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Bryce Harper’s catch at wall a reminder of what’s yet to come

Those kinds of catches must be second nature to Bryce Harper. But they are new to Nationals fans. Get used to it. The kid can make the spectacular seem routine. Showing no fear, the 19-year old went hard to his left toward the center field wall at Dodger Stadium after a shot off the bat of Juan Uribe on Sunday. Not breaking stride, Harper jumped

Tyler Moore called up to Nationals (updated)

In has been a rough couple of days on the field, but the Nationals are not resting on their laurels. With injuries to key personnel continuing to mount, general manager Mike Rizzo has made another move to shore up an offense that is averaging just three runs per game. When third baseman Ryan Zimmerman went on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, Rizzo called

Dodgers take early lead, outlast Detwiler and Nationals, 3-2

The Nationals opened their series in Los Angeles against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers with phenom Bryce Harper arriving for Saturday night. Kershaw crashed that good feeling early and often, as the Dodgers hung on for a 3-2 win over the Nationals at Dodger Stadium. Kershaw set the tone early by striking out the side in the first inning, sandwiched around an error that got

Beasley on Bryce Harper’s reaction: “He was stunned”

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo revealed to the media Friday that phenom left fielder Bryce Harper was being called up to the majors for the first time in his career, replacing third baseman Ryan Zimmerman on the Nationals’ 25-man roster. Zimmerman was placed in the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder injury. But was it Rizzo that told Harper he was heading to the bigs?

Teahen a nice choice at third if Zimmerman is out for extended time

With the status of third baseman Ryan Zimmerman up in the air, the Nationals have been essentially playing on the penalty kill (using the NHL analogy) for almost a week. Zimmerman has not played since Saturday, out with right shoulder inflammation. It has to be testing general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Davey Johnson as to what they should do for next week when Arizona

Strasburg on RGIII, Gio’s curve and the Nationals’ young staff

Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg knows first-hand what it is like to be the No. 1 selection of a franchise and can empathize with what Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III is going through as he gets ready for the opportunity to join the Washington Redskins. But Strasburg believes Griffin has the makings of an elite quarterback in the NFL because of his physical talent and his

The time has come for Moore to arrive

With cleanup hitter Michael Morse on the shelf for quite some time with a strained lat muscle, and now the news that third baseman Ryan Zimmerman could be headed to the disabled list with a shoulder injury, the time is now to get some power into this lineup. Mark DeRosa, Xavier Nady, Steve Lombardozzi and Chad Tracy are all outstanding utility players that combine energy,

Nady’s experience is buying him time as he tries to get back in groove

This isn’t the real Xavier Nady. Who would be the first to admit it? Xavier Nady. The Nationals outfielder is looking to get back to a consistent level after a slow start. Nady has hit only .159 through 14 games and 44 at-bats. He has managed only seven hits in the early stages with nine strikeouts. But there has been a pretty significant highlight. Nady’s

Proof is in the pitching: Nationals staff is dominating

The Nationals have played 16 games and have won 12 of them, resting in first place in the National League East in late April. The Nationals have had big extra-inning wins, like Saturday’s thrilling 3-2 win over the Miami Marlins, or the timely hit to stay in games. They haven’t blown out teams, going 6-2 in one-run games. They have played error-free baseball, tallying an

Bryce Harper slams first Triple-A home run; Mandel adds new pitch

Syracuse Chiefs center fielder Bryce Harper crushed his first homer at the Triple-A level off of Buffalo Bisons starter Jeurys Familia. Harper also added a single and finished 2-for-3, his average now standing at .242. Buffalo won the game 6-1. Double-A Harrisburg Senators starter Jeff Mandel has added a breaking ball to his repertoire. The breaking pitch has more depth and is “coming along,” according

Strasburg showing patience when calls don’t go his way

It was easy to understand why Stephen Strasburg would get upset. Maybe it was the calls he got at San Diego State. Or maybe it was the wide strike zone he occasionally enjoyed at the minor league level. But in his first season, Strasburg would sometimes get riled up when strikes were called balls. He would lose focus and a walk or hit would follow.

What a difference a year makes for Ian Desmond

Shortstop Ian Desmond has been a pleasant surprise through three weeks of the season. With a solo homer and a game-clinching sacrifice fly to center, Desmond helped to guide the Nationals to a 3-2 win in 10 innings over the Marlins. There were more than a few raised eyebrows when Desmond was chosen as the leadoff hitter and many wondered if the talented young player

Rodriguez showing confidence in closer role

Quickly, name the leader in saves for the Nationals after 15 games. Brad Lidge? Drew Storen? Tyler Clippard? Keep guessing. It is right-hander Henry Rodriguez, who showed how far he has come as a closer Friday night in a tough ninth inning matchup with the Miami Marlins. Battling the heart of a lethal Marlins order while holding a 2-0 lead, Rodriguez got a couple of

Clippard’s epic battle with Bonifacio signature moment in shutout win

Right-hander Tyler Clippard remembered an at-bat like the 14-pitch marathon he endured versus former Nationals infielder Emilio Bonifacio on Friday night. It wasn’t last year or when he was starter with the Yankees in 2007. It was this season: the second game at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs. In the eighth inning on April 7, Clippard squared off against outfielder Reed Johnson. The 11-pitch

Marlins have had Nationals’ number, but tide is turning

The new-look Miami Marlins arrive this weekend for another critical series. The Nationals are off to their best start since arriving in D.C. in 2005, and face a confident Marlins squad that has won four straight and stands at 7-6. “I think they had a great offseason,” manager Davey Johnson said of the Marlins. “They have a lot of quality players. We have had trouble

Jackson undeterred after rough first inning and first loss

Nationals right-hander Edwin Jackson was fresh off a spectacular complete game two-hitter Saturday over the Reds, 4-1. Jackson was taxed for only 92 pitches, striking out nine and walking one. Cincinnati managed one runner past second base the entire game. But it was a whole different story Thursday. Facing a Houston team that had scored five runs in three games of the series against the

Updates on Tyler Moore, Corey Brown and Brian Goodwin

The Nationals started Tyler Moore in left field again Thursday night for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs. It was his second career game in the outfield after playing first base exclusively. Moore made one catch Monday with no problems and general manager Mike Rizzo said the 25-year-old will continue to see time in the outfield this season. “He just started working out in the outfield,” Rizzo

Bernadina gets back in lineup, delivers clutch hit

Left fielder Roger Bernadina returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Friday. He had been struggling at the plate to start the season, hitting a paltry .143 with just one RBI. But Bernadina hasn’t sulked or moped around the clubhouse during the past few games. He continued to take extra swings to get his rhythm back. “I have been hitting a lot

Could Nationals prospect Tyler Moore be called up before September?

Much has been made of when Bryce Harper will be called up to the majors. But what about Tyler Moore? Just this week, the career first baseman got his first taste of playing left field. He made one catch with no problems. Triple-A Syracuse manager Tony Beasley said they will get Moore more playing time in the outfield. Tuesday he was back at first base.

Experience helps Lidge survive rocky ninth to send Nationals to another victory

The scenario has played out many times for Brad Lidge. The starter hands off the lead and the bullpen pushes the game to the deciding ninth frame. This time, the margin of error was extremely small, a 1-0 advantage over a hungry Houston Astros squad that had only three hits all night. Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie led off the inning with a double just inside

Nationals’ DeRosa and Nady will continue to work their way around the outfield

With last year’s starting left fielder Michael Morse nursing his way back from a left lat injury, the Nationals have used several different lineups in the outfield. Manager Davey Johnson has employed an outfield by committee early on, with injuries and rough starts contributing to the alterations, even from game to game. For instance on Monday, Xavier Nady played left field, Rick Ankiel played center

Lombardozzi steps in with career night in Nationals’ win

If Steve Lombardozzi is an example of the depth of talent that is on the bench for the 2012 Nationals, this team is heading in the right direction and fast. Playing in only his 19th major league game, Lombardozzi tallied four consecutive hits, including a dramatic go-ahead two-run double that lifted the Nationals back in the lead over the Astros, 4-2 in the sixth. Washington

Nationals’ Desmond playing well, looking straight ahead

So far, Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond has looked and played the part of a leadoff man. In the first 10 games, Desmond has reached based 19 times with 17 hits and two walks, almost reaching a clip of twice per game. Desmond’s numbers have been impressive at the plate, hitting .354 with three doubles, one homer and four RBIs. In 10 games, his on-base percentage

Nationals’ Clippard says shoulder is fine, Johnson will rest him tonight

Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard said his shoulder is not bothering him as much as manager Davey Johnson might have led on after Sunday’s loss to the Reds. Clippard said he has the usual stiffness in his shoulder, but he feels that after any outing and says he is fine. Johnson said he will look to rest Clippard and closer Brad Lidge tonight against the Astros.

Nationals minor league roundup: Tonight’s starting lineups

Low Single-A Hagerstown Jason Martinson SS Bryce Ortega 2B JP Ramirez LF Matt Skole 3B Adrian Nieto C Brett Newsome 1B Justin Miller RF Hendry Jimenez DH Billy Burns CF Starting pitcher - Brian Dupra High Single-A Potomac Michael Taylor CF Blake Kelso SS Sean Nicol 3B David Freitas C Justin Bloxom 1B Kevin Keyes LF Randolph Oduber RF Adrian Sanchez 2B Francisco Soriano DH

It’s official: Tyler Moore to start in left field Monday night for Syracuse (updated)

As first reported on MASNSports.com on Saturday, the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs will start Tyler Moore in left field Monday night against the Pawtucket Red Sox. It will be Moore’s first start in the outfield. Appearing on Sports Radio 106.7 The Fan’s “Nats Insider” Sunday night, Chiefs manager Tony Beasley confirmed that Moore would start in left field Monday. Veteran Mark Teahan is expected to move

Despite loss to Reds, 7-3 start marks best in recent D.C. history, but is it the schedule?

Despite the 8-5 loss Sunday against the Cincinnati Reds, the Nationals are still off to their best start since arriving in Washington, D.C., for the 2005 season. Since baseball returned to D.C. seven years ago, the Nationals have never been 7-3 in their first 10 games. Their second best total was a 6-4 record after 10 games in 2005. The Nationals have also never won

Jackson’s gem gives taxed bullpen needed rest

Nationals starter Edwin Jackson’s complete game was a gem unto itself: nine frames, two hits, one run, one walk and nine strikeouts. In only 92 pitches, Jackson handed the Nationals their first complete game of the season and a five-game win streak. He also gave a taxed bullpen a full day off. Following 23 innings of pitching, nine of those frames from the bullpen in

Club source: Triple-A prospect Tyler Moore to play left field in “near future”

The Tyler Moore-to-the-outfield experience is about to begin. MASNsports.com has learned that Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs prospect Tyler Moore will switch from first base to the outfield for some games in the “near future.” According to a club source, Moore will play left field. The exact game or games the power hitting prospect will assume his new position is still to be determined and the move

Johnson confident Flores can deliver as best backup catcher in the league

Nationals manager Davey Johnson has felt since the beginning of spring training that Wilson Ramos and Jesus Flores would share catching responsibilities. Ramos would get the lion’s share of the starts, but Flores would also play more than on a token basis. The Ramos/Flores catching depth is a big strength for the Nationals this season. Both players are healthy and both are capable of breaking

Nady shines as Nationals strong bench again shows its new-found strength

Nationals outfielder Xavier Nady was hoping for the call Friday. Just like he was hoping for a call few months back when the Nationals called him to spring training. With the team struggling to get anything off of Reds starter Bronson Arroyo, the door opened slightly when lefty and former Nationals’ property Bill Bray was called on to pitch with one out in the bottom

Words of wisdom from Hall of Famer helped Davey Johnson mold his pitchers of today

“Nats Xtra” analyst Ray Knight talked on air last week about the Nationals’ starting pitching staff in 2012 and how they could have at least three starters with the possibility of throwing 200 or more innings this season. Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Edwin Jackson add up to a trio that could combine for well over 600 innings this campaign, something that has recently been

Zimmerman knows what Morse faces next two months

Nationals outfielder Michael Morse will be shut down from baseball activities for at least six weeks as he recovers from reaggravating the lat injury that has forced him to miss the start of the 2012 baseball season. Morse will be reevaluated after six weeks, and if everything checks out, he will start a rehab program with games. That would peg a possible return in June

Long and short of it, Nationals’ Stammen relishes his role

Craig Stammen is pegged as the long right-handed reliever out of the bullpen for the Nationals. But Thursday his role became that of closer as he struck out the side in the 10th inning to help lift the Nationals over the Reds, 3-2. Stammen (1-0) struck out Willie Harris, Drew Stubbs and Zach Cozart. The last strike out of Cozart was particularly emphatic. It was

Storen in good spirits after surgery, expects to return this season

Nationals closer Drew Storen was at Nationals Park with his arm in a sling and in good spirits following surgery to remove a loose body in his right elbow that was causing him severe pain. Storen said the experience has been a new one for him as he has never even suffered a broken arm growing up. “The whole not being able to use one

Rendon has partial fracture of ankle, Goodwin with quad injury

High Single-A Potomac third baseman Anthony Rendon has a partial fracture of his left ankle, according to Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo. Rendon was injured Saturday at Lynchburg and was helped off the field. “Rendon is in a boot and he is immobilized,” Rizzo said. “He is going to see a foot and ankle specialist Friday.” Rizzo was optimistic that this is not the worst

Minor league roundup: P-Nats score early in win; Ankiel another base hit

Here’S a look at how the Nationals’ minor league affiliates fared Wednesday: Single-A Hagerstown: The Suns managed four hits, but struck out 10 times in a 3-0 loss at home to Lexington. Rick Ankiel got two at-bats in as the designated hitter, walking and smacking a single. Single-A Potomac: The P-Nats tallied four runs in the first innings to cruise past Myrtle Beach 6-3. Catcher

Tremendous bounceback win for Gilliam in Harrisburg

Double-A Harrisburg downed New Britain 7-2 on Tuesday led by the red-hot hitting of second baseman Jeff Kobernus and an outstanding pitching performance from Robert Gilliam. Kobernus went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs and is now batting .444. First baseman Tim Pahuta went 2-for-4 with a double, run and an RBI, and is hitting .292. Catcher Sandy Leon went 3-for-4 and is batting

Hagerstown places Brian Goodwin on disabled list

Low Single-A Hagerstown outfielder Brian Goodwin has been placed on the seven-day disabled list with a leg injury, the team announced. The move became effective Tuesday. Right fielder Angelberth Montilla also was placed on the disabled list with a broken hamate bone in his left hand. The Suns called up outfielders Billy Burns and Narciso Mesa from extended spring training and placed them on the

Hagerstown center fielder Goodwin leaves game with injury; Ankiel homers

Low Single-A Hagerstown center fielder Brian Goodwin pulled up lame running out an infield single in the second inning of Monday’s game for the Suns, an 8-7 victory in 11 innings over Lexington. According to a club source, Goodwin left the game under his own power, but favoring what appeared to be an upper right leg injury. Goodwin was able to slowly put weight on

Nationals’ Morse, Ankiel look good in Bowie, to suit up for Hagerstown Monday

Nationals left fielder Michael Morse continued on the road to recovery with another outstanding day at the plate Sunday as the Double-A Harrisburg Senators downed the Bowie Baysox, 5-2. Morse smacked a two-run double and finished 1-for-2 with a walk and three RBIs as the designated hitter. He finished with a .375 average over the four games at Bowie. Meanwhile, Rick Ankiel played center field

Prospect Rendon injured during Potomac’s 7-2 loss at Lynchburg (updated)

Anthony Rendon, the Nationals’ No. 6 overall selection in June’s draft, suffered an injury rounding third base in the fourth inning of high Single-A Potomac’s 7-2 loss to Lynchburg at City Stadium on Saturday night. Rendon was removed from the game. According to a club source, Rendon suffered a lower leg injury. Rendon had doubled and was trying to score on a bloop single by

Nationals Morse and Ankiel slam homers in second rehab start

Nationals outfielders Rick Ankiel and Michael Morse slammed home runs as Double-A Harrisburg earned its first win of the season, 5-2 at Bowie on Friday night. Ankiel crushed a two-run shot off of Bobby Bundy in the first inning, and Morse hit a solo homer in the fifth. Ankiel is recovering from a quad injury, while Morse appears ready to go after a lat injury

Winning important, even at high Single-A Potomac, as players begin new season

The minor leagues’ main focus is to prepare prospects for their eventual ascension to the majors, but teaching players how to win and playing on championship teams is also important. New Potomac Nationals manager Brian Rupp said learning how to win is high on their list as minor league skippers groom prospects for their next step. “Winning is right up there,” Rupp said. “It is

Harper makes nice Triple-A debut; Morse and Ankiel in Bowie

Nationals top prospect Bryce Harper had a nice debut for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs in a 7-4 loss to Rochester in the 2012 opener on a chilly Thursday afternoon in Syracuse, N.Y. Playing center field, Harper went 2-for-4 in his first game at the Triple-A level, smacking a double, a single and stealing a base. General manager Mike Rizzo said in an interview this week

2012 Potomac Nationals roster features potential offensive stars

The Single-A Potomac Nationals announced their roster for the 2012 season, highlighted by the No. 6 overall selection, third baseman Anthony Rendon. “I love this group of guys,” Rendon said. “You got a lot of great players here. I grew up playing with a lot of these guys and also in college. They tore us up when we played them. I just know what they

Detwiler and Stammen together again, this time in D.C.

Nationals left-hander Ross Detwiler and right-hander Craig Stammen received the news Tuesday that they had made the Nationals’ opening day roster. Just one year ago, the pair had roomed together in Syracuse for the Triple-A Chiefs with hopes of working their way back to the majors. That quest has been realized. Detwiler will be the Nationals fifth starter and Stammen will pitch out of the

A look at 2012 Harrisburg pitching staff

Here is the pitching roster announced for manager Matt LeCroy and pitching coach Paul Menhart for the 2012 Double-A Harrisburg Senators (All are right-handers unless otherwise noted): Mike Ballard (LHP) Erik Davis Paul Demny Marcos Frias Christian Garcia Robert Gilliam Patrick Lehman Jeff Mandel Patrick McCoy (LHP) Hector Nelo Kevin Pucetas Danny Rosenbaum (LHP) Joe Testa (LHP) The staff includes Potomac Nationals player of the

Bernadina’s knee looks good, Johnson expects him to be starter in center

Nationals outfielder Roger Bernadina went through batting practice and pregame workouts prior to Tuesday’s exhibition against the Boston Red Sox with no lingering issues from the right knee bruise suffered in Monday’s game. Bernadina was running around without limitations in the Nationals Park outfield during pregame and showed no ill effects getting hit on the knee by a failed pickoff throw. The 27-year old Curacao

Nationals’ minor league rosters taking shape

The Nationals’ minor league affiliates’ regular season rosters are starting to take shape with the major league club finalizing their 25-man major league club. Here are some of the highlights of what each of the affiliates could look like this season: Single-A Hagerstown catching duties will be split by Adrian Nieto, Cole Leonida and others. I have confirmed the infielders are Matt Skole, Brett Newsome,

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