VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals’ first full-squad workout is this morning, and before that, the team had its traditional beginning-of-spring meeting with players and coaches. Manager Jim Riggleman said much of the session dealt with logistics - times of meetings, team policies, etc. - and some introductions of new players and coaches. But he did have a quick message for the team.
“A lot of people in the room got a chance to say a few words,” Riggleman said. “My message to the ballclub was basically, ‘It’s a tremendous amount of talent in the room here. And with that talent, expectations get raised and so forth. So let’s meet and exceed those expectations and play baseball.’ We’ve got a lot of good baseball players, we’ve got a lot of good athletes in the room. It’s a great group that Mike (Rizzo) and the Lerner family has put together. The job we have to do now is make this group a team. I feel real good about this large group becoming a good team.”
Asked what he was most excited about, Riggleman said, “I think, just in general, the athleticism. I think it’s a good base of talent there that is athletic and can run the bases, create a little pressure on the defense now and then. That talent and athleticism should show up defensively and cover some more ground in some areas, give our pitchers a better chance. That athleticism, where it translates to offensively, we’ll have to wait and see. But I feel like there’s a good possibility we’re going to be a better offensive club as well.”