Spring Training has arrived
Greetings from warm–77-79 degrees and near perfect–Viera, Fla.
Today, as you are all likely aware, was the report date for Nationals pitchers and catchers. Really, it is the first day of school for baseball fans… and employees.
My name is John Dever and I will be putting together some miscellaneous items over the course of Spring Training. I am the PR Director of the Nationals’ baseball operation. I will be tying together some of my own observations with various contributions from my trusty sidekicks, Mike Gazda and Bill Gluvna. But really, the three of us are just place holders for Mark Lerner, who will be blogging about his Spring Training experiences starting next week. He began blogging during the ’09 Winter Meetings and, in talking to him, is very excited to share his Grapefruit League observations, most of which will focus on your Nationals.
So, let’s get started…
*Personally, the best sign of the spring is that five of our eight “everyday” players have already reported to camp in excess of a week before their report date. Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, Nyjer Moran, Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa have been working out–hitting–on the back fields here for nearly a week. Spirits are high and the cohesion is growing between this group.
*I know that Adam Kilgore touched on this in a blog post today, but did you know that Drew Storen has worn eight different uniform numbers since we drafted him just 20 months ago? I know it’s crazy, but here is the rundown thanks to jersey extraordinaire Bill Gluvna–all you uniform aficionados have at it:
#26 – worn at introductory press conference and with Single-A Hagerstown
#20 – 2009 Single-A Potomac and 2009-10 Harrisburg Senators
#21 – 2009-10 Double Harrisburg and 2010 Triple-A Syracuse
#38 – 2009 Nationals Instructional League
#17 – 2009 Arizona Fall League
#58 – 2010 season with the Nationals
#25 – (right) worn at Nationals uniform unveiling held in November 2010.
#22 – 2011 season
*When we were kids, we all had to endure a summer reading list at one time or another. Well, we checked in with our skipper, Jim Riggleman, who told us that the latest additions to his winter reading list included Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funny by Marlo Thomas. Next up is Daniel Okrent’s Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.
*Hair Report: Ian Desmond is growing his hair out a bit. “If it worked for Werth,” he said. “I am going to give it a try.” Also, Ross Detwiler has cut his hair, it is more indicative of the length when we drafted him back in 2007. Gone is Ross’ shaggy look that was Owen Wilson-esque.
*Jesus Flores is indeed beaming. He’s excited about the competition at catcher with Wilson Ramos and Pudge. What is interesting is you have two catchers who have idolized Pudge for years now vying for playing time with the 14-time All-Star. When you think about it, how many teams have the blend of catching talent and depth that your Nationals possess? And all this without mentioning Derek Norris? By the way, all four of the aforementioned catchers have histories that say they are above average throwers from behind the dish.