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Williams calls defensive lapses an 'aberration'

Special to MLB.com

MIAMI -- Since being named manager last November, Matt Williams has emphasized the importance of defensive growth for the Nationals.

Williams even brought in longtime scout Mark Weidemaier as defensive coordinator.

Full Game Coverage

MIAMI -- Since being named manager last November, Matt Williams has emphasized the importance of defensive growth for the Nationals.

Williams even brought in longtime scout Mark Weidemaier as defensive coordinator.

Full Game Coverage

Yet through 12 games, Washington committed 13 errors and ranked last in baseball in fielding percentage (.969). Last season, the Nationals were 24th of 30 teams (.982).

"The way I look at it is, errors have been made, but it's not because we're out of position or for lack of preparation," Williams said. "Everybody gets their grounders every day, everybody works hard every day. You think about it and say, 'Is it an aberration?' I would tend to think that it is."

With injuries to players like third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, center fielder Denard Span and outfielder Nate McLouth, there have been moving parts in the lineup. Williams doesn't see that as a reason for the trouble because guys are playing familiar positions.

In the series sweep to Atlanta, the Nationals made seven errors over three games, including a trio of miscues on consecutive days. Washington recorded at least one error in four straight games before a clean showing in Monday's 9-2 win in Miami.

"It compounds itself certainly when things aren't going your way," Williams said. "Generally, it has a tendency to do that. All that being said, we work hard at it, we prepare for it every day, we do early work, we do extra work. It's not anything you can point that finger to. It's just the way it is and has been.

"What we can do is start again from today and move forward. We've been in good spots and been able to make plays when we needed to. There's been some hiccups, too, but it's not for lack of their work or preparation nor ours. Hopefully, things will get much better, and they will."

Christina DeNicola is a contributor to MLB.com. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Washington Nationals