As he did in his first Spring Training as the Washington Nationals' manager, Matt Williams came into his second camp with every minute of activity scheduled so that everyone would be prepared for the 2015 campaign at the end and so that no time was wasted along the way.
"The schedule is the same as it was last year," Williams joked. "It's mapped out. We'll make minor changes within it, but it's mapped out from today until the last day that we go to Tampa before we leave."
That was two months back. This afternoon, in George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida, the Nationals take on the New York Yankees in the final Grapefruit League game and the next-to-last exhibition before Opening Day in D.C. against the New York Mets on Monday.
Before Doug Fister and Nathan Eovaldi go head-to-head in the nation's capital on Saturday, Stephen Strasburg and CC Sabathia meet in the Yankees' Spring home at 1:05 PM EDT today in a game that's available on MLB.tv.
Until then, it's time to catch up on the last twenty-four hours of Nationals news.
Season previews. Predictions. And lots more... all in one place... though it's a little lighter than usual since everyone seems to have rested up yesterday...
Strasburg talks... no really, the 26-year-old right-hander opens up to the WaPost's James Wagner:
When he was drafted, Stephen Strasburg was scared of leaving San Diego. Now, he loves DC. On his bond with the city: http://t.co/NSPKgVRjP4— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) April 2, 2015
• "'I’ve grown up a lot through this organization,' he said. 'I love the city of D.C.'" - "Strasburg: ‘I love the city of D.C.’" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
NATS BEAT: McLouth's shoulder, Meet Clint Robinson; Nats' "window" chatter
• "'It's a 50/50 shot: You either make it or you don't,' said Robinson. 'I'm trying not to think about it. It's part of the game, it's how it goes.'" - "Nationals Pastime: Down to the wire for Clint Robinson" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com
• "McLouth is headed for the disabled list when the Nationals begin the season on April 6." - "Nate McLouth on his shoulder setback" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
• "'You never stop learning, no matter how deep you go in your career. That's something you have to be willing to do,' the 30-year-old Scherzer said." - "Status comes 2nd to winning for Scherzer" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• "The Nationals are not just odds-on favorites to win the World Series in 2015. Whether they choose to acknowledge it or not, when they take the field for Opening Day on Monday, they will be entering a unique one-year window." - "TIME RUNNING OUT?: Nationals hit unique one-year window of opportunity to win a World Series" - Tom Schad, Washington Times
• "The leading system is the Troutwine Athletic Profile (TAP), developed by Dr. Robert Troutwine, which is used by teams ranging from the Washington Nationals to DeMatha Catholic High School’s varsity baseball team." - "Personality profiles for more than just pro athletes" - Noah Frank, WTOP
Treinen talks to Grant and Danny (who really like Treinen):
• "Blake Treinen’s career path to the height of his profession was more unfixed than most, even for a baseball player." - "Blake Treinen’s Path to Nats Involved 3 Colleges, 2 Drafts and a Trade" Chris Lingebach, CBS DC
Charlie Slowes and... oh, just Charlie Slowes
• "PressBoxDC.com spoke with Slowes about his 10 years with the team; his broadcaster partner, Dave Jageler; and the high expectations the Nationals have for the upcoming season." - "Q&A: Nationals Radio Play-By-Play Man Charlie Slowes" - Jim Williams, PressBox DC
NATSTOWN: More Nationals Park stuff:
• "The Washington Nationals have added 15 new sponsors and partners at Nationals Park with an eye on boosting the fan experience..." - "Washington Nationals beef up roster of amenities, luxury suites, promos and food (Video)" - Jeremy Beale, Washington Business Journal
• "Concessions already showcase the District (Ben’s Chili Bowl and local brews) and Maryland (crab, of course). This season, the ballpark will add some comfort foods connected with Virginia." - "Nationals unveil new food, drink offerings for 2015 (Photos)" - Andrew Mollenbeck, WTOP
• "Most Nats fans live in Northern Virginia, Maryland and D.C. — based on 'Likes.'" - "Where do Nationals, Orioles fans really live? Facebook maps out MLB fan bases" - Sarah Beth Hensley, WTOP
NATIONAL(S) BEAT: Ranking rosters; Bold predictions
• "The best rotation in baseball. In fact, it almost doesn't seem fair for them to have so many great starters." - "Ranking the National League rosters, using six different categories" - Jason Martinez, ESPN.com
• "'Ending with these guys and knowing what everyone said about them — pretty much they already won the World Series — we're trying to change that," said Marlins right-hander Jarred Cosart...'" - "Marlins confident they can challenge Nationals" - Craig Davis, Florida Sun-Sentinel
• "Giolito's 12-6 power curveball is one of the best hooks in the Minors, but it's only his second-best pitch." - "Washington Nationals Prospect Primer: Lucas Giolito shining" - Ashley Marshall, MiLB.com
• "Stammen, an alumnus of Versailles High School, has felt good throughout spring training and is excited about the start of the regular season on Monday." - "Stammen begins season confident" - Kyle Shaner, dailyadvocate.com
• "'I've never seen anything like this,' said veteran second baseman Dan Uggla, who is in camp with the Nationals." - "The Washington Nationals' starting rotation is 'deep and dangerous'" - Tim Kurkjian, ESPN.com
• "The stingiest team in the majors last year added the game's best free-agent pitcher." - "Predicting the season win total for the Washington Nationals" - Joe Peta, ESPN
• "Tanner Roark (15-10 last season) projects to have a 3.46 ERA in '15, surely starter-worthy. So why will he spend most of his time in the pen?" - "MLB Preview - NL East" - ESPN
• "The last time a World Series champion called the nation’s capital home was 1924 when Hall of Famers Walter Johnson and Goose Goslin guided the Senators to victory..." - "NL preview: World Series drought likely to end for Washington" - Manny Navarro, Miami Herald Miami Herald
• "Biggest question mark: How will the impending free agents — SS Ian Desmond and RHPs Doug Fister and Jordan Zimmermann — handle their platform seasons?" - "Team-by-team guide to the National League" - Ken Davidoff, New York Post
Here are 125 predictions about the 2015 MLB season. (I was unable to alphabetize them.) http://t.co/qTr2vXNm8I— Will Leitch (@williamfleitch) April 2, 2015
• "The Washington Nationals will be the only team to win 100 games, becoming the first team to reach the century plateau since the 2011 Philadelphia Phillies." - "We made 125 predictions for the 2015 MLB season." - Will Leitch, SportsonEarth.com
NL EAST UPDATES: Murphy might be back; Braves' new starter/reliever; Buffer in MIA
• Mets: "The Mets will be staging a production of 'Mr. Murphy Goes to Washington.'" - "Mets, Collins ‘optimistic’ Murphy will be ready for opener" - Mike Puma, New York Post
• "Most important, staff ace Matt Harvey is making his much-anticipated return from elbow surgery..." - "Surface Contention: The 2015 New York Mets Season Preview" - Jared Diamond, WSJ
• Phillies: "Now, the biggest name in the Phillies Nation is Ruben Amaro Jr., which seldom is uttered without colorful modifiers." - "Phillies' struggles can be traced to losing Victorino, Werth" - Marcus Hayes, Philadelphia Daily News
• Braves: "Andrew McKirahan came to Spring Training knowing he would likely begin the upcoming season at the Major League level or back in the Cubs' Minor League system." - "New Brave McKirahan hits the ground running" - Mark Bowman, braves.com
OFFICIAL: #Dbacks acquire MiLB outfielder Josh Elander, Braves #13 prospect entering 2014, for Trevor Cahill and cash considerations.— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) April 3, 2015
• Marlins: "The Marlins have added some more punch to their 2015 roster, which makes it fitting that player introductions for Monday's Opening Day will be handled by legendary boxing announcer Michael Buffer." - "'Ready to rumble': Buffer to announce OD lineup" - Joe Frisaro, marlins.com