Patrick Corbin makes his Nationals debut today, the first step on a very, very long journey to prove that the team didn’t overpay for him.
Let’s loop you in from Lake Buena Vista:
Dave Martinez, in second spring training, shows growth in shifted approach (WaPo)
Dave Martinez lived the problems last year. Now, he feels empowered to go after them — the defensive miscues, the baserunning mistakes — and he's willing to force the entire team to do it again, even if they get it wrong, though things don't seem *super* uptight.
Big Year Lies Ahead For Nationals Erick Fedde (Baseball America)
The Nationals are relying on Erick Fedde to serve as crucial starting pitching depth in the event of injury or underperformance, to finally put together what once made him a top prospect, firing in first-pitch strikes with command.
Besides Phils, what teams want Bryce Harper? (MLB.com)
"It is possible there are mystery teams pursuing free-agent superstar Bryce Harper, like the Phillies pursued [Cliff] Lee, but good fits have been difficult to find. Still, there continue to be reports that Harper’s agent Scott Boras is meeting with multiple teams about the outfielder." So who's most likely there? Nationals? Giants? Padres? White Sox? Astros?
Sources: The Dodgers are back in the mix for Bryce Harper. Club officials, including manager Dave Roberts, were seen in Las Vegas on Sunday. https://t.co/cBRqZx4kOO— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) February 25, 2019
Contract talks between Bryce Harper, Phillies nearing conclusion (ESPN)
The Phillies look like they're finally, finally honing in on signing Bryce Harper.
Bryce Harper shouldn’t be paid more than Manny Machado (BtBS)
If you throw out Bryce Harper and Giancarlo Stanton's best years, Harper has a career average WAR worth one win less than Stanton — and Harper's floor is lower than Stanton's (though his ceiling is higher). All of which is to say: Harper shouldn't get more than Stanton's AAV $25 million deal corrected for inflation.
Nats don't plan to shift more, but plan to shift smarter (MASN)
The Nationals aren't suddenly going to shift constantly — but they are going to make sure that they shift in the right times and play straight up when it makes more sense (i.e., with two strikes).
Fredericksburg Baseball stadium groundbreaking attracts more than 1,000 fans (MASN)
Fredericksburg, Virginia will soon have minor league baseball, and 1000 local residents showed up to display their enthusiasm. (Also buried in here: the P-Nats will no longer be the Nationals once they move, instead subjected to a name-the-team contest.)
Glover departs with elbow tightness in spring debut (MASN)
You're never going to believe this, but Koda Glover might be hurt again. Granted, he didn't report to Spring Training this year experiencing arm troubles like he did last year, but his offseason program consisted of... throwing all winter. Huh.
Nationals reliever Koda Glover exits first spring training appearance with elbow tightness (WaPo)
“He said he felt great in the bullpen,” Martinez said when asked whether Glover had experienced any prior elbow pain this spring. “When I sent Lilly out there, I just said, ‘Talk to him, see how he feels.’ And Lilly says, ‘He says he just didn’t feel right,’ So I told him to take him out.”
Oft-injured Koda Glover leaves Nationals Spring Training game with elbow tightness (NBCSW)
Granted, if this is what convinces Mark Lerner and Mike Rizzo to go after Craig Kimbrel, it may not be *all* bad.
Nats Take Second Straight ST Game, 12-2 (NationalsProspects)
Carter Kieboom did well, as did Jake Noll, Kyle McGowin, Austen Williams, and Erick Fedde. Other prospects... less so.