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Jordan’s meteoric rise this season built off of tough rehab from Tommy John surgery

Right-hander Taylor Jordan made a solid impression in his first season at the major league level after advancing two levels in 2013. Jordan recovered nicely from Tommy John surgery and got off to a good start with high Single-A Potomac. In six starts, Jordan went 2-1 with a 1.24 ERA with 29 strikeouts and six walks in 36 1/3 innings. After his promotion to Double-A

Tanner Roark one of the most pleasant surprises of 2013 for Nationals

One of the most pleasant surprises of 2013 was the emergence of Tanner Roark. Just one season ago, he was battling in the minors, fighting through a 17-loss campaign. But in 2013, on the recommendation of Nationals pitching coordinator Spin Williams, manager Davey Johnson was convinced Roark could make a difference at the back end of a rotation that was having a rough go staying

A.J. Cole has tremendous return to Nationals organization, works on breaking ball

Right-hander A.J. Cole made one of the most impressive jumps this season, moving up from high Single-A Potomac to Double-A Harrisburg. This was a far cry from his previous season with the Oakland A’s organization, when he dropped down from high Single-A to low Single-A. But fortunately, in the Michael Morse triangle trade that also involved Seattle, Cole was made available to the Nationals again

Solis and Purke take positive steps forward as they prepare for the Arizona Fall League

Two of the top left-handers in the Nationals system are preparing to start play in early October in the Arizona Fall League. Sammy Solis and Matt Purke are two of the eight Nationals prospects invited to play for the Mesa Solar Sox. This season was big for both south paws as they returned to the field following injuries. Solis recovered from Tommy John surgery and

Bryce Harper jersey ranked No. 15 in MLB sales

Major League Baseball announced its current list of the top 20 jersey sales, and Bryce Harper is ranked No. 15 on the list. He is the only Nationals player in the Top 20. The list is based on sales of Majestic jerseys from MLB.com/Shop since the All-Star break. Here is the list: 1. Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees 2. Matt Harvey, New York Mets 3.

Renda, Martinson, Hood updates from fall instructional league

I am getting reports that fall instructional league is off to a good start. As you would imagine, the camp emphasizes fundamentals and different individual aspects tailored to each player’s specific needs. Second baseman Tony Renda, who was honored with the organization’s inaugural Bob Boone Award for passionate and inspired play, has been working on the left side of the infield during instructional league. Renda

Taylor makes positive strides in Potomac’s run to title series

High Single-A Potomac Nationals center fielder Michael Taylor again made positive strides this season, improving his approach and refining his defense to post impressive numbers for the Carolina League’s Northern Division champions. Potomac hitting coach Mark Harris told me early in the season that Taylor had calmed down his approach at the plate and had focused on one thing while up at-bat, and that helped

Nationals believe strong finish will turn into good start in 2014

Winning Sunday’s nightcap was nice, but the realization of the predicament the Nationals put themselves in came Sunday afternoon at home when they dropped a 4-2 decision to the Marlins. “It didn’t help it, for sure,” said center fielder Denard Span. “It just made it tougher on us to try to pull this thing out. We are going to keep fighting until we are absolutely

Strasburg on no-decision, Desmond and Span react to 20/20

Right-hander Stephen Strasburg didn’t believe his six-inning no-decision was as “awful” as Nationals manager Davey Johnson described it. The Nationals came back to beat the Marlins 5-4 on a late error. “I went out there and competed,” Strasburg said. “That is all I can do. I think my changeup got better as the game went on. I spiked it a little bit early. Curveball was

Johnson on Strasburg, team’s chances after 5-4 win

Manager Davey Johnson said the special ceremony prior to game one was a nice moment that he will not forget - and it went better than he thought it would. He spoke after the Nationals walked off in the nightcap with a 5-4 victory over the Marlins. “I was kind of dreading it and then it was very pleasant,” he said. “I was very moved

Marlins take early lead on Strasburg (Nats walk off with 5-4 win)

Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg, making his 29th start of the season and first in two weeks, got off to a slow start Sunday night in the second game of a split doubleheader versus Miami. The Marlins’ Donovan Solano led off the game with a double and later scored on a Christian Yelich grounder to first base. Miami led 1-0 after one. In the second, Justin

Nationals on 4-2 loss to Marlins; game two lineups set (updated)

The Nationals have said for the last week they pretty much needed to win out to have a shot at the National League wildcard. So with a 4-2 loss in the opening game of two on Sunday to the Marlins, the window for a shot at the playoff berth is almost shut. “Any loss right now makes it tougher,” said third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. “Like

Harper on mentor Werth: “He is like an older brother to me”

There was touching moment Friday night during the Nationals’ 3-2 victory over the Marlins. Following his three-run homer in the first inning, left fielder Bryce Harper was met at home plate by his teammate, right fielder Jayson Werth. Werth had a big smile on his face, looking like a big brother who was happy with what little brother was able to accomplish. You could see

Even if Zimmermann won’t admit it, teammates know reaching 20 wins is important

Winning pitcher Jordan Zimmermann may deny it, but his Nationals teammates certainly believe that he wants to get to 20 wins on the season, and they think he can get there. Zimmermann tossed the second complete-game shutout of his career Friday night, allowing two hits, striking out nine and walking one an 8-0 victory over the Marlins, earning his 19th victory. Center fielder Denard Span

Johnson wants Detwiler to get innings, plus update on winter ball

Nationals manager Davey Johnson wants left-hander Ross Detwiler to get more innings to test his back injury. The herniated disk in his back, which dates to July 4, has kept Detwiler on the 60-day disabled list for half the season. Detwiler is scheduled to pitch in a game Monday at instructional league in Florida. Then, whether it is winter ball or something else, Johnson wants

Desmond, Span and Gonzalez react to hit by pitch warnings

In the Nationals’ 3-2 win over the Marlins, shortstop Ian Desmond was hit by a pitch thrown by Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez in the first inning. Just four pitches after Bryce Harper had connected on a three-run homer. The home run was only the second home run Alvarez had allowed this season in 15 starts. Manager Davey Johnson talked about how the dynamics of the

Davey says Walters has shot to make team next season

Shortstop Zach Walters put up career-high numbers this season, earning a September call up to the Nationals. Walters crushed 29 home runs and 77 RBIs in 134 games for Triple-A Syracuse. He hit .253 with 32 doubles, five triples and 69 runs scored. In five games with the Nationals, Walter has gone 2-for-2 (1.000) with a run scored and one walk. This week, manager Davey

Strasburg on inability to get loose: “I don’t really know why it is happening”

Manager Davey Johnson announced after Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to the Braves that Stephen Strasburg would be scratched from Thursday’s start. Gio Gonzalez will start the opener against the Marlins while Jordan Zimmermann will get the call Friday. Johnson said Strasburg would now be scheduled to pitch next on Saturday. Strasburg last pitched September 8. If Strasburg does pitch Saturday, that would mark 13 days between

After loss, Ohlendorf, Desmond and LaRoche discuss Nationals’ desperate situation

After the Nationals won 27 of their previous 37 games, losing a game became pretty rare. But losing a game to first-place Atlanta late in September with the NL wild card still not within their grasp hurts even more. Starter Ross Ohlendorf cruised through five innings before allowing two home runs and three runs in the sixth. The Braves eventually won 5-2. Ohlendorf said losing

Johnson on Reds, Pirates, Rick Schu and young pitchers

Manager Davey Johnson has been asked many times the last few weeks if he has checked the scoreboard. Today, Johnson was asked if he thought the Reds and Pirates were checking to see how the Nationals are doing. “They are watching it,” Johnson said. ‘There is no doubt about it. But it always goes down to what you do today. You only worry about things

Roark on current run with the Nationals: “It is a blast”

It was certainly a smart move by the Nationals to move Tanner Roark from the bullpen back to a starting role in Triple-A Syracuse this season. And whether he was relieving or starting, Nationals pitching coordinator Spin Williams told manager Davey Johnson that Roark was a pitcher. Williams was right. In three starts for the Nationals, Roark has shown he can be successful in the

When Braves pitch to Span, outfielder comes through

Nationals center fielder Denard Span extended his career-high hitting streak to 27 games with a base hit in the second inning, but he will prefer to tell you about his grounder that went through the legs of Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons. The error by Simmons allowed two runs to score as the Nationals secured a 6-5 comeback victory over the first-place Atlanta Braves. And more

Nationals’ Stammen reflects on Navy Yard tragedy, looks forward

Nationals players were welcomed in the clubhouse by U.S. Navy four-star Admiral James A. Winnefeld, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, prior to their Tuesday doubleheader against the Braves. Winnefeld handed out U.S. Navy caps for the players to wear during batting practice today, one day after Monday’s tragic shootings at nearby Washington Navy Yard. Nationals players Craig Stammen, Chad Tracy, Tyler Moore

Zimmerman nominated for prestigious Roberto Clemente award

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is the team’s nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award. Today is the 12th annual Roberto Clemente Day in Major League Baseball. “The annual Roberto Clemente Award recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement,” MLB said in a press release. “The Roberto

Zimmermann pleased with outing, looking at big picture

It was another workmanlike effort for starter Jordan Zimmermann. Tossing seven innings, in which he had one strikeout in each frame, the Nationals right-hander held the Phillies to a pair of early runs and coasted to an 11-2 victory. Zimmermann picked up his National League-leading 18th victory, and the Nationals are now 21-9 in games he starts this season. “It feels good,” said Zimmermann. “But,

Gonzalez on Phillies in 5-4 loss: “They know everything you have”

Saturday certainly was not what Gio Gonzalez wanted or expected after pitching a one-hitter in his last start against the Mets. In Saturday’s start against the Phillies, Gonzalez allowed four runs on nine hits in six innings. He did battle through a couple of jams, but a four-run fifth inning helped put the Phillies over the edge. “Gio just had that one inning where he

Nats’ minor league Player of the Year, Billy Burns, gaining confidence in left-handed swing

The Nationals’ most improved player in the minor league system has been outfielder Billy Burns. This week, the team rewarded the organization’s top base stealer with their coveted minor league Player of the Year award. Burns, 24, started the season at high Single-A Potomac and lit up the stat sheet with his quality at-bats, high batting average and ability to steal bases. Potomac manager Brian

Harper showing off arm with big plays out of left field

Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper made two huge defensive plays in a span of five batters Friday night that severely crippled the Phillies’ opportunity for big innings. The Nationals ended up downing the Phillies 6-1. Harper grew up playing catcher with his brother, Bryan, as a left-handed pitcher. At the College of Southern Nevada, Harper was the backstop for a playoff team. Now as a

McCatty: Strasburg’s forearm irritation not because he was trying new pitch

Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty said Young, Chris:”>Stephen Strasburg wasn’t trying a new pitch in Thursday’s bullpen session in New York. There was the possibility, raised by manager Davey Johnson today, that the reason Strasburg came down with the irritation in his throwing arm was because he had tried a new pitch in the throwing session. Strasburg was scratched from Friday’s scheduled start with right

Nationals honor Burns, Jordan and Renda with organizational awards

The Nationals announced that outfielder Billy Burns, starting pitcher Taylor Jordan and second baseman Tony Renda have won the organization’s top awards. Billy Burns - Nationals minor league Player of the Year Burns was promoted to Double-A Harrisburg this season, showcasing his blurring speed out of the box. He spent the first 91 games of the season with high Single-A Potomac, then played 30 games

Harrisburg eliminated by Trenton in Double-A finals, but team stacked with talent

Trenton Thunder scored five runs in the third inning in a 11-4 win over the Harrisburg Senators at Metro Bank Park. The Thunder clinched the Eastern League Championship three games to none. Nathan Karns pitched just 2 2/3 innings, allowing a run-scoring triple by Tyler Austin in the third. Seven batters reached in a row to highlight Trenton’s big inning. Justin Bloxom had an RBI

Hagerstown’s Lippincott maintaining consistent play, adapting to outfield

Low Single-A Hagerstown Suns first baseman/outfielder Bryan Lippincott has done well in the South Atlantic League championship series, going 4-for-8 with a triple and three RBIs through the first two games against Savannah. The surge is a small example of the consistency he has shown at different levels the past two seasons. With short-season Single-A Auburn, Lippincott hit .283 (47-for-166) in 44 games, with nine

Harrisburg gives up late lead, falls 5-4 at Trenton

Double-A Harrisburg lost to the Trenton Thunder 5-4 on Wednesday night in Game 2 of the Eastern League Championship Series from Trenton, N.J. The Thunder now lead the best-of-five series, two games to none. Jeff Howell’s sacrifice fly scored Carlos Rivero to give the Senators a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning. But Trenton came back with two runs in the seventh. Reegie Corona had

Harrisburg, Potomac and Hagerstown all lose in minor league playoffs

The high Single-A Potomac Nationals’ season ended in Salem on Tuesday as the Red Sox won the Mills Cup championship 6-4. The Red Sox won the series over the P-Nats, three games to none. Left-hander Sammy Solis took the loss, allowing five runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings, with two walks and four strikeouts. Solis allowed two runs in the second and then

Solis, Treinen and Voth headline big night for Nationals’ affiliates in postseason

A glimpse into the possible future of the Nationals’ starting rotation is on display as three affiliates continue their postseasons tonight. Double-A Harrisburg opens the best-of-five Eastern League Championship Series tonight in Trenton, N.J., against the Trenton Thunder. Right-hander Blake Treinen takes the hill for Harrisburg. Treinen was part of the three-team trade that sent Michael Morse to Seattle in the offseason. Ian Krol, A.J.

Hagerstown breaks out on top in first game against Savannah

This is one time the Nationals are happy to beat a Gnat. Low Single-A Hagerstown cruised past Savannah in Game 1 of the South Atlantic League finals 6-1 behind excellent pitching from rookie Jake Johansen and three hits courtesy of Tony Renda. Johansen went five innings, allowing three hits, no runs and two walks while striking out two for the win. Renda and Stephen Perez

Potomac in big hole, down 2-0 in Mills Cup championship

The Nationals’ high Single-A affiliate faces an elimination game on Tuesday night. The Potomac Nationals are down in their best-of-five 2013 Mills Cup championship series after dropping the first two games of the series at home against Salem. The Salem Red Sox shut out the P-Nats 4-0 Sunday thanks to right-hander Mike Aguilera’s 6 2/3 scoreless innings. It was only the sixth game all season

Johnson: Harper out for Sunday, hopeful to join team in New York

Manager Davey Johnson said during his news conference following the Nationals’ 9-2 win over the Marlins that left fielder Bryce Harper aggravated his hip injury during batting practice and will go to see team physician Dr. Wiemi Douoguih. Johnson said it is likely Harper will join the team in New York if the hip is not seriously injured. Harper was scratched just prior to first

Denard Span returns to Nats lineup against Marlins (Harper scratched)

Denard Span returns to the Nationals lineup tonight after missing the opener against the Marlins due to groin tightness. The Nationals give Tanner Roark the ball for his first major league start as they look to even the series following Friday’s 7-0 setback. Update: Bryce Harper has been scratched from the Nats lineup with Tyler Moore replacing him in left. For the Nats CF Denard

Harrisburg, Hagerstown seek playoff clinchers, Potomac opens Mills Cup finals

Several Nationals farm teams are playing big postseason contests this evening. Double-A Harrisburg dropped the Erie SeaWolves 4-1 in Game 3 of the best-of-five Western Division championship series in the Eastern League Friday. Nathan Karns fired seven shutout innings for the win. Game 4 is tonight at 7 p.m. at Metro Bank Park. The Senators advance to the finals with a series-clinching victory tonight. High

Johnson’s thoughts on shutout loss in Miami: “We can’t afford to be losing”

Nationals right-hander Dan Haren struggled from the start Friday night, allowing the first four batters to reach base. Rookie Jose Fernandez allowed just one hit in seven innings for the Marlins. The result was a 7-0 Miami win at a time of year when the Nationals are desperate for wins in every game they play. Manager Davey Johnson was impressed by the Marlins’ young rookie

Haren off to slow start (Nats fall 7-0)

The Nationals looking to make some noise this weekend in Miami. To do that, it’s important for a good start at Marlins Park. So far, it hasn’t been a good start for Dan Haren. The Marlins scored three in the first inning and lead 3-0. Giancarlo Stanton started the scoring with a two-run single and Placido Polanco followed with a sacrifice fly to center field,

Harper returns for Nats-Marlins opener (Span scratched, Brown in)

Here are the lineups for tonight’s series opener in Miami between the Nationals and Marlins. Dan Haren will take on rookie sensation Jose Fernandez, who was named National League Rookie of the Month for July and August. Bryce Harper returns to the starting lineup after getting Wednesday off due to a sore hip. for the Nationals: Denard Span CF Ryan Zimmerman 3B Bryce Harper LF

Walters’ power display big part of his call-up to Nationals

Shortstop Zach Walters is getting his shot to play with the Nationals in September thanks to a career-high season in power numbers at Triple-A Syracuse. Walters smacked 29 homers and drove in 77 in 134 games. Nationals director of player development Doug Harris talked about why Walters was able to ramp up his slugging numbers in 2013. “We are excited about the power display,” Harris

Exclusive: Nationals’ instructional league roster

The Nationals begin instructional league workouts Sept. 14 featuring a talented roster of prospects from around the organization. MASNsports.com has learned the roster includes pitchers A.J. Cole, Lucas Giolito, Jake Johansen, Robbie Ray, Austin Voth and Wander Suero. Catcher Spencer Kieboom returns from injury, plus Jason Martinson, Billy Burns, Isaac Ballou, Hayden Jennings and Michael Taylor highlight an impressive list of top talent. The players

Potomac’s marathon win another example of team’s resiliency

Wednesday’s opening playoff win is another example of the resiliency displayed by the high Single-A Potomac Nationals. The P-Nats were down 1-0 until the bottom of the ninth and held the Hillcats scoreless for 11 innings before pulling out a 2-1, 14-inning win in a crispy four hours and 30 minutes from Pfitzner Stadium. Randolph Oduber and Michael Taylor provided the game-changing RBI singles, both

Taylor’s clutch base hit in 14th gives Potomac 2-1 win over Lynchburg

WOODBRIDGE, Va. - The high Single-A Potomac Nationals edged the Lynchburg Hillcats 2-1 in 14 innings, grabbing the first game in the Carolina League Northern Division playoffs’ best-of-three series. Michael Taylor’s clean single to left scored the winning run from third base to give the P-Nats Game 1 of the series. The P-Nats can sweep the series with a victory Thursday night. “I was just

GCL All-Star team lists five Nationals

The Gulf Coast League announced its All-Star team Wednesday, and five Nationals were honored on the squad. The GCL Nats manager Patrick Anderson, Manager of the Year, led his team to a league-record 49 wins and the championship banner. The GCL Nats’ .845 winning percentage is the best domestic winning percentage by a team in minor league history. The 1992 Dominican Summer League Blue Jays

Garcia rehabbing in Potomac during “frustrating” season

WOODBRIDGE, Va. - Right-hander Christian Garcia will continue his rehab assignment this week with the high Single-A Potomac Nationals during their Carolina League Northern Division playoff series against the Lynchburg Hillcats. Garcia has missed the entire season with a partial tear of a ligament in the wrist and forearm, and later, a pulled hamstring. He said he will pitch one inning Friday for the P-Nats.

Potomac’s Michael Taylor honored as Player of the Week again

Potomac Nationals outfielder Michael Taylor has been honored as the Carolina League Player of the Week for the final week of the regular season, which ended Monday. It is the third time this season Taylor received the citation. Other P-Nats honored this season include current Double-A Harrisburg Senators shortstop Jason Martinson (twice), right-handers Taylor Hill and A.J. Cole (twice), as well as right-hander Blake Schwartz.

Clay surged to best season of career following promotion to Syracuse

Right-hander Caleb Clay surged to the end of the season for Triple-A Syracuse. He began the season for Double-A Harrisburg and finished well with the Chiefs, making 13 starts at each stop. Clay finished 11-5 with a 2.96 ERA in 27 combined games, 26 of them starts. He had 110 strikeouts and 31 walks, allowing just 52 earned runs in 158 1/3 innings. The last

Double-A Harrisburg begins playoffs at Erie on Sept. 4

The Double-A Harrisburg Senators are the 2013 Western Division regular season champions after their 1-0 victory at Richmond on Monday at The Diamond. Jeff Howell smacked an RBI single in the sixth and Rob Gilliam and four relievers shut out the Flying Squirrels. Harrisburg finished 77-65, won eight of its last 10 games and was 40-30 on the road. The regular season title was the

Harper on sacrifice bunt that ignited game-winning rally

Center fielder Bryce Harper, known for power and big hits at crucial times, came up with a stellar bunt with two men on during the Nationals’ decisive three-run rally in the eighth inning Sunday night versus the Mets. Down 5-2, the Nationals rallied to score four runs in a 6-5 comeback victory. So was Harper bunting for a base hit? Bunting to get the two

Gulf Coast Nationals wrap up historic season with title

The Gulf Coast League Nationals defeated the GCL Red Sox 7-2 today to capture the GCL championship in Fort Myers, Fla. Third baseman Drew Ward was 2-5 with a double and an RBI. Right-hander Wander Suero got the start and struck out seven batters in five innings to notch the win. The GCL Nats had the best regular season record in Gulf Coast League history,

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