Taylor Triple Caps Nats 5-4 Comeback In Grapefruit Opener

2-28-14 Taylor TripleMichael Taylor lived up to the hype this week, smacking an RBI triple to right-center in the top of the 9th to complete Washington’s comeback for a 5-4 Nats win over the Mets in the 2014 Grapefruit League opener.

The three-base knock gave Manny Delcarmen the win for a scoreless 8th in which the bullpen hopeful struck out two and allowed a hit. Tyler Robertson set the side down in order to close out the game and earn the save.

It also took Christian Garcia off the hook for a rough sixth inning that saw New York’s N.L. entry score four times on four hits, including a two-run blast by Ike Davis.

Taylor Jordan got the starting nod and laid two goose eggs, allowing just a hit and no walks while fanning two. A.J. Cole followed with two zeroes on the board, but gave up two doubles and a single and was saved from allowing a run by a ground-rule double in the 4th.

As is often the case with road spring training games, the “scrubs” outnumbered the regulars. Here’s a rundown of how the minor-leaguers fared:

• Eury Perez started in CF and went 1-for-2, making a spectacular catch in the 2nd inning to rob Lucas Duda of extra bases.
• Taylor took over duties from Perez and walked in his first plate appearance
• Steve Souza came off the bench and played RF, going 1-for-3.
• Mike Fontenot spelled Danny Espinosa at 2B but was 0-for-3.
• Matt Skole took over for Adam LaRoche at 1B and went 1-for-2 with an RBI double and made a pick to complete a 4-B-3 DP.
• Zach Walters replaced Ian Desmond at SS and was 2-for-2 with an RBI double that tied the game in the 8th.
• Jhonatan Solano followed Wilson Ramos behind the plate but was 0-for-2 while standing in the box.
• Koyie Hill pinch-hit for Tyler Moore as the DH and drove in a run with an RBI single while going 1-for-2 overall.
• Jeff Kobernus subbed for Scott Hairston in LF and scored the game-winning run after his one-out single in the 9th and was 1-for-2 for the game.
• RHP Aaron Barrett allowed a hit but walked none and struck out none in his lone inning of work.

The Nationals make their home debut tomorrow afernoon versus the Barves Atlanta. Jordan Zimmermann is expected to make the start. The game can be heard on MLB Radio.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of NationalsProspects.com. Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

10 thoughts on “Taylor Triple Caps Nats 5-4 Comeback In Grapefruit Opener”

  1. And I thought Michael Taylor couldn’t hit. Be great to see Taylor move up the prospects list over the spring.

    1. SD, he had a terrific winter league season. Was listening to that last few innings on the radio, and they hadn’t seen Taylor before and we’re gushing over how gracefully and fast he ran out the triple.

  2. I can’t see the Nats keeping Taylor as a backup as they need to keep developing him to actually replace Span in a year or two. Plus he hasn’t played above A+. It’s good to see that he’s kept his winter league confidence at the plate going, though.

    As for Perez, a backup OF slot would be complicated and would probably involve a trade of Moore or Hairston. Even if they did that, my preference would be Souza, whose bat is much more lethal than Eury’s. Or they might keep Kobernus since he’s more OF/INF capable.

    Speaking of OFs, where was Goodwin today? It seemed like everyone else in the phone book was playing.

    1. Taylor needs to play full-time this year. He’s not going to make the big club as long as Span is on the roster. If Span gets hurt, maybe there’s a chance that he gets a call up. But even then, isn’t McClouth Span’s backup?

      1. McLouth has terrible fielding stats in CF. More likely, Harper would fill in center, with McLouth in left (or right, if Harper finally convinces Werth to move).

        1. I did not realize that McClouth was such a bad centerfielder. Thanks for your helpful response. I’d love to see Span play all 162!!! He’s beautiful to watch in center.

  3. Span does have a weak arm, that is true. We’ll see. I don’t know which one I want to see play in Viera now! Hopefully, I’ll see both Taylor and Span! At the same time!!!

  4. Got a chance to watch the replay last night. By the 2nd half of the game it was pretty much our prospects against theirs, and it was great to watch these guys on a big screen HD TV! Hadn’t ever really thought about that as a big hidden advantage to ST road games.

    Also, this year it seemed like “our guys” stood out, whereas in previous years there was more focus on a bunch of fringe veteran NRIs that were in to try out, Perhaps that’s just a function of it being an early game and over the course of ST our prospects will gradually drop down to minor league camp, but I’ll take it as a good sign of improvement throughout the organization (i.e., fewer open needs at the major league level, so more chance to highlight the good depth in the system).

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