Last night I was able to watch Yunesky Maya pitch in the Dominican Winter League. To my untrained eyes it looked like Maya was throwing too many balls, but he ended the game having thrown around 36 balls to 59 strikes. He pitched 7 strong innings only giving up one run on a Chris Davis solo homer off of a hanging curve ball that Maya throws too often. His velocity appeared to be up from where he left off last season. His team ended up winning when Brayan Pena drove in the go ahead run in the bottom of the 8th.
Jayson Werth was introduced yesterday. There were many interesting things revealed during the press conference, but I have to say I like his attitude. I have always said I would rather have a player that wants to make a team a winner than to go to a winner. --Mark Zuckerman from csnwashington.com
Also interesting was the fact that Jayson Werth has a full no-trade clause. Not sure it matters though as he will be a 10/5 guy in the last two years of his deal which would be when the Nationals would be looking to move him. --Dave Nichols at natsnewsnetwork.com
Signing Werth is a step in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go before the Nats can hope to contend. --Thomas Boswell in The Washington Post
Having one of the best right fielders in baseball over the last couple seasons is nice, but what if your top prospect also plays the same position*. That isn't the worst problem to have if they both are athletic enough to play all three outfield positions. --Adam Kilgore at washingtonpost.com
*Also don't forget Michael Burgess. He isn't expected to be a superstar, but scouting reports I have seen say he is an above average defender in right and will hit like a right fielder. i am assuming that means something like .250/.350/.450. If Harper or Werth can play center then the Nationals could end up with power at all three outfield positions.
The biggest concern for the Nationals right now is still pitching, and if Jordan Zimmerman stays with the Nationals this will be an important year for him. --Ben Goessling from masnsports.com
The Nationals are still competing with multiple teams to add starting pitching. --Jeff Bergin from nationalsdailynews.com
Nationals, Orioles, Padres closing in on Lee and LaRoche. --Rosenthal and Morosi at foxsports.com
The Nationals sign two minor league outfielders that could fill the utility roll left by the absence of Willie Harris. I do hope we get to see Buck Coats at some point next season. --Ben Goessling at masnsports.com
The signing of Werth officially moved the Nationals into Phase 2, but Phase 1 (aka The Plan) is not being abandoned. --Adam Kilgore from washingtonpost.com
The Nationals would like a lefty to play first base and Adam LaRoche isn't the only one in existence. --nationalsreview.com
Joel Peralta to sign with Rays for $900,000. --Ben Nicholson-Smith at mlbtraderumors.com
The racing presidents learn ballet*. --youtube.com
*With Daniel Day-Lewis staring as Lincoln he needs to be at Nats Park in some capacity next season. I have to admit I marked out hard when Jimmy Smits ( Miguel Prado) showed up at Nats Park last season. I don't know what I would do if Daniel Day-Lewis showed up.
Our stadium now has the biggest balls of them all. --Ben Goessling via Twitter
The D.C. premier of How Do You Know was last night. --Rachel Levitin at welovedc.com
Jason Marquis had a pretty bad year last year, but he wants to live up to the contract he signed and hopes he can have a much better 2011. --Pete Kerzel from masnsports.com
Around the NL East
The Mets had a pretty bad year when it came to pitchers getting in trouble off the field, but Johan Santana most likely didn't do what he was accused of and he is suing his accuser. --Craig Calcaterra at nbcsports.com
Remember when Superman made the Earth spin backwards to rewind time? The Phillies rotation will be able to do that. If they should fail to get a batter out they will just rewind time and have a do over. That is just how great they are. --Jeff Passan from yahoosports.com
In all seriousness the Phillies rotation is pretty good, and by the end of 2011 they could be able to lay claim to the title everyone seems so ready to give them. --Joe Posnanski at si.com
Sad news out of Cleveland last night. After being admitted to a hospice earlier this month Bob Feller has passed away. He leaves behind a legacy that will not be forgotten among baseball fans young and old. --Bob Dolgan at cleveland.com
Another great read on the man whose legend sounds too big to be true and for that reason it is true. --Joe Posnanski from si.com