• Bob Boone On The Radio From Viera, FL: The Washington Nationals' Assistant GM and Vice President of Player Development Bob Boone made an appearance on MLB Network Radio's Inside Pitch Saturday with Casey Stern this afternoon. The conversation, of course, started with a question about Stephen Strasburg's recovery from Tommy John surgery. CSN Washington and NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman wrote in an article entitled, "Saturday's workout in photos" that Strasburg simply, "...did his light tossing from 45 feet earlier this morning, on the field at Space Coast Stadium." According to Mr. Boone, the right-hander, "...feels great. He's just on flat ground right now, and we're gonna be as cautious as we possibly could for anybody, and we expect him back maybe August, mid-August."
Though it's still early in camp, the Nats' Asst. GM Mr. Boone says that, "[Jason] Marquis is throwing much better right now than what I saw last Spring at the start, in the first couple of go-rounds," and, "[Ross] Detwiler is throwing extremely well." MASNSports.com's Ben Goessling wrote about Detwiler's "streamlined" delivery in an article on today's workouts entitled, "Saturday Nationals workout observations."
While some worry about what exactly Jayson Werth will be able to accomplish outside of Philadelphia and the Phillies' lineup as one of three power bats along with Adam LaRoche and Ryan Zimmerman, Mr. Boone says that he sees Werth as, "...an accomplished player that has numbers that we expect to be there at the end of the year and he's very athletic...the one thing that you really see in this camp, and all of our players aren't in here yet, we're just doing pitcher/catcher camp, you know quite a few guys are here already and working out and hitting and you see it and our club is going to be a very athletic team and Jayson Werth just adds to that."
Asked about the influence of the veterans D.C. GM Mike Rizzo has added to the roster like Jerry Hairston, Jr., Adam LaRoche, Alex Cora and Werth, Mr. Boone says that though you can learn by example about being a professional, "The learning process is about just playing and getting the experience yourself. People will talk to you but, it's really about getting that experience yourself. And we expect for our middle infielders guys to be better this year. We're very athletic in the infield and we're going to have a lot of speed in the outfield, we're just, we're a better ballclub than we have been since I've been here, for six years."
When can Nats fans expect to see Bryce Harper? "If you want to see him you can come down to Florida," Boone joked. "I think it's totally unfair to put any kind of time frame on it. To me, there's two things I know. He's going to be in the big leagues and he's going to be there when he's ready to be there." Nats' Skipper Jim Riggleman momentarily sent the Twitterverse aflutter when SI.com's Jon Heyman (SI_JonHeyman) wrote that, "[Nats'] Riggleman just said he doesn't completely rule out Bryce Harper, 18, reaching majors this [year] if he thrives 'at every level,'" though I think that's just more of the "we won't hold him back" talk you heard from Mr. Riggleman back in January when he told MLB Network Radio First Pitch hosts Jim Memolo and Rob Dibble that, "Sometimes players are just so dominant that the competition where they're playing just is not enough for them.":
"They just overwhelm that level of competition. If that happens, we're not going to slow his progress down to the point where it's not doing him any good to stay in a particular league."
"If he needs to move from one league to the next, we'll move him," Mr. Riggleman said, before admitting that he thought Harper making it to Double-A would be, "...a little bit of a stretch this year." "He'll be there when he's ready to be there," Mr. Boone said this afternoon. "I'm not going to get impatient for [Harper] at all. It's the same way with Stephen Strasburg. It's a shame how what's happened to him in having to have the elbow surgery, but the fact is a lot of pitchers do. A lot of pitchers do and what we know is they come back even stronger a lot of times and we just have to be patient and he'll be back and ready when he's ready. And that's how I feel about Bryce Harper, but he is special..."
• LINK: MASNSports.com's Byron Kerr has advice for anyone who wants to see Harper in an article entitled, "Want to see Bryce Harper's first game? Visit Rome."
• LINK: Curly W Live: "Day 5 in Viera: Defensive Versatility a Key in 2011."
• VIDEO: In addition to the blog post linked directly before this link, the Nationals' PR staff has been posting Spring Training videos via their official Twitter account (@NationalsPR). For those Jesus Flores fans out there, here's something we've wanted to see for a while now: