Grading the Washington Nationals’ Top 5 Acquisitions Post-Spring Training

Grading the Top 5 Acquisitions Post-Spring Training

Washington Nationals
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On Thursday, the Washington Nationals wrapped up Spring Training with a win over the New York Mets. Next stop the regular season, but first let’s go back and review the performances of their five most important offseason acquisitions. While doing that, I might as well grade them.

5. Doug Fister - Starting Pitcher

Doug Fister
David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

5. Doug Fister - Starting Pitcher

Doug Fister
David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Doug Fister’s spring didn’t quite go as planned. After pitching 5.2 solid innings, he was shut down due to discomfort in his throwing elbow. A week or so later, he was sent to pitch over on the minor league side. In his last start on Thursday, he was removed due to a back problem and things aren’t looking positive for his first regular season start.

Grade: N/A (injury troubles)

4. Jose Lobaton - Backup Catcher

Jose Lobaton
Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

4. Jose Lobaton - Backup Catcher

Jose Lobaton
Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

With the signing of Jose Lobaton, the Nationals’ battle for backup was all but over. However, his spring left a little bit to be desired. He hit just .114 over 35 at-bats with five RBIs and a double. Behind the plate, however, he did well.

Grade: C+

3. Nate McLouth - Bench/Outfield

Nate McLouth
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

3. Nate McLouth - Bench/Outfield

Nate McLouth
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Former Baltimore Oriole Nate McLouth’s spring was about average. In 40 at-bats, he hit three doubles, two HRs and six RBIs. He amassed a slash line of .225/.304/.450 while also stealing a couple of bases. Where he shined was in the outfield. He made a couple of web gems with his glove.

Grade: B

2. Jerry Blevins - Left Reliever

Jerry Blevins
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2. Jerry Blevins - Lefty Reliever

Jerry Blevins
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For Jerry Blevins, his spring was quietly solid. Over 9.1 innings of work, he pitched a 0.96 ERA, giving up one run on three hits while striking out 11. His opponents batting average of .094 wasn’t half-bad, either. The Nationals needed a left-handed reliever, and they seem to have gotten a good one.

Grade: A

1. Matt Williams - Manager

Matt Williams
Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

1. Matt Williams - Manager

Matt Williams
Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Could this spring have gone much better from a personal standpoint for Matt Williams? In his first trip to Florida as a manager, he did pretty well. He gave guys their fair share of work and each position battle was given plenty of time to develop. Williams came through on his promise to be more aggressive with base runners as well. If there was any doubt in him, hopefully it’s gone now.

Grade: A

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