VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals pitchers participated in live batting practice Saturday. Right-handers Chris Young and Taylor Jordan had their outings cut short because of the rain and will throw another time.
Of all the pitchers who threw on this day, right-hander Doug Fister stood out. He faced shortstop Ian Desmond, second baseman Anthony Rendon and catcher Sandy Leon. Fister looked like he was in midseason form. He declined to pitch with the pitching screen in front of him, because it's too much of a distraction.
"He pounded the zone," manager Matt Williams said. "We didn't let the guys at the plate know what was coming, [because we wanted to protect] Doug. He didn't have a screen in front of him. He threw everything for strikes. He worked pretty fast. He got a lot of pitches in today. He said he likes to feel tired and work through the tiredness. It was a good session for him today."
Desmond said Fister's changeup and sinker were impressive.
"He was competing. He was a little fired up. I like that," Desmond said. "I swung at a sinker, I swung over the top of it and it disappeared. He threw me a changeup and it looked exactly the same as the sinker. I can't tell the difference."
Rendon hit a home run off Fister during the session, but was still impressed by what he saw from the right-hander.
"He is tall and lanky, but he is fluid. He is so smooth on the mound. His ball just moves all over the place," Rendon said. "I wouldn't say I did well. It's just the first day."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less