Nationals fans wowed by rotation as players get excited for season
By Jamal Collier
VIERA, Fla. -- Wilson Ramos brought out his brand new catcher's mitt for the first bullpen sessions of Spring Training on Saturday. And by the middle of his first session, Ramos realized he had made a mistake, trying to catch Max Scherzer for the first time with a glove that was barely broken in.
"Everything's moving -- a lot," Ramos said with a laugh.
Midway through the session, he switched back to his older, more broken in glove to give himself a chance.
"I like being behind the plate, and not in front of the plate against him," Ramos said.
Scherzer was the center of attention for the Nationals' pitchers and catchers' first workout of Spring Training. He stood side-by-side with Stephen Strasburg as the two delivered an eight-minute bullpen session, while fans worked themselves into a frenzy along the gates to snap a picture or catch a glimpse of the team's pair of aces.
Scherzer's first bullpen went well, at least as well as eight minutes of throwing can possibly go, and he used all his pitches.
The players did not show any signs of the immense hype surrounding the team and their vaunted rotation. They were -- for the most part -- all smiles, as they laughed and joked together on the field and in the clubhouse.
"It's what we love to do," added manager Matt Williams, who joked that he has been sitting around itching for workouts to begin. "When we can't do it and there's snow on the ground or it's cold or it's not February 21 yet, you can't do it."
An eventful day started off with the Nationals announcing they would pick up Williams' club option for 2016. Several position players reported to camp early, prompting Williams to say he was surprised by the large amount.
And the Nats made it through the first day of activity without sustaining any injuries, which is always the goal.
"It's really good to see the guys after not seeing them for a couple months," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "It's good to see some old faces and get some fresh personalities in here. We're excited. The whole atmosphere of Spring Training is exciting."
Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.