It was the sort of weekend where Bryce Harper's "Happy Gilmore"-esque tee shot (which got lots of repurposing) and Nats' GM Mike Rizzo's comments on Danny Espinosa hitting exclusively from the right side this season shared top billing for the biggest Washington Nationals stories. We're down to 10 days until pitchers and catchers report to Viera, Florida's Space Coast Stadium for the start of Spring Training. The rotation is set (Tanner Roark to the pen, really?), the bullpen is set (Casey Janssen is like the new Tyler Clippard) and the bench options are all seemingly signed up and ready to battle it out barring any late-winter or spring moves.
There isn't a whole lot going on in NatsTown otherwise, but that will all change in ten days when the blurry ST pics of pitchers and catchers start pouring in from the outlets that send reporters to cover Spring Training in person.
Can't wait for that.
Daily meetings with Matt Williams. Players interviews with reporters finding out how your favorite Nationals spent the winter. The excitement is building. But you still have to hold out a little longer. You can do it.
Hopefully some lunchtime reading in the form of links will help you get through the next hour or so...
In case you didn't see it, here's that Harper Vine that provided content for everyone out there this weekend:
Here are all the Nationals-related links we could find to catch you up on the last weekend's news...
NATS BEAT: Roster previews, Rizzo's comments on RSOD + More
• "While addressing Nationals season ticket holders at a hot stove event on Saturday, general manager Mike Rizzo made some news by saying that Danny Espinosa would only hit from the right side in 2015." - "Nationals Pastime: Rizzo: Espinosa's on the right side in 2015" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com
Rizzo: Espinosa "most stubborn player" on the #Nationals -- will be swinging exclusively right handed this year— Let Teddy Win! (@LetTeddyWin) February 7, 2015
• "Thornton thrived upon joining an NL club for the first time in his lengthy career. Why can’t he do that again?" - "Nationals roster preview: Matt Thornton" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
• "1. Can Wilson Ramos stay healthy? One would hope so." - "Health, new faces among questions facing Nationals" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• "Ryan Zimmerman has battled injuries the past few years and the best option was to move him across the diamond to first base..." - "Nationals Pastime: Nats positional preview: First base" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com
• "Casey Janssen comes to Washington after signing as a free agent in January expected to replace Tyler Clippard as the Nationals’ setup man." - "Washington Nationals 2015 roster preview: Casey Janssen" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
• "Three seasons into his major league career, Harper hasn’t yet driven in 60 runs or produced 30 doubles." - "What will Yankees do with Alex Rodriguez? Is this Bryce Harper’s breakout year?" - Barry Svrluga, The Washington Post
According to @barrysvrluga, Jerry Blevins's arbitration hearing will be held in Florida tomorrow. Numbers are $2.2M and $2.4M. Small gap.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) February 9, 2015
NATS MINORS: Reynaldo Lopez; AA-AAA pitch clocks; Pfitzner Pfitness
• "Nationals director of player development Mark Scialabba said last month that field conditions are very good at Pfitzner Stadium and had no bearing on whether or not a top prospect would skip the high Single-A stop." - "Nats say Potomac's stadium in good shape, top prospects likely will play there again this season" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com
Nats say Potomac's stadium in good shape, top prospects likely will play there again this season http://t.co/jbNRxEl2TI— Byron Kerr (@masnKerr) February 8, 2015
• "In memos to teams this winter, MLB’s Pace of Game Committee has told AA and AAA teams that three large digital timers — two behind home plate and one in the outfield — will be installed in all stadiums..." - "Clocks in between pitches, innings coming to Class AA, AAA this season" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
• "A native of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, Lopez is the second highest rated right-hander in the Nationals' system." - "Five Things To Know About Nationals Prospect Reynaldo Lopez" - Justin Silberman, Pressbox DC
Here are five things to know about Nationals prospect Reynaldo Lopez, including his 38.1 scoreless innings streak. http://t.co/Fa0fEIbeb6— PressBox DC (@PressBoxDC) February 9, 2015
NATIONAL(S) BEAT: BP's Top 101; Nats' rotation; Renda love
• "A year after dealing three prospects to the Tigers to grab Doug Fister (2.41 earned run average, 5.4 strikeouts per nine innings in 2014), the Nationals once again landed another starter who played for Detroit." - "Scherzer a striking addition to Nationals" - Shamus Clancy, Philadelphia Daily News
• "Since Zimmermann has mastered the method that others have failed to grasp, it's natural to think he must have a superior game plan, or perhaps insight to Yelich that others lack. So what is it and what can we learn from it?" - "Painting the Black: Pitch Sequencing, From Z to Y" - R.J. Anderson, Baseball Prospectus
• "Evolution Finance has been locked in a trademark dispute with lawyers representing the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs for two years..." - "Meet the start-up in a trademark war with the Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs" - Steve Overly, The Washington Post
• "Options include returning left-hander Eric O’Flaherty or right-hander Ryan Cook, along with All-Star Tyler Clippard, acquired via trade from the Washington Nationals this offseason." - "A’s closer Doolittle ‘optimistic’ after shoulder scare" - Matt Kawahara, The Sacramento Bee The Sacramento Bee
• "Multiple outlets had Williams gone at the first sign of trouble, but here he is, the 2014 NL Manager of the Year..." - "#OnDeck: Revisiting the managers of the NL East" - Justin Klugh, Philly.com
• "'I’m an on-base guy,' Renda told me late in the Arizona Fall League season. 'My job is to set the table for the big guys behind me.'" - "Sunday Notes: Badenhop & Perez, Weinstein on Framing, Cowart, Renda, more" - David Laurilia, FanGraphs Baseball
ICYMI - FanGraphs: Sunday Notes: Badenhop & Perez, Weinstein on Framing, Cowart, Renda, more http://t.co/66RIjbKvMZ— FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs) February 8, 2015
• "The average human head weighs between 10-12 pounds, but the mascot heads for the beloved Washington Nationals Presidents are about five times that." - "This is what happens at a Washington Nationals’ racing presidents audition" - Nina Mandel, For The Win
NL EAST UPDATES: Harvey returns; Fish lineup; Fredi's meet and greet
• Marlins: "The Miami Marlins have transformed their reality, their image and their chances in just a few short months." - "Revamped roster has Marlins feeling optimistic" - Mike Bauman, marlins.com
• Mets: "Matt Harvey made his long-awaited return to the Mets Monday, arriving in Port St. Lucie, Fla., well ahead of the club's spring training reporting date for pitchers and catchers." - "He's back! Mets' Matt Harvey returns to field before spring training" - Brendan Kuty, NJ.com
• Phillies: "One of the teams consistently connected to Cole Hamels as the trade winds swirled this winter as the San Diego Padres..." - "James Shields signing with Padres makes trading Cole Hamels more difficult for Phillies" - Matt Lombardo, NJ.com
Atlanta Braves (@Braves) February 6, 2015
• Braves: "Now that a hectic offseason has vastly altered his roster, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez will not be personally familiar with many of the players he will meet during Spring Training." - "Fredi confident new-look Braves can contend" - Mark Bowman, braves.com