The Washington Nationals begin the 2017 season in three days, and manager Dusty Baker has a few more things to work out than he did last year, his first with the team.
“Last year, I think things were a little more settled, somewhat,” Baker said Friday, speaking before Washington’s scheduled exhibition game against the Red Sox was rained out. “I was new, I didn’t really know who I had. The club was more settled at that time I think. So, it’s a new year.”
In the immediate future, Baker has a couple agenda items to deal with before Monday. He and the rest of the Nationals coaching staff have not yet finalized the 25-man roster.
“We’re still kicking around some things, trying to figure out how to maximize our roster, maximize our bench, maximize our pitching staff to start the season, how many off days, you know,” Baker said. “Invariably you have to break some hearts in the meantime and in the short run, which is tough. But you’ve got to think about the overall season. That’s a long, long season, a long, long race.”
Baker also has yet to announce the full rotation order behind Stephen Strasburg.
The Nationals are also waiting for an update on Anthony Rendon, who fouled a ball off his calf last week and wouldn’t have been ready to play Friday, Baker said.
Baker described Rendon as “day-to-day” and said that “he’s doing so-so.” He said Rendon isn’t able to do “much” right now, and it’s unclear if he will be ready to go on opening day.
“I don’t know,” Baker said. “We’ll see.”
• Nora Princiotti can be reached at email@example.com.
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