But the absence of familiar names – Jayson Werth, Anthony Rendon and Denard Span — isn’t expected to last long.
PORT SAINT LUCIE, Fla. – The games don’t officially count for another week, and for the Nationals, that’s just as well.
The Nats fell to the Mets in Florida Saturday 10-2, meaning they have plated just six total runs in their past four games.
“On any given day during spring training you don’t have your regular lineup out there, so I’m just concerned about the quality of our at-bats,” says manager Matt Williams.
Perhaps more significantly, injuries to Anthony Rendon, Jayson Werth and Denard Span have stripped the club of top-of-the-lineup pop.
It remains uncertain if any of them will start on opening day.
Full squad workouts underway in Viera
VIERA, Fl. -- The 2015 Nationals Spring Training is now officially in full swing as the first full squad workouts took place on Thursday. The players rotated from field to field doing fielding drills and then taking batting practice.
Matt Williams had one word to describe the workout: eupeptic.
That’s right, eupeptic. Have you heard of it?
It means cheerful, optimistic.
Before everyone was eupeptic, Williams addressed his entire team for the first time this morning and his message was simple.
“It was just to stay with the process,” Williams said. “We have a process here that has garnered us
some success. What that is is diligence with which we go about our work, and attitude of 'it’s important to us.' Everything we do on the field is important.”
Williams also had written a message for the day on the bulletin board for the players to see as they entered the clubhouse this morning: “The road to the World Series starts today.”
Why did he do that?
“Because that’s what
we want to do,” he said. “We’re here to get to that ultimate goal. We’re not alone; there are 29 other teams that have the same thought. That being said, I want to make sure that we understand that’s our goal. That is our goal to be the last one standing at the end of it.
He understands that there is a lot of work to be done in meantime but wants his players to know that he is here for one reason.
We'll find out in eight months at the conclusion of the journey that began today.
Jayson Werth continues to rehab and has eye on Opening Day
VIERA, Fla, -- Jayson Werth showed up in Viera knowing he wasn't going to be able to do much in the terms of baseball activity for a while as he rehabs his shoulder.
Werth made some comments about his progress.
“From what I understand it’s going good,” Werth said. “You really gotta get to that eight-week point before you can really ramp up anything. But then it’s eight to 12 weeks before you can really get back to normal activity. We’re getting there; we’re progressing, it’s getting better, but still have a ways to go.”
Werth has targeted either the home opener against the Mets or the road opener in Boston for his return, but knows it's not a guarantee.
“If not one, then hopefully the other -- that’s kind of my goal,” Werth said. “Again though, you need to air on the side of caution. You come back too early and then you have a setback or something like that. It’s a fine line, but our trainers and doctors are on top of it.”
Even though he can't do much, Werth was on the field for the first day of workouts in uniform, doing some stretching and helping out where he could. That’s something with which Manager Matt Williams was impressed.
“We didn't force him to be out there, he did it on his own,” Williams said. “That is a great sign
for our team that he was out there doing what he can and being with his teammates imparting some knowledge to the young guys and being part of it in that way until he can come back to playing status and go.”
Werth has just less than six weeks until Opening Day.
Ryan Zimmermann taking swings in the cage. #Nats. http://pbs.twimg.com/ext_tw_video_thumb/570984844395737089/pu/img/6tjlGh8bDlSFpttU.jpg
Strasburg and Roark in the bullpen as well. #Nats http://pbs.twimg.com/ext_tw_video_thumb/570979385723002881/pu/img/oIbrnD50LnVL7Lra.jpg
Scherzer, Storen and Thornton in the bullpen. #Nats http://pbs.twimg.com/ext_tw_video_thumb/570978526452686848/pu/img/hLjt3HUE3KscUjWi.jpg
Working on bunt plays. Ryan Zimm at first. #Nats http://pbs.twimg.com/ext_tw_video_thumb/570976374850265088/pu/img/NpMrchvw5Am067kq.jpg