Mike Rizzo talked in an interview with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s The Sports Junkies last week about what was different this Spring as opposed to the last time around?
Washington's Nationals went 18-4 in Grapefruit League action, piled up runs and went north with everyone healthy.
That last part, Rizzo said, was important.
The big difference is that our disabled list is much smaller this year," Rizzo explained.
"Our key guys came into the winter where they could prepare for Spring Training and not in rehab mode, they were in preparation mode, which always helps and we've gone through camp so far relatively smoothly as far as injuries go and guys getting their work in, getting their at bats, performing well and really getting ready to take off at the right time on Opening Day."
That good feeling lasted for three and a half innings on Monday afternoon in the season opener in Atlanta, then Michael A. Taylor took the field as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the fourth.
New Nats' center fielder Ben Revere was lifted after two at bats and a few plays in center field with an undisclosed issue.
Once the game ended, with the Nationals coming from behind for a 4-3 win, Dusty Baker talked to reporters about what went wrong for the 27-year-old outfielder in his debut with the Nats following the trade that brought him from Toronto this winter.
"We think he's okay," Baker said. "We took him out for precaution because he did it on a swing, on that 3-1 swing. And so he aggravated his rib cage some, so he's day-to-day and we took him out as a precaution."
Revere showed signs of discomfort before that groundout on the 3-1 pitch from Braves' starter Julio Teheran in the third, but he returned to the field for the bottom of the third inning before leaving the game.
Baker was asked if it was an oblique issue?
"No, I can't say what it is because we're not sure what it is," he explained. "So I don't want to jump to conclusions to say what it is because I'm not a doctor and they just said he aggravated it."
Asked if it had been a problem for Revere before Monday, Baker said, "No."
"This is the first time I heard of it."
Revere told reporters, including Washington Post writer James Wagner, that he felt somthing on his first swing of the game, later in that at bat, again on a leaping attempt at the wall in center on Freddie Freeman's home run and then again in his second trip to the plate:
"My body kinda told my brain and kinda reacted in a different way and kinda came off it and that’s when I knew something was up," Revere said. "I went back out and caught the [Jace] Peterson pop fly and it was kinda tough going over there and running because it was kinda tough for me to breathe a little bit."
Revere said he would rest on the Nationals' off day tomorrow and then reevaluate before the Nats face the Braves again on Wednesday night.
Michael A. Taylor ended up hitting a sac fly to center in the eighth inning to bring in a tying run, and he went 0 for 2 with a K after taking over for Revere.
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