Still nothing. But a week closer to Opening Day, so there is that!
Something to keep in mind as we go into this year, something I noted during the whole dream / nightmare scenarios is the idea of the Max Scherzer and Bryce Harper "problem". The idea is pretty simple. It's more likely than not that Scherzer and Bryce will not reach the heights that they did last year. Given that the "base" Nats record may be lower than you think based simply on looking at last year's record and factoring in injuries.
Bryce had one of the greatest offensive season in history and post- WWII the guys that repeat such a performances (without a little injection of the ol' "invisible to media medicine") are named Williams, Musial, Mantle, and Pujols maybe. That's it. Other guys come close, but setting the bar at what Bryce did last year, they don't cross it. It was THAT amazing. And how amazing it was was basically lost because the team didn't win anything.
But the point here is it's likely Bryce won't do better than this either. It's likely he won't follow-up a Top 20-25 offensive season since the War with one equal or better. That's not to say he can't do it. He is at the right age. No one think it was a fluke. (Hey Norm Cash! Get out of here!) But it's more likely he won't do it than he will. That means the Nats will likely be, with some measure, worse.
The Max Scherzer season was not as dramatically good. It was worthy of Cy Young consideration but not historic. It was however, arguably Scherzer's best year ever, and given his age, if you are presented with the choice "equal/better or worse", again the smart money would be on worse. I'll repeat what I said with Bryce. It's not to say he can't do it. Max is a great pitcher. Pitchers have seen high levels of performance straight through to 34/35. That's not that uncommon. But it's more likely he won't do it than he will. That means the Nats will likely be, with some measure, worse.
Max and Bryce set extremely high bars last year. They will likely come in under those. The deciding factor will be how worse they play. A half-step worse from each and it will be a bump on the road. Two steps worse each and the Nats willl have some serious ground to make up.
Can they do something like that? Sure. Injury returns and some new players should make a big difference. But they'll also need to not have a bad season performance wise. That's a pretty obvious statement but what is less obvious is they didn't have a bad season performance wise in 2015, taking away injury issues. For each minus (Ramos, Desmond, Fister) there was a plus (Escobar, Robinson, Ross). All in all the players healthy on the field gave the Nats an even performance. This wasn't a snakebit team who had nothing go right. It was a team unlucky with injuries that was otherwise pretty even.
Spring Training Stat review!
Michael Taylor is hitting with power! ... which we all kind of knew he could. It's nice to see it. It could translate into a bit more pop this year. However it's not his power that was ever an issue. It was the average and getting on base. So while this is nice to see it doesn't mean you should be excited about Taylor this year. We have to see if he can keep the average up and maybe work a few walks when the games count. Remember average in Spring means nothing.
Danny got a couple hits. Good enough for me to just say start him. He could still be awful but I'm only holding the worst Springs against anyone.
Given their presumed importance. I'd like to see Kelley and Papelbon not stink, but it's still too early to think there's an issue. Everyone else who truly stunk is unimportant and/or already gone.