Burke Badenhop among latest relievers cut from camp

Burke Badenhop among latest relievers cut from camp
VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals trimmed their list of bullpen candidates by three after today's game, reassigning right-handers Burke Badenhop, Erik Davis and Michael Brady to minor league camp. None of the three moves was surprising, but Badenhop entered camp with a realistic shot to make the roster given his track record of success. The 33-year-old right-hander, who signed as a minor league free agent during the first week of spring training, owns a 3.74 ERA in 418 career big league games with...
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Weary new father Gonzalez tries to get back to work (Nats win 5-3)

Weary new father Gonzalez tries to get back to work (Nats win 5-3)
NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 5, Astros 3 Recap: Gio Gonzalez returned to the mound four days after the birth of his son and admittedly struggled at times to find the strike zone. The left-hander needed 87 pitches to get through 4 1/3 innings, though he only allowed one run. Batterymate Wilson Ramos supplied offensive support, homering to left-center to continue his recent surge since having LASIK surgery. Ryan Zimmerman later added a two-out, two-run double to expand the Nationals'...
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Planned rotation to begin season: Scherzer, Gonzalez, Strasburg

Planned rotation to begin season: Scherzer, Gonzalez, Strasburg
VIERA, Fla. - Max Scherzer will start on opening day for the Nationals. That's been known, if not officially stated, all along. The order of the Nationals rotation after Scherzer, however, may come as a surprise to some: Gio Gonzalez will start the season's second game, with Stephen Strasburg following him. Manager Dusty Baker confirmed that plan this morning, revealing that Gonzalez will pitch April 6 in Atlanta, with Strasburg starting the home opener at Nationals Park against the Marlins...
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Ross says heel "barely sore at all," expects to make next start

Ross says heel "barely sore at all," expects to make next start
VIERA, Fla. - Joe Ross says his heel is "barely sore at all" after he was struck by a comebacker during Sunday's outing against the Tigers, and that he expects to remain on schedule and make his next start as planned. Ross said once the initial shock of taking Nick Castellanos' line drive off his right heel wore off, he realized the injury wasn't serious. "The ball hit me, and I went to put my foot down and it was pretty painful at first," he said. "I think it was more the shock, a...
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Starting lineups: Nats vs. Astros in Viera

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Astros in Viera
VIERA, Fla. - I really not to complain about the weather while in Florida, because I know it falls on deaf ears up north. But facts are facts, and the fact is, it's really cold here today. The Space Coast Stadium thermometer read 48 degrees when the Nationals emerged from the clubhouse to begin stretching around 10 a.m. It's going to warm up a bit by gametime, but there's also a 20 mph steady wind blowing from the northwest. Not exactly pristine conditions for spring training. OK, that's...
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Treinen shines, but rest of bullpen struggles in loss to Tigers

Treinen shines, but rest of bullpen struggles in loss to Tigers
VIERA, Fla. - While much of the focus yesterday in Lakeland was on Bryce Harper's two homers and Joe Ross' early exit after taking a comebacker off his right heel, there were some other interesting developments during the Nationals' 7-6 loss to the Tigers. Let's run through the highlights and lowlights of the afternoon ... * Blake Treinen was outstanding during an unexpected, four-inning relief appearance. Treinen wasn't supposed to enter until the sixth, and he wasn't supposed to throw...
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Bryce Harper leaves Lakeland raving after two-homer game

Bryce Harper leaves Lakeland raving after two-homer game
LAKELAND, Fla. - Al Kaline, who only has been watching spring training games at Tiger Town since 1953, called it the longest home run he's ever seen hit here. Willie Horton, another Detroit legend, made sure to track down the young man who hit it and compliment him. Mike Maddux, having spent the last three decades in the game as a big league pitcher, coach and brother of a Hall of Famer, turned to Nationals manager Dusty Baker and gushed: "We get to watch this every day?" Lofty praise, all...
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Joe Ross leaves game with right heel contusion (Nats lose 7-6)

Joe Ross leaves game with right heel contusion (Nats lose 7-6)
NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Tigers 7, Nationals 6 Recap: After Saturday's rainout in Viera, the Nationals sent their entire lineup to Lakeland this afternoon, a rare occurrence for the 90-minute drive to Tigers camp. That lineup, of course, included Bryce Harper, who rose to the occasion by homering twice off former AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander, including a monster shot over the 30-foot-high batter's eye in center field. Daniel Murphy also notched a couple of hits off...
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With Revere and Murphy, Nats emphasizing contact at the plate

With Revere and Murphy, Nats emphasizing contact at the plate
LAKELAND, Fla. - Dusty Baker, as a ballplayer, was considered something of a slugger for his time. He hit at least 20 home runs six times in his career. He also felt like he struck out too often. Hank Aaron, his Hall of Fame teammate in Atlanta at the start of his career, urged young hitters to shoot for striking out only once every 10 times up. Baker couldn't quite pull that off, ending his career with a strikeout rate of 11.5 percent. Three decades later, Baker will fill out a lineup card as...
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Full Nats lineup travels to Lakeland to face Verlander

Full Nats lineup travels to Lakeland to face Verlander
LAKELAND, Fla. - Yesterday was a washout for the Nationals, literally and figuratively, since heavy rain canceled their game against the Mets before a single pitch could be thrown. As a result, manager Dusty Baker has brought his entire regular lineup to Joker Marchant Stadium for today's game against Justin Verlander and the Tigers. It's not often all these guys make the 90-minute drive to Lakeland, so this will provide a rare and intriguing matchup against a former AL MVP and Cy Young Award...
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Putting together an organizational depth chart

Putting together an organizational depth chart
VIERA, Fla. - As much as we focus on the guys who will be starting on a daily basis for the Nationals during the course of the season, spring training really is more about who will be backing up those starters, the jobs that actually are up for grabs in March. With that in mind, it seems like an appropriate time to assemble an updated organizational depth chart. This isn't anything official, just an educated glimpse at how the Nats stack up at every position on the field. This includes...
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Martinson reassigned to minors, Schafer granted release

Martinson reassigned to minors, Schafer granted release
VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals trimmed their spring training roster a bit more Saturday, reassigning infielder Jason Martinson to minor league camp and granting outfielder Logan Schafer his unconditional release. Martinson hit .292 (7-for-24) with two RBI, four walks and 11 strikeouts this spring as a non-roster invitee. The 27-year-old infielder, a fifth-round pick in the 2010 draft, spent last season at Triple-A Syracuse, where he hit .218 with 19 homers, 56 RBIs and a .299 on-base percentage in...
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Arroyo will attempt to rehab shoulder, return in 4-to-6 weeks

Arroyo will attempt to rehab shoulder, return in 4-to-6 weeks
VIERA, Fla. - Bronson Arroyo thought three days ago his career was over. Now he thinks he may have one last shot to take a big league mound again after being told by Nationals doctors his right shoulder isn't as damaged as initially feared. "It isn't often that you get a really, really bad prognosis," Arroyo said, "and call 30 of your closest friends and tell them: 'Man, I guess I got checkmated today. I'm taking it to the house.' And then a couple days later, they say maybe you've got...
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Starting lineups: Nats vs. Mets in Viera (game cancelled)

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Mets in Viera (game cancelled)
VIERA, Fla. - Good afternoon from Space Coast Stadium, where the Nationals and Mets hope to complete their home-and-home series. Unfortunately, the forecast is not looking good. There's a massive storm approaching from the west. Seems to only be a question of when it arrives, not if it will arrive. For now, they're planning to start the game on time, with Joe Ross on the mound for the Nationals. It'll be Logan Verrett for the Mets, who decided to hold originally scheduled starter Matt Harvey...
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Saturday morning Q&A from Viera

Saturday morning Q&A from Viera
VIERA, Fla. - After a break last week while I was away from Nationals camp, we're back for another Saturday morning Q&A. For those who haven't participated yet, here's how it works: You ask questions in the comments section below, I answer as many as I can over the course of the day. It's just that simple. And there are no shortage of topics to discuss this weekend, from the strange saga of Bronson Arroyo's shoulder to the impressive spring performances of young guys like Lucas Giolito...
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Nationals refute latest report about Arroyo's shoulder

Nationals refute latest report about Arroyo's shoulder
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Though he admitted real concern his career might be over due to a shoulder injury, Bronson Arroyo did cling to a small glimmer of hope Thursday morning, waiting for the Nationals medical staff to review the enhanced MRI taken the previous day by - in Arroyo's words - a "non-baseball person." "That's why we want to take a couple days to really analyze it and make sure there's no way I can bring this thing back from the dead," the 39-year-old right-hander said. By...
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Giolito thrives in first outing against Mets' starting lineup (Nats outslug Mets)

Giolito thrives in first outing against Mets' starting lineup (Nats outslug Mets)
NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 12, Mets 7 Recap: The Nationals pounced on Bartolo Colon from the get-go, with five of the game's first six batters not only recording clean hits but also coming around to score. Daniel Murphy and Stephen Drew notched back-to-back RBI doubles to get things started, then Danny Espinosa launched a three-run homer (batting left-handed) to complete the big rally. Michael A. Taylor added a solo homer of his own in the top of the second, making it 6-0. The Nats...
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Baker offers high praise for Severino after demotion to Triple-A

Baker offers high praise for Severino after demotion to Triple-A
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - The Nationals sent Pedro Severino to the minors this afternoon, but their new manager offered lofty praise for the catching prospect on his way out of the big league clubhouse. "I love this guy," Dusty Baker said. "I think he's going to be an All-Star someday." Severino, 22, impressed Baker and his coaching staff during his month in major league camp. Returning club officials already had a high opinion of the catcher from his breakthrough 2015 that concluded with a...
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Starting lineups: Nats vs. Mets in Port St. Lucie

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Mets in Port St. Lucie
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Hello from Tradition Field, where the Nationals and Mets resume their budding rivalry under the lights this evening. There are a few regulars on the trip, headlined by Ryan Zimmerman (scheduled for seven innings at first base) and Daniel Murphy (who should get an interesting reaction from the Mets crowd when he's introduced). The most notable starter for the Nats tonight, though, is the kid on the mound: Lucas Giolito. The 21-year-old right-hander will face his stiffest...
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Dusty Baker continues to encourage kids in clubhouse

Dusty Baker continues to encourage kids in clubhouse
VIERA, Fla. - Dusty Baker is an authority on any number of topics, and given all the years he's been a part of baseball and the varied experiences he's had over the years, it's only natural to ask for his opinion on matters currently in the spotlight around the sport. And nothing is in the spotlight right now around baseball more than the topic of kids in the clubhouse after former Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche abruptly retired this week when the White Sox asked him not to bring son...
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