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Nationals release rosters for Hagerstown, Potomac and Syracuse

Here are the 2013 opening day rosters for Nationals' affiliates at Single-A Hagerstown, Single-A Potomac and Triple-A Syracuse. Double-A Harrisburg released its roster yesterday. Potomac Nationals PITCHERS A.J. Cole Robbie Ray Taylor Jordan Taylor Hill Kylin Turnbull Tyler Herron Matt Grace Richard Mirowski Gregory Holt Ben Hawkins Christian Meza Colin Bates Derek Self CATCHERS Adrian Nieto Cole Leonida INFIELDERS Kevin Keyes Adrian Sanchez Jason Martinson

After getting his work in, Zimmermann's ready for season

Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann got his work in, a final start against the New York Yankees in an exhibition game before the games count for real on Monday. The Yankees won the game 4-2 with four runs in the fourth inning. The rally ignited with a Kevin Youkilis solo shot to left field. Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Zimmermann was happy to just get this one

Nats bullpen plays off each other, confident they can get hitters out

With opening day arriving Monday, the lineup sheet for the Nationals' exhibition against the Yankees lists only two left-handers: Zach Duke and J.C. Romero. Manager Davey Johnson said at spring training in Viera, Fla., he is confident in the right-handers, and their plus stuff, to be able to go after either side of the plate and not have to be so worried about match-ups. Right-hander

Harrisburg Senators announce opening day roster

The Double-A Harrisburg Senators released their opening day roster today. The talented roster includes top prospects Anthony Rendon, Matt Skole, Brian Goodwin and Nathan Karns. According to a press release, the roster includes eight players listed in the Baseball America's Top 28 Nationals prospects: Rendon (1), Goodwin (3), Skole (4), Karns (5), Sandy Leon (15), Rick Hague (16), Destin Hood (17) and Paul Demny (28).

Power arms: Pitchers use weight room to maintain strength throughout season

Not on the diamond. Not on the mound. Not during bullpens. You will not see this component of a pitcher's preparation for a game or a season. But it is absolutely crucial to every step and every pitch they make in their career. It is strength training. So with fans not getting a chance to see what a pitcher's work is like in the weight

Not official yet, but Syracuse Chiefs roster taking shape

The Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs' roster is taking shape as they get closer to their season opener April 4 at Lehigh Valley. They begin with seven games on the road. The roster is not official and could change before opening day, but this list is a good general idea of what the Chiefs will look like next week. The coaching staff has Tony Beasley as manager,

Cherry blossoms likely at Nationals Park and Harper could have a big year

The Nationals begin the 2013 campaign with a home series against the Miami Marlins. It could also be a spectacular week to view the cherry blossoms in D.C. The National Park Service has announced that the peak viewing time this year has now been pushed back to April 3-6. The Nationals open April 1 at 1:05 p.m. against the Marlins, and are also home April

If Nats starters can go long, bullpen is set up to close deal

The Nationals' group of late-inning specialists, consisting of Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen and Rafael Soriano, could be that 1-2-3 punch at the end of games that manager Davey Johnson envisions. If these three can be like the Atlanta Braves' final three (Eric O'Flaherty, Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel), the Nationals, as Johnson hopes, can shorten games to six innings. Here is my blog about those

Nationals work on goal of getting younger at higher levels

The accelerated development program has its obvious goals. It is first and foremost an opportunity to get some of the best prospects in the organization in one place at one time for an extended period of spring training, surrounded by the top coaches to "speed up" the learning process. But one other reason is pretty clear when looking at the talent and youth in the

Nationals pitching prospects Demny, Clay, Treinen, Encarnacion and Pineyro updates from camp

Right-hander Paul Demny has come to the accelerated development camp looking good and ready to pick up where he left off following his play in the Arizona Fall League. "He looks like he is in better shape," said Harrisburg Senators pitching coach Paul Menhart. "He took a couple of weeks off after the Arizona Fall League and came in here in really good shape. His

Nationals prospect updates on pitchers Cole, Jordan and Meyers

The Nationals' accelerated development program has two weeks in the books in Florida. This week, I will have some updates of a few of the pitchers in the camp, starting with A.J. Cole, Taylor Jordan and Brad Meyers. Right-hander Cole is making good progress in his first camp since being trading back to the Nationals from the Oakland A's. The 21-year-old Cole had a rough

Detwiler's Team USA performance forecasts well for Nationals' rotation

With left-hander Ross Detwiler throwing not one, but four scoreless innings this week for Team USA, you have to admire how far the 26-year-old has come in a year and a half, and how crucial his pitching is to the Nationals' rotation. Detwiler allowed just one hit in those four innings. Manager Joe Torre had enough confidence in the southpaw to go out and let

Karns feeling confident and healthy, won't go for 100 mph just yet

Right-hander Nathan Karns is getting himself acclimated quickly at spring training. In his first two games, Karns did not allow a run in three innings, scattering two hits, walking two and striking out three. One of those hits was a seeing-eye single given up to Mets All-Star David Wright after quite a battle. "I feel like I started off on the right foot and keep

New book spotlights the game's all-time best closers: Where does Rafael Soriano stack up?

Baseball can sometimes be broken down to an individual sport, especially for the closers. If a batter makes an out, he still has eight other guys that can make a play, his team still has two more outs. A closer has defenders behind him, but it's ultimately one pitcher versus one hitter. One pitch can end the game. One pitch can also turn into a

What a difference a year's made for Nationals' Zach Duke

It was about this time last season everything changed for Zach Duke. Last season, he struggled in Houston Astros camp and was eventually released. Two days later, he was picked up by the Nationals. After battling to regain his consistency and break on his best pitches, he worked his way back to the majors. Oh, he did work all right. Duke went 15-5 with a

ESPN ranks Nationals No. 4 in latest "Future Power Rankings"

ESPN released its latest "Future Power Rankings" and the Nationals are ranked fourth out of the 30 major league teams. ESPN calls it a "detailed breakdown of the future of every major league franchise" by experts Jim Bowden, Keith Law and Buster Olney. The No. 4 ranking is a jump from 2012 when the Nationals were locked in at No. 11. Here is the link,

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