WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Position players reported to camp Monday, and though we haven’t seen the entire squad on the field together quite yet, it does feel like spring training has finally begun in earnest.
The vast majority of Nationals position players had already reported early, some by multiple weeks, so there were only a handful left to check in Monday (the official reporting date).
Of the 61 players in big league camp - that number will go up to 62 today when reliever Joaquín Benoit’s signing is finalized - only one has not yet reported. That’s Ismael Guillon, a left-hander who recently signed a minor league contract with the Nationals that included an invitation to major league camp.
A native of Venezuela, Guillon was not able to secure his work visa in time to report with the rest of the pitching staff. Manager Davey Martinez doesn’t expect the holdup to last much longer.
“I think it’s going to be resolved today,” Martinez said during Monday afternoon’s media session. “Hopefully he’ll be here in a couple of days. ... He’s been working on it. They said he’s going to get (the visa). So we’re hoping he’s here in the next few days.”
With everyone else now in camp, the Nationals will proceed with their first full-squad workout at 11 a.m. Tuesday. (The start time is pushed back about an hour because position players are taking physicals in the morning.)
Technically, this is an optional workout, with the first official workout still scheduled for Wednesday. But given the full participation seen in last week’s optional workout for pitchers and catchers, expect a nearly full house today.
That will include Daniel Murphy, who remains behind his teammates as he completes his rehab from microfracture knee surgery in October but is participating in many baseball activities on the field. Murphy was out there Monday, fielding grounders on one knee and taking part in other drills. He and the Nationals remain optimistic he’ll be ready for opening day, but he’ll continue to take it slow during these early days of spring training.
“He’s progressing very well,” Martinez said. “He’s got his running progression, he’s doing very well. He’s excited to be here. He got here pretty early. And he wants to be on that field. He wants to be on the field when we start (Grapefruit League play) on the 23rd. But we have time. I’m just glad he’s feeling a lot better and he’s getting all his work in. He looks good.”
Murphy is scheduled to speak with reporters this afternoon to provide his first update since mid-December, when he was still walking on crutches.