Good morning from Space Coast Stadium, where today the Nationals conduct their final workout before officially taking the field tomorrow for their Grapefruit League opener against the Mets. Davey Johnson has a low-key session planning for this morning, with only a few defensive drills and then batting practice inside the stadium.
Before we get to that, though, one more item from yesterday's workout...
The most notable live BP session involved Dan Haren, who upon taking the mound for the first time with his new club in that setting was perhaps a bit too amped up. The veteran right-hander was a bit off early on, needed to work a bit more to get on the same page with catcher Wilson Ramos and afterward had a long conversation with Johnson.
The manager's message: "I told him, 'Take it easy. You don't have to impress anyone.'"
Haren's response: "Easier said than done when you're watching and the owner's watching and the GM's watching."
You'd think a 32-year-old former All-Star who has pitched on several contenders wouldn't get nervous pitching in front of team executives, but perhaps that underscores just how much Haren wants to be a major contributor to the Nationals after signing a $13 million contract in December.
More than anything, Haren believes he'll start to feel more comfortable once he gets to spend more time with his catchers and coaches discussing his approach to pitching. He began that process yesterday with both Ramos and Johnson.
Amped-up Haren working out kinks
Nats Insider | Feb 22