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Nationals announce 2013 spring training broadcast schedule

The Nationals have released their 2013 spring training broadcast schedule, which begins Feb. 24 against the Miami Marlins with a radio game on 106.7 The Fan. The first televised game is Feb. 28 on MASN as the Nationals battle the New York Mets. Five games will also be broadcast on CBS Sports Radio 1580 AM, the first on Feb. 26 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.,

Few options from left side spotlight importance of Gonzalez (updated)

The Nationals do not want to have to go into their 2013 defense of the National League East crown without left-hander Gio Gonzalez. This week, however, Gonzalez’s name was linked to a South Florida company that allegedly distributed performance-enhancing drugs to pro athletes. If, in a worst-case scenario, Gonzalez is suspended for any period of time, what kind of options do the Nationals have as

Out of options, Rivero faces long odds at cracking 25-man roster

The Nationals’ depth is evidenced by a bench that you would feel comfortable starting if the need arises. Guys like Chad Tracy, Steve Lombardozzi, Tyler Moore, Roger Bernadina and Kurt Suzuki (or Wilson Ramos) all can start, whether to give another starter a day off or as an injury replacement. One player trying to crack into that rotation is a still young and yet very

Twins, July 4 against Brewers and series vs. Dodgers highlight Nats’ June, July home games

June and July are the heart of baseball season, as the weather is really optimal. A lot of memories of baseball games gone by are from those summer games and the Nationals have another great summertime schedule. The Mets arrive for three games from June 4-6, all at 7:05 p.m. The first weekend series of June will be the arrival of Denard Span’s former team,

Nats starting times released, April begins with matinee against Marlins

Major League Baseball released the Nationals’ 2013 start times this week. The home opener is April 1 at 1:05 p.m. against the Miami Marlins. That series includes a 7:05 p.m. start on April 3 and a getaway day start at 4:05 p.m. on April 4. The White Sox arrive the next week from April 9-11 for three 7:05 p.m. starts. Then the homestand continues with

GCL Nats pitching capsules: Pena, Pineyro, Hollins

Here is another installment on some of the Nationals’ young pitchers to watch that pitched for then-manager Tripp Keister while in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League last year. Right-hander Ronald Pena: Pena made three starts for the GCL Nats, going 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in six innings of work, with five strikeouts and one walk. With short-season Single-A Auburn, The 6-foot-4, 195 lb., Pena

Another artist rendering of future Potomac Nationals stadium

The high Single-A Potomac Nationals conducted their 18th annual Hot Stove Banquet on Sunday night. At the banquet, P-Nats owner and chairman/CEO Art Silber unveiled more details regarding the new stadium to be built for the team in Prince William County at the Potomac Town Center. The artist’s rendering showed the classic aerial view of the stadium from right field and several shots of the

Cole will not have to try to impress in return to Nats

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo talked last week about one of the possible reasons why right-hander A.J. Cole struggled in his initiation to the Oakland A’s organization last season. The high altitude and high-octane California League has gotten to many a great starting pitcher over the years. Rizzo scouted that league extensively while with the Arizona Diamondbacks and knows from experience. Potomac Nationals pitching coach

Schwartz gained momentum in Hagerstown after long college season

Continuing our updates on some of the pitching prospects who pitched for the Gulf Coast Nationals in 2012, we spotlight right-hander Blake Schwartz. The 6-foot-3, 200-lb., right-hander from Oklahoma City started five games for the GCL Nats before moving to Single-A Hagerstown and getting seven starts with the Suns. Schwartz went 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA for the GCL Nats. In 16 innings, Schwartz struck

Nationals look in own backyard for left-handed reliever depth and find real McCoy

There is a bit of concern regarding the left-handed depth available out of the Nationals bullpen heading into the 2013 campaign. Zach Duke and Bill Bray are the top names that will get the best shot to be the lefty specialists out of the ‘pen. Duke did well in his work last season with the Nationals and despite some injuries, Bray had success with the

Rizzo on getting Cole back and saying goodbye to Morse

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, speaking during Rafael Soriano’s introductory press conference, said he was excited to be able to get a talent like right-hander A.J. Cole back in the organization. Rizzo said the deal to get a prospect like Cole, and right-hander Blake Treinen, would not have been possible by just talking to the Seattle Mariners. In his discussions with Seattle, he was able

Nats “excited” to get chance to work with A.J. Cole again

The Nationals are elated to get right-hander A.J. Cole back in a trade with the Oakland A’s. After trading away the top prospect to the A’s in the package for left-hander Gio Gonzalez, the Nats re-acquired Cole in a trade that sent Michael Morse to the Seattle Mariners. Cole struggled at high Single-A Stockton, going 0-7 with a 7.82 ERA in eight starts in the

GCL Nats pitching capsules: Barrientos, Vasquez and Dicharry

The Gulf Coast League Nationals had their share of pitching prospects make progress in 2012, as the youngsters look to move up to short-season Single-A Auburn or low Single-A Hagerstown. We will take a look at several of their prospects in a couple of installments this week. The Nationals worked very hard to teach the prospects to pitch to contact, emphasizing from the beginning a

Source: Matt Skole invited to big league spring training

Nationals minor league Player of the Year Matt Skole, who hit 27 homers and 92 RBIs for low Single-A Hagerstown, has been invited to major league spring training, a baseball source has confirmed. The news was first reported by Skole’s brother Jake on Twitter. Jake Skole is a Rangers minor leaguer. Matt Skole was promoted to high Single-A Potomac late in the season, where he

Daubach on the Dominican and updates Perez, Skole and Burns

High Single-A Potomac Nationals manager Brian Daubach recently completed winter ball as the hitting coach for Leones del Escogido in the Dominican Republic. Daubach worked with 30 hitters from several teams, including Nationals outfielder Eury Perez. Daubach said their is nothing like baseball in the Dominican. He said the way the fans get into the games, being right on top of the action, reacting to

Baseball America’s Nats No. 1 prospect: Anthony Rendon

When Anthony Rendon was first selected by the Nationals, there was a lot of excitement about his potential and how his quick hands and lightning reflexes in the batter’s box would translate to the pro level. That excitement was tempered a bit when Rendon went down in April with a fractured ankle in a Single-A game at Lynchburg. Despite that ankle injury, Rendon came on

LaRoche was “fighting to get back” to Nationals

One day after agreeing to terms on a two-year deal with the Nationals, first baseman Adam LaRoche said that despite other offers, he knew this was the place he wanted to be. There were negotiations with the Nationals and with some other teams, but one reason LaRoche did not accept something comparable was because the Nats already had a good team, and he felt most

Baseball America’s Nats No. 2 prospect: Lucas Giolito

The baseball recovery clock from Tommy John started on Aug. 31, 2012, for Lucas Giolito. But before that day, the Nationals and baseball gurus got a small window into the immense potential that made Giolito the team’s No. 1 selection in the 2012 draft. The 6-foot-6, 225-lb., flame throwing right-hander out of Santa Monica, Calif., pitched two innings for Gulf Coast Nationals and then-manager Tripp

Baseball America’s Nats No. 3 prospect: Brian Goodwin

Brian Goodwin has been a fan favorite ever since the Nationals drafted him. Always coveting a center fielder with speed who can hit, hit for power, get on base and has great range, Goodwin is working his way into that leadoff man of the future the Nats have been searching for in the draft. Denard Span takes over this season with the big boys, but

Young GCL Nats could join Tripp Keister in move to Hagerstown

The value of the Nationals having a Gulf Coast League team shows itself each spring when many of the young stars move up to take spots at low Single-A Hagerstown or more likely at short-season Single-A Auburn. Looking down the list of GCL Nationals offensively, several position players put up good offensive numbers as they gained crucial professional experience in the rookie league. Second baseman

Baseball America’s No. 4 Nats prospect: Matt Skole

It was a tremendous summer for Matt Skole. He demonstrated his raw power over and over at low Single-A Hagerstown. Skole hit .286 in 101 games for the Suns, smacking 27 homers and recording 92 RBIs. He then got moved up to high Single-A Potomac. He hit .314 for the P-Nats, with 11 extra-base hits, although no homers, and 12 RBIs. The Nationals liked what

Baseball America’s No. 5 Nats prospect: Nathan Karns

The Nationals are very high on right-hander Nathan Karns after his breakthrough 2012 season. Karns was named the organization’s minor league Pitcher of the Year after going a combined 11-4 with a 2.17 ERA over 24 games, 18 of those starts. Karns fired 148 strikeouts, two complete games and only 47 walks between low Single-A Hagerstown and high Single-A Potomac. He won seven of his

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