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Triple-A Syracuse gets eight extra “home” games in 2012

Due to renovation construction on the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s home PNC Field during the 2012 baseball season, 10 of the Yankees “home” games will be played at Alliance Bank Stadium, home of the Washington Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate, the Syracuse Chiefs. The International League made the announcement Friday that eight of the games will be against the Chiefs and the other two against Buffalo. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will be

Nationals 2011 season: By the numbers

The Washington Nationals’ season is over and the team improved its record by 11 wins since 2010. The 80 wins is also 21 victories better than 2009’s low water mark. Manager Davey Johnson was asked what 80 wins meant in Wednesday’s postgame interview on MASN, and he certainly was not jumping for joy. That showed to me how determined he is to get this team

Harper, Rendon, Solis and others arrive at Arizona fall league

Nationals instructional league camp continues for another couple of weeks, but few notables left Wednesday for the Arizona fall league. Bryce Harper, Sammy Solis, Derek Norris, Pat Lehman, Rafael Martin and Anthony Rendon head the list of Nationals prospects playing this year for the Scottsdale Scorpions. The groups traveled to Arizona on Wednesday. The Scorpions won the league championship last fall. Harper has looked good

Rizzo: Nationals’ pitching depth necessary currency to pull off major trade

The Nationals’ September call-ups of left-hander Tommy Milone and right-hander Brad Peacock signal a big step in the organization from a talent perspective. Since the Nationals arrived in D.C., never has the team been able to bring up a pair of starters at this point of the season who show they are ready to pitch right now at the major league level. Couple that with

Stammen states case for long relief role in 2012

Nationals right-handed reliever Craig Stammen has quietly put together a nice month of pitching as he gears up for the offseason and 2012 spring training. That is not the way the year started off for Stammen. He was sent to Triple-A Syracuse out of spring training, then struggled in his first call to the majors this season. On June 6 in San Francisco, Stammen gave

Morse singing a different tune

Nationals manager Davey Johnson has been pleased with progress his hitters have made this season. The best story has to be Michael Morse, who has hit 29 homers and has 91 RBIs, both career highs and team-leading totals. “He is one of the great surprises,” Johnson said. “He has been the most consistent guy all year long. He has had to play left field, then

Rizzo: Nationals have ongoing dialogue in pursuit of re-signing Wang

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Sunday the team continues to speak with pitcher Chien-Ming Wang’s representatives as they look to nail down a contract extension. Wang finished up his return to baseball after two seasons away with a serious shoulder injury, by throwing six innings of one run ball and contributing an RBI single in the Nationals 4-1 win over the Atlanta Braves Saturday.

Braves-Nationals lineups for home finale

Here is today’s starting lineups for the final home game of season: Braves: Bourn - CF Prado - LF Jones - 3B Uggla - 2B Freeman - 1B Diaz - RF Ross - C Wilson - SS Minor - P Nationals: Desmond - SS Werth - CF Zimmerman - 3B Morse - LF Marrero - 1B Espinosa - 2B Gomes - RF Ramos - C

Rizzo: Harper will continue to play all outfield positions

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo spoke about the future of top outfield prospect Bryce Harper, who will begin play in the Arizona Fall League on Oct. 4. Rizzo said they will play Harper at every outfield position so he continues to gain experience at the position. Harper was primarily a catcher in high school and at the College of Southern Nevada. He played right field

Desmond drops weight, feels swifter as season comes to a close

It has been noticeable during recent at-bats that Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond appears to be completely recovered from a nagging quad injury that had him stepping carefully early on in the season. The shortstop went 6-for-18 in Philadelphia, with three runs, a stolen base, two doubles and an RBI. Friday, Desmond once again took advantage of the opportunity to lead off and show his speed,

Dominican teenagers showing Nationals’ depth at pitcher and catcher

The Nationals’ instructional league roster is chocked full of several prized teenage prospects from the team’s Dominican academy, including 19-year old right-handed pitcher Ivan Pineyro. Nationals director of player development Doug Harris is pleased with what he has seen from these young players so far in camp, and credits the coaches and scouting department for working so hard to get them ready to play at

Success of call-ups with Nationals not going unnoticed by prospects

September has been a good month for the Nationals as the season winds down and a great deal of the credit for the surge goes to the youth infusion from Triple-A Syracuse and the return of fireballer Stephen Strasburg. Pitchers Strasburg, Tommy Milone and Brad Peacock have been very impressive: Strasburg with an ERA below 1.30 and back-to-back wins for Milone and Peacock at Citi

Outfield focus: prospect Michael Taylor makes big jump in system

The first week of instructional league is under way in Viera, Fla., with the team going through batting practice, fielding drills and bullpen sessions prior to its opening game against the Atlanta Braves on Sept. 23. Nationals director of player development Doug Harris checked in from Florida and told MASNsports.com he is excited about the players they have assembled. We went over several field positions

Detwiler, Espinosa complete Nats’ doubleheader sweep of Phillies, 3-0

Nice move by Nationals manager Davey Johnson. Only a few hours before Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park, Johnson decided to switch the starters for each game. Tommy Milone pitched the opener and tossed six innings of shutout ball. Ross Detwiler took the nightcap. Did he ever. The Nationals swept a doubleheader from the Philadelphia Phillies behind a career night from Detwiler

Rizzo: Strasburg may start season finale at Florida

Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg may not have to wrap his season up with Friday’s scheduled start against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park. Many believed that might be Strasburg’s final start of the 2011 season. But according to MASN television announcer Bob Carpenter during Tuesday’s Game 1 of the Phillies series, Strasburg could get the call in the Nationals’ final game of the season Sept.

Mattheus reinstated from disabled list, active for Phillies series

The Nationals reinstated right-handed pitcher Ryan Mattheus from the 15-day disabled list before their scheduled doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday. Mattheus said Saturday his simulated game went well. He threw 25 pitches to a pair of hitters and said he expected to get in back in a regulation game very soon. That could happen earlier than might have been expected, as Mattheus will

Peacock was quietly selected in the 41st round, but his game is far from silent

Sshhhhh! Nationals pitcher Brad Peacock is a pretty quiet guy. Even his dad admitted on MASN’s game coverage last week during his first major league start, “Brad doesn’t get too excited out there.” But Peacock is not quiet enough to not want to clear a few things up. He is not from Miami, Fla., but from Wellington, closer to West Palm Beach and 73 miles

Mattheus “felt strong” in simulated game; Detwiler and Milone notes

Nationals starter Ross Detwiler will get the call Tuesday in Game 1 against the Philadelphia Phillies. Rookie Tommy Milone will be handed the ball for Game 2 that night. The other prized recent call up, Brad Peacock, gets the nod Wednesday night at Philadelphia. Also, Nationals reliever Ryan Mattheus participated in a simulation game Saturday in which he threw 20 to 25 pitches and faced

Balester felt good but made one mistake that cost him against Marlins

Nationals right-handed relief pitcher Collin Balester said he was not bothered by the cold weather or being extended more than one inning during Saturday’s 13-inning loss to the Florida Marlins. Donnie Murphy hit a two-run shot in the 13th to break a 1-1 tie and help the Marlins to a 4-1 victory. Balester said pitching that long in relief wasn’t the concern and he felt

Tonight’s Marlins-Nationals lineups

Here are the lineups for tonight’s game with Stephen Strasburg making his third start of the season, as the Nationals entertain the Florida Marlins: Marlins: Bonifacio - SS Infante - 2B Stanton - RF Morrison - LF Sanchez - 1B Petersen - CF Buck - C Dominguez - 3B Volstad - P Nationals: Desmond - SS Bernadina - RF Zimmerman - 3B Morse - LF

Johnson will let Strasburg go over 70 pitches tonight against Marlins

Nationals manager Davey Johnson said before Game Two against Florida Saturday that he will release some of the pitching restrictions the team has had on starter Stephen Strasburg in his first two starts this season as he returns from Tommy John surgery. “I have got a much longer leash,” Johnson said. “I will probably let him get over 70 (pitches). It just depends on what

Nationals’ instructional league list of outfielders features first-rounder Goodwin

The Nationals’ instructional league conducts their first workout with a roster of 52 players today in Viera, Fla. One of the top three selections by the Nationals in the June First-Year Player Draft, Miami-Dade College speedster Brian Goodwin, heads the list of talented outfielders. Goodwin batted .382 (60-for-157) with 11 doubles, two triples, eight home runs, 37 RBIs and 42 runs scored in 47 games

Rendon highlights Nationals’ instructional league roster of infielders

The Nationals’ instructional league team reports today in Viera, Fla., with the first official workout schedule for Saturday. The 14-game schedule commences Sept. 23 against the Braves and runs through Oct. 12. It also includes international matchups against teams from China and Italy. We have previews of the pitchers and catchers reporting and today we will focus on the Nationals’ talented roster of infielders invited

Why Zimmermann could be the opening day starter in 2012

The 2012 regular season schedule has the Washington Nationals beginning on the road at historic Wrigley Field with three games in Chicago and then three more contests in New York against the Mets. 2012 has been marked as the year Stephen Strasburg would pitch for the Nationals for the first time in the month of April in his career, and may be the season we

Peacock’s resiliency throughout career led him to first major league win

Right-hander Brad Peacock got his chance to showcase what kind of a starter he was all season in the minors Wednesday in New York, and he did not disappoint. Last week in relief of Stephen Strasburg, he came into a difficult situation and allowed four hits in 1 1/3 innings. You wondered what it would be like for Peacock to start fresh, at the beginning

My day as the P.A. Announcer at Nationals Park

Last week, when the Washington Nationals faced the Los Angeles Dodgers, I was asked to be the public address announcer for game one at Nationals Park. It was indeed an honor to be back in the booth. But I have to admit I was a little nervous and had the adrenalin going. After all, I had been the public address announcer for the NBA Washington

Catching depth displayed on Nationals’ instructional league roster

The Nationals instructional league begins in late September and the coaching staff will get a chance to teach and mold top catching talent within the organization. Three of the players on this year’s instructional roster finished the season with the Single-A Hagerstown Suns: David Freitas, Cole Leonida and Adrian Nieto. Freitas hit .288 with 13 homers, 73 RBIs in 123 games. Georgia Tech product Leonida

Potomac’s season ends in Frederick with 3-2 loss

The Single-A Potomac Nationals fell at Frederick 3-2 on Monday night, ending their defense of the Mills Cup. Paul Demny took the loss (0-2) after allowing a pair of homers in a three-run first inning that set the tone for Game 5 of the Carolina League divisional series. Demny allowed three runs in just 2/3 of an inning and is now headed to Florida on

Nationals’ instructional league roster: Pitchers

The Nationals are preparing their prospects for the instructional league schedule, which will begin Sept. 23 at home in Viera, Fla., against Atlanta. Report date is Sept. 16 and the first workout is Sept. 17. Each day of the current road trip we will focus on the roster and today our focus is on the pitchers. Here is the list of the 24 pitchers expected

Potomac rallies to extend series; Harrisburg eliminated

The Single-A Potomac Nationals scored six runs in the bottom of the eighth frame to topple Frederick 6-1 in a must win Game 4 at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Va. The deciding game five at 7 p.m. Monday night in Frederick. Zach Walters, Destin Hood and Jose Lozada each had a pair of RBIs for Cameron Selik, who notches the win. Richmond dropped Harrisburg 2-1

Jesus Flores building back strength and confidence in game follows

The Nationals’ catcher Jesus Flores has had a good homestand and has been able to hit the ball well to the outfield, especially the left field corner in his past few games. Flores has gone 5-for-8 with two doubles and an RBI during the Nationals’ homestand against the Mets, Dodgers and Astros. Flores said his confidence is growing as he gets more playing time and

Nationals versus Astros lineup 9/11/11

Here is the Nationals’ lineup for the series finale with the Astros.  Desmond - SS Ankiel - CF Zimmerman - 3B Morse - LF Werth - RF Espinosa - 2B Marrero - 1B Ramos - C Strasburg - P ÂÂ

Johnson says Espinosa might be “over trying” to get out of slump

Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa went 0-for-4 Saturday in Washington’s 9-3 setback to the Houston Astros, striking out his last three at-bats. He has gone 0-for-his-last-11 at the plate, and has struck out 11 of his last 15 at-bats. His average has dipped to .226 but that does not bother Nationals manager Davey Johnson, who said Espinosa is working harder than anyone he has seen

Frederick Sends Potomac to brink of elimination

The Single-A Potomac Nationals face elimination Sunday after falling 5-1 in Game 2 of their divisional series against the Frederick Keys Saturday night in Woodbridge, Va. The P-Nats managed just three hits against the Keys with Scott Copeland getting stronger as the game went on. Copeland retired 11 of the final 12 hitters he faced. Destin Hood crushed a solo home run for the P-Nats’

Lombardozzi relishes opportunity to play pair of infield positions

Nationals infielder Steve Lombardozzi has been able to play shortstop and second base in his first three games in the big leagues and doesn’t mind being moved around. “It has been awesome,” Lombardozzi said. “I was glad I got a chance to play short. I am getting comfortable at both positions. The more positions I get to play, the better for me. I am happy

Potomac goes for series lead at home tonight against Frederick

The Single-A Potomac Nationals shutout the Frederick Keys 8-0 to even their best-of-five series at one. Brian Peacock and Francisco Soriano smacked home runs while Eury Perez went 3-for-4 with a double and four runs scored. Left-hander Sammy Solis went 4 2/3 innings, scattering five hits, allowing no runs with one walk and seven strikeouts. Neil Holland, Joe Testa and Cameron Selik shut down the

Could top prospect Tyler Moore switch to the outfield for the Nationals?

Double-A Harrisburg Senators first baseman Tyler Moore continues to make outstanding progress up the Nationals chain. His power numbers have drawn rave reviews and he has been a solid contributor to the first-place Senators as they venture into the divisional series at Richmond this weekend. Unfortunately, Metro Bank Park is under water so the entire best-of-five series will have to be played entirely in Virginia.

Flooding forces Double-A Senators to move playoff series to Richmond

Rain impacted the Nationals’ schedule this week, but it has also affected two minor league playoff series for two Nats’ affiliates - Single-A Potomac of the Carolina League and Double-A Harrisburg in the Eastern League. The worst has been in the Harrisburg, Pa., area where City Island and Metro Bank Park are completely flooded and the field is under water. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo

Despite four runs allowed, Johnson sees Wang making progress

Despite allowing two runs in the first and third frames, Chien-Ming Wang managed to go six innings for the Nationals in a no decision Thursday in Game One of a doubleheader versus the Dodgers. He did not walk a batter and struck out three. Wang said through an interpreter that the Dodgers tried to “get my first pitch. So, later on I threw more breaking

Potomac looks to even series in Frederick tonight

The Potomac Nationals fell, 5-1 in Game 1 of their divisional series with the Frederick Keys. Steven Souza smacked a solo homer for the only offense for the P-Nats. Paul Demny did well in the first two innings but the Keys managed a three-run shot by Miguel Abreu to take the lead for good. The game was shortened to six innings due to the torrential

Potomac’s Demny primed for Game 1 tonight at Frederick

The Single-A Potomac Nationals begin defense of their Mills Cup tonight at Harry Grove stadium in Game 1 of their divisional series against the Frederick Keys. Right-hander Paul Demny gets the call for Matt Lecroy, opposed by the Keys’ Jake Pettit. Demny was 10-10 with a 4.32 ERA. Left-hander Petit was 7-0 with a 1.62 ERA. Demny comes into game one on a roll, 3-0

Peacock knows he doesn’t need to rush delivery to be effective

Nationals pitcher Brad Peacock gave up a couple of hits and a walk in his major league debut, but didn’t let that bother him. He still felt very good about his first outing. After all, he was excited and nervous during his first start with the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs back on July 16. He settled down following that game and reeled off five straight wins

Peacock unfazed by four hits allowed in Nationals debut

You really had to feel for Nationals prospect Brad Peacock. He made his major league debut in less than ideal conditions. He had to follow Stephen Strasburg. Doug Slaten allowed two hits and tallied one out in front of him. On a cold and rainy Tuesday night, the Nationals top strikeout artist in the minors allowed four hits, one walk and no strikeouts, including a

Nix hopes to return to lineup by weekend; Desmond will play winter ball again

Nationals outfielder Laynce Nix, who tweaked his groin against the Atlanta Braves last week said rest is helping him and he expects to return the the lineup Saturday or Sunday against the Houston Astros. Nix said the slight groin injury is healing well and his body heals quickly when he shuts down completely for a few days. His achilles has been tender for awhile and

Are Nationals rushing Strasburg back too early?

There is some concern about the possibility that the Nationals might be rushing right-hander Stephen Strasburg back for tonight’s game. The reasoning is that an entire season of rehab might be a better answer, so he is not subjected to the possibility of re-injury or new injury. After all, the Nationals are out of the race. There is no need to “chance” it. But it

New Nat Marrero eager to improve at top level

Nationals first baseman Chris Marrero is into his second week with the big club and has registered seven hits in eight games, batting .241. He has hung in there at first base as he gets acclimated to the speed of the game and has leaned on the coaching staff and his teammates to help him get better. Marrero said it has been an exciting couple

Rizzo: Harper could still play in postseason for Harrisburg

Quick news and notes from Nationals Park.... Nationals first baseman Chris Marrero said he is hoping to play in the Dominican league for winter ball. Last year, he played in Puerto Rico. He said it has always been important for him to face top flight challenges in off season to maintain his consistency at the plate and in the field. Marrero says he thinks Syracuse

Nationals lineup versus Mets 9/4

Nationals lineup versus Mets for Sunday: Ian Desmond SS Roger Bernadina LF Ryan Zimmerman 3B Jayson Werth CF Rick Ankiel RF Danny Espinosa 2B Chris Marrero 1B Wilson Ramos C Livan Hernandez P

Desmond says Nationals are producing “winners” down on the farm

Looking out at the field Saturday night you got to witness the future of the Nationals. You also got to witness the first fruit of a Nationals’ system rebuilt by the likes of general manager Mike Rizzo and staff over the past few seasons. There was a lot of home grown talent on the field for first pitch against the New York Mets. Left-hander Tommy

Milone gets no decision in debut, but certainly left lasting impression with his bat

Even though left-hander Tommy Milone did not get the victory or the loss Saturday, he certainly left his mark in his major league debut with the Washington Nationals. Milone lasted 4 1/3 innings on the mound and gave up four runs, setting down the first seven hitters he faced and striking out two. But the most dramatic moment for Milone came in the bottom of

Zimmerman “always happy to get chance” to win it all

It was the moment the Nationals were hoping for in the ninth against the Mets. Down 7-6, after leading 5-0, it appeared Washington might be headed to a painful loss after New York had rallied twice to take the lead. The Mets brought in Bobby Parnell and Jesus Flores greeted him with a single into left field. Brian Bixler pinch ran for him and Parnell

Zimmerman broken-bat single stuns Mets in ninth 8-7

The Nationals rallied in the bottom of the ninth off reliever Bobby Parnell to stun the New York Mets 8-7. Jesus Flores led off with a base hit to left field and was replaced by pinch runner Brian Bixler. Bixler then got to second base on a wild pitch. Pinch hitter Jonny Gomes walked to put men on first and second with no outs. The

Nationals’ Milone three-run shot; but Bay blast ties it 6-6 (updated)

Making his major league debut already one to remember, Nationals left-hander Tommy Milone hit a three-run homer into the right field bullpen in the second inning to give Washington a 5-0 advantage. Early on, things looked good for Milone. He fired 13 pitches, 10 for strikes in a 1-2-3 first frame, getting a groundout and a pair of flyouts against Jose Reyes, Justin Turner and

Milone gets off to good start in major league debut, Nats stake early lead

Nationals left-hander Tommy Milone came out with precision in his major league debut against the New York Mets Saturday night at Nationals Park. He fired 13 pitches, 10 for strikes in a 1-2-3 first frame, getting a groundout and a pair of flyouts against Jose Reyes, Justin Turner and Lucas Duda. The Nationals led off their half of the first with a home run curving

Milone selected, LaRoche to 60-day, Rodriguez returns

The Nationals announced they have selected the contract of left-hander Tommy Milone from Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs and he will start Saturday night in his major league debut against the New York Mets. The 24-year old Milone went 12-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 24 starts this season with Syracuse. He struck out a league-best 155 batters and yielded only 16 walks in 148 1/3 innings.

Strasburg says he will make four starts in September, excited for return Tuesday

Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to make his first major league start since August 21, 2010 this Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers. It will be 368 days since he underwent Tommy John surgery and he said Saturday that he is a different pitcher as he makes his second season debut with the Nationals. “I kind of know what to expect (this year),”

Nationals starting lineup against Mets in Milone debut

The starting lineup tonight for the Washington Nationals in Tommy Milone’s major league debut: Ian Desmond SS Roger Bernadina RF Ryan Zimmerman 3B Michael Morse LF Jayson Werth CF Danny Espinosa 2B Chris Marrero 1B Jesus Flores C Tommy Milone P

Detwiler struggles to find range against Mets

Nationals left-hander Ross Detwiler had been on the best roll of his young career coming in to Friday’s series home opener against the New York Mets. He had won two of his last three decisions and allowed just five earned runs in those three games. But Friday was a different story entirely, in what Detwiler described as “definitely” his worst outing of the season. He

Hagerstown outfielder Kevin Keyes headed to instructs after season

Single-A Hagerstown Suns right fielder Kevin Keyes has made the most of his opportunity in his second season in the Nationals organization after a rough opening campaign in Vermont. “Last year this time I was disappointed (with my play). I didn’t do so well in Vermont. It was a wake up call,” Keyes said. “I worked very hard to get better and it has paid

Potomac moves within half-game of first place with another win

The Single-A Potomac Nationals have not only advanced to the postseason again, but now have their sights set on the Northern Division crown after a 5-1 victory at Lynchburg. Paul Demny was at the top of his game over seven innings, allowing just five hits, no runs, one walk and six strikeouts for his 10th win of season. Zach Walters had three hits and scored

Three Potomac hitters named to Carolina League All-Stars

Three Potomac Nationals’ batters have been honored as postseason Carolina League All-Stars. Outfielder Destin Hood, infielder Jeff Kobernus and catcher Sandy Leon were named Thursday, making Single-A Potomac the only team in the league with three players on the elite squad. The Mobile, Ala., native Hood leads the League in RBIs with 82 and is batting .279. He has stolen 20 bases and totaled 126

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