WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Dave Martinez is still creating his own routine as he begins his first camp as Nationals manager, but he has already introduced the first new wrinkles.Martinez has implemented a daily "Circle of Trust" meeting before workouts begin in the mornings. He has designated a different
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Dave Martinez is still creating his own routine as he begins his first camp as Nationals manager, but he has already introduced the first new wrinkles.
Martinez has implemented a daily "Circle of Trust" meeting before workouts begin in the mornings. He has designated a different player to DJ a playlist during the team's stretch routine each day. On Friday, the Nats only worked out for about 90 minutes, a shorter session by design.
"It's quality, not quantity," Martinez said.
There is still time to learn more about how Spring Training will be different with Martinez at the helm, but he has already started to make his mark by the time the Nationals held their first official workout on Friday morning.
"I know for years as a bench coach, I formed my own routine and had a thing going," Martinez said. "It's hard. Today, I wanted to watch all the pitchers, and yet I wanted to watch other things. I wanted to leave, but I said I've got to make sure I see everybody throw that I need to see. So that's kind of tough. I love the game, I'm passionate about the game, I love every aspect of the game. I like to see the catchers work. I like to see different things. That's one of the things I have to adjust, knowing where I need to be and when I need to be there."
Martinez also shared his excitement at getting to see parts of his new roster for the first time. He wakes up every day at 5 a.m. and is at the complex by 5:30 a.m. He does not spend much time in his office, but he has told his players he has an open-door policy when he does.
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"The biggest thing is I have all this energy when I wake up, and my brain just constantly goes," Martinez said. "You're thinking about Max Scherzer and [Stephen] Strasburg and Gio [Gonzalez] and [Tanner] Roark and [Bryce] Harper and [Anthony] Rendon, those guys in your lineup. And you go, 'Wow.' I just get excited to go to the ballpark and watch these guys perform every day."
Other highlights from Martinez's first press conference
• Martinez said both Adam Eaton and Daniel Murphy are "on target" to be ready for Opening Day. Eaton is recovering from a torn left ACL sustained last April, while Murphy underwent surgery on his right knee during the offseason.
• While he sees it as an open competition for the No. 5 starter in the rotation, Martinez acknowledged that A.J. Cole has the upper hand if he "goes out and does what he's capable of doing."
• The Nats have few position battles in camp, but the backup catcher's job will be one to watch. Martinez has a history with Miguel Montero, who is in camp on a Minor League deal. They spent parts of three seasons together in Chicago while Martinez was a bench coach for the Cubs.
"I've had Miggy, and for me, Miggy is a veteran catcher, understands the game, calls a very good game," Martinez said. "Frames very well, gets pitches behind the plate. I think he can help us. I really do. … He likes to communicate in a positive way. So I think Miggy has a great chance to help us. I'm looking forward to having him play in the spring and doing what he does best, and that's call games. If you don't know Miggy, Miggy loves big moments."