VIERA, Fla. - Matt Williams met with reporters following today’s 8-5 win over Houston and addressed a smattering of topics. I’m here to provide you with those responses.
Williams said that he plans to make his first round of roster cuts on Sunday morning, following tomorrow’s split-squad games, assuming there are no issues that cause the Nationals to adjust that schedule. If a few guys end up coming down with some kind of ailment tomorrow, limiting the number of healthy bodies in camp, the cuts might be pushed back. Otherwise, we’ll see a few guys sent out on Sunday morning.
Here’s more from Williams’ postgame session with the media:
On Rafael Soriano’s spring debut, in which he allowed two runs on three hits: “Good, he’s just pounding the strike zone. First outing, generally for closers, is just about establishing the strike zone. So he was fine.
On Soriano’s business-like mentality early in spring: “That’s pretty typical of guys who close games. Not worried about stats in spring training. They’re worried about making sure their arm strength is there and look forward to the next one. He was good, though.”
On what allows Wilson Ramos to generate the type of power he does: “He’s strong, just really strong. For me, with him, the best attribute he’s got is the ability to drive the ball the other way. So he does that a lot too. But today he just got one out front and (it was) a little wind-aided, but that would’ve gone out of any park, too.”
On how Bryce Harper has looked offensively to this point: “I think he’s been right on track. I think, certainly, being healthy helps, and so far, so good with that. He’s faced a few lefties so far this spring and really done well staying on the baseball, so that’s good for him right now, especially early. I think he’s right on schedule for where he wants to be at the end of spring.”
On whether he thinks Harper can boost his numbers against lefties now that his knee is healthy: “Anytime you have health issues, especially with your lower extremities, at the plate, it’s difficult. Timing gets off, approach gets off, all of those things. I expect him to do fine. We’re not going to put too much pressure on him to carry the load with everybody else in the lineup, but he’s ready to play. He feels good and we want to keep him that way.”
On what’s impressed him about Harper this spring: “What I’ve liked is his demeanor and the way he’s gone about it, and that’s important, because if he goes about it the right way, everything else takes care of itself. And we’ll see all those things come, like we all expect. But the way he’s gone about his batting practice, his fielding work, his baserunning extra work, all that stuff is just leading him right down the right path, and he’s right on it right now. It’s good.”