VIERA, Fla. - Saturday's workout, the first official one of the Dusty Baker era in D.C., didn't look all that different from previous workouts run by former Nationals managers in Viera. Pitchers threw for 10 minutes off the bullpen mounds, while others took fielding practice. Fundamentals were stressed. Everybody was in a good mood, combining serious preparation with plenty of lighthearted moments.
"It was a very good first day," Baker said afterward.
As a newcomer to the organization, Baker needs these first few days simply to get a sense of who's who and what each player brings to the table. His first impression of the Nats pitching staff? "We've got some horses out there."
Those two young right-handers are part of the so-called "Group B" of pitchers who only did fundamental drills Saturday, but now will get to throw bullpen sessions and make an initial impression on Baker and new pitching coach Mike Maddux.
There are some other intriguing names scheduled to throw off the mound today, as well. Bronson Arroyo, 39, will begin the process of proving he has fully recovered from his 2014 Tommy John surgery and that he still has plenty left in the tank. Shawn Kelley, Oliver Perez, Matt Belisle and Trevor Gott will make their first official cases since joining the organization, each trying either to make the team or prove he deserves a key bullpen role.
Here's the full list of pitchers scheduled to throw today. If you happen to be in the area and are planning to attend, the workout begins at 10 a.m. and will run until approximately 11:45 a.m:
GROUP 1: Bronson Arroyo, Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg, Jonathan Papelbon
GROUP 2: Blake Treinen, Shawn Kelley, Oliver Perez, Matt Belisle
GROUP 3: Aaron Laffey, Felipe Rivero, Trevor Gott
GROUP 4: Lucas Giolito, A.J. Cole, Taylor Hill, Michael Brady
Check back for updates throughout the day ...