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Pitching prospects update from instructs in Florida

A quick update on the pitching prospects and how several of them are progressing after a couple of weeks at instructional league in Viera, Florida: The team was in Vero Beach today to take on Team China. First, an update on veteran Chien-Ming Wang - He threw a simulated game earlier this week and will throw a scheduled side session today. If everything goes well,

Espinosa excited to play winter ball in Puerto Rico

Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa is preparing to finish up the season strong and then play winter ball for one month in Puerto Rico for Ponce. Espinosa feels that playing winter ball will help refine his hitting skills and will give him more reps at second base after the major league season concludes. “I am very excited,” Espinosa said. “I am really looking forward to

Detwiler going for two in a row

Left-hander Ross Detwiler takes to the hill in the series finale with the NL East champion Philadelphia Phillies Wednesday night at Nats Park, opposed by right-hander Joe Blanton. Detwiler was thrilled to get that win last time out but says a lot of credit goes to the defense behind him. “I went six innings and the team really picked me up,” said Detwiler on the

Bryce Harper hits first home run at instructs

Nationals’ number one overall selection Bryce Harper connected on his first home run in an instructional league game against the Atlanta Braves today from Viera, Florida. Nationals hitting coordinator Rick Schu said it was an opposite field shot and that Harper also added a double in the rain-shortened game that was called in the third inning. Harper also smacked a triple on Friday and has

Milone selected Nats’ MiL Pitcher of the Year

Left-handed pitcher Tom Milone has been named the franchise’s 2010 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Milone went 12-5 with a 2.85 ERA in 27 starts for Double-A Harrisburg. Milone was very happy to be chosen for the honor by the Nationals because a lot of previous winners have gone on to pitch in the majors. “Obviously, it is a great honor being named player

Bryce Harper update

Nationals number one pick Bryce Harper continues to get his work in after five games at the instructional league from Viera, Florida. Nationals hitting coordinator Rick Schu reports Harper went 1-for-4 Monday with a base hit to right field, a strikeout, a flyout to right field that just missed, and a groundout to the first baseman. Schu recounts Harper’s work over the weekend, saying he

Moore thrilled to be named Nats MiL POY

First baseman Tyler Moore has been named the Nationals Minor League Player of the Year. Moore hit a franchise-record 31 homers with 111 RBI, 43 doubles, 78 runs and a .269 batting average in 129 games, guiding the Potomac Nationals to the Carolina League title. He led the League in doubles, home runs, RBI, extra-base hits (77), total bases (277) and slugging percentage (.552). Moore

Nats building trust in the clubhouse

One critical component of a winning baseball team is accountability in the clubhouse by the players themselves. Veteran teams have leaders that lead by example. Small problems are solved before they become major fissures. The players in the clubhouse police themselves. When one player is not doing something on the field he should be doing, a veteran goes to him and fixes the problem. Sometimes

Zimmerman on Dunn: “He is the most important piece of this team”

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman missed a couple of games with a rib strain, but before he went down with that injury, I had a chance to talk to the Nats’ silver slugger about the season and what lies ahead for the Nationals in 2011. He explained why he has been so consistent at the plate and continues to make the case for resigning slugger Adam

A.J. Cole ready for instructs debut

Right-hander A.J. Cole makes his Nationals instructional league debut Friday and will throw one inning against Houston at the Astros complex in Florida. It seems like just yesterday that Cole had to make a big decision: whether to start playing pro ball now or go to college. The Nats presented a big contract. The University of Miami offered him a full ride baseball scholarship. Cole

Bryce Harper 0-for-2 in Instructional debut

Bryce Harper went 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts as the Braves beat the Nationals 5-3 in the first game of instructional league from Viera, Florida. It was the first live pitching the team had seen in 20 days and the Nationals did have the winning run at the plate in the late going. The Nationals are at Houston tomorrow in Game 2 of the

A day in the life at Nats instructional league

Nationals prospects are busy from the early morning hours this week as they get ready to take on the Atlanta Braves in game one of the instructional league schedule on Thursday. Nationals hitting instructor Rick Schu says they are in the batting cage at 7:00 a.m. every morning. They then get on the field to work on defensive drills. The guys have workouts with individual

After solid season with Suns, Hood ready for instructional league

Destin Hood, 20, is capping off a great season in Hagerstown by playing for the Nationals instructional league team in Viera, which begins play Thursday against the Braves. The 6’1”, 225-pound outfielder from Mobile, Alabama played in 129 games for the Suns, batting .285 with 30 doubles, three triples, five homers and 65 RBI, totalling 140 hits and 56 runs. Hood struggled a little bit

Lannan looking for #9 again

Nationals left-hander John Lannan (8-7, 4.61) is looking for his ninth win of the season as he takes to the mound tonight against the Houston Astros. If he can secure the victory tonight at Nats Park, it will mark the third consecutive campaign in which he has won nine games in a season for Washington. Lannan has experienced an incredible surge the last half of

Switching to outfield should be easy transition for Harper

The Nationals instructional league team has completed their first weekend of work in Viera, Florida, with game one set for Thursday against the Atlanta Braves. Bryce Harper had a good opening three days, getting started in the pros with his new teammates and coaches. Nationals hitting instructor Rick Schu says the team’s number one pick should have no trouble switching from his familiar catching spot

Nats look for one in series at Philly; need Maya to step up

The Nationals look to salvage game three of their series with the Phillies Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. They will have to do it with a pitcher who has yet to win a major league game and who faces a veteran hurler that has not lost a game since July 21. Right-hander Yunesky Maya has had a tough early inning to get through in

Potomac claims Mills Cup

Potomac defeats Winston-Salem 2-1 to win Carolina League championship series 3-1 from Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge. Bill Rhinehart and Tyler Moore with RBIs and Marcos Frias didn’t allow an earned run as the P-Nats stunned the Dash, a team that had won 12 out of 20 meetings between the clubs during the regular season. Frias went five innings, allowing just four hits and one run

Harper: “This is the life...This is where I wanted to be”

He eats peanut butter and honey as his pre-workout morning meal. He loves the Dallas Cowboys. And he once hit a baseball 570 feet. Today he finished his first workout as a professional baseball player with the Washington Nationals at the team’s instructional league in Florida. The 17-year-old Bryce Harper says the first day wasn’t too strenuous as he got to know his new teammates

Potomac within one win of Carolina title

Bill Rhinehart and Jose Lozada slammed home runs and Jimmy Barthmaier escaped two jams to lift Potomac to a 10-2 dismantling of Winston-Salem in Game Three of the Carolina League Championship Series at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge. The Nationals lead the series 2-1 with Game Four Friday night at 7:03pm. The P-Nats need one victory to secure their second Mills Cup title in the past

Potomac looks for quick start tonight against Dash

The Potomac Nationals face off against Winston-Salem tonight in a critical Game Three of the Carolina League Championship from Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, VA. The Nationals got back in the best-of-five Mills Cup with a 5-3 win Tuesday in Winston-Salem to even the series at 1-1. Nationals right-hander Jimmy Barthmaier takes on Winston-Salem right-hander Terry Doyle, with first pitch at 7:03 p.m. Barthmaier won his

Walton on a mission in Potomac

July 20 was not a day that Jamar Walton likes to remember. It was the day the Kansas City Royals released the outfielder from Advanced-A Wilmington. The former fourth-round selection had struggled to a .200 batting average in 59 games with the Blue Rocks. Then in mid-August the Nationals were in need of outfield depth. Chris Curran, Nick Moresi and Edgardo Baez had all helped

Potomac evens series with Winston-Salem 5-3

The Potomac Nationals got on the board in the Carolina League championship series with a comeback 5-3 victory in Game 2 at Winston-Salem over the Dash. The P-Nats made a pair of comebacks, down 1-0 in the fourth and 3-2 in the eighth. Trailing by 1, the P-Nats scored three times in the eighth and then the bullpen got six outs to win the contest.

Bisenius grateful for health and shot with Nats

Nationals reliever Joe Bisenius is excited to get back to the majors and have a shot to pitch for the Washington Nationals. In his major league debut, back in April of 2007 with the Phillies, he got Braves All-Star Chipper Jones to pop out and ended a threat in his first full inning of work. That game seemed like ages ago until he got it

Jewett talks to and about Morgan as suspension looms

Syracuse Chiefs manager Trent Jewett joined the Nats following the end of the Triple-A season, and Sunday he got the chance to sit down and speak with one of his former players in outfielder Nyjer Morgan. Morgan is likely facing a long suspension for a string of incidents the last couple of weeks and could find out his fate for the remainder of the 2010

Riggleman pleased with progress on defense

Danny Espinosa makes a diving stop towards the second base then gets up and throws the runner out, saving potentially two more runs and keeping the Nats in game. Ryan Zimmerman grabs a hot shot out of the air and throws to first to get the hitter. Adam Dunn quickly fires back across the mound to the shortstop who nabs the runner at third trying

Desmond to lead off Sunday’s finale; Espinosa day off

Manager Jim Riggleman shuffled the top of the lineup for Sunday’s final game of the season against the Florida Marlins, placing Ian Desmond in the lead off spot and Adam Kennedy batting second. Riggleman said, “I am not going to play (Danny) Espinosa today. I am going to get Adam Kennedy some at bats. He has been sitting for a few days. I would like

Potomac advances to league finals

The Potomac Nationals have advanced to the Carolina League championship series which begins tomorrow in Winston-Salem. It is the second time in the past three seasons the team have reached the Mills Cup Championship. The franchise is going for their fourth league title. The P-Nats defeated Frederick 10-3 in Woodbridge to win the series 3-1. Bill Rhinehart went 2-for-4 with a double and 3 RBI,

Moore and Oduber shine as Nats build talent base

The Nationals minor league system was honored this season with most valuable player of the year awards handed out to Potomac’s Tyler Moore and GCL Nationals Randolph Oduber. Nationals hitting coordinator Rick Schu says both players deserved their awards and greatly improved from the beginning of the season. Schu says Oduber, who hails from the island of Aruba and attended Western Oklahoma State College, came

Getting to know new National Danny Espinosa

Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa burst onto the scene at the beginning of September and ignited the team with his aggressive and exciting play in the Nats infield. He got off to a sizzling start at the plate as well, going 9-for-16 with 3 homers and 10 RBI in his first week. Coaches at Long Beach State saw the raw talent, energy, and passion from

Knorr: “You play hard or you don’t play”

With several teams in the Nationals chain doing well all season on the field, including Syracuse playing down to the final week before being eliminated, the spotlight has turned to Potomac and Harrisburg as they battle to stay alive in the postseason. Harrisburg leads their series 1-0 over Altoona while Potomac looks to bounce back following a tough loss in Game 1 at Frederick. It’s

Schu talks prospects as instructional league approaches

Nationals hitting coordinator Rick Schu is preparing to head back to Florida to begin the instructional league, which runs from September 16 through October 13. This week we will cover a few of the Nats prospects that Schu worked with this season and update some of their offseason schedules. Hagerstown first baseman Justin Bloxom had his season cut short on August 7 but is working

Nats’ former starters pitch shutout from the bullpen

The Nats and Mets are even at 1-1 in the series following Tuesday’s 4-1 New York win at Nats Park. After starters Jordan Zimmermann and Yunesky Maya departed in the first two games, the bullpen threw nine innings of shutout ball. Scott Olsen, Collin Balester and Ross Detwiler combined to throw nine scoreless innings, 10 strikeouts, and just a pair of walks. Olsen threw four

Subtle moment shows D.C. is becoming a baseball town again

Labor Day was fun for the Nationals again this year. The Nats steamrolled their division rival Mets 13-3 behind a spectacular performance from rookie Danny Espinosa. He hit two homers, including a grand slam and a career-high 6 RBI. Washington is now 5-0 on Labor Day since the team’s first year in D.C. Espinosa had an incredible day at the plate. But the at bat

Nats’ prospects set for Arizona; can Bryce still get in?

The 2010 Arizona Fall League begins Tuesday, October 12. This year’s team with players from the Nationals organization is the Scottsdale Scorpions. The best of the Nats, Orioles, Rockies, D-backs and Giants are represented on Scottsdale’s roster. The Scorpions open at home October 12 against the Peoria Saguaros. There are six weeks in the season that spans October 12 through November 18. There are six

Mock “encouraged” following win in Syracuse

After finally being taken off the disabled list, Nationals pitcher Garrett Mock guided the Syracuse Chiefs to a victory Friday night, going six innings, scattering four hits, allowing one run with two walks and three strikeouts. “I feel like a weight was lifted off my shoulders (with Friday’s win),” says Mock. “Now, I can prepare for the next one and if another start comes I

Wang update

Nationals pitcher Chien-Ming Wang continues to take positive steps as he rehabs from major shoulder surgery 13 months ago. Wang threw 40 pitches in the bullpen early this week at the Nationals training facility in Viera, Florida. He is also playing catch and gets every fourth day off. Wang has been building arm strength and has worked in some long toss sessions. Nationals pitching coordinator

Detwiler’s sinker working well in rehab starts

Nationals left-hander Ross Detwiler notched the win in a rehab start Thursday as Syracuse topped Rochester 7-3. Detwiler went five innings, scattered five hits, allowed three runs but only one of which is earned. He walked only one batter, had two strikeouts and registered 12 ground outs. Detwiler threw 56 pitches, 39 for strikes. Detwiler (1-0) said his sinker was working “pretty well” and that

Tyler Moore wins Carolina League POY

Potomac Nationals first baseman Tyler Moore has won the Carolina League Player of the Year honors. Moore has guided the P-Nats to challenge for the Northern division title with a scorching second half of the season, dating back to mid-July, when he was batting below .200. He has hit 22 of his homers since early July. He has raised his batting average 67 points to

Maya earns win and Solis throws two innings shut out ball in debut

Cuban-born pitcher Yunesky Maya did quite well in Syracuse Wednesday, going 5 2/3 innings, allowing one run on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts and earning the win as Syracuse dropped Rochester 7-2. Maya (1-1) threw 98 pitches, 62 for strikes. Chiefs play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti said Maya had good breaking stuff and was in control most of the night. Elsewhere, left-hander Sammy

Solis, Cole and Ray set to make pro debuts

Three top pitching prospects from the Nationals 2010 draft crop will make their professional debuts this week. Sammy Solis, A.J. Cole and Rob Ray have impressed Nationals pitching coordinator Spin Williams as they embark on their first game appearances since spring time. University of San Diego left-hander Sammy Solis will start tonight for Hagerstown and get two innings. Solis, picked in the second round and

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