The 2019 Nationals will not go undefeated. Even if they go 162-0 in the regular season and sweep their way to a World Series after winning the rest of their Grapefruit League games, baseball historians will rue February 25, 2019 as the day the greatest team ever collapsed.
Anyhow, here’s what’s new in West Palm:
Bryce Harper meets with Dave Roberts, Dodgers (MLB.com)
Harper, Stan Kasten, Andrew Friedman, Dave Roberts, and other reps from the Dodgers gathered in Las Vegas on Sunday night in what equated to a "get-to-know-ya" meeting — but word on the street is that the Dodgers aren't too intent on a decade-long contract.
Erick Fedde added 20 pounds hoping to be more durable — and the Nationals’ fifth starter (WaPo)
Erick Fedde thinks he can crack the team's short-term plans — and then he just needs to stick for long enough. With a sturdier frame, odds are he won't blow away.
Aníbal Sánchez nearly retired but used confidence, David Ortiz and Pedro Martinez to resuscitate life on and off the field (The Athletic)
Sánchez was a blue chip prospect. Once he made it to professional baseball, he encountered few hurdles. Then 2017 rolled around, and a 6.41 ERA with it — but a revitalization in Atlanta on the back of more off-speed pitches and a lot of confidence (which he drew from Big Papi and Pedro) led him to a point this offseason where he would have been happy to retire or keep pitching. He ended up pitching, and he wants to make everyone better in what will likely be the final stop of an interesting and exciting career. (He also likes organizing team dinners, and is a phenomenal clubhouse presence!)
The Phillies need Bryce Harper much more than the Dodgers do (WaPo)
The Phillies have a ballpark that plays well to Harper, a team that needs flexiblity and balance, and a concern that they may not be able to crack October despite a talented team. The Dodgers have... none of those things.
Glover got MRI on elbow Monday (MASN)
Koda Glover really did think he would be healthy for all of 2019; that his "throw all winter" program would set him up for success. Needless to say, he wasn't too happy to think that his elbow may be conspiring against him.
Patrick Corbin’s first spring start came far from West Palm Beach. That’s significant. (WaPo)
Patrick Corbin buys used cars, lived in his parents' basement for a while there, and strikes out batters with low-90s sinkers. His performance was good—and perhaps a surprise for the Braves at home as well.
Newcomer Corbin impressive in debut (Nats lose 9-4) (MASN)
Corbin chose to drive up to Lake Buena Vista instead of pitching to hitters on a back field in West Palm Beach, the choice that most other sane multimillionaires will make given the choice. He pitched well, but the rest of the game didn't go quite as well.
For Corbin, long road trip for spring debut worth the time (MASN)
“It wasn’t too bad,” the left-hander said. “I got to come up here yesterday and have dinner and get ready for a start. I think you want to face the guys that you’re going to face during the course of the season. It didn’t really cross my mind (to pass on the trip).”
Patrick Corbin pleased with Nats Spring Training debut (NBCSW)
Corbin pitched like a $140 million man on Monday: his line consisted of one hit, two innings, and a low pitch count — but he also got to work with Yan Gomes and get a feel for the Nats.