VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals completed their final full squad workout of the spring early this afternoon, running through a light session of drills and batting practice at their training complex, and now have nothing standing between them and the first games of the year.
They'll begin their spring schedule tomorrow at 1:10 p.m., traveling to Port St. Lucie to take on the Mets before playing host to New York on Tuesday in Viera.
Pitchers did not throw live batting practice today, and the Nationals' drill work was simplified from what it has been the last few days. The workout was shorter than most of the team's workouts have been, and players were only too happy to get off the field quickly.
A few observations from the workout:
* Bryce Harper put on a good show in batting practice, hitting a couple homers, including one that left the park just to the left of the batter's eye in center field. Harper launched one ball into the pond behind the right field fence and Danny Espinosa, standing behind him, yelled, "Gator bait!"
* Some of you have been asking about Corey Brown, the outfielder the Nationals got in the Josh Willingham trade with Oakland. He's looked good in the times I've seen him in batting practice, and was stinging the ball today. He took a couple balls out, and was driving the ball well to right field. He's got to cut down on his strikeouts, but he could play in the majors this year. I wrote about Brown being reunited with former college roommate Adam Carr this morning.
* Ian Desmond walked past a group of reporters yelling, "Extra! Extra! Desmond's found his swing! Read all about it!" I take it he's feeling locked in at the plate. He's in the lineup tomorrow, so we'll find out then.
* Nationals owner Mark Lerner has arrived in town, and was standing on the field for batting practice this morning. He'll be in town for three weeks, the longest stretch he's been able to plan to watch the team in camp.
It's an early afternoon for the Nationals, and it'll probably be an early one for me, too. Today is the rare rewarding day when I get to use both of my college majors (accounting and journalism). Yep, it's time do to the taxes. Envy me and my glamorous life.