Will Steven Souza get an opportunity to come off the bench for the Washington Nationals in 2015?
What changes will the Nats make to their bench this winter?
Will the Nats try to get Souza, a 25-year-old outfielder, who will turn 26 in April, enough at bats to justify keeping him on the bench in the majors like they did with Tyler Moore a few years back?
Does the '07 3rd Round pick have anything left to prove at Triple-A after putting up a .350/.432/.590 line with 25 doubles and 18 HRs in 96 games and 407 plate appearances with the Nationals' top affliate while also making his MLB debut this season?
There's some Souza talk below in today's links. What about Michael Taylor? There's likely more time at Triple-A coming for Taylor next season, but will the Nats' next-gen outfielders play a big role at the major league level in 2015?
Assuming Denard Span's back for another season, do you think Souza or Taylor will be ready for an everyday role in the near future? 2016? Check out what MLB.com's Bernie Pleskoff had to say about Souza below in today's pick for...
• THE BIG STORY!!!:
• "Souza has some work to do cutting down on the aggressive, long swing that often finds him a bit tardy on high velocity pitches. He can be fooled by offspeed pitches as well." - "Souza's talent on display after rocky road" - Bernie Pleskoff, nationals.com
All the Nats-related links we could find... starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:
• Matt Williams talked to the WaPost yesterday, now he's talking to MLB.com's Bill Ladson:
• "MLB.com caught up with Matt Williams recently to talk about the 2014 season, including the moves he made during the NLDS that had people scratching their heads." - "Williams talks NLDS decisions, Nats' season in Q&A" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• VIDEO: LaRoche really wants to stay, apparently...
• "LaRoche hopes to be a National 'for the rest of my career'" - Comcast SportsNet Washington
• Thom Loverro says Nats (and O's fans) will look back on this season fondly...
• "Maybe the only thing worse would have been for Angelos to lose to Ted Lerner — his MASN business partner and now courtroom rival — and the Washington Nationals in a Parkway World Series." - "Orioles — and Nats — will look back on 2014 as a success" - Thom Loverro, Washington Times
Left Field Bleachers partially gone, leaving only outfield wall standing. pic.twitter.com/NRar7GPzQ3— Wrigley Blog (@WrigleyBlog) October 16, 2014
• So, maybe Viera isn't so bad after all... though I'd totally fly out to Arizona again...
• "The Nationals' hopes to partner with the Houston Astros on a shared spring training complex in Palm Beach County have run into another obstacle..." - "Nationals Buzz: Another obstacle for planned Nats/Astros spring complex in Palm Beach County" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com
• More Minniti to L.A. chatter:
• "Many have connected Minniti to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ vacant general manager position, which would reunite Minniti with former Nationals President and current Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten." - "Could Bryan Minniti join the Dodgers?" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post
Some speculation has surfaced on where former Nats assistant GM Bryan Minniti could end up. http://t.co/gAFUYzd1Xw— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) October 16, 2014
• Span's season in review courtesy NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman:
• "As was the case in 2013, Span got off to a sluggish start at this plate. But this time, he turned things around earlier." - "Nationals Roster Review: Denard Span" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
• Story idea for later: If the Nats had Rafael Soriano and Drew Storen and were still considering signing Grant Balfour last winter, they're bound to go for someone else this winter right?:
• "The Nationals finished with the fourth-best bullpen ERA (3.00) in the majors, behind only the Mariners, Padres and Athletics." - "Nationals positional review, part 2: Bullpen" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
• "‘Baseball in the District’ is back for an offseason preview show, as Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I welcomed in Mark Zuckerman and Thom Loverro as guests to look ahead to 2015." - "Baseball in the District – Offseason preview with Zuckerman & Loverro" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider
• "Presumed Plan: Ryan Zimmerman will shift over to first base as the mutual option year for current starter Adam LaRoche will not be picked up and he will become a free agent." - "Offseason Position Discussion : First Base" - Harper, Nationals Baseball
• "The NatsGM Show Episode #16 – Guest Ryan Parker" - Ryan Sullivan, NatsGM
• "Yes, Jayson Werth provides a solid bat in the middle of the Nationals’ lineup. And, yes, he’s a great leader in the clubhouse for the NL East champs." - "The best in D.C. sports: Washington Nationals, Maryland Terrapins and Happy Hour Kickball" - Jeffrey Tomik and Michael Cuniff, The Washington Post
There is no baseball for 5 days... pic.twitter.com/auRzp4eQaq— Beyond the Box Score (@BtBScore) October 17, 2014
• What's worked in the postseason this year:
• "One could certainly argue that the Nationals were more talented than the Giants. Most people around baseball would agree with that one, I think." - "Nationals Pastime: The recipe for postseason success" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
• Are baseball games too long?:
• "The average nine-inning postseason game is getting close to the 3:30 mark, and that doesn't even take extra-inning games into account. Could these long games be turning off fans?" - "Postseason games are getting longer" - Scott Lindholm, Beyond the Box Score
• NL EAST UPDATES:
• Braves: "One of the most logical places for the Braves to look for their new hitting coach was the Double Dime Ranch in Texas and they did, Chipper Jones said." - "Chipper Jones Q&A: ‘Not ready’ to be Braves hitting coach" - Carroll Rogers, www.myajc.com
Full length Chipper Jones Q&A: ‘Not ready’ to be Braves hitting coach http://t.co/3p91FQ317x— Carroll Rogers (@CarrollRogers) October 17, 2014
• Marlins: "Nicolino won the 2014 Organizational Pitcher of the Year award and put up 170 1/3 strong innings, posting a 2.85 ERA and 3.43 FIP along the way." - "Justin Nicolino and the concern over prospect strikeouts" - Michael Jong, Fish Stripes
• Phillies: "So what we’ve got here is a 24-year-old who’s not good enough with the glove right now to be anything more than a below-average third baseman..." - "2014 Phillies Report Card: Cody Asche" - Michael Baumann, Crashburn Alley
• Mets: "The best way to describe Curtis Granderson's first season with the Mets would be bumpy. Perhaps rocky is more appropriate." - "Why Curtis Granderson's first year with Mets was better than you think: Season in review grades" - Mike Vorkunov, NJ.com