Anyone have anything going on tomorrow? If not, Federal Baseball will be throwing a C-SPAN watch party for all those bored at 1 PM on a Thursday, because there is Absolutely Nothing Else Happening At That Time In Washington, D.C.
Anyhow, here’s the scoop from South Capitol:
Nationals Manager Dave Martinez loses the benefit of the doubt in Year 2 (WaPo)
The Nats got rid of Dusty Baker to win a World Series. Davey Martinez quite clearly did not bring one. If the Nats win this year, it's because of the roster — and if they lose, it's because of Martinez. Nobody has said much about it, but he's on the hot seat without the benefit of the doubt, and with a fanbase that's sick of optimism. Granted, Martinez has promised to focus less on the idea of troops coming if and when injury strikes, and the clubhouse seems like they're still with him.
What will Juan Soto do for an encore? Nationals outfielder is ready to attack his first full MLB season. (WaPo)
Nobody will be throwing Juan Soto fastballs anymore — at least, not if they don't have to. But Soto's incredible command of the zone and his demeanor will carry him through a potential sophomore slump, the Nats' front office contends. (Also, Kyle McGowin wanted a signed baseball from Juan, which is absolutely adorable.)
Camp surprise likely to make Nationals' roster (MLB.com)
With Adrian Sanchez back in Triple-A, it seems likely that Jake Noll—who batted .320 this spring—will get a shot in the majors to start the season as Howie Kendrick recovers from a hamstring strain.
Monday’s game didn’t matter. But hours beforehand, it had already given these two Nationals the chills (The Athletic)
Aaron Barrett has spent the last three years desperately trying to return to Nationals Park. Jake Noll has spent the last twenty or so years of his existence trying to get to a big-league stadium. Both got there on Saturday, though only Noll will likely start the year on the roster.
Nationals’ Opening Day roster takes shape after Adrián Sanchez and Austen Williams are sent to Class AAA (WaPo)
The Nationals waived Pedro Severino, which either means that they're ready to add someone from the outside, or that Jake Noll will crack the roster come Thursday.
Williams and Sanchez optioned, Noll still on roster (MASN)
"Regardless, this would appear to be a short-term roster opening, with Kendrick expected to be ready to return from a left hamstring strain within a week or two. Taylor probably needs more time to return from his sprained left knee and ankle, and barring another acquisition, Andrew Stevenson is in line to hold that roster spot as the Nationals’ fourth outfielder."
Doolittle earns save, speaks on switch to jersey No. 63 (MASN)
Sean Doolittle changed his jersey number this season for family reasons (and apparently he'll let us know later if he's willing to) that came up this spring. Also, he made a mechanical switch after he struggled against St. Louis last week and feels much better.
The 2019 MLB Poll: Who’s the funniest, the best, the most overrated? How tense are labor relations? And who’s afraid of Aaron Judge? (The Athletic)
The Athletic had its beat writers conduct a survey with roughly a third of the league overall. Max Scherzer is the most intimidating pitcher in the game, while Anthony Rendon is the most underrated in the game and Bryce Harper is the most overrated player in the game. Also, nobody has any opinion about Davey Martinez or Washington, D.C.
Nationals Homecoming Gala Raises More Than One Million Dollars (MLB.com)
The Nats finally moved their gala from the middle of June to mid-March, meaning the players won't be hung over when they play and the Dream Foundation raised $1 million for its causes.
Opening Day FAQ: Mets vs. Nationals (MLB.com)
This projects to be the marquee game of the day, with the top two Cy Young vote-getters in the NL and a game played outside featuring two large-market teams.
2019 World Series predictions (MLB.com)
MLB.com's writers have the Nats winning the East, and they're the second choice for the pennant.
Bryce Harper is pandering hard to Philly fans (HardballTalk)
BrYcE lOvEs thE LiBErTy BeLl