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Enthusiastic Lerner praises Nats' start, moves

Enthusiastic Lerner praises Nats' start, moves

WASHINGTON -- Principal owner Mark Lerner is excited about the Nationals' start to the season and believes every game is important, including the ones in April.

"They are playing like it's September, not April, which is great," Lerner said.

Lerner loves the moves the Nationals made before the start of the 2014 season -- including the addition of Doug Fister, who has yet to play a game but is expected to go on a throwing program soon. Lerner also likes what the team has done with the bench and the bullpen.

"Getting Kevin Frandsen last week was huge," Lerner said. "I love Aaron Barrett. The competition between him and Blake Treinen [for a bullpen spot] was awesome. I'm sure Blake will probably be here. It was fun to get to see most of the young kids, not just the ones who were trying to make the Major League club, but the ones down in the Minors. We see the depth that we have in our system. It's great to see."

Asked if he was confident that the Nationals could win the National League East title like they did in 2012, Lerner said, "That's our goal. We have to stay healthy, that's the No. 1 thing. You must have a lot of luck to do it. So far, we are off to a great start. I love high expectations, and we have a lot to shoot for."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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