VIERA — On the left side of the clubhouse, near the back wall where Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman’s lockers have been for years now, some familiar names are posted above veteran-sized lockers. The Nationals saw Ben Revere and Daniel Murphy as much as anyone over the past few seasons. Revere arrived Saturday, with a Toronto Blue Jays bag nearly as big as he is, and unloaded his stuff across the way from pitchers he pestered for two and a half seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies.
“They’re telling me, ‘Man, I’m glad I’m not facing you,'” Revere said. “but it’s the other way around. I got lucky half the time. That starting rotation, it’s definitely the best in the business, man, I’ll tell you that. The last three years, they’ve been tough.”
Revere hit .288 against Nationals pitching in his career, and is familiar with the rest of the pitching staffs in the National League East, having been in the division since 2013. He said he saw the Nationals-Mets rivalry evolve from afar, and after experiencing high-intensity games against the Yankees while with the Blue Jays last season, he looks forward to playing in it.
“This is gonna be a lot of fun, us versus the Mets,” Revere said. “It’s gonna be an interesting year. I think everybody in here is really pumped up about it. I definitely am. … City of DC is definitely gonna be on their feet whenever we play the Mets.”
Revere’s role is still somewhat unclear, though he likely will play center field — between Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper — more often than not. If Werth needs a rest, he will probably switch to left, in which case Michael A. Taylor would play center.
“They want me in left, I’ll play left. They want me in center, I’ll play center,” Revere said. “Right is occupied, of course, but wherever they want me, I’m just gonna be out there trying to help this team win a championship.”
Revere began his career with the Twins where, coincidentally, his first major league appearance came as a substitute for Denard Span. When he was traded to Philadelphia before the 2013 season, he pressed. He remembers watching Albert Pujols press to impress when he went from the Cardinals to the Angels.
“He was like, ‘What am I doing? I gotta be who I am.’,” Revere recalled. “The only thing you can do is play your game and do what you do, play the way you play. Don’t press. Everybody know how you play.”
Revere, who talks at a torrid pace and flashes smiles frequently, will wear No. 9 with the Nationals. He called it a “blessing” to be with the organization he saw so often from across the field.
“Everybody’s been great. Even when I was playing against them, the coaches, the front office people I’d talk to and shake hands were great,” Revere said. “It’s definitely great to be here.”