Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jim Riggleman addressed the full squad before this morning's workout.
Riggleman had one message in particular he wanted to convey to his revamped club: It's time to take the next step forward.
"There's a tremendous amount of talent in the room here," he said. "With that talent, expectations get raised. So let's meet and exceed those expectations."
That's not the kind of message Riggleman probably felt was appropriate one year ago, when the Nationals were coming off a 59-win season and still had some significant holes around the diamond.
This spring, there's a bit of a different sense in camp. There's more talent across the roster. There's a lot more depth at the major- and minor-league levels. And there's a feeling this team needs to start winning at a more regular pace.
(Riggleman, it should probably be noted, is likely also watching out for himself in this regard, because he knows there are going to need to be more tangible signs of success this season for him to get his contract option picked up.)
Two other short updates before I head down to the practice fields...
-- Cla Meredith's elbow has been showing some significant signs of improvement since having to cut short his first bullpen session of the spring on Friday. Riggleman said he expects the reliever to be cleared to resume throwing again in a day or two.
-- Still no sign of Henry Rodriguez or Elvin Ramirez in camp as the two wait it out in Venezuela for their visas to be cleared. They're working out down there with members of the Nationals' Latin American staff, but at some point they're going to need to get here to have a shot at making the roster.
Plenty more to come after today's workout...