Update on Rendon and the Nats' fifth starter options

Update on Rendon and the Nats' fifth starter options
The Nationals enjoyed a particularly healthy spring, enough to leave manager Dusty Baker as encouraged as he's ever going to be heading into a season. But not healthy enough to field their full starting lineup on opening day. Anthony Rendon, who fouled a ball off his left calf one week ago in Florida, was held out of today's season opener against the Marlins. Baker described this more as a precautionary move than anything, not wanting to take any chances the first week of April. "He's doing...
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Game 1 lineups: Nats vs. Marlins

Game 1 lineups: Nats vs. Marlins
The day has come at last. The 2017 season is here, and it all gets underway this afternoon on South Capitol Street when the Nationals host the Marlins in Game 1 of 162 (or more). There will be plenty of pomp and circumstance leading up to first pitch at 1:05 p.m., from the introduction of both teams to the ceremonial first pitches thrown by one member of each of the five branches of the military to the national anthem by the U.S. Army Brass Quintet and flyover by the F/A-18E Super Hornets to...
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2017 Nats media season predictions

2017 Nats media season predictions
OK, your long nightmare is over. It's no longer the offseason. It's no longer the preseason. It's officially baseball season again in Washington. Opening day is full of all kinds of traditions, and so it is that we present our own annual tradition: the Nationals media opening day season predictions. Now in its eighth year of existence, this feature has spanned three different websites and has had some revolving door participants, as the beat has changed over time. But it always makes for...
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25-man roster includes Difo and Taylor, no Ross or Guthrie

25-man roster includes Difo and Taylor, no Ross or Guthrie
The Nationals will open the season with only four starting pitchers but six bench players. The club announced its opening day roster this morning, and it does not include Joe Ross or Jeremy Guthrie. Ross, who had been tabbed all along as the No. 5 starter, was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse. Guthrie, who was trying to make it as a long reliever, was reassigned to minor league camp, but he's expected to report to Syracuse to begin the season. With only four starting pitchers (Stephen Strasburg,...
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2017 MLB predictions

2017 MLB predictions
And so the time has come. Baseball season begins today for the Yankees, Rays, Giants, Diamondbacks, Cubs and Cardinals. It begins Monday for everybody else, including the Nationals. Which means it's time for some predictions. Don't worry, our annual Nats beat writer predictions will be posted Monday morning, an opening day tradition. For now, you'll just have to be satisfied with my own personal league-wide predictions. Who's going to win each division? Who's going to capture the wild...
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Nats savor the full Navy experience: "Today was awesome"

Nats savor the full Navy experience: "Today was awesome"
ANNAPOLIS - From the morning spent dining with a roomful of midshipmen and touring the United States Naval Academy grounds to the early afternoon spent dressing in a locker room in a football stadium down the road to the late afternoon spent playing an exhibition game in front of 1,030 fans (most of them in full dress uniform) in the tiniest ballpark most of them had seen in a long time, this was no typical day for the Nationals. Their spring training finale, which ended in a 4-4 tie with the...
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Scherzer closes out abbreviated spring (Scherzer to start Friday)

Scherzer closes out abbreviated spring (Scherzer to start Friday)
NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nats 4, Red Sox 4 Recap: Playing at Max Bishop Stadium in front of several hundred U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen, the Nationals and Red Sox wrapped up spring training in a unique setting. Max Scherzer had to work against Boston's grind-it-out lineup, but the right-hander got better as his afternoon progressed and finished with two runs allowed in five innings, throwing 91 pitches. The Nats got two quick runs in the bottom of the first off left-hander Eduardo...
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Final roster decisions come into focus with 48 hours to go

Final roster decisions come into focus with 48 hours to go
ANNAPOLIS - The focus of today's game at the United States Naval Academy is mostly on the setting and the hundreds of midshipmen who are getting the chance to watch major leaguers up close and personal. There is, however, still some business to attend to, and for the Nationals that means finalizing their opening day roster. They haven't made any formal announcement yet, but there does appear to be some more clarity to their 25-man roster. Jeremy Guthrie was the lone player still in big league...
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Starting lineups: Nats vs. Red Sox in Annapolis

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Red Sox in Annapolis
ANNAPOLIS - They say anytime you come to the ballpark, you have a chance to see something you've never seen before. Well, that's definitely going to be true today. Hello from Max Bishop Stadium at the United States Naval Academy, where this afternoon the Nationals and Red Sox are going to play a truly unique exhibition game. This is the first time a service academy has hosted anything like this, and the scene at this quant, 1,500-seat ballpark is going to be unlike anything we've ever...
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With closer named, Nats bullpen has chance to be exceptional

With closer named, Nats bullpen has chance to be exceptional
While everyone spent the last seven weeks - or, actually, the last 5 1/2 months - worrying about who was going to be the Nationals closer in 2017, a slightly more important fact might well have been glossed over: This team could have a really good bullpen in 2017. And that's not just touting the company line. Stop for a moment and consider the seven men most likely to comprise the Nats' relief corps come Monday afternoon ... Blake Treinen Shawn Kelley Koda Glover Joe Blanton Sammy Solís...
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Nationals head home healthy, with most questions answered

Nationals head home healthy, with most questions answered
FORT MYERS, Fla. - They arrived in Florida nearly seven weeks ago, knowing this would be a longer than normal spring because of the World Baseball Classic. And when they walked out of JetBlue Park late this afternoon and boarded a bus for Southwest Florida International Airport, they knew they were heading north at long last. There are still things to be done before they can take the field for opening day - Friday's exhibition (weather permitting) against the Red Sox at Nationals Park, then...
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Updates on Murphy, Werth and Rendon (Nats fall 8-1)

Updates on Murphy, Werth and Rendon (Nats fall 8-1)
NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Red Sox 8, Nats 1 Recap: In their final Grapefruit League game of the year - but only their first of three straight exhibition games against the Red Sox - the Nationals watched as Joe Ross got his work in. Ross went five prolonged innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, two walks and a hit batter but did strike out seven. Five regulars (Trea Turner, Daniel Murphy, Bryce Harper, Adam Eaton, Matt Wieters) were in the lineup but managed only one run off Red Sox...
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Nationals tab Treinen as closer over Kelley, Glover

Nationals tab Treinen as closer over Kelley, Glover
FORT MYERS, Fla. - For more than six weeks, they considered their options, going back and forth in their minds, weighing the positives and the negatives for each of the candidates they had to open the season as their closer. And when the time finally came to make the call this morning, the Nationals made it with conviction. Shawn Kelley has experience. Koda Glover has the stuff. But Blake Treinen has both, not to mention a track record of good health. Thus, if Dusty Baker is fortunate enough to...
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Starting lineups: Nats vs. Red Sox in Fort Myers

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Red Sox in Fort Myers
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Hello from JetBlue Park, aka "Fenway South," spring training home of the Red Sox. This is my first time here, and I believe that means I've now hit for the Grapefruit League ballpark cycle. (Not sure if that's something I should be proud of or embarrassed by.) Anyways, the Nationals are here for their final Florida game of the spring, the first of three straight games they're playing the Red Sox, with tomorrow's exhibition at Nationals Park and Saturday's exhibition in...
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Nationals reaped benefits of first spring in West Palm Beach

Nationals reaped benefits of first spring in West Palm Beach
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals will gather at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches one last time this morning, pack up all their remaining gear and head out as one team on a bus ride across the Florida swamp for their Grapefruit League finale against the Red Sox in Fort Myers. It's a long trip, 126 miles across mostly two-lane highways, consuming 2 1/2 hours. It's not going to be all that pleasant. Except for the fact this is one of the few times all spring the Nationals have needed to...
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Nats reach final day in Florida with few remaining concerns

Nats reach final day in Florida with few remaining concerns
JUPITER, Fla. - These are among the toughest days of spring training. For manager Dusty Baker, because it's when he has to pull players into his office and inform them they didn't make the team, affecting their lives in ways the public never sees. For players on the bubble, because they literally don't know whether they're getting on a plane Thursday bound for Washington or for somewhere else. And for everyone else, because the monotony and lack of significance of Grapefruit League games...
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Strasburg completes final tune-up before opener (Nats fall)

Strasburg completes final tune-up before opener (Nats fall)
NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Cardinals 6, Nats 2 Recap: In his final spring start before taking the mound opening day, Stephen Strasburg got his requisite work in. The right-hander allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits in four innings, throwing 61 pitches. The Nationals scored two runs off Michael Wacha, with Matt Wieters doubling and scoring on Stephen Drew's single in the second, and then Ryan Zimmerman homering to right-center in the third. Koda Glover faced three batters in the...
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Worley among flurry of cuts that bring Nats roster to 27

Worley among flurry of cuts that bring Nats roster to 27
JUPITER, Fla. - The Nationals moved significantly closer to finalizing their opening day roster this morning, cutting six players to bring the total number of players left in big league camp to 27 on the penultimate day of spring training. Most significant among the moves was the unconditional release of right-hander Vance Worley, who was competing for a spot in the bullpen as a long reliever. The Nationals also optioned right-handers A.J. Cole and Trevor Gott to Triple-A Syracuse and...
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Starting lineups: Nats vs. Cardinals in Jupiter

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Cardinals in Jupiter
JUPITER, Fla. - It's looking like a newsy day at Nationals camp, the penultimate day of spring training. The team announced a flurry of cuts this morning: Vance Worley was granted his unconditional release; A.J. Cole and Trevor Gott were optioned to Triple-A Syracuse; Jacob Turner, Neal Cotts and Jhonatan Solano were reassigned to minor league camp. That leaves Jeremy Guthrie as the only non-roster player still here. Meanwhile, we may finally get our long-awaited answer about the identity of...
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Nats have three final decisions to make before opening day

Nats have three final decisions to make before opening day
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals have wrapped up the home portion of their spring training schedule, with only two road games left on the docket before they leave Florida: Today against the Cardinals in Jupiter (note the early 12:05 p.m. start) and Thursday against the Red Sox in Fort Myers. They still have some things to sort out, though, before heading north for good. So let's run through those final decisions ... WHO'S THE CLOSER? You've heard everything you need to hear about this...
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