October 24, 2020

Washington Nationals Spring Training: Pitchers and catchers report

For baseball fans all around the country, it’s time for those four words that — despite how much snow they might be under — signal spring is just around the corner.

Pitcher and catchers report.

For the Washington Nationals, reporting day for the players that will make up the battery is Thursday. With all the excitement of the offseason signing of Max Scherzer, Nats fans will finally see him in a uniform, albeit in snips and clips, throwing bullpen sessions and glad-handing with the privileged media members enjoying the warmer weather from Viera, Florida while most of us are still digging out from under snow.

There’s plenty of excitement to go around, though. Scherzer is just one of many aces the Nats have in the starting rotation. It’s been the common theme around baseball hot stove this winter: the Nats rotation is the best in baseball, and could be historically great. At the onset, they’ll have to banish 15-game winner Tanner Roark to long relief.

It’s a glut of riches.

Still, it guarantees nothing. Baseball is a notoriously funny game, and just when you think you have it figured out, it changes the rules on you again.

I usually take a more measured approach to my analysis. I like to have stats and figures to back up my opinions and viewpoints. It’s easier to defend a position armed with the proper ammunition.

But reporting day, and opening day mere weeks behind it now, is more for the romantic side of baseball fandom. These days mark significant milestones to the long winter fans must endure without their pastime. If that’s not a time for waxing poetic, I’m not sure what it.

So for now, I won’t bog you down in numbers or analysis. I won’t issue my standard caveats about regression, small sample sizes or hidden injuries. I will not purvey gloom and doom on one of the simple pleasures of being a baseball fan. There’s plenty of time for that during the long, hot summer.

For today is reporting day. And spring is right around the corner.

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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