The mantra from GM Mike Rizzo for the 2010-2011 offseason was clear; improve the defense.
Through 15 Spring Training games, the Nationals seem anything but improved, posting the second lowest fielding percentage in the majors at .963.
While many of the errors can be attributed to players that have no shot at making the Opening Day roster, one cannot help but worry that the offseason was spent talking, rather than doing.
The main culprit of the 2010 Washington Nationals defensive woes was rookie SS Ian Desmond, who led all of MLB with 34 errors. Despite assurances from the front office that Desmond was a leader and would continue to improve; his defense, if possible, has actually regressed so far. In just 10 games, Desmond has already posted four errors, twice as much as any other player on the roster.
One thing is clear, if the Nationals plan to improve in 2011, fielding the baseball has to be a big part of it. As of now, the Nationals are winning despite their fielding troubles. If they are to carry that over to the regular season, the results will not be so kind.
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