VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals finished working out at their spring training complex early this afternoon, and blessedly, they only have one more full-squad workout before their Grapefruit League schedule gets started on Monday. This part of camp seems to drag on every year, and players seem ready to get into games. I know I’m ready to write about them.
Anyway, a few points from today’s workout:
* Drew Storen faced Bryce Harper in live batting practice, and Harper shot the first two fastballs he saw to the outfield. He put a particularly good charge into the first one, though Storen contended later the hit was dressed up by the wind. Once Storen switched to breaking balls and changeups, though, Harper didn’t do much, and as they came off the field, Storen gave Harper a mock staredown and said, “Amateur.” The session, though, provided a good snapshot of where Harper is still going to have to learn. “Guys throw changeups in amateur ball, but they don’t throw good changeups,” Storen said. “In college, you can have a half-decent changeup and dominate. You get up here, and you have to adjust.” For his part, Storen said he’s enjoying the live BP work this spring. Last year as a rookie, he came out trying to overpower hitters and prove himself; this year, he’s using the time to study how hitters are reacting to his pitches. “I’d rather throw 100 live BP sessions than bullpens (without hitters),” he said.
* Detwiler will make his spring debut on Tuesday, pitching after Livan Hernandez in the Nationals’ spring home opener against the Mets. Yunesky Maya will pitch on Wednesday, following John Lannan against the Marlins.
* This isn’t a workout note, per se, but former Nationals manager Frank Robinson has been named a senior adviser to Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig. Robinson had been MLB’s executive vice president for major league operations, overseeing player discipline and on-field matters, among other things, but that role will now be filled by former Dodgers manager Joe Torre. Robinson was at Nationals camp Wednesday to say hello to a few people; he had been hospitalized in January, but since then, he’s lost 30 pounds on a strict diet and appeared to be in great shape.
Time to find lunch - or, at this hour, I suppose I can snag dinner with Florida’s substantial early bird crowd. Talk to you later.