Matt Williams will treat Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper with kid gloves in spring training

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Nats are holding their annual Fan Fest tomorrow, and new Manager Matt Williams is on the promotional media tour this week. Williams was on Fox 5 on Friday morning to talk about the event, and also answered some questions about spring training. If the snow is bumming you out, remember that pitchers and catchers report in less than three weeks.

“We’re looking, certainly, at Wilson Ramos and his health,” Williams said when asked about any concerns he has going into Viera. “Stras is coming off an elbow surgery. Adam LaRoche is coming off an elbow surgery. I think Ryan Zimmerman is beyond his shoulder surgery from last year. Certainly Harp’s knee is a question mark at this point. And so we’ll ‘kid-glove’ them, if you will, early on in spring training, making sure that they’re okay. And once they prove that they are, we’ll let ’em go. It’s gonna be fun. We have a very talented, young team. We’re the fourth-youngest team in the National League. You wouldn’t think that ’cause these guys have been around so long. But we are. So these guys are getting into themselves at this point, becoming the players that they wanna be, and should be. And I’m along for the ride. It’s gonna be fun.”

We all know Strasburg and Harper love to be handled with kid gloves.

Williams was also asked about his managerial style. Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “A” for “aggressive.”

“I think it’s aggressive, if I had to put it in one word,” he said, of his style. “It’s aggressive. But in all aspects of the game. Our pitchers, we’re gonna be aggressive in the strike zone. We’re gonna be aggressive in the base path. Certainly, I want these guys to get a good pitch and hit it. But we’ll also be aggressive defensively. I think it’s a big part of our game. And if we can improve this team defensively, there’s no telling what it can do. I think all of those things combined are important for us to accomplish, and we’ll start that in less then three weeks.”

Three weeks, everyone.



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Dan Steinberg · January 24, 2014

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