How will Davey Martinez’s 2020 Nationals approach the 2020 MLB campaign? Do you really have to ask?
“We’re going to try to go 1-0 every day,” Martinez told reporters on Day 1 of Spring Training 2.0. “And with that being said, that’s our mindset, try to win the game at hand.”
Winning the game right now means staying healthy, ramping up quickly, and safely, and in a few weeks, coronavirus-permitting, start playing out the 60-game schedule Major League Baseball is attempting to pull off amidst an ongoing pandemic. Will it work? Will they really be able to play out the regular and postseason?
“I don’t have a crystal ball,” GM Mike Rizzo said.
“I know we’re going to do everything we can here in Washington, D.C. with the Nationals to fulfill all the protocols and start this season healthy.”
We’re pulling for everyone staying healthy, even if we don’t think this all is a good idea. Go read your links...
Nationals' Top Pitching Prospect Jackson Rutledge Is Ready to Prove He Belongs - (Washington City Paper)
"On Monday, Rutledge officially became one of the 60 players in the Nationals organization eligible to participate in MLB games during the pandemic-shortened 60-game season."
Cade Cavalli, 2020 first-round pick, to join Nationals' pool as third player opts out - (Washington Times)
"Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez revealed Friday that catcher Welington Castillo declined the invitation to join the team’s 60-man player pool and opted out of the season."
Nationals catcher Welington Castillo opts out as Cade Cavalli added to player pool - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Castillo signed a minor-league deal in January with an invitation to spring training, where he was competing to be the Nationals’ third option at catcher behind Kurt Suzuki and Yan Gomes."
Notes: Scherzer sim game; player pool updates - (MLB.com)
"Scherzer threw a simulated game of 65 pitches to hitters. Strasburg and Corbin, general manager Mike Rizzo said, are in 'full bullpen mode.'"
Washington Nationals return to the field as summer camp begins - (WaPost)
“Washington began summer training Friday, and the club's manager and general manager shared their thoughts on what is ahead.”
Castillo opts out, Cavalli added to roster as workouts begin - (MASN)
"As they did with both Zimmerman and Ross, Nationals officials expressed full support for Castillo’s decision not to play."
Other ST 2.0 Stories:
Defending champion Nats return healthy, careful on protocols - (Washington Times)
"Dave Martinez’s mantra of going 1-0 every day followed the Washington Nationals to their first World Series title."
Nats return to quiet Nationals Park to start a grand experiment - (NBC Sports Washington)
"A heart with the letters 'DC' was cut into the middle of center field Friday at Nationals Park."
Baseball won’t be a diversion. It will be a reminder of how serious this pandemic truly is - (WaPost)
“Just after 2:15 p.m. Friday, Kurt Suzuki emerged from the home dugout at Nationals Park, mask over mouth. Not a catcher’s mask, to which he’s accustomed.”
Martinez and Rizzo emphasize player safety during day one of return - (MASN)
"From day one of summer training at Nats Park today, the skipper for the defending world champions already feels the difference in playing baseball during a pandemic."
Navarre grad Matt Cronin makes Washington Nationals 60-man roster - (Pensecola News Journal)
"Just more than one year after Matt Cronin was selected in the MLB Draft, he’s launched from Single-A baseball with the Hagerstown Suns up to the 60-man Major League roster for the Washington Nationals."
Jeff Samardzija with a spicy reply when asked about playing in fan-less ballparks: "I wouldn't put the carriage before the horse. I think we've seen from the owners they're not afraid to put anyone at risk, especially if it makes them money."— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) July 3, 2020
MLB 2020: Teams must police themselves to stay healthy - (USA TODAY)
"Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said he’d like to think the 2020 season will be played to completion, but, 'I don’t have a crystal ball.'"
Coronavirus Leads Some Athletes to Opt Out, if They Can Afford It - (The New York Times)
"Many players, of course, are raring to get back on the field. But a wave of decisions this week to opt out of play hinted at an undercurrent of anxiety that could grow in the coming weeks as more leagues near their returns."
Tim Kurkjian's Baseball Fix: Major League Baseball gave us plenty of reasons to despise it, but here are 100 reasons it's OK to still love it - (ESPN)
"42. The ring ceremony for the Washington Nationals. They were deserted by baseball after a 19-31 start in 2019. Then they roared back to win the World Series."
Law: Breaking down the prospects in — and out of — MLB player pools – (The Athletic)
"Jackson Rutledge is in camp; he and shortstop Luis Garcia are the two notable prospects here who aren’t likely to help the world champs defend their title."
Trade Retrospective: Wil Myers, Steven Souza, and Trea Turner change teams in a big three-team trade involving the Padres, Nationals, and Rays - (Beyond the Box Score)
"The Rays made a rare confusing trade, and the Nationals made out as well as they were expected to."
#Nats' GM Mike Rizzo on advance scouting in 60-game 2020 MLB season; if it should be allowed: "I’m hopeful that MLB will allow us to scout the major leagues w/ our scouts. I think if we’re confident that media can come into a ballpark, the scouts should be able to come in also."— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) July 3, 2020
NL EAST UPDATES:
Bryce Harper: Not signing J.T. Realmuto would be 'terrible and sad' - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"Harper is pretty shrewd when it comes to messaging. Look at the way he instantly connected with Philadelphia by embracing civic icons like the Eagles and the Phanatic last year."
Céspedes ramping up; Lowrie still in knee brace - (MLB.com)
"During a brief workout Friday night at Citi Field, Céspedes looked to be a more complete player than when Mets camp broke due to the coronavirus in March."
Marlins getting used to new turf, dimensions - (MLB.com)
"For the first time since Marlins Park opened in 2012, there will not be natural grass. It has been replaced by the B1K: Batting A Thousand by Shaw Sports Turf."
Healthy Hamels throws, readies for season - (MLB.com)
"After throwing his latest side session on Friday morning at Truist Park, Cole Hamels expressed confidence in being ready to give the Braves what they will be seeking at the start of the regular season."