VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals have played 26 games during Spring Training and have made 27 errors. Manager Matt Williams admitted that he was not pleased by the amount of errors the team has made this spring.
Before the start of the Grapefruit League season, Williams and his coaching staff worked hard with players to improve the defense, which ranks 26th in fielding percentage entering Monday's action against the Cardinals. Last year, after a slow start, the Nats finished in the middle of the pack.
"There is major room for improvement. It's one of those things that sticks in my craw a little bit, because we work so hard," Williams said. "But nonetheless, we just keep going, keep improving, keep working. We work on it every single day. We just keep at it. That's all we can do."
In Washington's 11-7 victory over the Marlins on Sunday afternoon, right-hander Doug Fister had two miscues. In the third inning, Christian Yelich hit a grounder that caromed off Fister's leg and rolled toward first. Fister still tried to get Yelich at first, but threw the ball away for an error. Yelich advanced to second.
An inning later, with Tom Koehler on first, Dee Gordon hit a slow roller to Fister, who had an easy play at first. But the pitcher elected to throw to second to try to get Koehler, who was safe on the play.
In the seventh inning, the Marlins' Don Kelly reached first on a throwing error by second baseman Dan Uggla.
"[Fister] is an aggressive guy by nature, anyway," Williams said. "He made a mistake throwing to second. If he fields it cleanly and doesn't clutch it again, he then may have a shot at second base. Those things happen. It's part of working through the kinks in Spring Training."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He can also be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.