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Zimmerman scratched from lineup in Potomac rehab start

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was scratched from Tuesday’s doubleheader for the high Single-A Potomac Nationals at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Va. Zimmerman is expected to be in the lineup Wednesday for the P-Nats, to test his hamstring under live game conditions. If everything goes well, Zimmerman is likely to join the Nationals in Pittsburgh when they start a weekend series with the Pirates on

Zimmerman to rehab tonight in Woodbridge

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (hamstring) is expected to make a rehab appearance tonight for high Single-A Potomac. The first game of the doubleheader is set to begin at 6 p.m. Zimmerman would most likely just play the first game and try to get a least three at-bats. He will wear jersey No. 33. * Hagerstown Suns right-hander Ivan Pineyro put in a gem of

Rosenbaum’s success could offer Nationals another spot start option

Syracuse Chiefs starter Danny Rosenbaum is off to a great beginning for 2013. Fresh off his return to the Nationals from the Colorado Rockies, who plucked him in the Rule 5 draft, Rosenbaum is 2-1 with a 1.14 ERA in four starts. Rosenbaum has tossed 23 2/3 innings and allowed only three runs, 16 hits, one homer, eight walks and has struck out five. Saturday’s

Johnson has confidence in starters for the long haul

Manager Davey Johnson has an early season philosophy of not riding his starters too long in games. His reasoning includes wanting the rotation to be fresher as the season goes on, the ability to get the starters ramped up as each start passes and protection for the bullpen after some shaky outings to start the season. But if the starter can pitch well enough into

Suzuki relishes games like Zimmermann pitched Friday night

Catcher Kurt Suzuki loves being a part of a game like Friday night. He worked with his pitcher, Jordan Zimmermann, as the right-hander allowed a leadoff single by Xavier Paul in the third inning and nothing else in a 1-0 complete-game shutout for the Nationals. Suzuki had a feeling early on that Zimmermann could do this. It was Zimmermann’s second complete game of the year,

Johnson on relationship with Rizzo and Harper’s anniversary

One of the many reasons the Nationals are successful on the field and can maintain that tempo throughout a season is the relationship between their manager and general manager. Manager Davey Johnson said he’s on the same page with general manager Mike Rizzo when deciding what happens on the field. “He is the best GM I have ever had in a lot of respects,” Johnson

Gonzalez attacks strike zone, allows one hit to get Nats back on track

Manager Davey Johnson has harped on it the last couple of starts for his top-of-the-rotation guys. Stephen Strasburg and Thursday’s starter, Gio Gonzalez, have been unable to consistently get ahead early in at-bats at the start of games. It has ended up hurting their results. They began the season a combined 2-5. Last season, they combined for 36 wins. On Wednesday, Strasburg failed to get

Smashing home run a good way for Keyes to start run with P-Nats

It has not been the fastest start for Potomac Nationals first baseman Kevin Keyes. But Wednesday’s home run at Carolina may change that. His first home run of the season, and 42nd of his minor league career, was a mammoth blast at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, N.C. that smashed a light bulb on the outfield light tower. Here is the description from Potomac Nationals

Rizzo says Rendon has a “calmness” about his play with Nationals

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo decided to call up top prospect Anthony Rendon on Saturday night to replace Ryan Zimmerman, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring injury. Zimmerman attended batting practice and was stretching, but is not hitting yet. Manager Davey Johnson said Zimmerman is still a “couple days behind” Wilson Ramos in their recoveries from injuries, but is still

Strasburg fought himself in first, but then settled in to go seven innings

Stephen Strasburg tried not to do it, but he still did. He was trying again to be too perfect. He was being too fine around the plate. He told himself not to pitch that way. But it still happened. In the first inning, the Cardinals were able to put five of their first six batters on. They scored three runs on three hits. It ended

Rodriguez learning to trust all of his pitches and Johnson noticing

Right-hander Henry Rodriguez is starting to put together a few good outings and is gaining the confidence of manager Davey Johnson to put him in for longer stints. Johnson said because of the operation on Rodriguez’s elbow last Aug. 31, the rehab prevented the hard thrower from having a full offseason of workouts and games. “He didn’t have any winter ball,” Johnson said. “He went

Rizzo on 106.7: “I wouldn’t trade this 25-man roster for any other 25-man in the league”

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo appeared with Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 The Fan prior to Wednesday’s finale against the Cardinals, getting fans updated on the state of the Nationals. With his team falling to 10-10, Rizzo is not pleased with the start, but believes the Nationals can get on a hot streak, and more than just one. “It is probably mediocre,” Rizzo

LaRoche’s four strikeouts a symbol of Nationals’ recent offensive woes

The frustration that the Nationals feel as an offense can be summed up in the roughest of nights at the plate for first baseman Adam LaRoche. Four times he faced one of his best friends, Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright, and four times the right-hander struck out LaRoche. The strikeout in the sixth was the toughest to take with the bases loaded and his team trailing

Stammen’s consistent outings are backbone of Nationals bullpen

Lost in some of the rough outings for the bullpen has been the consistent pitching of right-hander Craig Stammen. More often than not, Stammen has come in during high-pressure situations and delivered. A case in point was Monday night versus St. Louis. Stammen relieved starter Dan Haren, who had allowed a hit by pitch, two singles and walk. Already with a run in, the Cardinals

Desmond thinks Nats made “huge step in the right direction” despite loss

Monday’s 3-2 setback to the Cardinals was the Nationals’ second straight loss and seventh in their last 10 games. But shortstop Ian Desmond saw something in the tough defeat, which he believes the team can use to build on for their next game. “We played a much better game,” Desmond said. “This was one of our better games of the year. We played good. That

Rendon excited for debut at Nationals Park

Nationals’ top prospect Anthony Rendon is excited to make his home debut tonight against the St. Louis Cardinals. The former Rice star was eager to get back on the field after his first game in New York on Sunday. Rendon went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and made a catch error at third base. Today, he returns to the starting lineup, batting sixth and at third

Club source: Nationals right-hander Chris Young to start for Syracuse Tuesday

Veteran right-hander Chris Young will report to Triple-A Syracuse and start for the Chiefs Tuesday night, according to a club source. Young has been pitching in extended spring training after being re-signed to a minor league deal with the Nationals on April 4. Young went 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in four starts over 16 innings, striking out nine and walking seven. He has pitched

Rendon’s ripple effects, plus notes on Oduber and Karns

The promotion of third baseman Anthony Rendon from Double-A Harrisburg is a great opportunity for the organization’s top prospect. The two weeks on the disabled list will give Ryan Zimmerman a chance to rest his tender hamstring. It also might be a good time for Zimmerman to work with coaches, especially infield coordinator Jeff Garber, to deconstruct and reconstruct his post-surgery throwing motion from third

Top prospect Anthony Rendon promoted to Nationals

Nationals top prospect Anthony Rendon has been recalled from the Double-A Harrisburg Senators, and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has been placed on disabled list, according to a tweet from the Nationals. The 22-year-old Rendon, a third baseman, is hitting .292 (14-for-48) with four doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs in 14 games with Harrisburg. He has continued to display his amazing hitting ability as

Another early miscue gets Strasburg and Nationals off on wrong foot

For the second straight start, a key early fielding miscue allowed an opponent to put up multiple runs against Stephen Strasburg. Against the Braves on April 13, no score, two outs, top of the third. Atlanta’s Justin Upton reaches on a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman. Evan Gattis crushes a two-run homer. Braves win 3-1. Then last night, first batter of the game, no outs,

Strasburg allows two homers, Mets hold Nationals to four hits (Mets win 7-1)

The Mets grabbed the early lead on Stephen Strasburg in the first inning. Ian Desmond committed his sixth error of the season on a Jordany Valdespin grounder. Later, a Strasburg wild pitch scored a run and John Buck had a two-out RBI single. Buck already has 20 RBIs early in the season. The Mets led 2-0 after one inning. The Nationals were unable to record

Zimmerman, Espinosa out as Nats face Mets

The Nationals continue their road trip after a day off Thursday. Tonight it is the beginning of 17 games in 17 days with game one against the New York Mets at Citi Field. The pitching matchup features a gem with right-hander Stephen Strasburg (1-2, 2.95 ERA) facing right-hander Matt Harvey (3-0, 0.82 ERA). The big news is Ryan Zimmerman is out of the lineup. Manager

Nationals update minor league standouts for month of April (plus injury updates)

A good start for Harper. That is left-hander Bryan Harper, who is 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in three games for low Single-A Hagerstown. From April 6-14, Harper pitched 5 2/3 innings, surrendering only one run on five hits with seven strikeouts and three walks. He is the only left-handed reliever in the ‘pen for pitching coach Franklin Bravo’s Suns. Update: Suns left-handers Brett Mooneyham

Matt Skole to miss three to four months following Tommy John surgery

First baseman/outfielder Matt Skole, the Nationals’ fourth-ranked prospect, is expected to miss three to four months after undergoing successful Tommy John surgery, general manager Mike Rizzo told reporters in Miami. Skole was injured on a freak play at first base in a game with Double-A Harrisburg last week when his non-throwing arm was hit by a runner. He fractured his wrist on the play. A

Rendon off to hot start for Double-A Harrisburg

Double-A Harrisburg Senators third baseman Anthony Rendon is continuing to prove how good a hitter he is when healthy and given the chance to play multiple games. Through 13 games, Rendon is hitting .311 (14-for-45) with eight runs, four doubles, two homers and seven RBIs. He had a 4-for-4 game at Altoona on Sunday, with two doubles. Rendon has had multi-hit games in three of

Martinson earns Carolina League Player of the Week honors

Many around minor league baseball, and scouts I talk to, believe high Single-A Potomac Nationals shortstop Jason Martinson deserves to be playing in Double-A. This week he demonstrated he certainly deserves attention for his play at Potomac, earning Carolina League Player of the Week honors. Martinson started the season hitting .303 (10-for-33), with a .429 on-base percentage and a .788 slugging percentage through nine games.

Updates on Solis, Purke and other injuries

Here are the latest updates on pitching prospects Sammy Solis (Tommy John) and Matt Purke (shoulder). Each are continuing to rehab in Florida and are making their mound progressions. These are rough estimates, but the Nationals are hoping for a mid-May return for Solis and a late May return for Purke. These estimates can change, depending on how both progress this month, but this gives

Updates on injuries to prospects Higley, Souza

The low Single-A Hagerstown Suns placed outfielder J.R. Higley on the disabled list Sunday and Andruth Ramirez was activated. Higley fouled a ball of his foot. His injury is being evaluated further by the Nationals. Higley was hitting .273 in nine games, with two doubles, one triple and four RBIs. The Double-A Harrisburg Senators placed outfielder Steven Souza Jr., on the disabled list Sunday. Catcher

Walters making a name for himself in Syracuse

It was another snapshot moment in time for the Nationals organization. In a late February spring training game in Florida, the Nationals faced off against All-Star David Wright and the Mets. But as you looked out on the diamond, it wasn’t Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche, Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper doing battle with New York. Instead, it was the best of the Nationals’ prospects. Guys

Strasburg details Braves’ third inning and two-run shot by Gattis

The Nationals’ 3-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves was another quality battle between starting pitchers Tim Hudson and Stephen Strasburg. In the end, the Nationals right-hander gave up the more costly home run in a critical third inning. Evan Gattis’ two-run shot was the big offensive play for the Braves, but it was set up by a Ryan Zimmerman throwing error that allowed Justin Upton

Detwiler deserves better after second impressive start

It was all playing out early on for Ross Detwiler and the Nationals. Staked to a 4-0 lead, Detwiler went after the Braves and lasted seven innings, allowing only a Chris Johnson solo shot. So, it was a shock for the Nationals to lose that early advantage and allow six runs in four innings, ending in a 6-4, 10-inning setback to the Braves. “Det was

Davey Johnson on Padres/Dodgers brawl; Storen knew Quentin from Stanford days

There’s been a lot of buzz around the clubhouse about the bench-clearing brawl in Thursday’s Padres vs. Dodgers game at San Diego’s Petco Park. Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin charged the mound and tackled Dodgers starter Zack Greinke after getting hit by a pitch. Greinke was injured during the melee, suffering a fractured left collarbone. Greinke is out until June. No suspensions have been announced. Manager

Harper forging to lead early in Nationals offense

After nine games, left fielder Bryce Harper is the Nationals’ most consistent hitter. He has become so well-known for his hitting that the White Sox decided to intentionally walk the 20-year-old to get to Ryan Zimmerman. But it isn’t just about matchups and whether or not Harper has the hot bat. He also has been more selective at the plate to begin this season. Harper

Haren still not where he wants to be, but a win is a “few steps forward”

Dan Haren has pitched for five different teams in the majors and has won 120 games. But after a 15-0 loss at Cincinnati last Friday, Haren desperately wanted to bounce back and make a good impression in front of the fans of his newest team. And just like a veteran pitcher, he found his way out of sticky situations Thursday. Scattering 10 hits over five

Nationals developing home-field advantage and opponents notice

First baseman Adam LaRoche talks about it all the time. When he would come in to play the Nationals while with the Diamondbacks, they knew they could beat the Nationals, and they expected to beat the Nationals. That is not the case anymore. The Nationals are 5-0 at Nationals Park to start this season and were 50-31 at home last season, second only to the

Hagerstown outfielder Wander Ramos placed on disabled list

Low Single-A Hagerstown Suns outfielder Wander Ramos has been placed on the seven-day disabled list with a hamstring injury, according to a club source. The injury does not appear to be serious, and they will take a precautionary measure to rest the hamstring this early in the season. The 22-year-old Ramos (who turns 23 in two weeks) was hitting .200 (2-for-10) in four games, with

Desmond erasing memories of early-season errors with extra-base hits

Shortstop Ian Desmond rolled to another big day at the plate in Wednesday’s 5-2 Nationals win over the White Sox. Desmond went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a triple, scoring two runs. On Tuesday, he also had a pair of hits, including his second homer of the season. He now has seven extra-base hits in eight games. Saturday was his first homer, which came after

No delay is going to slow Zimmermann now

The Nationals’ Jordan Zimmermann put together another quality start Wednesday night. A delay because the umpires were stuck in traffic was no distraction for the right-hander. He went seven innings and allowed just two runs in a 5-2 victory over the White Sox. Did the delay at the start of the game shake his preparation? “I had plenty enough time,” Zimmermann confirmed. “They let me

Nationals rotating Rendon between three infield spots in Harrisburg

Double-A Harrisburg’s Anthony Rendon played second base yesterday, and will play third base, his natural position, tonight. The switching of infield positions serves an intended purpose. According to a club source, the Nationals are playing Rendon each week in a “4-2-1” rotation, with four games at third base, two games at second base and one game at shortstop. The rotation is not “set in stone,”

Werth’s bat shining in balanced Nationals lineup

First a home run by Jayson Werth. Then, another huge RBI base hit in the next at-bat. Three big RBIs that helped to decide an 8-7 win over the White Sox. The veteran right-fielder believes a move to the second spot in lineup allows him a bit more freedom to take some calculated chances at the plate. “I think I have been more aggressive this

Johnson confident in bullpen despite late runs by Reds, White Sox

The 14 homers the Nationals have hit in the first seven games of the season help mask some troublesome signs early from the bullpen. In Tuesday’s 8-7 win over the White Sox, the bullpen allowed two huge home runs that could have lost the game. Up 6-2 in the seventh, Tyler Clippard surrendered a three-run shot to Paul Konerko to make it 6-5. In the

Interleague play might favor Nationals at home against White Sox

Interleague play may be exciting for the fans, but it causes some alterations and uneasiness for players, especially this early in the season. However, some players embrace National League versus American League match-ups in small doses because it mixes the schedule up a bit and adds a little flavor. This season, with the Astros moving to the American League and the formation of three five-team

Harrisburg places Matt Skole on disabled list with wrist injury (updated)

Double-A Harrisburg Senators first baseman Matt Skole has been placed on the disabled list with hairline fracture in his left wrist, according to a team source. Skole is expected to miss three to four weeks. Skole was injured Friday night when his arm was hit by a runner on a play up the baseline. Justin Bloxom is a good possibility to be moved to first

A.J. Cole shows flashes of brilliance in Potomac debut

Right-hander A.J. Cole showed flashes of how dominant he could be in his first start with the high Single-A Potomac Nationals on Sunday. Cole struck out the side in the first inning, but later allowed a few hits and runs, going 5 1/3 innings. All seven strikeouts were swinging. He used a lot of fastballs and Lynchburg started to figure out the timing, according to

Harrisburg’s solid lineup one reason for quick start

The Double-A Harrisburg Senators dropped Bowie 6-1 Saturday behind big hits from Rick Hague and Steven Souza, Jr., and a spectacular one-two punch on the mound by Paul Demny and Trevor Holder. Destin Hood smacked his first double of the season and Souza crushed his first homer to get the scoring going. Demny went five innings for the win and Holder an amazing four innings

Could signing of Chris Young come into play sooner than later?

It is just one game, but it did happen. Dan Haren got rocked and Zach Duke did not fare much better. Depth is critical for each major league team, especially pitching depth, if you expect to make a deep run into October. Last season, the Nationals allowed double-digit runs only two times in their first 156 games. The 15 runs allowed Friday night at Great

Renda ready to get going after move up to Hagerstown

Second baseman Tony Renda has moved his way up from short-season Single-A Auburn to Single-A Hagerstown and is the leadoff hitter for the Suns. The second-round 2012 selection (80th overall) says manager Gary Cathcart was instrumental in his improvement and experience for the Doubledays. “Auburn was a great experience for me,” Renda said. “I got to play for a great manager in Gary Cathcart. I

Werth’s mammoth blast early signal wrist might be just fine

Right fielder Jayson Werth was 0-for-8 in the first two games of the season. There were some that might have questioned whether his surgically repaired wrist was not quite 100 percent just yet. On Thursday at Nationals Park, Werth crushed a three-run homer to left field that erased many of those doubts, lifting the Nationals to a 6-1 win and a series sweep of the

Johnson sees Zimmerman’s defense improving with repaired shoulder

The Nationals are off to a 2-0 start with some important solo homers and quality pitching. But manager Davey Johnson also gives a lot of the credit for the first two wins to improved defense. Johnson said he notices a big difference because Ryan Zimmerman’s surgically repaired shoulder has responded well. “No question about it,” Johnson said. “It is kind of hard to improve on

Bryce Harper’s older brother, Bryan, begins season tonight for Hagerstown

He has got one of the most famous brothers in all of baseball. He is a southpaw looking to make it to the majors. He has played for a national champion. But all the questions come back to his talented younger brother, Bryce. Left-hander Bryan Harper of the Hagerstown Suns says that is all good, because his dream is to someday join his brother with

Storen returns with scoreless frame, helps close book on last October

It was just one inning, but symbolically, it was crucial for Drew Storen. You could see the determination, focus and drive on the face of Storen these first few days during pregame warmups and you knew whenever his first game arrived it would be important for many reasons. Erasing the memory but learning from the experience of Oct. 12 in the National League Division Series

With talented bullpen, deciding who gets to pitch is “good problem to have”

With high expectations, and a Nationals bullpen filled with so many good pitchers, will there be enough work to go around? On opening day, Stephen Strasburg went seven innings and then Tyler Clippard took care of the eighth. Rafael Soriano arrived in the ninth and got three straight outs for his first save as a National. Manager Davey Johnson still has his left-handed long man

New-look Hagerstown Suns ready for challenge of 140 games

HAGERSTOWN - The older brother of the Nationals’ famous young hitter, a new-look uniform and a brand new manager highlight the 2013 version of Single-A Hagerstown Suns. Tripp Keister was promoted from the GCL Nats and takes over for Brian Daubach, who moved on to Single-A Potomac. The Suns feature several talented draft picks and eight Dominican players this season. They also will wear red-

Opening day not about the strikeouts for Strasburg in win

Right-hander Stephen Strasburg had a seamless start to the 2013 season, going seven innings and allowing no runs in a 2-0 Nationals win over the Marlins. Strasburg allowed a hit to Juan Pierre to lead off the game and then recorded 19 consecutive outs. He walked none. But probably his most impressive feat to begin a long season? He struck out just three batters. That’s

Opening day even more special to Nationals after last season’s success

Opening day is always a special time for the fans but is it just another game to the players? Far from it. Especially with what the Nationals were able to accomplish in 2012. A pregame banner ceremony will commemorate the National League East crown from last season, and then it is time to go to work to try to do it again. “I enjoy opening

Mattheus thrilled to come into a season where he can just pitch

Right-hander Ryan Mattheus feels like 2013 is different. Of course, he has to prove himself. But this feels better than in years past where he came into camp trying to make the team. This season, he felt like his spot was his to lose. He felt more in control during spring training. “It’s huge,” Mattheus said. “I finally had the pressures of making the team.

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