VIERA, Fla. - Official workout No. 2 of the spring is in the books, and there was plenty going on at the complex down the street from Space Coast Stadium.
Here are some observations and quotes from various parties:
* Lucas Giolito threw his first-ever mound session in front of the full major league coaching staff and team execs, many of whom specifically made their way over to the far left end of the bullpen to check out the club's top pitching prospect in person. They didn't leave disappointed. Giolito showed off his free-and-easy delivery, not to mention his elite repertoire (fastball, curveball, changeup). Count Dusty Baker among those most impressed. "I didn't know he was that big," the new manager said of the 6-foot-6 right-hander. "And he has a very, very quick arm. One of the quicker arms I've ever seen, from windup into his release point. He kind of looked like he can throw as hard as he needs to. I really liked what I saw."
* Stephen Strasburg also threw off a mound for the first time this spring, placed in a group alongside Bronson Arroyo, Jonathan Papelbon and Gio Gonzalez. He didn't knock anybody's socks off (neither did Papelbon), but Baker had no reason to expect that from either established pitcher. "Stras was OK," the manager said. "He and Papelbon were just kind of cruising. But you don't want them to be wide open right now." A couple guys who did catch Baker's eyes: Felipe Rivero, Trevor Gott and non-roster invitee Michael Brady. Gott (listed as 6-feet tall but probably several inches shorter in reality) is one of several ... uh, let's call them less-physically-imposing pitchers in this camp who can still bring the heat. "We've got a couple Chihuahuas who can throw the heck out of the ball," Baker quipped.
* A cool little anecdote: New pitching coach Mike Maddux was watching Blake Treinen throw and noticed one particular less-than-perfect pitch. "Is that a changeup?" Maddux asked, to which the right-hander nodded. Maddux then proceeded to show Treinen how to alter his delivery of that pitch, relying not on a snap of the wrist to get desired movement but on the tight grip of the ball. Treinen's next pitch was crisp and right on target, leaving both the reliever and his coach quite happy.
* We won't be seeing Aaron Barrett pitch in anything resembling a game for quite some time, but the reliever is making good progress in his rehab from September's Tommy John surgery. Barrett is slated to throw from 90 feet off flat ground Monday, a big step up for him. It won't be much longer after that before the right-hander is cleared to start throwing off a mound. Then comes the long, slow summer spent in near isolation here in Viera while the rest of the team plays for real up north. But if all goes well, Barrett firmly expects to be part of the Nationals bullpen before season's end.