Davey Martinez began going by means of potential lineup configurations early this spring, then when he thought of the probabilities once more, as soon as he knew what the roster was going to appear to be at first of the season, he had a revelation.
“Yesterday I began jotting down lineups already, as I at all times do, and you understand, our lineup is fairly good, you understand,” Martinez mentioned. “So I’m excited to get going, I’m excited to see these guys enjoying collectively every single day.”
His message for the membership heading into final evening’s season opener was a easy one.
“My message in the present day to them was to benefit from the journey, and concentrate on the journey, and never a lot the vacation spot,” he defined. “Our vacation spot is to be 1 of 12 on the finish of the 12 months.
“However they’ve received to benefit from the day every single day, and we’ve received to compete every single day, however they perceive that.”
Juan Soto, who’s hitting second within the lineup, so he will get as many plate appearances as attainable this season, mentioned he and his teammates are prepared for a combat this season.
“We’re able to compete,” the 23-year-old slugger mentioned when requested about his ideas with the group at first of a reboot however nonetheless making an attempt to compete.
“These guys in there,” he mentioned of the gamers within the Nationals’ clubhouse, “… they’re hungry to win, they wish to win. I believe this isn’t a rebuild workforce for me, only a workforce to come back to the league to compete and we’re going to attempt as finest as we will to be within the playoffs this 12 months.”
GM Mike Rizzo informed the 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports activities Junkies that he’s hoping the membership will shock and shock those that don’t anticipate an entire lot from the Nationals this season, and Soto is on board with pondering as a workforce they aren’t in in the least fascinated by listening to reboot or rebuild speak.
“This workforce is able to go,” Soto mentioned. “I believe now we have the whole lot that we have to go to the playoffs. We’ve simply received to present 100%, we simply received to be wholesome, and be on the market each sport. That’s the one issues we’re going to have to be wholesome and go on the market and compete, however I believe now we have the suitable items to go on the market and make it to the playoffs.”
His supervisor is anticipating huge issues from the outfielder, who received the NL batting title again in 2020’s 60-game marketing campaign, and completed second in voting for the NL MVP final season. It hasn’t gone to Soto’s head — all of the success. He nonetheless got here to Spring Coaching in West Palm Seashore with the identical method he had the earlier years.
“For one, Juan each Spring Coaching he is available in and desires to make the workforce, so that ought to inform you what sort of participant he desires to be. Two is, the sky is the restrict for him,” Martinez mentioned.
“He at all times says he must get higher at this, he must get higher at that.
“And he’s at all times making an attempt to get higher, so you may’t put any numbers on what Juan can do, as a result of he can do unbelievable issues.
“For me, it’s about — and with him — I at all times speak to him about staying within the second, and he’s good about doing that, and don’t experience the wave, keep constant every single day.”
Soto went 1 for 3 with a stroll and his first residence run of 2022 within the season opener final evening, which the Nationals misplaced, 5-1.
“He’s actually good,” Martinez mentioned of his proper fielder after the sport.
“He is aware of the strike zone and he is aware of what balls he actually can hit laborious, so it was good to see him get that first one out of the best way on Opening Day and we’ll transfer on from there.”