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Nats' Revere hopes to improve on defense, win Gold Glove

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Nats' Revere hopes to improve on defense, win Gold Glove

As a leadoff hitter capable of hitting .300 and stealing 30 bases in a season, Ben Revere should bring plenty of value to the Nats' offense. But much like Daniel Murphy - their other marquee offseason addition - the area of his game he would most like to improve is his his defense.

Revere is replacing Denard Span, who was one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball. Span didn't have the outfield arm of Larry Walker, but there could be a drop-off in Revere, who is known for being below average at throwing to the infield.

"I don’t have the arm of Bryce Harper and some of those guys," Revere admitted. "But my arm is getting stronger each and every year as I get older in this game."

Revere's arm strength, or lack thereof, was addressed by general manager Mike Rizzo this week.

"He can really play the position. He’s a good defensive center fielder with a short-throwing arm, a poor throwing arm. But beyond that, he’s got good range angles and (takes) good routes to the baseballs and makes great plays," Rizzo said.

At 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, Revere is built for speed with a small, compact frame. He's smaller than Span and has a short throwing motion from the right side.

He also has a history of bumping his shoulder, as he explained himself.

"I do crash unto a bunch of walls all the time. It’s just getting the strength back sometimes. In the minor league, I had some problems crashing into walls," he said.

Without the natural ability to gun runners out from long range, Revere instead has to be smarter about his throws. He has worked on several things to help his cause over the years.

"The main thing is coaches have always told me just throw it to the cutoff man and do your job right," he said. "Every offseason I’ve been working on it and I believe it’s getting better and better overall. Just gotta keep working on it and hopefully bring a Gold Glove."

[RELATED: Revere knows he has big shoes to fill replacing 'big brother' Span]

 

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Nationals trade Brian Goodwin to Kansas City Royals

Nationals trade Brian Goodwin to Kansas City Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  -- Outfielder Brian Goodwin has been acquired by the Kansas City Royals from the Washington Nationals for minor league pitcher Jacob Condra-Bogan.

The 27-year-old Goodwin hit .200 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 48 games for the Nationals this season. He bruised his left wrist diving for a ball and did not play from April 15 until May 15, when he had two at-bats. He went back on the disabled list, returned June 1 and is hitting .171 (7 for 41) since.

Condra-Bogan, 23, went 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 16 relief outings with Lexington of the South Atlantic League and one appearance with Wilmington of the Carolina League, also Class A.

The trade was announced Sunday.

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What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

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USA Today Sports

What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer had a heated exchange in the Nationals dugout Friday night.

It was another not-so-great moment in an otherwise unspectacular season for the Nats so far.

Things like this often appear worse than they are based on what we can see, not hear, on television. In any case, it has fans and pundits talking about a perceived off-the-field issue instead of the actual game. There's nothing "good" about this, but there are important factors that are "bad" and ones that are "not bad."

Davey Martinez, Strasburg and Scherzer already said this has been settled and wasn't a big deal in the first place, but for a manager who's already faced some scrutiny this year for how he manages his pitchers, having two of them go at it in the dugout isn't ideal.

It also doesn't present the best optics for a team that came out of the All-Star Break 5.5 games back of the division-leading Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals need to build some momentum heading into the dog days of summer, and after a lackluster first half, this isn't how anybody would want to start the second half.

This was also Strasburg's first start back from a month-long stint on the disabled list. Ryan Zimmerman just rejoined the club as well. Things are shaping up to make for a solid second-half run, but all this does is detract from that.

The Nationals also just hosted the first All-Star Game in Washington since 1969. Having something like this happen in the dugout where everybody can see it takes away from some of that good publicity.

But there are also positives, or at least non-negatives, to take from this. Scherzer has always been ultracompetitive, and as the best pitcher on the staff, he needs to harness that into leadership. With Strasburg coming off a rough inning, Scherzer may have thought he needed a little tough love from a veteran. There's nothing wrong with that. Strasburg, to his credit, has never been one to focus too much on himself, so if there's anyone who can take something like this constructively, it'd be him.

This isn't Jonathan Paplebon fighting Bryce Harper for not running out a pop fly the day after the Nats were eliminated from playoff contention. These are two veteran guys who play the same position who are both competitive and want to win. It's akin to an older brother pushing his younger brother to do better. Strasburg even hinted at the family aspect after the game.

In the end, there's really nothing to see here. Frustration is part of the game. Talking it out is a part of remedying the frustration.

What really matters is tracking down the Braves and the Phillies. The Nationals can get started on that Sunday in the second game of a rain-shortened two-game series against the Braves.

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