Why the Nationals have an accelerated development program

This week, the Nationals revealed their accelerated development roster. The intrasquad games with this roster begin around March 1.

Some fans asked what is the accelerated development roster and what is its purpose?

Nationals director of minor league operations Mark Scialabba says the development program has three main goals:

1. To place the Nationals' top prospects on one roster for focused one-on-one work with the coaching staff and instructors. The idea is to get the best together and work on all facets of their games - offense, defense, hitting and pitching.

2. An opportunity to monitor starting pitchers on strict schedules and throwing regimens. Pitching coordinator Spin Williams and his staff get the chance to work with each pitcher individually and concentrate on their particular strengths and weaknesses as they prepare for the season.

3. A chance for some older players to gain more experience and at-bats in intrasquad games. It provides insurance for the major league roster during spring training. The development team also gives the Nationals an avenue to send major league players to the intrasquad games for extra at-bats in March.

The team will begin play next week with several of the intrasquad matchups against a similar team from the New York Mets organization. Some other games will be scheduled with other teams as spring training continues.

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