Go with the Flo...
Nats catcher Jesus Flores grew up in Carupano, Venezuela speaking Spanish, but he has made incredible strides in mastering the English language since becoming a professional baseball player.
Manny Acta told me it is extremely important for Flores to speak English so he can communicate clear messages from him, pitching coach Randy St. Claire and bullpen coach Randy Knorr.
Flores has really taken it upon himself to ask about words and get better at speaking English. Acta said the young catcher truly cares and takes pride in learning, which has helped him develop a good rapport with the pitching staff.
In speaking with tonight's starter John Lannan, he told me it's impressive that Flores has been able to learn English so quickly.
Lannan admitted he didn't know if he'd be able to master another language so easily while also focusing on playing professional baseball in another country.
Good Start for Zim...
Ryan Zimmerman is off to a good start at the plate this season.
In 18 games he's hitting .295 with four homers and 13 RBI. The two balls he crushed last night traveled an enormous distance, but more on that in a moment!
Manny Acta believes Ryan has really matured at the plate and that his offseason work with hitting coach Rick Eckstein has made a big difference.
The biggest thing for Zimmerman is that he is not swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. Let's hope his sweet 16-game hitting streak extends tonight.
Check out these numbers provided by John Dever of the Washington Nationals media relations department.
The Nats crushed five homers last night (Zimmerman (2), Elijah Dukes, Nick Johnson and Adam Dunn) that combined for 2,125 feet.
That's 0.4 of a mile or 708 yards.
How about this for comparison? Bubba Watson, the PGA Tour's leader in driving distance, hits a golf ball an average of 311.6 yards per drive on the Tour.
The Nats homer total last night is also nearly twice the length of the deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (1092) which is often docked in nearby Norfolk, VA.
Talk about dialing long distance!!