How much contact does Nationals’ hitting coach Kevin Long (aka K-Long) have with hitters in the offseason? What sort of contact is he able to have these days? Does he get videos of his hitters in the cage so he can coach from afar during the ongoing pandemic? Long was asked about his offseason activities in an MLB Network Radio interview earlier this month.
Here’s what he had to say...
“They’re getting ready to start right about now, just about everybody is getting ready to get going,” Long explained, “... and a lot of them have been texting me, ‘Hey, do you remember what my routine was?’ And of course I do, I write down everybody’s routine and what they did, so I have that all listed, I give them that, I tell them some of their keys from last year, and then there’s some things that I’ve looked at or I have ideas that I think as they start their progression into the offseason that they should start to do. So, most of those guys are up to date with all that, and — if they run into any snags — if they have something where they don’t feel right and they want to send me some video I think that’s a good way to go. I used to go all over the country and hit with all these guys, but after being with them two or three years I feel like I know them pretty well.”
Long said at the time that the only one he didn’t know well was new addition Josh Bell, though he’d been studying up since the acquisition was first mentioned as a possibility.
He’ll have to get to know Kyle Schwarber now too, but we’re guessing he’s already hard at work.
Go read your links...
Nationals Sign Jon Lester:
Nats finalizing deal with five-time All-Star lefty Lester - (MASN)
"The Nationals’ search for a No. 4 starter appears to have landed on a former ace and postseason hero with ties to the manager and pitching coach."
Report: Nationals, pitcher Jon Lester agree to one-year deal - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Lester, who has played for the Cubs the last six years, figures to slide into the fourth spot of the Nationals' rotation, behind Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin."
Jon Lester agrees to one-year deal to join Nationals' rotation - (Washington Times)
"The Washington Nationals have agreed to a one-year deal with left-hander Jon Lester, securing a fourth starter to fill out the rotation."
Some quick pitching staff thoughts: Imagine Joe Ross rounds out the rotation after Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin and Jon Lester. Then it's Erick Fedde or Austin Voth for long man, and Fedde could get pushed out cause of his fourth option/roster flexibility.— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) January 19, 2021
Nationals in negotiations with free agent Jon Lester - (WaPost)
“The deal is pending a physical and does not include any options, according to a person with knowledge of the terms who declined to reveal Lester’s salary for 2021.”
Lester, Nats agree to 1-year deal (source) - (MLB.com)
"He has pitched the last six seasons with Chicago, finishing his memorable Cubs tenure with a 77-44 record, 3.64 ERA and three crucial victories during the North Siders’ curse-breaking run to the ’16 World Series title."
Having addressed most of their lineup needs with Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber, the Nationals went for the veteran lefty Jon Lester Monday as their number four starter. Our @Britt_Ghiroli on why the one-year deal fits for D.C., in @TheAthleticDC: https://t.co/vU0UC2DZJO— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) January 19, 2021
Other Nationals News:
A modest proposal for a better postseason format - (MASN)
"But now MLB sounds keen on giving it another go this season instead of returning to the 10-team system that had been in place from 2012-19."
Here are the best 5 games by a Nats pitcher - (MLB.com)
"1. Max Scherzer, Oct. 3, 2015 vs. Mets - 9 IP, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 17 strikeouts, 109 pitches-80 strikes."
Lester is competitive and remains durable. This is what would concern me with the union with the #Nationals: He was down to a 15.8pct K rate last yr (3d lowest among qualifers). He needs a good defense behind him and Wash does not project to a good defensive team.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 19, 2021
Barrett: Catchers at instructs made "incredible" progress - (MASN)
"Nationals catching coordinator Michael Barrett, who caught in the major leagues for 12 seasons, coached up and worked with the young backstops as they participated in the October camp."
Sources - Jon Lester, Washington Nationals agree to 1-year deal - (ESPN)
"While no longer an ace of a staff, Lester brings a great postseason résumé with him to Washington and can fit nicely behind Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin in the rotation."
Jon Lester made it clear that he wanted to return to Wrigley Field, and now he’s signing with the Nationals. The Cubs can give explanations for any move – Theo, Darvish, Schwarber, layoffs, free agency, more trade rumors – but all the subtraction adds up. https://t.co/gjpM1VOOyZ— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) January 19, 2021
Predicting landing spots for top MLB free agents: Trevor Bauer, George Springer, J.T. Realmuto, more - (nj.com)
"3. J.T. Realmuto - The landing spot: Phillies - The reasoning: Philadelphia’s front office was correct about Realmuto’s market. There’s no $200M offer."
NL EAST UPDATES:
Phillies Designate Kyle Garlick For Assignment - (MLB Trade Rumors)
"The Phillies announced Monday morning that they’ve designated outfielder Kyle Garlick for assignment."
Addendum to this: Sources tell @JesseRogersESPN that Lester's deal with the Nationals is indeed a straight one-year deal without an option. @Ken_Rosenthal and @jon_greenberg first linked Lester to Washington.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 19, 2021
Mets Editorial: The Mets should still sign George Springer - (Amazin' Avenue)
"The looming luxury tax threshold should not preclude the team from signing the biggest free agent on the board."
MLB Top Prospects: Baseball America ranks Sixto Sánchez No. 6 overall - (Fish Stripes)
"Baseball America, arguably the industry’s leader in this department, unveiled their 2021 MLB Top 100 list on Monday morning.Here are the six Marlins players who made the cut (along with their final 2020 rankings)."
5 best pitching displays in Braves history - (MLB.com)
"2. Warren Spahn, Sept. 16, 1960 -- 16 K, no-hitter - While leading the Braves to a 4-0 win over the Phillies, Spahn became the first pitcher of the modern era to record at least 15 strikeouts in a no-hitter."