The Washington Post

Matt Williams has the Nationals traveling together

(Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

Matt Williams revealed another unique touch in his managerial style today. Only five spring training games remain, including today, four of them road trips to either Jupiter or Port St. Lucie. Most years, only players whom the manager plans on using in the game will travel. Williams, though, will have the entire team in the dugout together, even after a two-hour drive from Viera.

Some players, such as starting pitchers who need to throw between starts or hitters who want extra at-bats in minor league games, will be exempt from travel. But today, several relievers who will not pitch came with the Nationals. Center fielder Denard Span made the trip even though he is not starting.

“We’re a team,” Williams said. “It’s important. It’s important for us to travel as a team. It’s important for us to be a team. There’s going to be adjustments in the next few days. We’ve got some guys going to the minor league camp to get some at-bats. But today is a good day to have everybody here, regardless of whether they’re going to pitch or not.”

Along with promoting cohesion, Williams wants all the Nationals to see the Mets, their opponent in the season’s opening series.

“This is the team we’re going to play first,” Williams said. “Any chance we get later in spring training to take a look at them – their starters, their offensive players, how they go about their business – is going to do nothing but benefit us.”

Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.
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