals pitchers and catchers are due to report to Viera for the commencement of spring training on Tuesday. The rest of the roster is due to report on Friday and the first full workout is planned for next Saturday. Baseball is in the air. Nats fans anxiously await the kickoff to the National League East title defense and a high expectation 2013 season ahead. For Caps fans, they anxiously await the Nats too, because they will help numb the pain of a pathetic Washington Capitals season and effort. So baseball is close. Very close.
The Nationals are still negotiating the future of their spring training home in the Sunshine state. Spring training brings fans, IE tourists, which equals dollars for local business. Although talks have intensified to possibly relocate the Nats into Lee County and/or Fort Meyers, Viera businesses are hoping the Nats decide to stick around. The Washington Post has more on the future home of spring training and the lack of clarity on the issue. Lee County Commissioners did decide to further explore options with the Nats and the $36.6 million price tag.
Denard Span is looking forward to and excited about kicking off his Washington Nationals career. This is a real good read to get to know Span. Federal Baseball thinks the Span trade was the best acquisition of the off-season. No doubt, this will be a great debate after we see the big three acqusitions and how they evolve. The Dan Heren signing was brillant. As well as Edwin Jackson pitched last year, Heren is a definite upgrade to an already awesome rotiation. Rafael Soriano's addition and his joining Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen as a 1-2-3 punch rivals that of fellow NL East Atlanta Braves bullpen.
USA Today writes up on the Shark, IE, Roger Bernadina.
Our Bloguin partner, Nats Blog, continues its journey through the 2012 Washington Nationals. This write up is on starting pitcher Ross Detwiler.
CNNSI gives the Nats an A- for off-season moves. Here is what they had to conclude.
Already a strong team, Washington has gotten a bit stronger this winter — a necessity to stay ahead of the revamped Braves in the NL East. The Nationals have spent money, boosting their payroll from last year’s $92.5 million to upwards of $106.6 million, but they haven’t done so exorbitantly; none of the deals they’ve signed are for longer than two years, and their big trade piece, Span, is cost-controlled through 2015. More than anything, they’ve made it clear they’re aiming for a World Series title, something that should resonate with the Washington fans and boost their attendance into the upper half of the league.
UT San Diego previews 10 things to watch for the Grapefruit League. As a common theme in many articles like this, the Nats are the talk of expectations.
Stephen Strasburg is raring to go. The staff is tops in the majors. Bryce Harper is poised to break out. Mike Rizzo is reigning Exec of the Year and, after this offseason, still on a roll. All of which is to say: These Washington Nationals are, again, scary good.
Another NL East Preview. This one from the Winnipeg Free Press.
Around the Blogs:
In terms of more season previews, District Sports previews the Nats infield.
Rant Sports writes on the Nationals starting rotation, the best in baseball, and the fact that there will likely not be any innings limitation on any starter for the first time in two seasons. As you know, Stephen Strasburg was on an innings limit last season, after returning from Tommy John surgery. A year prior, Jordan Zimmermann was on an innings limitation as he returned from the same surgery.