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Rendon at third base Wednesday; updates on Purke, Giolito and Solis

Third baseman Anthony Rendon (ankle) will continue his rehab schedule Wednesday in New York. The short-season Single-A Auburn Doubledays have the day off and are traveling to New York City. Rendon will play third base against the Staten Island Yankees on Wednesday night. The team then faces the Brooklyn Cyclones starting Aug. 4. Rendon’s recent schedule has followed the pattern of playing third the first

Josh Wilkie no longer with the Nationals organization

Right-handed pitcher Josh Wilkie has been given his release by the Nationals. Director of player development Doug Harris confirmed today that Wilkie is no longer with the organization. Wilkie was suspended for 50 games June 2 for using a banned substance, which Wilkie described as Spice, a synthetic form of marijuana. He was eligible to return to the team last week after staying in shape

Werth and Tracy again connect with hits for Triple-A Syracuse

The Nationals pulled off one their most memorable comebacks in recent memory by dropping Milwaukee 11-10 in 11 innings Sunday. Meanwhile, in the nightcap of a Triple-A doubleheader, veterans Jayson Werth and Chad Tracy combined to go 3-for-3 as Syracuse beat Lehigh Valley 6-1. Tracy (right adductor) smacked a pinch-hit solo homer in the sixth inning. Werth (left wrist) went 2-for-2 with two runs and

Anthony Rendon returns to Auburn lineup tonight at third base, will DH on Monday

Nationals top infield prospect Anthony Rendon returns to the lineup Sunday night for short-season Single-A Auburn’s game at 6:05 p.m., as he continues his rehab assignment from a fractured left ankle. Rendon got Saturday off to rest. Rendon will play third base for six innings today, according to a club source. Then on Monday, Rendon will be the designated hitter. It has not been announced

Werth and Tracy deliver in rehab game; Souza monster home run to win; Wang struggles a bit for Sens

Nationals rehabbers Jayson Werth (left wrist) and Chad Tracy (right adductor) delivered for Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday. Werth went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, and Tracy went 3-for-4 with an RBI as the Chiefs outlasted Lehigh Valley, 6-4. Werth had a RBI double in the fifth and a two-run single in the seventh. Manager Davey Johnson had said pregame that it looked like Tracy could be

Early on, Nationals’ 33rd-rounder McQuillan showing he could be “sleeper” of draft

One of the younger prospects displaying his talent early is draft pick Mike McQuillan, a left-handed second baseman out of the University of Iowa, who is getting noticed for his nice start at short-season Single-A Auburn. McQuillan is hitting .293 with two doubles, two triples, one homer and five RBIs in 13 games for Auburn. Don’t remember seeing McQuillan on the depth chart? McQuillan was

Rendon homers in Auburn rehab debut, starts as DH tonight; Karns shines again

Nationals prospect Anthony Rendon homered for the third consecutive game in his rehab debut with short-season Single-A Auburn Doubledays. Rendon smacked a solo shot in his first at-bat Thursday, struck out twice and walked. Rendon will continue his rehab tonight as the designated hitter. He will then get Saturday off. Auburn manager Gary Cathcart confirmed yesterday that the plan with Rendon would be for him

Rendon to start at third base tonight for Auburn

Nationals prospect Anthony Rendon will continue his rehab from a fractured left ankle and start at third base tonight for the short-season Single-A Auburn Doubledays. Doubledays manager Gary Cathcart said Rendon will also serve as the designated hitter for some games and have some days off. Rendon is expected to be with the Doubledays for at least one week, but it could be longer. With

Espinosa driving force to Nationals’ recent upswing

One of the many reasons why the Nationals have been able to maintain consistency throughout the season is the team’s ability to replace starters in the field and not lose momentum. Ryan Zimmerman, Drew Storen, Jayson Werth, Michael Morse, Wilson Ramos and others have gone down to injury and have had to be replaced quickly with very little dropoff. Now, without All-Star shortstop Ian Desmond

Nationals will play for Salt River in this year’s Arizona Fall League

The Arizona Fall League revealed its organization and staff announcements for the 2012 season, which commences Oct. 9. The Nationals will play with prospects from the Diamondbacks, White Sox, Rockies and Blue Jays for the Salt River Rafters at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Former major league third baseman Matt Williams is the manager and the Nationals will be represented by Mark Grater as

After hot streak with GCL, Rendon moved to Auburn

Nationals prospect Anthony Rendon has notched at least a base hit and an RBI in four straight games for the Gulf Coast League Nationals and continues to play deeper into games as the franchise slowly brings him back from his fractured left ankle. Rendon is hitting .444 (4-for-9) in his last four games with a double, two homers and nine RBIs. He has had home

Souza taking full advantage of second chance

At the tail end of last season with the high Single-A Potomac Nationals, first baseman Steven Souza was frustrated with his play and ended his season earlier than he had originally intended. After an offseason to think and to rededicate himself to game he loved, Souza came into spring training with a new attitude and an open mind with his new team, the Single-A Hagerstown

Chien-Ming Wang “impressive” in Double-A victory

Right-hander Chien-Ming Wang displayed a signature performance Monday, earning the victory for Double-A Harrisburg, 5-1 over New Hampshire. Wang (1-1) went 6 1/3 innings, allowing just two hits, striking out six and walking none. He fired 85 pitches, 52 for strikes, and lowered his ERA to 1.74. It was his second Double-A rehab start and eighth overall in the minors. He faced 21 hitters and

Taylor and Karns double up for weekly honors in Carolina League

Single-A teammates Michael Taylor and Nathan Karns have been recognized with Player of the Week honors in the Carolina League. Taylor was selected as the Hitter of the Week thanks to a 14-for-29 surge (.483) in seven games, with three home runs, eight RBIs and eight runs. One of the homers was a grand slam, giving Taylor a .931 slugging percentage for the week. He

Wang start tonight for Harrisburg; Pucetas returns

With speculation the Atlanta Braves have acquired pitcher Ryan Dempster, the pressure intensifies for right-hander Chien-Ming Wang to figure out what is wrong with his approach. A step in that direction could occur tonight as the right-hander gets another shot to prove he is good enough to get outs for the Nationals when he starts for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators. This will be his second

Espinosa’s offense ramping up at right time as he returns to shortstop

It certainly is never a good thing when you lose a starting position player, especially one as important as shortstop Ian Desmond. But Danny Espinosa, who is a natural shortstop, has gotten hot at the plate at just the right time. And the Nationals are going to need him now for what could be an extended period of time with the news that Desmond is

Harper looks good to start Sunday despite swollen ankle

Shortstop Ian Desmond is “iffy” for Sunday, but manager Davey Johnson believes Bryce Harper will be able to play in Sunday’s crucial finale against the Braves. Harper left the first game Saturday with a swollen ankle and he showed how bad it was to reporters after Game 2. “It feels all right,” Harper said. “Once I get going, it feels good. When I sit down,

Lannan shows his worth with stopper win

Less than an hour after his most meaningful win in a Nationals uniform, John Lannan was optioned back to Triple-A Syracuse. If he pitches like he did Saturday night - seven solid innings allowing just two runs in what felt like a must-win situation - he will be back very soon. Lannan’s story was the major headline as opening day approached in early April, when

Goodwin displaying “special talent” that got him Double-A nod

It is rare for a player to jump two levels or more with any organization. The last time it happened for the Nationals, it was No. 1 overall prospect Bryce Harper last summer. This time, it is sensational outfielder Brian Goodwin. The 6-foot-1, 195 lb. center fielder rolled through low Single-A Hagerstown with a big bat, fast feet and quick hands on defense. Goodwin hit

Clippard admits he hasn’t been “real sharp” lately after third blown save

Something is going on with Tyler Clippard and he knows it. In last three outings, he has surrendered seven runs in three innings. His third blown save of the season came in an historic collapse for the Nationals, who were leading 9-0 only to fall to the second-place Atlanta Braves 11-10 in 11 innings. With his team leading 9-8 on Friday night, Clippard was handed

Perez moved to Syracuse because “absolutely” deserved call, makes debut

The highest minor league promotion of the week goes to centerfielder Eury Perez, who moved from Double-A Harrisburg to Triple-A Syracuse. In his Syracuse debut Friday night, Perez went 1-for-4 with a fourth-inning RBI single in a 6-5 win over Norfolk. Perez had the groundball single for the run-scoring hit. On defense, Perez misplayed a ball over his head in center field but also made

Cordero honored to return, remembers meeting Storen

Former Nationals pitcher Chad Cordero was honored by his former team by throwing out the first pitch before Friday’s match-up with the Atlanta Braves. Cordero threw the pitch in flip-flops, shorts and a red Nationals uniform top with his name and number on it. The pitch was outside and high to Drew Storen, the first time they had been on the same field in eight

Rendon “looks good” physically after two games for GCL Nats, plus Purke update

Anthony Rendon has returned to playing baseball again. Now with the Gulf Coast league Nationals, he has played two games with no complications from his rehabbing ankle. On Thursday, he played three innings and went 0-for-2 with no defensive touches. Friday, he played seven innings and went 1-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. His two-run double was to left field in the top of

Confirmed: Perez to Syracuse, Goodwin to Harrisburg, Souza to Potomac

The movement of prospects continues today within the Nationals organization, this time on the offensive side. MASNsports.com has confirmed that outfielder Eury Perez has been promoted from Double-A Harrisburg to Triple-A Syracuse. Perez was hitting .300 with 30 RBIs, 26 stolen bases and 34 runs scored in 81 games with the Senators. The biggest jump in classifications belongs to speedy outfielder Brian Goodwin. A club

Gonzalez endures shortest outing of season, “felt a little flat”

That was a rare experience to see Gio Gonzalez not get to the fifth inning in a start for the Nationals. Coming into Thursday’s assignment against the Mets, Gonzalez had gone at least five frames in 16 of his initial 18 starts in a Nationals uniform. There was June 3 when he lasted only 4 2/3 innings in a loss against the Braves. You had

LaRoche to go with “Plan C” against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey

First baseman Adam LaRoche has nothing scientific in his approach to facing Mets knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey on Thursday. He won’t be studying multiple DVDs on the lack of spin to the knuckleball or break down every aspect of his at-bat. LaRoche said you have to keep it simple because there isn’t anything similar than facing a pitcher as unique as Dickey. “I remember facing

Clippard not fazed by recent struggles, manages 15th save

Nationals closer Tyler Clippard was cruising along in his new role until the last few games. He had converted 14 of 14 save opportunities, but had one somewhat shaky outing in Miami. Then, returning home, Clippard has allowed five runs in the last two games. On Wednesday, Clippard notched his 15th save by striking out the side in the ninth. But he also allowed a

Johnson confident in Flores; Solano hurt, Leon likely call

You can see the frustration on the face of Jesus Flores after a few rough at-bats recently, but Nationals manager Davey Johnson is not concerned. Flores has gone 3-for-29 (.103) in the last nine games with four RBIs and eight strikeouts. Tuesday he went 0-for-4 with a pair of whiffs, including a strikeout in the bottom on the ninth with two outs and the winning

More promotions to come from Hagerstown?

Low Single-A Hagerstown’s pitching staff was acknowledged with the recent news that right-handers Alex Meyer and Aaron Barrett will be promoted to high Single-A Potomac on Thursday. Shortstop Jason Martinson was promoted on the offensive side earlier this season. It is likely that some of the tremendous offensive talent on his former team in Hagerstown will be bumped up to join him in Potomac very

Young stars blend well with veterans, helping Nationals succeed

Twenty-five-year-old Tyler Moore started it all with a solo homer. Twenty-three-year-old Steve Lombardozzi added a huge insurance run with a RBI double. Nineteen-year-old Bryce Harper helped to complete a comeback with a late RBI triple. This pattern is not unusual for the Nationals this season. Moore is in his first season in the bigs, of course, but the young guns have been the perfect complement

Alex Meyer and Aaron Barrett promoted to Potomac, report Thursday

Pitchers Alex Meyer and Aaron Barrett have been pitching lights out all season for the Single-A Hagerstown Suns, and just a few days into the second half, they are getting rewarded. According to a club source, the right-handers have been promoted to high Single-A Potomac and will report Thursday. Barrett is 3-2 with a 2.60 ERA in 31 games, and has recorded 31 saves. He

Lucas Giolito ready to start his Nationals adventure

He has a signed Mace Windu purple lightsaber from Samuel L. Jackson hanging in his room. He played water polo and occasionally snowboarded in California. He had never visited Washington, D.C., before July. He now pitches for the Washington Nationals. Who is he? Meet new right-hander Lucas Giolito. The Nationals’ top selection (No. 16 overall) in the 2012 first-year draft met with the media Tuesday

Potomac Nationals announce plans for new stadium by 2014

For years, the Potomac Nationals and their fans have yearned for a stadium that matched the product on the field. That dream appears to finally be moving closer to reality. Prince William County, the Potomac Nationals, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and PTC Roadside Development LLC announced at a news conference today, that a public and private financial marriage has been put in place

Can’t stop talking about Potomac’s Karns, who wins fifth straight

High Single-A Potomac’s Nathan Karns continues to put together a season that is grabbing the attention of the parent franchise. Karns fired six scoreless innings as the P-Nats dropped Lynchburg 14-0 at Pfitzner Stadium. The Hillcats managed just one hit against Potomac pitching and it was the Nationals’ fourth shutout of the season. Karns improved to 5-2 by allowing just that one hit with two

After tough outing in Syracuse, will Lannan get shot Saturday in doubleheader for Nationals?

Left-hander John Lannan started off slowly at Triple-A Syracuse but then got into a nice rhythm, compiling six wins. Before the season started, Lannan sent out an email requesting a trade, following his demotion to Triple-A. He has been waiting for his shot back with the Nationals or to pitch well enough to get another team’s attention, or both. The Nationals have a couple of

Nationals’ Storen knocked around in Harrisburg rehab appearance

Nationals closer Drew Storen continued his rehab from elbow surgery with an appearance for Double-A Harrisburg and did not have his best stuff. With the Senators leading 4-1 in the seventh, Storen surrendered four runs on three hits to Richmond, including a solo homer that lost the lead. Richmond’s Johnny Monell cranked a solo shot, No. 8 on the season, with two outs in the

Wang suffers loss in rehab start for Senators, but throws strikes

Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang settled down after a rocky start, but took the loss as Richmond defeated Double-A Harrisburg 4-0 in the opening game of a doubleheader Friday night. Wang, on the disabled list due to a hip injury, allowed a Gary Brown double to lead off the game and committed a throwing error which gave the Flying Squirrels a 1-0 advantage. Another single and

By the numbers: Zimmermann looking to reverse trends against Fish

As the Nationals embark on the start of the second half of the season, Washington enjoys a four game lead in the National League East and faces off against a team that has had their number for what seems like several seasons. The Nationals have won just one season series against the Marlins (10-8 in 2007) and are 64-88 all-time in Miami. Even this year,

Storen allows one run, strikes out five in another Potomac rehab outing

Nationals reliever Drew Storen continued his rehab assignment with Single-A Potomac by pitching two innings, allowing a solo homer and striking out five batters Thursday night. Storen allowed three hits in getting the six outs, spanning the seventh and eighth frames in an 8-3 loss at Wilmington. He faced nine batters, induced a ground out and threw one wild pitch in his fourth assignment for

Nelo takes loss in Eastern League All-Star Game; Souza earns SAL weekly honor

Chris Rahl and Erik Davis made contributions, but in the end, the Eastern division beat the Western division All-Stars 5-4 in the Double-A Eastern League Midsummer Classic from Reading, Pa. With the scored tied 4-4, Harrisburg closer Hector Nelo was not on target in the bottom of the ninth. Nelo got the call with two outs and walked Troy Hanzawa. Kevin Mahoney singled and Hanzawa

Rahl wins Eastern League home run derby; Wang starts Friday for Harrisburg

Chris Rahl added to what has been a powerful start to the season by winning the home run derby at the Eastern League All-Star festivities in Reading, Pa., Tuesday night. Rahl outpointed Richmond’s Daniel Mayora by scoring bonus points for hitting a crane positioned past the outfield wall. Rahl has 10 homers in the first 79 games for the Senators this season, after hitting five

Desmond’s sacrifice a prime example of Nationals’ real focus

It was the most unselfish move. The decision made with the big picture in mind. It was an individual sacrifice for the good of the team. Players work their whole careers for a shot at the All-Star Game. Whether voted by the fans or the manager, it is usually a once-in-a-lifetime accolade that can define a player’s legacy. Ian Desmond earned that invitation with a

Harrisburg surging as second half begins

At Double-A Harrisburg, it’s been a nice splash for shortstop Zach Walters, who in 20 games is hitting .338 with a slugging percentage of .623. He has eight doubles, one triple, four homers and 10 RBIs in that span. He has 26 hits, 12 runs and has walked five times. He has committed five errors, but the offensive numbers are big attention-getters after a fair

Harrisburg’s Perry notches first win as a starter, more homers in Hagerstown

The move of Ryan Perry from reliever to starter continues to progress in a positive direction. Although not as overpowering as his recent starts, Perry continues to make hits difficult to come by for opponents. Perry allowed just two hits over five innings Sunday as Double-A Harrisburg defeated Erie 3-1, improving his record to 1-1 as a starter. He gave up two walks and struck

Storen hit a bit in second rehab game, but felt like he took a “step forward”

Nationals right-hander Drew Storen came in for the eighth inning Saturday and got hit a bit during the second game of his rehab assignment for high Single-A Potomac. Leading 3-1, Storen allowed two runs on two hits and a walk, with only one of the runs earned. He did finish out the inning. Storen faced six batters. Storen told reporters he was a little disappointed

Walters tearing cover off the ball, Tatusko impressive as Harrisburg edges Bowie

Harrisburg Senators shortstop Zach Walters hit fairly well in his first 54 games at Single-A Potomac, batting .269. But since his call-up to the Double-A level, Walters has been on a serious tear. Friday night in Bowie, Walters crushed a three-run shot to account for all the Senators’ offense in a 3-2 win over the Baysox. His fourth homer came in the fourth inning off

Strasburg more than halfway to innings cap, looking for bounceback

Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg faces off against the Colorado Rockies Friday, looking to rebound from just three innings in the sweltering heat in Atlanta last week. His next start will likely be scheduled for Sunday, July 15 in Miami, following the All-Star game in Kansas City. If Strasburg averages six innings per outing, he will be at 99 innings after tonight and 105 frames following

Harrisburg’s Pucetas tweaks knee but “should be fine”

Right-hander Kevin Pucetas was moving swiftly through his seventh start of the season Thursday before an injury forced him to leave Double-A Harrisburg’s contest against Bowie. Pucetas retired the first seven hitters he faced, striking out four, walking none and not allowing a hit or run in 2 1/3 innings. He faced seven batters and threw 31 pitches, 21 for strikes. Harrisburg eventually won the

Nationals Storen says command was “good” in first rehab start

Nationals right-hander Drew Storen was pleased with his first appearance in a minor league rehab game since his recovery from elbow surgery to remove a bone chip. Storen started for high Single-A Potomac against Frederick on Thursday. He pitched a scoreless first inning, facing three batters and not allowing a hit or run. Storen induced a groundout and flyout in the short stint at Pfitzner

Minor notes: Karns does well against Bundy, Meyer short stint “planned”

The low Single-A Hagerstown Suns have put together an incredible start, which culminated in their 50th victory of the season on July 4. Hagerstown dropped Lexington 3-2, rallying for two runs in the eighth frame. Catcher Sam Palace tallied a RBI on a fielder’s choice that plated the game-winning run. Third baseman Matt Skole crushed his 19th homer and has 70 RBIs. Both figures lead

Nationals’ offense starting to keep up with Zimmermann

Manager Davey Johnson had preached just two weeks ago about how he wanted his hitters to be “patiently aggressive at the plate.” He sensed the hitters were a little anxious and were trying too hard sometimes to make things happen. From the Orioles series to the first game in Colorado, the Nationals managed just seven runs in four games. But Denver is always a good

Nationals’ All-Stars Strasburg, G. Gonzalez, Desmond sense “new standard”

The Nationals have made headlines and statements with the way they have played this season because of the amount of talent the organization has accrued the past few seasons. It is unchartered territory for the Nationals. The franchise used to be challenging for a top draft pick. Now, they are challenging for the NL East crown. One reason? Or should I say three reasons? I.D.,

Updates on Kimball, Karns, Paul and Hague

Right-hander Cole Kimball has continued his rehab from a torn rotator cuff at Double-A Harrisburg. Kimball has made stops with the Gulf Coast League Nationals, Single-A Hagerstown and Single-A Potomac, accumulating an 0-1 record with a 6.75 ERA in five games, four of them starts, totaling 5 1/3 innings. His roughest outing was June 28 at Salem, when he allowed three homers in 2/3 of

Potomac’s Karns making case for best arm in organization

Potomac Nationals right-hander Nathan Karns is on the best streak of his career, pitching somewhat under the radar as his team looks to gain momentum in the second half of the season. Karns has posted three consecutive double-digit strikeout performances in three straight victories, two on the road, dating to June 15. During this amazing run, the numbers are close to astounding: 32 strikeouts in

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