VIERA, Fla. - As I got up this morning, I realized today is essentially the last unstructured day of the baseball season - and thus, of my life - until October. And it's started out quietly so far.
Pitchers and catchers are taking physicals this morning, so there's scant activity in the clubhouse, and while some players will be working out later today, official workouts don't start for pitchers and catchers until tomorrow. So there's calm at Space Coast Stadium, for at least another day.
There is one piece of news to report this morning: The Nationals designated right-hander Luis Atilano for assignment this morning, bringing the roster down to 40. The move corresponds with Adam LaRoche's contract finally being approved by Major League Baseball.
Atilano made 16 starts for the Nationals last year, posting a 6-7 record with a 5.15 ERA. He started the year 5-1, beating Tim Lincecum and Roy Oswalt in back-to-back games to get there, but his penchant for falling behind in the count caught up with him after that. Atilano made one start after the All-Star break, allowing five runs in four innings in Cincinnati before undergoing surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow.
The former sandwich pick is only 25, but he's had two surgeries on his elbow already (last year's arthroscopic operation and Tommy John surgery 2007).
Once players start working out later this morning, I'll have more.