Thursday, February 14, 2013

First workout wrap-up



VIERA, Fla. -- Today's first pitchers and catchers workout began in pleasant enough conditions: overcast skies, 70 degrees. But about one hour into the session, the heavens opened, and they still haven't closed almost 12 hours later.

The rain sent everyone scurrying but didn't dramatically alter the Nationals' workout plans.

"The weather helped just right," manager Davey Johnson said. "We got our work in. Everybody got their last pitch in. Then the big drops came. The only change in the workout was the catchers hit in the cages and got all the work in. It was a good day."

Plenty of big names took to the bullpen mounds for their first official throwing sessions of the spring, including the star-studded first group of Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Ross Detwiler and Drew Storen. Strasburg was his usual impressive self, looking "smooth as silk," according to Johnson. More impressive to the manager, though, was Gonzalez, who looked to be in mid-March form instead of mid-February form.

"I tell you, I was excited," Johnson said. "Gio was way ahead of where I thought he'd be. He doesn't do a lot of throwing in the offseason, and I actually had to sit on him. He was firing the heck out of the ball."

Johnson was more interested to see a few guys pitch in person for the first time, like reliever Bill Bray. The former Expos first-round pick, who was traded to the Reds in 2006 but re-signed with the Nationals on a minor-league deal, dealt with a groin injury last season in Cincinnati. Johnson and pitching coach Steve McCatty said they could tell today watching the lefty pitch.

"Talking to Cat, it looks like his delivery is a little bit changed," Johnson said. "He's made adjustments in his delivery to overcome the groin. I think it's gonna be a little bit slower process for him in the spring to get back to where he's comfortable with his extension and release points. But I thought he had pretty good arm strength today, and it's very early."

The workout included the typical first-day drills: pitchers' fielding practice, bunting practice, covering first base practice. Over on Field 5, adjacent to Space Coast Stadium, more than a dozen position players who reported early -- a group that includes Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Denard Span, worked out on their own before the rain struck.

Here are a few photos from the day. Enjoy...





27 comments:

Teddy Rochlis said...

thanks mark appreciate the video the pictures and of course all the work you have done for the fans and this site

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Is that a new glove for Davey?

SonnyG10 said...

Wow, it really feels like the 2013 season is underway now. Thanks for the extra posts and all your hard work, Mark.

SonnyG10 said...

Gio looked like his old happy self in the video. Hopefully he's not worrying about anything.

Ratiocinational said...

I dig these spring training caps (perhaps because they remind me of the old O's caps from the 1980s. I had no choice but to be an O's fan then...I was a child and loved baseball.) Do you think you'll be able to buy those models?

SonnyG10 said...

Do you think you'll be able to buy those models?

Most probably.

JaneB said...

Man! There they are! It feels warmer already!

Laddie Blah Blah said...

Harp Zim and Span show up early. That's cool.

It seems obvious that Gio passed the drug test he took right after the news broke in the Miami press. He must have impressed MLB during their follow-up interview, as well. It was after all that when he was selected by Torre to represent the US.

Any possibility of a suspension now seems to be very, very remote, if not non-existent.

NatsJack in Florida said...

The new BP hats go on sale to the public on Feb. 22. although they were bringing a few out to the team store trailer on the practice field just as the first rain began.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And Gio was his typical jovial self although he seems to have a competitor in he jovialness category in Dan Haren.

Anna Peregrina said...

Jane B said: It feels warmer already!
My sentiments exactly, JaneB!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Not down here. Sunday's first complete squad workout is scheduled for a high 0f 58 degrees. There's a nip in the air but it all turns good again starting on Monday.

natsfan1a said...

And is he now using the inverted slash??

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Is that a new glove for Davey?
February 14, 2013 10:53 PM

Theophilus T. S. said...

Are my eyes only seeing what I want to see or does Detwiler look bigger?

NatsJim said...

Theo, the beard adds 10 pounds...

Gonat said...

Theophilus T. S. said...
Are my eyes only seeing what I want to see or does Detwiler look bigger?
___________________________________

I was thinking the same. Slightly larger.

Davey on Ross Detwiler: "he's got a great fastball but he's stubborn if he'd use some of other pitches he'd be even more successful".

This was mentioned in September about both JZim and Detwiler. Detwiler actually talked about using all of his pitches early in games then goes to more 4 seam and 2 seamers later in the games.

When you have all these pitches, use them.

djinFl. said...

@Candide
I did not notice any inverted W,s yesterday, only the fluid motion from which Gio and Strass were letting it fly. The difference in pop in the catchers glove from those two to the next group was so obvious.
Also the starters were all together in the second drill, covering first, and talk about a jovial time. They laughed and bantered back and forth the entire time, like a tight and confident team. It really put a smile on my face watching them.

Joe Seamhead said...

This is a pretty fishy Nats story from yesterday. I mean really fishy!
http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/time-fish-fell-sky-washington-nationals-practice-011750997--mlb.html

Tcostant said...

I really do not like those Nationals hats in the photos. They look to much like the old O's hats for my liking.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Tcostant.... me,too....they look like the cheap give-a-ways of previous seasons.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

MLBs fault on the new design of the BP caps. All teams have new caps.

Gonat said...

NatsJack, are you back in Viera today?

Keep an eye out for Kate Upton as Dan Kolko says she is in Melbourne Florida. Coincidence?

Gonat said...

LaRoche and Drake are in the house!

NatsJack in Florida said...

Sorry, no. I'll be back over Sunday morning.

sjm308 said...

As an owner of 13 different national's hats I also am not a fan of the new Spring Training hat. Will probably pass on that. I think each year they have a new design and I had been sent an early email on the various new hats and their grades by some company. Not all have the white front but lots do.
Like I said, I am passing on this.

Go Nats!!!

Candide said...

Make the black sides of those caps red and you have the Geico giveaway from a couple of seasons ago.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

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