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Is Harper’s thumb preventing him from moving to his next assignment?

Single-A Hagerstown Suns outfielder and No. 1 prospect Bryce Harper returned to the lineup Wednesday, after missing three games due to a sore thumb injury. Overall, Harper has sat out seven games and the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game because of the thumb problem. Last week, Nationals Director of Player Development Doug Harris reported that Harper is doing well in his recovery from

Five Senators invited to Eastern League All-Star Game

Five members of the Double-A Harrisburg Senators have been named to the Western Division All-Star team for the Eastern League All-Star Game coming up in two weeks. Outfielder Archie Gilbert and Bill Rhinehart, infielder Tyler Moore and right-handers Brad Peacock and Erik Arnesen were honored with invitations to play in the July 13 Delta Dental Eastern League All-Star contest, hosted by the New Hampshire Fisher

Adjustment to delivery helps Peacock increase strikeout numbers

Double-A Harrisburg right-hander Brad Peacock makes his 13th start of the season tonight at Richmond as he continues to be one of the most dominant pitchers in the Eastern League. Peacock’s eight wins and 114 strikeouts in 12 starts this season are tops in the league, while his 2.28 ERA is second overall. Peacock was honored last week with the announcement that he will be

First-year prospect Manny Rodriguez and others grab attention early in Florida

The Nationals are continuing to assemble and coordinate their rosters between Florida and Auburn (and I don’t mean the Gators and the Tigers for you southeastern conference fans, although the Florida Gators obviously have some guys to watch in the College World Series). There are several players that have jumped out with their talent in the first few weeks of workouts from the Nationals training

Nationals force extra innings, but Angels plate winner in 10th, 4-3

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim fought off another late-inning comeback attempt by the Nationals, 4-3 in 10 innings at Angels Stadium, spoiling Davey Johnson’s debut as manager. With the bases loaded, Maicer Izturis slapped an RBI single up the middle to win it off of Sean Burnett (3-4). Peter Bourjos with a ground-rule double got two runners in scoring position with one out. The

Nationals and Angels go extra, tied 3-3, thanks to Espinosa

Danny Espinosa slammed a two-out top of the ninth solo shot to even the game with Angels, 3-3, off closer Jordan Walden. The game is in extra innings. The Angels spotted the Nationals an early lead, but nibbled away at John Lannan’s pitches until they plated the go-ahead run, 3-2. Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman smacked solo homers off of Ervin Santana gave Washington a

Angels take lead 3-2 over the Nationals (in progress)

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim lead the Nationals 3-2 after six innings. Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman with solo homers off of Ervin Santana gave Washington a 2-0 lead. The Angels’ Alberto Callaspo with an RBI single in the fourth to get the Angels on the board against John Lannan. Then, a single by Peter Bourjos scored another run and the game was tied

Nationals’ Morse and Zimmerman launch HRs for lead in Anaheim, 2-0

Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman connected with solo homers in the second and fourth innings, respectively, giving the Nationals a two-nothing lead over the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim. Zimmerman’s third homer of the season was down the left field line off of starter Ervin Santana to lead off the fourth frame. Morse’s bomb led off the second to right center field, his 15th on

Morse gives Nationals early advantage in Anaheim, 1-0

The Nationals first baseman Michael Morse smacked a solo homer to lead off the top of the second inning, giving Davey Johnson the early lead in his first game as manager for Washington. Morse took the second offering in the at-bat off of Ervin Santana to deep right center field over the wall for his 15th home run of the season. John Lannan got out

Starting lineups: Nationals at Angels game one

Starting lineup for the Nationals in Game One against the L.A. Angels at Angels stadium: John Lannan opposes Ervin Santana. The National starting nine: Roger Bernadina CF Jayson Werth RF Ryan Zimmerman 3B Laynce Nix LF Michael Morse 1B Danny Espinosa 2B Wilson Ramos C Matt Stairs DH Ian Desmond SS The Angels lineup: Izturis 2B Aybar SS Abreu DH Wells RF Kendrick LF Trumbo

Davey Johnson the right answer for upward trending Nationals

Circumstances seem to be falling the Nationals’ way this season. Those circumstances usually take the form of injuries to players. Injuries befell every baseball team, every year, and usually it means a tailspin that good teams figure out a way to recover If a team has depth on its roster, the downward spiral can be avoided. This season, the Nationals have found a way to

Dominican prospect Estevez bounces back in second start

Nineteen-year-old Dominican right-hander Wirkin Estevez settled in quite nicely to his second start Thursday for the short-season Single-A Auburn Doubledays. After getting knocked around in his first New York-Penn League start June 18, Estevez was very impressive Thursday against Mahoning Valley, throwing five innings of shutout ball, allowing just one hit and one walk, and striking out five. The 6-foot-1, 170-lb. prospect has his velocity

Hernandez drops White Sox, sends McLaren off with another win, 2-1

Livan Hernandez bounced back from a rough outing to go 6 2/3 innings, striking out a season-high nine and throwing a season-high 123 pitches in the Washington Nationals’ 2-1 series clinching victory at the Chicago White Sox. Danny Espinosa provided the offense with a two run-homer in the seventh and Drew Storen came on in the ninth to record his 19th save. It was a

Peacock’s slight adjustment keys pitching consistency

One of the best stories of the season has been the rise of right-handed starter Brad Peacock with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators. Peacock has been stifling opposing hitters, going 8-2 in 12 starts (14 games). Opponents are hitting just .182 against the Miami, Fla., native, and Peacock has notched 114 strikeouts, which leads the Eastern League by a wide margin. The 23-year old Peacock also

Lombardozzi continues in groove following promotion to Triple-A

Nationals prospect Steve Lombardozzi has been promoted to the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs after being with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators since the beginning of the season. In 65 games with the Senators, Lombardozzi batted .309 with 12 doubles, seven triples, four homers, 23 RBIs and16 stolen bases. In his first four games with the Chiefs, Lombardozzi has hit 7-for-18 (.389) with two doubles, one RBI and

Do the Nationals need a team president?

After witnessing the end of Jim Riggleman’s tenure as manager of the Washington Nationals, it is interesting to wonder what difference a Stan Kasten-like leader would have made during the last few months. Kasten resigned as team president at the end of the 2010 season. His leadership and experience guided the Nationals, for better or for worse, through some rough waters as they wrestled control

Knorr says he hasn’t been contacted for Nats’ skipper post

Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs manager Randy Knorr told MASNsports.com that he has not been contacted about the position vacated when Nationals manager Jim Riggleman resigned after Thursday’s victory over Seattle. The Nationals are very high on Knorr as a manager within their system. He has moved up from Single-A Potomac to Double-A Harrisburg and now to the Chiefs in the past three seasons. It is his

Riggleman’s agent: Rizzo would not discuss extension

In a stunning end to the Washington Nationals’ best homestand this season, Jim Riggleman announced his resignation as manager following Thursday’s victory over the Seattle Mariners. Riggleman’s agent, Burton Rocks, said his client had wanted to talk for some time with Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo about a contract extension, but never was granted a meeting. “What set (Riggleman) off was all he wanted was

Auburn catcher Nieto off to hot start

Something has clicked for short season Single-A Auburn Doubledays catcher Adrian Nieto in the first week of the 2011 new season. The 21-year old Cuban backstop struggled last season for Single-A Hagerstown Suns, batting .195 with 44 strikeouts in 60 games. But Nieto came out of the blocks swinging a hot bat this campaign, grabbing attention in the Doubledays’ first game last Friday. Nieto went

Kimball shut down; Ankiel may go to Florida to rehab

Nationals manager Jim Riggleman updated the status of reliever Cole Kimball. Kimball is still feeling pain in his shoulder after throwing light sessions over the weekend. The medical staff has decided to shut him down for two weeks. Kimball has been on the disabled list since June 10 and had been making fairly good progress. “He is not feeling as good as he should be

The impact of young Nationals learning how to win

The Nationals’ young catcher Wilson Ramos made a coming-of-age play Tuesday with his dramatic three-run walk-off home run to stun the Seattle Mariners, 6-5. It is one of those hits that can make players and fans believe the Nationals can win any game at any time. The fact that it was the 23-year old Ramos who hit the homer shows that the Nationals’ younger players

P-Nats lefty Rosenbaum fine-tuning fastball to start second half

Single-A Potomac Nationals left-handed pitcher Danny Rosenbaum concluded the first half of the season as the team leader in innings pitched (85) and continues to keep the opponents off the board with a 2.65 ERA and 62 strikeouts. But the team is working on fine-tuning his fastball as they embark on the second half of the season. Potomac Nationals pitching coach Paul Menhart said the

Riggleman updates the progress of Kimball, Gaudin and Wang

Nationals manager Jim Riggleman updated the status of a few pitchers before Tuesday’s game against the Seattle Mariners. Reliever Cole Kimball told me over the weekend his shoulder is pain free after a couple of throwing sessions from 60 feet. He was scheduled to throw from 90 feet Sunday. Riggleman said Kimball is throwing a little bit and the reports his arm feels great. “His

Morse team’s MVP for the first 70 games

There is really no underestimating how crucial Michael Morse has been to the Nationals’ surge the last few weeks. It is not farfetched to say that Morse has been the offensive Most Valuable Player for the first 70 games of the season. Not only has Morse’s bat been the biggest in the lineup, but his play at first base has really solved two problems for

Harper out of home run derby, will start All-Star Game

Bryan Holland, Director of Communications for the Single-A Hagerstown Suns, told MASNsports.com that Nationals top prospect Bryce Harper will not participate in the home run derby during All-Star festivities on Tuesday. This was an organizational decision by the Nationals. Harper has been nursing a sore left thumb that he jammed during a game on Sunday, June 12. It caused him to miss four games. While

Harper thumb update and P-Nats notes

Nationals top prospect Bryce Harper sat out the last two games of the first half of the South Atlantic League season continuing to nurse his sore left thumb. He originally jammed the thumb during last Sunday’s game and has missed four games off and on during the last week as a precautionary measure. Harper will travel to Salisbury, Md., and is expected to play in

Rodriguez, Ramos catching runners at high percentage

There are many factors to explain why a team goes on a roll. The big reasons usually center around timely hits, solid defense and quality pitching. Two other factors are veteran leadership and a bench that contributes. The Nationals are in the midst of an eight-game winning streak, the longest streak in almost two seasons, dating to an eight-game streak in August 2009. In Saturday’s

Kimball feels no pain after two throwing sessions

Nationals right-handed reliever Cole Kimball had two throwing sessions Saturday under the supervision of bullpen coach Jim Lett and head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz to test his injured shoulder. He said the sessions went very well and his throwing shoulder showed no pain during the workouts. Kimball has been on the disabled list since June 10 with shoulder inflammation. Kimball threw two sessions and 60

Nationals and Orioles all even at 1-1 early

The Nationals and Orioles under way in their fifth meeting of the season. Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz is facing Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmerman. With a victory, the Nationals can guarantee at least a season split with the Birds. Washington has won both series hold on,openers by a combined score of 25-9. The Orioles got to Zimmermann early with a solo homer by Adam Jones in

Desmond continues to steal bases even with sore leg

Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond stole two bases Friday and now has a career-high 20 stolen bases in his first 64 games of the season. Last year, he had 17 stolen bases in 154 games. The Nationals are being more aggressive on the basepaths and taking advantage of Desmond’s speed to put pressure on the opposition to not make mistakes. Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said the

Short-season Auburn Doubledays win 2011 opener

There were some very impressive performances from a few of the minor league affiliates in the Nationals’ chain Friday, including the debut of the short-season Single-A Auburn Doubledays, managed by Gary Cathcart, as a Washington affiliate. Doubledays catcher Adrian Nieto went 3-for-3 with two runs, a homer and two RBIs as Auburn started its season with 11 hits and a 6-1 win over Batavia. Ryan

Nationals’ Desmond finding all kinds of ways to contribute

Nationals’ shortstop Ian Desmond was back to batting in the second hole after hitting ninth Thursday. Desmond’s timely hitting, speed on the bases and crafty glove helped guide Washington to an 8-4 win in their series opener against the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park. Desmond had two hits, two stolen bases, a run and two RBIs in his final three at-bats as the Nationals came

Wizards’ Wall bounces first pitch, excited to see first Nationals’ game

The Washington Wizards star point guard John Wall threw out the first pitch before Friday’s matchup with the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park. It didn’t quite do what he had planned. Wall’s pitch bounced twice before the Nationals closer Drew Storen made a nice play to catch it. Wall said the 56-minute rain delay allowed him to cool down too much and affected the throw.

Hagerstown’s Harper invited to SAL All-Star home run derby

The Nationals’ top prospect, outfielder Bryce Harper, will participate in the home run derby prior to the South Atlantic League All-Star game on Tuesday in Salisbury, Md. The event is billed as the 2011 BB&T All-Star Game Home Run Derby at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium and begins at 5:30 p.m. The winner receives $500 courtesy of BB&T. Harper has hit 14 home runs with a

Potomac’s Kobernus replaces Hood as Carolina League All-Star

Single-A Potomac Nationals second baseman Jeff Kobernus has been named to the 2011 Carolina league All-Star team, replacing his teamate, outfielder Destin Hood. Hood was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with a knee injury. Hood has been recovering from a knee issue and needs some rest. Kobernus has gotten hot at the right time, batting .333 (37-for-111) with 18 runs and 12 steals in

Confidence in Burnett gave Nationals chance to sweep Cards

The Nationals were looking good with a 4-2 lead over the St. Louis Cardinals late Thursday night. In the eighth inning, they called upon their set-up man, Tyler Clippard, to get three outs. But an Albert Pujols’ home run cut the lead to 4-3. The Nats still had the lead into the ninth frame. As usual, closer Drew Storen was summoned to finish off another

Riggleman: Personnel changes key to defensive turnaround

The Nationals are tied with the Phillies for fewest errors in the national league with 33 through 68 games (the Phillies have now played 70). That is a significant step forward for the Nationals team defense after leading the majors, alongside the Pirates, last season with 127 miscues. What might be even more impressive is what the team has done in the first summer month

Patience at the plate has fueled Nationals’ win streak

Earlier this season I was talking to a writer of a struggling opposing team and I asked him why they were losing. He said it was because they were not being patient at the plate. They were going after the first pitch. They weren’t taxing the pitcher. They were going for bad pitches and innings were short and uneventful. While watching the Nationals during this

Nationals’ offense finally rewards Hernandez in 10-0 win over the Cards

The Nationals’ offense has rewarded its starting pitching with a couple of big offensive performances to begin a series with the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park. Washington was down 6-1 in the fifth inning Tuesday, and erupted for seven runs to win, 8-6. Then, the Nationals crushed four home runs, two by red-hot Michael Morse, in a 10-0 shellacking of the Cardinals on Wednesday.

Bryce Harper returns to Hagerstown lineup after missing two games

Nationals top prospect Bryce Harper is in the lineup for tonight’s regularly scheduled game for the Single-A Hagerstown Suns at Lakewood. Harper took batting practice prior to the conclusion of Tuesday’s suspended game. He was deemed good to start. Harper jammed his left thumb in Sunday’s game and missed two games. He is batting .338 with 14 homers, 11 stolen bases and 43 RBIs in

Balester returns to Nationals throwing changeup more plus draft notes

The Nationals recalled right-handed reliever Collin Balester from Triple-A Syracuse before Wednesday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Balester has gotten into a nice groove at Syracuse. He was 2-0 with one save and a 3.24 ERA in 19 games, striking out 29 and allowing just one home run. Balester appeared in three Nationals games earlier this season and got roughed up a bit. But

Nationals top prospect Bryce Harper has sore thumb, listed day-to-day

Nationals prospect Bryce Harper jammed his left thumb and sat out last night’s game for the Single-A Hagerstown Suns at Lakewood. Harper missed Monday’s game and last night’s game was suspended to due weather. The teams will complete the suspended game at 6 p.m. tonight, followed by the regularly scheduled contest. Harper’s thumb is sore but he is OK, according to a Nationals club source.

Nationals’ Mattheus “amazed” by quality MLB debut against Cards

It has been a pretty amazing run for Nationals right-hander Ryan Mattheus, who began the season in Double-A Harrisburg and on Tuesday made his major league debut for the Washington Nationals. The run becomes even more impressive when you realize that Mattheus had been in the minors since 2005. Mattheus jumped from the short season Single-A New York-Penn League last year to Harrisburg to start

Nix keys comeback with relentless at-bat in Nationals’ rally over Cards

The Nationals showed resiliency with a gutty seventh inning rally against the first place St. Louis Cardinals. Down 6-2, the Nats put six runs on the board on four hits, three walks, one intentional and one hit by pitch. The six-run outburst matched the most runs the Nationals had scored in an inning this season. The Nationals had also scored six runs in an inning

Desmond starts and Bernadina replaces Ankiel

Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond will go tonight but center fielder Roger Bernadina did not start. However, Rick Ankiel left the game in the second inning, Bernadina pinch hit and took over in center. We are awaiting word on the reason for Ankiel leaving the game. Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said they are going to watch Desmond carefully tonight to see how his sore left thigh

Sammy Solis seeking second win in a row tonight for Suns

Pitching for Single-A Hagerstown, left-handed prospect Sammy Solis notched his first win as a professional Thursday with an impressive outing over Delmarva. Solis went 6 2/3 innings in his longest start of the season, allowing just five hits and one run, with five strikeouts and one walk. “It felt great giving the team a chance to win a game after my first two outings,” he

Gorzelanny to make rehab start tonight in Syracuse

Nationals left-hander Tom Gorzelanny is scheduled to make a injury rehabilitation start tonight with the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs, playing a 7 p.m. game against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees at Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse. Gorzelanny went through bullpen sessions and simulated at-bats with Nationals pitching coordinator Spin Williams last week in Woodbridge, Va., at Pfitzner Stadium. Williams said Gorzelanny looked very good in those outings and

Now with Harrisburg, Patrick Lehman says elbow is “good”

It has been a big week for right-handed reliever Patrick Lehman. The George Washington University product went from being activated from the disabled list with the Single-A Potomac Nationals to a promotion to the Double-A Harrisburg Senators in a matter of two games. At Potomac, Lehman was an impressive 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA and a team-leading seven saves. He tallied 11 strikeouts in 13

Prospect Hood’s “outstanding” play garners All-Star nod

Single-A Potomac Nationals outfielder Destin Hood has been named to the Carolina League All-Star team that will face the California League All-Stars on June 21 in Modesto, Calif. He is the only P-Nats player this season to garner such an honor. Hood has had a very consistent season at the plate, batting .276, including 13 hits in his last 10 games. Five times in that

GW’s Lucas said it was “unreal” when Nationals called

George Washington University redshirt senior left-hander Bobby Lucas Jr. lost his breath for a moment when the Washington Nationals called to tell him he had been selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. The Nationals selected the talented southpaw from Baltimore’s Calvert Hall College High School, in the 27th round. Lucas concluded his GW career with 12 victories and 233 strikeouts in 193.2

Baseball America’s Jim Callis analyzes Bryce Harper’s development

Nationals top prospect Bryce Harper made news this week when he blew a kiss to an opposing pitcher after hitting a home run. The incident drew a lot of buzz around sports shows and the blogosphere. But the play of Harper at the plate and in the outfield continues to make headlines and begs the question of when he will make his next move up

Wang could be close to making first rehab start

Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg talked about the positive impression right-handed pitcher Chien-Ming Wang made on him as they both worked out in Viera, Fla., last month. Strasburg said Wang gave him advice on rehabilitating from injuries and what it takes to get better but not push it when you are anxious or frustrated. Wang should know. His recovery from a football-like shoulder injury has been

Gorzelanny set for Monday rehab start in Potomac; Gaudin update

Left-handed starting pitcher Tom Gorzelanny went through a bullpen session and simulated game action under the watchful eye of Nationals pitching coordinator Spin Williams this week at Pfitzner Stadium. Williams believes Gorzelanny is good to go for a Monday start for the Single-A Potomac Nationals as he rehabilitates from elbow discomfort suffered in Milwaukee back in late May. He was eligible to come off the

Zimmerman: “I am getting used to the speed of the game again”

WOODBRIDGE, Va. - Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman went 0-for-3 with a walk, a strikeout and a throwing error for the Single-A Potomac Nationals in a 6-4 setback to the Frederick Keys before 1,479 at Pfitzner Stadium. It was Zimmerman’s third rehab start in the past four days as he recovers from abdominal surgery. Zimmerman was out on a called third strike in his first

Zimmerman struck out first at-bat tonight in Potomac, P-Nats lead

WOODBRIDGE, Va. -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, in his third game as he rehabilitates from abdominal surgery, stepped to the plate with two men on in the bottom of the first. Keys Japanese pitcher Ryohei Tanaka struck out Zimmerman looking on three pitches. Potomac scored twice in the inning on a triple by Justin Bloxom, P-Nats led 2-0. Destin Hood connected on an RBI

Potomac lineup vs. Frederick, Zimmerman rehab game #3

WOODBRIDGE, VA. -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman batting third in his third game as he gets back to 100 percent health from abdominal surgery May 3. Single-A Potomac facing Frederick. Manager Matt LeCroy sends out: Eury Perez CF Jeff Kobernus 2B Ryan Zimmerman 3B Justin Bloxom 1B Destin Hood RF J.P. Ramirez LF Sandy Leon C Justino Cuevas SS Cutter Dykstra DH Cameron Selik

Potomac’s Hague done for season, shoulder surgery today

Single-A Potomac Nationals shortstop Rick Hague is done for the season with a shoulder injury suffered in early April. Hague has been attempting to rehabilitate the shoulder for two months in extended spring training. Hague told Will Flemming on P-Nats’ radio that the shoulder “keeps popping out,” so he will have surgery today. The former Rice University standout played two seasons alongside Nationals first-round selection

Zimmerman won’t play Tuesday for Potomac

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will not play tonight but is expected to play Wednesday night for Single-A Potomac Nationals. Zimmerman has gone 4-for-5 in two rehab starts as he recovers from abdominal surgery.

Big improvements once Meyer stopped growing

Alex Meyer thought the Nationals would call. Meyer said in Tuesday’s conference call that when they picked the All-Southeastern Conference pitcher at No. 23, he was pretty excited. He even had confidence that the Nationals considered selecting him at No. 6. “I had a pretty good idea the Nationals were interested,” Meyer said. “It ended up that I was available at that spot. It is

Meyer and Goodwin round out impressive first day at draft for Nats

The Nationals selected University of Kentucky right-hander Alex Meyer and Miami (Dade) Junior College outfielder Brian Goodwin with the No. 23 and No. 34 selections overall, respectively. With Anthony Rendon at No. 6, general manager Mike Rizzo, flanked by director of scouting Kris Kline and Nationals vice president of player personnel Roy Clark, were very happy with the first day haul at the 2011 draft.

Rendon rewrote the Rice record books and other amazing facts

Nationals top selection Anthony Rendon rewrote the record books at a baseball-rich school in Rice University. In just three seasons, Rendon moved to third in career home runs (52), fifth on the school’s all-time list for batting average (.371), sixth in both runs scored (201) and RBIs (194), and fourth in both total bases (463) & slugging (.679). Thanks to John Sullivan of Rice University

Rizzo: Rendon’s raw power, potential impact too good to pass up

In 2010, the Nationals had the No. 1 overall selection in the First-Year Player Draft and picked the best offensive player available in Bryce Harper. In 2011, the Nationals selected No. 6, and many believe they again got the best hitter on the board, Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said the Nats were thrilled to see a player of Rendon’s

Nationals select Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon at No. 6

The Washington Nationals selected Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon at No. 6 in the first round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. The 6-foot, 190-lb. Rendon started the season as the draft’s top-rated prospect and has tremendous strength in his hands and wrists. He was considered the best hitter available, according to Baseball America. “I am super excited about it. Just for the

Bryce Harper in starting lineup tonight for Hagerstown Suns

Nationals top prospect Bryce Harper left Sunday’s game for the low Single-A Hagerstown Suns after getting hit by a pitch on his knee during his first at-bat. A club source confirms that Harper is in tonight’s starting lineup. This is good news that any problem with Harper’s left knee was not serious. Harper would not want to leave the starting nine now as he is

Nationals draft preview: Virginia LHP Danny Hultzen

With the major league baseball draft later today, Baseball America has put out its final mock draft, and there have been some changes at the top. No longer does executive editor Jim Callis of Baseball America believe the Diamondbacks will take Virginia southpaw Danny Hultzen. Instead, Callis thinks the Nationals will select him with the No. 6 pick. Hultzen is not only a top-flight pitcher,

Zimmerman continues rehab in Potomac tonight; Strasburg note

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is slated to continue his injury rehabilitation assignment tonight with the advanced Single-A Potomac Nationals, who will host the Frederick Keys for a 7:05 pm game at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Va. Zimmerman went 2-for-2 with a double and a triple for low Single-A Hagerstown Sunday at Municipal Stadium. This is certainly a good sign that Zimmerman is scheduled to

So who will the Nationals go for at No. 23?

So we have gone over a few possibilities for the Nationals with the No. 6 selection in the Monday draft. Let us now look at a few picks later on. There still will be a ton of talent on the board at No. 23, which is the Nationals’ second pick in the first round. And, if the Nationals dig into the fruitful college pitching available

Hagerstown lineup with Zimmerman and Harper

Here is today’s lineup for the low Single-A Hagerstown Suns against Greensboro at 4 p.m. from Municipal Stadium for Ryan Zimmerman’s first rehab assignment after abdominal surgery: Hagerstown Suns (34-22 Overall, 14-13 Home) Blake Kelso SS Adrian Sanchez 2B Ryan Zimmerman 3B Bryce Harper RF David Freitas C Randolph Oduber LF Jason Martinson DH Brett Newsome 1B Michael Taylor CF Starting Pitcher: RHP A.J. Cole

Nationals draft preview: Prep OF Bubba Starling

There has been a lot of talk over the past few years regarding the Nationals building up their minor league system by stocking it with pitchers. After all, pitching has taken a front seat in the major leagues the past few seasons and you can never have enough good pitchers as bargaining chips when you are looking for a certain position player to get you

Nationals have no answers for D-backs’ Collmenter, 4-0

The Nationals’ three-game winning streak has come to an end, thanks to a 4-0 victory Friday night by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Washington managed just three hits off Arizona right-hander Josh Collmenter, while Michael Morse, the team’s hottest hitter, went 0-for-4, including striking out for the game’s final at-bat. It was the first time Morse had been held hitless in 12 games. Johnny and Phil ask

Nationals draft preview: UCLA RHP Trevor Bauer

The Nationals could very well have their shot at not one, but two front-line UCLA right-handed starters Monday in the draft. The hard-throwing Gerrit Cole that we previewed Thursday, and right-hander Trevor Bauer. What is the difference between the two? Cole may throw a little harder, but Bauer makes more hitters miss, according to Jim Callis, executive editor for Baseball America. He sees good things

Nationals draft preview: UCLA righty Gerrit Cole

The Nationals have picks No.6, No. 23 and No. 34 to begin Monday’s First-Year Player Draft and, according to Baseball America’s updated mock draft, could get the most highly touted pitcher in college baseball in 2011. This year’s draft appears to be top heavy, strewn with power pitchers with collegiate experience in big time programs, such as Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen, who will most likely

Prospect Hague has “good throwing day” in Florida

Single-A Potomac Nationals shortstop Rick Hague played in only four games this season before going down with a shoulder injury. The Nationals have high hopes for the young Rice University product, but want to be careful with his shoulder before they return him to Woodbridge, Va. Hague is currently in Viera, Fla., rehabbing during extended spring training. Nationals infield coordinator Jeff Garber updated Hague’s status

Nix sensed the ball could be coming his way in series clincher over Phillies

Nationals left fielder Laynce Nix had a feeling it would happen. He had seen this scenario come up in a game before. Playing in left field, you have to be ready to make a play on every pitch. Nix says when Phillies pinch-hitter Domonic Brown stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs, his team hanging on to a 2-1 advantage, he

Nix’s homer, diving catch beat Phillies 2-1

Laynce Nix hit the go-ahead home run and made a sprawling catch in left field that saved multiple runs to preserve the Nationals’ hard-fought 2-1 win over the division-leading Philadelphia Phillies before 24,495 at Nationals Park on Wednesday. Left-hander John Lannan (3-5) notched his first career win over the Phillies in 14 starts, spinning 5 1/3 innings, scattering four hits and allowing one unearned run.

Rizzo will move Harper from Hagerstown, just not yet

Although he has slowed down a bit at the plate recently (.222 in his last 10 games, but 4-for-6 in his last two games) after a scorching few weeks, No. 1 prospect Bryce Harper continues to progress very well for the low Single-A Hagerstown Suns. Harper is batting .331 through 50 games with 14 doubles, 11 homers and 36 RBIs. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo

Johnson likes idea of Harper staying in Hagerstown for a while

Nationals senior advisor to the general manager Davey Johnson has been working diligently on next week’s First-Year Player Draft and watching a lot of baseball at low Single-A Hagerstown this season. Johnson will attend this year’s draft and put in his two cents’ worth in on players the Nationals might consider. Washington holds picks No. 6, 23 and 34 to start the June 6 draft.

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