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Everything you need to know about Nationals' new backpack policy

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Everything you need to know about Nationals' new backpack policy

With Opening Day finally arriving this week, excited fans in the nation’s capital are getting ready to head out to Nationals Park for the first time in 2019.

When preparing to spend a day with the family at the park, keep in mind the team’s latest update to their stadium security policies. Specifically, the new backpack policy.

In their latest effort to keep fans safe and secure at the ballpark, the Nationals announced their newest guidelines for backpacks and other bags. 

Backpacks are no longer allowed to be brought into Nationals Park, in an effort to enhance ballpark safety. There will be exceptions to the rule, however.

“Exceptions may be made for backpack diaper bags or backpacks used for ADA/medical reasons. All purses, briefcases, drawstring bags, diaper bags and soft-sided coolers that do not exceed 16”x16”x8” will still be permitted,” according to the team’s release.

The Nationals know this may be viewed as an inconvenience for fans, especially those with younger children. But the focus here is on safety.

“The safety of our fans, staff and players at Nationals Park is always a top priority. We are constantly assessing our procedures in an effort to make our ballpark safer,” said Scott Fear, Washington Nationals Vice President of Public Safety and Security. “We understand the implementation of these procedures will take some time for our fans to get used to, but our organization is dedicated to making Nationals Park the safest environment possible for everyone in attendance.”

For more information on the Nationals Bag Policy, included a complete list of permitted bags and how ticket holders can request exceptions, fans can visit nationals.com/BagPolicy.

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5 things to know about Nationals call-up Carter Kieboom

5 things to know about Nationals call-up Carter Kieboom

Top Nationals prospect Carter Kieboom, a 21-year-old infielder, is coming to join the Washington Nationals for Friday’s game against the San Diego Padres.

Jake Noll was sent back to Triple-A Fresno on Thursday to open a 25-man roster spot, as Kieboom is not on the 40-man roster.

Here are five things to know about Kieboom:

  1. He had an absolutely sizzling spring training.
    In early March, Kieboom ripped two home runs off fastballs from Houston Astros’ Justin Verlander in their spring training match-up. In the bottom of the second, Kieboom homered to left center from a high fastball. In the fourth, he crushed another fastball to left-center field… on his first pitch. 
     
  2. Yes, you have heard the name before.
    Spencer Kieboom, Carter’s brother, is a catcher for the Harrisburg Senators, the Double-A farm team for the Nationals. He was drafted by the Nats in the 5th round of the 2012 MLB June Amatuer Draft and sent to the Auburn Doubledays, the Nats’ Single-A farm team. Spencer was brought up to play for the Nationals during the 2018 season, but he started with the Senators this past March. 
     
  3. Kieboom was ACC bound.
    He committed to play shortstop at Clemson University, but he was selected by the Washington Nationals with the 28th selection in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft. 
     
  4. Second base isn't his natural position.
    Kieboom began learning second base to hopefully take over for Brian Dozier in 2020, according to Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post
     
  5. Kieboom crushed it in the minors.
    With the Fresno Grizzlies this season, Kieboom has had 25 hits, 14 runs, three home runs and 18 RBIs. His batting average this season is .379, on base percentage is .506 and slugging percentage is .636.

 

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Source: Top prospect Carter Kieboom coming to join Nationals

Source: Top prospect Carter Kieboom coming to join Nationals

Carter Kieboom’s bat was enough to convince the Washington Nationals he should join them. 

The team is expected to call up Kieboom, its top prospect, on Friday, according to a source. Jake Noll was sent back to Triple-A Fresno on Thursday to open a 25-man roster spot. An additional move is required because Kieboom is not on the 40-man roster. 

Kieboom’s 1.142 OPS at Fresno was on the minds of observers since the season started. He spent spring training in major-league camp until the end. He was sent to Fresno because of the infield log jam at the major-league level to start the season.

Depth in Washington’s middle infield has waned considerably since. Starting shortstop Trea Turner -- the reason Kieboom was working at second base both in the Arizona Fall League and at times in Fresno -- broke his right index finger when attempting a bunt. The Nationals have repeatedly said there is no timetable for Turner’s return -- at least not one being shared with the public.

Anthony Rendon has not played since being hit by a pitch on April 20. Howie Kendrick and Noll spelled Rendon at third base. Though, he is expected back this weekend.

Wilmer Difo replaced Turner. He is an enormous step down in offensive production from Turner, who led the National League in OPS among shortstops (1.257 in a tiny four-game sample size)  when he was injured. Difo has a .678 OPS this season.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo typically calls up prospects with the intent to play them often. If that’s the case for Kieboom, it means he will replace Difo despite defense being the key concern for the 21-year-old. It also may indicate a prolonged absence for Turner, who has not played since April 2.

Utility infielder Adrian Sanchez joined the Nationals immediately after Turner’s injury instead of Kieboom. Rizzo said Kieboom still needed further work in the field.

“I just think we want to refine Carter defensively a little bit,” Rizzo said at the time. “Offensively he had a great spring and a great Arizona Fall League. He’s very, very close to becoming major-league ready. We think he just needs a few more reps at the position. We’re going to see him sooner rather than later. We’re not afraid of timelines. We’re not afraid of putting young players in the big leagues. When we feel he’s ready, we’ll bring him.”

Just three weeks later, Kieboom is en route to Washington. He played 48 innings at second base and 106 innings at shortstop. Kieboom made an error at each position.

Kieboom is unlikely to unseat the combination of Brian Dozier and Kendrick at second base (assuming Rendon is back to playing soon). Dozier is the team’s best defender at the position, plus his offense has recently picked up. The Nationals do not want to play the 35-year-old Kendrick every day in order to maintain his health.

The Nationals could move reliever Koda Glover to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Kieboom. They also could release struggling reliever Trevor Rosenthal, though that would be a drastic step.

The Washington Post was first to report Kieboom’s promotion.

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