The Nationals are doing what they can to stay sharp while they wait to get cleared to return to work and start their 2021 season with a COVID “crisis” as GM Mike Rizzo called it over the weekend, currently delaying the start of the campaign.
“You have to be very creative at times,” Rizzo said.
“Baseball is a very difficult sport to recreate in a basement or a hotel room or an apartment if you will. We’re trying creative ways to stay as loose as they can. But nothing can simulate being on the field with live action.”
They’ll have to wait at least one more day for that live action to start. This afternoon’s game against the Atlanta Braves was reportedly officially postponed last night.
Go read your links...
Nationals’ season opener still uncertain - (WaPost)
“By midafternoon Sunday, Mike Rizzo didn’t have the answer that he may want more than anyone.”
Here's what #Nats' GM Mike Rizzo said about still not knowing if the #Nationals will play tomorrow's scheduled 4:05 series opener with the #Braves even 25 hours before the scheduled start time, and with players having not played or had organized workouts since last Monday now: pic.twitter.com/MrjRwQ5YR0— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) April 4, 2021
Nats still wait for word about Monday as list grows to 11 - (MASN)
"This is a similar protocol the Cardinals faced last summer following their outbreak, with individual workouts permitted but no full-roster gatherings until hours before they played their first game following a lengthy break."
Mike Rizzo updates fans on status of Nationals' COVID-19 outbreak - (NBC Sports WashingtoN)
"Rizzo says most of the 11 players who are quarantining were set to make the Opening Day roster would be unavailable if the team plays early this week. None of them are experiencing symptoms as of Sunday."
Other Nats Stories:
Nationals sign veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy - (WaPost)
“The Washington Nationals did not expect to be seeking a veteran catcher in the first days of April.”
Kyle Schwarber, Josh Harrison, Jon Lester + Alex Avila are among the players the Nationals expect to be w/o if they start early this week, according to people w/ knowledge of the situation. Team hasn’t announced any names/who’s tested positive or quarantining as a close contact.— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) April 4, 2021
Report: Nationals have 'checked in' on free agent Aníbal Sánchez - (NBC Sports Washington)
"As Aníbal Sánchez decides on his next move entering his age-37 season in the majors, the team he spent the last two years with has their eyes on him."
As frustrating wait continues, Nationals sign catcher Lucroy - (MASN)
"General manager Mike Rizzo on Friday said a host of players from the club’s alternate training site in Fredericksburg would be needed to fill out the sudden vacancies on the 26-man roster..."
Pitching prospect Denaburg has Tommy John surgery - (MASN)
"Mason Denaburg, the Nationals’ 2018 first-round draft pick and eighth-ranked prospect, will miss the season after recently undergoing Tommy John surgery, a club official confirmed."
Youngest players on Opening Day rosters 2021 - (MLB.com)
"Soto is one of the youngest players in the game and perhaps the most single devastating offensive talent..."
Here's the update on the #Nationals' COVID issues via #Nats' GM Mike Rizzo, who provided this statement before fielding ?s from reporters - Quick update - 4 players who tested positive for COVID still in quarantine; 1 player added to quarantine via contact tracing (7 total now): pic.twitter.com/dPgFfJYu8V— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) April 4, 2021
MLB news: White Sox C Yermín Mercedes makes MLB history - (Yahoo!Sports)
"According to MLB Pipeline, Mercedes signed with the Washington Nationals out of the Dominican Republic in 2011. He received a $20,000 signing bonus."
NL EAST UPDATES:
Phillies get big hit from Alec Bohm to sweep Atlanta Braves - (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"With an impressive season-opening performance, Phillies show they can go toe-to-toe with the best team in the division."
Carlos Carrasco takes 'encouraging' step toward Mets return - (NY Post)
"Carlos Carrasco threw two innings (30 pitches) in Port St. Lucie in his second appearance facing batters as he rehabs his right hamstring tear."
Lessons from Marlins' opening series of 2021 - (MLB.com)
"Hours before first pitch on Opening Day, Marlins manager Don Mattingly explained he expected a similar level of intensity on a daily basis despite the season returning to 162 games."
Reports: Braves-Nationals series opener postponed - (AJC.com)
"The Braves’ series opener Monday in Washington was postponed due to COVID-19 issues with the Nationals, according to multiple reports."