Spring Training notepad: Wednesday, March 14
Hope everyone is doing well up north. And we hope you got a chance to take a look at our interview with Ryan Tatusko from yesterday in this space.
Kevin and I spent the day yesterday at the Nationals’ minor-league complex, and a chunk of the evening at the Nationals’ big-league game just down the road. From that, here’s this:
-If you’ve never been to spring training, here’s the essential modus operandi. The players in big-league camp (the ones with lockers in Space Coast Stadium) do less day-to-day work than the minor-leaguers. The big-league players spend their days, essentially, preparing for their game that night. The minor-leaguers have a routine that’s more instruction-heavy. Minor-league players arrive to camp at roughly 6 AM for drills and conditioning. Yesterday, they broke for lunch at 11:45 and began intrasquad games at 1. There are four fields in your typical cloverleaf pattern (think little league park) where, at some times, four games are going on at once.
-The Chiefs coaching staff is quite frequently on the big-league side assisting with the Nationals. Tony Beasley and Greg Booker, in anticipation of the game at 6:05 with the Tigers, left yesterday at 2:15.
-Speaking of the staff, you all are going to, I think, enjoy watching them work. Greg Booker is back as the pitching coach, so that means Syracuse pitchers can expect analytical, driven instruction intermixed with Beatles lyrics for most of the season. You’ve heard us talk to the players about him: they rave about Booker’s eye for teaching points. The new manager, Tony Beasley, from all accounts, is a genuinely nice and serene guy. We’ve been told that he’s as level-headed as a manager gets. And the new hitting coach up from Double-A, Troy Gingrich, has drawn high marks from players who have worked with him. One former Harrisburg Senator told me that Troy helped him more in two weeks one year than he’s learned in entire seasons elsewhere.
-Booker has sprouted a moustache and spindly beard. He looks like his own evil twin.
-The Nationals sent Edwin Jackson to the mound last night. He’s emblematic of how this team has changed. As recently as ’09, the first season the Chiefs were affiliated with the Nats, Jackson might have been the one or two starter for the team. Now, he’s at the back of the rotation. This is going to likely trickle down to the Chiefs. Guys like Erik Arnesen–who posted a 2.43 ERA in Double-A last year–are not guaranteed a spot with the Chiefs.
-Got to chat with Randy Knorr yesterday for a few minutes. The Chiefs’ former manager thinks he’s going to learn quite a bit from Davey Johnson, who’s managed five MLB teams and won the World Series in ’86 with the Mets. “He sees everything,” Knorr told us.
-Ran into Craig Stammen in the Nats’ clubhouse during the game yesterday. He got engaged during the offseason. Congrats to Craig. Baseball-wise, he’s thrown five scoreless innings so far this spring.
-On the engagement front, Ryan Tatusko is also getting hitched.
-Former Chief Luis Ordaz will be coaching in Auburn for the second-straight year.
More from me and KB on Twitter @ChiefsRadio and soon on the blog. The Nats are in Orlando tonight to play the Braves. The Triple-A schedule begins tomorrow in Kissimmee with a date against the Triple-A Astros.