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Lannan poised to pick up where he left off in 2011

Nationals left-handed starting pitcher John Lannan is enjoying his off season and will begin throwing soon as he gets ready for 2011 spring training. It was a roller coaster summer for Lannan, as he fought off a tendon problem, a demotion to Harrisburg, and then rebounded nicely to finish with a flourish. Lannan ended up with an 8-8 record and a 4.65 ERA, but in

Zimmermann hunting for more wins in 2011

Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann is enjoying this off season much more so than last year when he was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. "It is nice," says Zimmermann. "I can actually go home and have a month off and not have to worry about rehabbing every single day. I have been working out for (four weeks now). It is good to get back in

Lombardozzi thrilled with Arizona title and honor

Nationals prospect Steven Lombardozzi wrapped up another successful season by knocking in the winning run for the Scottsdale Scorpions in a 3-2 win over Peoria in Arizona fall league championship, culminating a memorable season for the Chaska, MN native. Lombardozzi advanced from Potomac to Harrisburg this summer, refined his skills in the instructional league and then participated and excelled in Arizona. "It was pretty special,

Derek Norris shines Arizona, where will he start next season?

The Scottsdale Scorpions won the Arizona Fall League championship with a roster filled with Nationals' prospects. Bryce Harper was a name most fans outside of the Nats organization would quickly recognize. But guys like Derek Norris, Michael Burgess and Steve Lombardozzi also made major contributions on the field during the Scorpions' 30 games in Arizona, lifting them to a first-ever title. Let's spotlight those stars

Kimball: "We were there to win and that is all it came down to"

The Scottsdale Scorpions rolled to their first ever Arizona fall league title Saturday 3-2 over the Peoria Javelinas with a complete baseball team anchored by a strong pitching staff. Nats prospect Sammy Solis and five others held the Javelinas to one earned run over nine innings and the defense, despite some early errors, came up with some huge plays in the end to save the

Nats prospects shine in AFL Championship win

The Scottsdale Scorpions won the 2010 Arizona Fall League title with a 3-2 win over Peoria Javelinas with Nationals prospects making impacts throughout the game. Sammy Solis won the game, Cole Kimball pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the save, Bryce Harper had the go-ahead RBI single and Stephen Lombardozzi smacked an RBI double to plate the eventual winning run. Solis pitched four solid innings

AFL Batting coach: Harper "something special"

Nationals top prospect Bryce Harper started and smacked an RBI single to left in Saturday's Arizona Fall league championship game for the Scottsdale Scorpions after a pretty impressive month of fall baseball. Despite being on the taxi squad (maximum two games per week), Harper went 12-for-35 (.343) with three doubles, two triples, a homer and seven RBI in nine games. Scottsdale Scorpions batting coach Alan

Marrero, Kimball and Carr added to 40-man

The Nationals have selected the contracts of right-handed pitchers Adam Carr and Cole Kimball and first baseman Chris Marrero, placing them on the 40-man roster. Here are my recent visits with Cole Kimball from Arizona and Chris Marrero from Puerto Rico. Also, right-handed pitcher Juan Jaime was claimed off outright waivers by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Nationals Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Rizzo made

Espinosa breaks down hitting for cycle in Puerto Rico

Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa hit for the cycle Tuesday for his team Leones de Ponce in Puerto Rico. "It was really exciting and a lot of fun," says Espinosa. "It was funny because my Uncle Bob always use to joke with me to call him when I hit for the cycle. So I was thinking about him after the game and I gave him

Rizzo on Dunn, Lee and progression of young defense

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo checked in late last week with his thoughts on the possibility of resigning Adam Dunn and going after pitcher Cliff Lee. He also agrees that good ball clubs are built up the middle and is excited about the Nats young talent at those positions. Rizzo is pleased with how the off season talks are going for the team as a

Desmond inspired to play even better in 2011

Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond is excited to get started with the 2011 season after a pretty impressive rookie campaign. Desmond was in town last week and sporting the new Nationals uniforms which he says are a perfect fit for the young, up-and-coming franchise. "I like them," says Desmond. "It is a new look, a new team, hopefully a new attitude next year." His favorite are

Clippard ready to deliver again in 2011

Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard was in town this week to check out the new uniforms for 2011 and work out with the students in the 5th grade P.E. Class at Long Branch elementary school in Arlington, Virginia. Clippard and pitcher Jordan Zimmermann were on hand at Long Branch to teach the kids proper technique while throwing balls to a fellow student. They also answered questions

Harper crushes two triples; Rizzo pleased with progress

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper had a tremendous Wednesday in guiding the Scottsdale Scorpions to a 11-1 win over Peoria. Harper went 2-for-5 with two triples, two RBI and scored two runs. Harper is now batting .357, 10-for-28 with two doubles, two triples, one homer and 6 RBI. His SLG% is now .679. General manager Mike Rizzo is very impressed with Harper's solid steps in the

Cathcart ready for dual roles for Nationals in 2011

Potomac Nationals manager Gary Cathcart will have dual roles for the organization in 2011 and be able to coach dozens of prospects as a roving instructor and manager. The first half of the season, Cathcart will be a roving instructor for the Nationals in the Gulf Coast League and Hagerstown. "They like the idea of having another set of eyes alongside (Field Coordinator) Bobby Henley

Marrero takes step forward with solid work in Puerto Rico

Nationals prospect Chris Marrero is working hard to improve offensively and defensively by playing winter ball in Puerto Rico alongside second baseman Danny Espinosa. Marrero says he has enjoyed the experience playing ball in the offseason again this year after getting an invite to Arizona in 2009. In 10 games for Leones de Ponce, Marrero is batting .349 with 3 doubles and 8 RBI. "I

Espinosa adjusts swing to make more contact

Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa continues to play well in winter ball in Puerto Rico and has altered his batting stance a little to shorten his swing so he can make more contact and get on base. "I have made a little bit of an adjustment. The first three games (here in Puerto Rico) I had four or five strikeouts. That was a point that

Kimball confident for next step to big leagues

Nationals prospect, relief pitcher Cole Kimball, is enjoying his experience pitching in the Arizona Fall League and is thrilled to get an invite to the Rising Stars All-Star Game Sunday. "It has been great. I am not pitching every other day like I was this summer so it is hard to get into a rhythm when you pitch only every three or four days," Kimball

Burgess and Kimball named to AFL Rising Stars Game

Nationals prospects outfielder Michael Burgess and pitcher Cole Kimball have been named to the Eastern Division All-Star team of the Arizona Fall League. The Rising Stars game will be played November 6 in Surprise. Twenty-eight players who played in last year's Rising Stars game, such as Stephen Strasburg, Drew Storen and Buster Posey, made at least an appearance in the Majors this summer. The Scorpions'

Solis adds new pitch, readies for 4th AFL start

Nationals left-hander Sammy Solis says his month in the Arizona Fall League has been an invaluable experience and he has learned a lot, even from a recent rough outing. More importantly, Solis has been taught a new pitch to add to his other three potent pitches. On October 28 versus Surprise, Solis went five innings, allowed eight hits, five runs (two of which were earned),

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