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McCatty: Detwiler’s return to form a critical asset

The Nationals’ bullpen continues to take shape with the signing last week of reliever Brad Lidge. The veteran of the Phillies and Astros is a two-time All-Star and could go very far in shoring up the back half of the bullpen, securing the seventh, eighth and ninth frames. Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty said last week that he could envision Lidge as a guy who

Harper working out in California with other Boras clients

Outfielder Bryce Harper is currently at agent Scott Boras’ training facility in Irvine, Calif., attending the strength and conditioning program alongside other Boras clients. He arrived at the facility last week and is expected to remain there into early February. Nationals director of player development Doug Harris said the team approved of the training. “It is a great facility and it is a good opportunity

Rosenbaum sheds weight, builds confidence

Danny Rosenbaum was named the Potomac Nationals’ Player of the Year at the team’s 17th annual Hot Stove Banquet on Sunday night at the Hyatt Fairfax at Fair Lakes. The 24-year-old southpaw went 6-5 with a 2.59 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 19 starts at Single-A Potomac. At Double-A Harrisburg, he was even better, tallying a 3-1 mark with a 2.29 ERA in six starts

Nationals will focus on prospect Skole’s footwork in 2012

Single-A short season Auburn Doubledays manager Gary Cathcart raved about the progress he saw in Georgia Tech third baseman Matt Skole during his rookie campaign. The 2011 fifth-round selection certainly delivered at the plate, hitting .290 with 23 doubles, one triple, five homers and 48 RBIs in 72 games. Skole also concentrated on his fielding and overall defense, especially with the one-on-one coaching provided by

McCatty: Lidge is “not afraid when he is out there”

The Nationals announced Thursday they have signed two-time All-Star reliever Brad Lidge to a one-year contract. Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty said Lidge brings a lot to help make the bullpen better. Lidge comes in with 223 saves and 26 wins in 10 seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies and the Houston Astros and was a National League All-Star in 2005 and 2008. “The guy obviously

“Mr. Consistency” Erik Arnesen ready for longer look at Triple-A

With the trade of a pair of top pitchers in the Nationals’ system (Brad Peacock and Tom Milone), there will be roster availability at Triple-A Syracuse in 2012 for starting pitchers. One of the hurlers who will get an extended look in spring training to fill the void is right-hander Erik Arnesen. Arnesen blazed through Double-A last season, going 8-4 with a 2.43 ERA and

Tomlin and family “doing well,” hopes to return down the road

Randy Tomlin announced at the end of last season that he had decided to take a leave of absence for family reasons. The Harrisburg Senators’ pitching coach stepped away from the game and is currently with his family at home in Lynchburg, Va., but is still keeping up with the Nationals’ organization and hopes to return soon. “We are doing well,” Tomlin said. “The decision

Morse-for-Langerhans trade was a steal for Nationals

That trade for Michael Morse is looking pretty good for the Nationals right now, don’t you think? Following the announcement that Morse has signed a multi-year extension with the Nationals, the trade that brought his big bat to Washington two and a half years ago returns to the spotlight. On June 28, 2009, the Nationals sent outfielder Ryan Langerhans to Seattle for Morse. At the

Beasley: Bryce Harper “can handle” starting season with Nationals

Nationals No. 1 prospect Bryce Harper is preparing for his second season of professional baseball after a successful debut. Harper was able to play well at three levels in 2011: low Single-A, Double-A and the Arizona Fall League. Many believe he is ready now and could survive from day one this season with the Nationals. But Harper is only 19. Should he spend another season

Tyler Moore will focus on outfield, first base at spring training

Double-A Harrisburg Senators first baseman Tyler Moore has shown the best power in the Nationals’ system the last two seasons with 62 combined home runs. The Mississippi State product has been so highly regarded by the parent club that he practiced outfield positions during instructional league to see if there were additional ways to get him on the field. New Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs manager Tony

Stephen Strasburg tweets he’s back on the mound

Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg used Twitter on Wednesday to announce he has started throwing his first bullpen sessions of 2012. “Threw first bullpen today felt great just like riding a bike!” Strasburg tweeted. This is positive news for the Nationals that their franchise arm is warming up on schedule for spring training, which begins next month in Viera, Fla. Strasburg returned last season from successful

Senators’ Hot Stove Dinner slated for Feb. 4

The Double-A Harrisburg Senators recently added former Washington Senators great Frank Howard to their guest list for their second annual Hot Stove Dinner, which is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 4. More from the Senators’ press release: The dinner will be at the Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey Hotel. For the second year in a row, the dinner is supporting the Harrisburg Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI)

How Bryce Harper is dealing with success and failure

Triple-A Syracuse manager Tony Beasley said outfielder Bryce Harper has made excellent progress on and off the field in his first year in professional baseball and is learning what every minor league player learns at this level: how to deal with success and failure. Beasley skippered the Nationals’ No. 1 prospect from July 4 until the end of the season at Double-A Harrisburg and may

Beasley ready for unique challenge as Triple-A skipper

Tony Beasley, who guided the Double-A Harrisburg Senators in 2011, takes over the reins as manager of the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs for 2012, and is ready for a big difference in the players he coaches and their mental approach to being one call away from Major League Baseball. Beasley moves from managing what are usually the top prospects for a franchise at Double-A to Triple-A,

Is Detwiler ready to become the Nationals’ fifth starter?

With good reason, the center of attention in the Nationals’ starting rotation are the three frontline pitchers: Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and newly-acquired Gio Gonzalez. Then there are veterans like John Lannan, and rebounding pitchers Chien-Ming Wang and Ross Detwiler. But who is the key to this rotation for all of 2012? This season could be the time Detwiler finally makes his move. With a

P-Nats’ Hot Stove banquet coming Jan. 29

The Potomac Nationals will hold their 17th annual Hot Stove Banquet Sunday, Jan. 29, at the Hyatt Fairfax at Fair Lakes. Newly hired manager Brian Rupp will be introduced and speak at the event. Also a keynote speaker will be announced at a later date. Last year, Nationals assistant general manager Bryan Minniti and director of player development Doug Harris spoke and went over the

Solis “doing well” in recovery from elbow pain; Hansen also good news

Left-hander Sammy Solis is progessing well following elbow soreness that shut down his Arizona Fall League campaign. Solis visited two doctors in Los Angeles to check the elbow pain and there was concern as to the extent of the injury, as there would be with any pitcher who suffers such a setback. Nationals director of player development Doug Harris reports that Solis is “doing well”

Menhart critical to maintaining pace in Harrisburg

The Nationals were faced with a major decision in their system this offseason when Harrisburg Senators pitching coach Randy Tomlin stepped down from his post. The Nats had already had to adjust to the promotion of Randy Knorr from Triple-A Syracuse manager to bench coach with the Nationals. Tony Beasley was elevated from Double-A Harrisburg to Syracuse to replace Knorr. At Harrisburg, the Nationals moved

Young Nationals talent will follow LeCroy from Potomac to Harrisburg

New Harrisburg Senators manager Matt LeCroy will see some very familiar faces as he takes the helm at Metro Bank Park this spring in his first season as a Double-A skipper. LeCroy said his team in Potomac persevered when it did not appear to be a formidable offensive threat early on. But behind quality pitching, the team defied a difficult first half, and scraped together

Potomac Nationals install new grass field at Pfitzner Stadium

Early last season, the Single-A Potomac Nationals had to move some home games to Frederick, Md., and had other games postponed because their home field, Pfitzner Stadium, was deemed unplayable by minor league officials. The Nationals improved the clubhouse facilities for the home team during last season, expanding the locker room and coaches’ offices, and added a new conference room behind the first base dugout.

Knorr relishes opportunity to be Nationals’ bench coach

Former major league catcher Randy Knorr begins a new challenge with the Nationals’ organization as manager Davey Johnson’s right hand-man - he’s the new bench coach in the first base dugout. Knorr has been managing parts of six seasons in the franchise’s system, most recently as the skipper for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs. Knorr has been with the Nationals before. He served as Nationals’ bullpen

LeCroy thrilled with new challenge at Double-A Harrisburg

Matt LeCroy played for the Nationals. He is the one who made former Nationals manager Frank Robinson cry once - after Robinson was forced to removed the catcher in the middle of an inning because the opposition was running wild on him. But aside from that infamous moment more than five years ago, LeCroy is quickly becoming a critical asset to teaching the franchise’s prospects

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