VIERA, Fla. - Players are starting to file in at Space Coast Stadium, which leads to an important spring custom: the traditional round of hellos, how-are-yous and how-was-your-winters in the clubhouse. A couple interesting items out of those before I head out to watch players work out:
* Drew Storen, now sporting No. 22, is already on his sixth jersey number in the Washington organization in less than two years. If you're scoring at home (and you know you are), he wore No. 26 when he signed with the team. Then, he wore No. 38 in fall instructional league before putting on No. 17 in the Arizona Fall League. He wore No. 58 last year, and planned to switch to No. 25 this winter. Family friends had even purchased authentic replica jerseys at $250 a pop. Then the Nationals signed Adam LaRoche, and Storen switched to No. 22. He said he'd love to talk to the Nationals about letting fans who bought No. 25 Storen jerseys trade them in for No. 22 uniforms. Otherwise, Storen said, he'd be happy to sign jerseys for whichever fans bought the outdated models. "There can't be that many of them," he said. Storen's never been attached to one number, he said - he wore No. 26 in college, but had Nos. 1 and 10 for various sports in high school.
* Storen also moved 15 credits closer to his degree from Stanford this winter, knocking out a full load of courses while living with Nationals prospect Jack McGeary, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery and was attending Stanford while playing in the team's system in the summer. Storen said classes went well, though it was odd being back in school instead of throwing a baseball. "That was the first time I've stopped throwing in four years," he said.
* Shortstop Ian Desmond will become a father in May; his wife Chelsea is pregnant with the couple's first child (it's a boy). The Nationals are in Florida over the due date, which actually works out well for the Desmonds, who live in Sarasota.
More in a bit.