Roark and Murphy still beaming after WBC experience

Roark and Murphy still beaming after WBC experience
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Tanner Roark and Daniel Murphy rejoined the Nationals this morning, each still basking in the glow of their experience playing for the gold-medal-winning Team USA in the World Baseball Classic and each confident he'll be ready for the start of the regular season. The WBC experience differed between the two, with Roark pitching four scoreless innings in Tuesday's semifinal victory over Japan while Murphy rode the bench for nearly the entire tournament. Neither expressed...
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Starting lineups: Nats vs. Cardinals in West Palm Beach

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Cardinals in West Palm Beach
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals are playing a rare day-night, split-squad doubleheader today, with half the club facing the Cardinals at home this afternoon and the other half facing the Marlins in Jupiter this evening. If you're in town and trying to decide which game to attend ... come to The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. As you can see below, all the regulars are in the lineup here. The lone exception is Daniel Murphy, who along with Tanner Roark has reported back to camp following...
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Raines still getting used to new title as Hall of Famer

Raines still getting used to new title as Hall of Famer
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Tim Raines has been involved in baseball for more than 40 years, including 15 years now since he last played a game. Wherever he goes, wherever he's introduced, he's greeted warmly and viewed as one of the best players of his generation. But there's been a new wrinkle to the process in the last two months. Or, more accurately, three new words added in front of his name. He's no longer simply "Tim Raines." He's now (and forever) known as "Hall of Famer Tim...
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Postgame thoughts on Fedde, Nathan and Romero

Postgame thoughts on Fedde, Nathan and Romero
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Erick Fedde's stock within the Nationals organization rose by default this winter when the team included top pitching prospects Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez in its trade for center fielder Adam Eaton. The right-hander's stock has continued to rise this spring, and that's entirely of his own doing. Fedde has made a strong impression in his first major league camp, culminating with today's five scoreless innings against most of the Mets' best hitters. "He's...
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Fedde dominates Mets regulars with five scoreless (Nats win 1-0)

Fedde dominates Mets regulars with five scoreless (Nats win 1-0)
NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nats 1, Mets 0 Recap: Erick Fedde overcame both the elements (waves of heavy rain) and the opposition (the Mets' A lineup) to toss five scoreless innings in an impressive performance. The organization's top pitching prospect didn't put a man on base until the top of the fourth and let only one reach second base before departing with his pitch count at 61. The Nationals scored their lone run off Robert Gsellman in the bottom of the third when Trea Turner reached on...
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Taylor returns to camp following father's death

Taylor returns to camp following father's death
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Michael A. Taylor has returned to the Nationals after a five-day absence due to the death of his father. Taylor left camp Saturday to join his family in nearly Fort Lauderdale, with manager Dusty Baker telling the outfielder to take as much time as he needed. Taylor decided he wanted to return today; he was hoping to play in a minor league game (before rain arrived) and plans to be in the Nationals lineup Friday. Taylor will leave camp again Monday for the funeral. "He...
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Starting lineups: Nats vs. Mets in West Palm Beach (1:45 p.m. start)

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Mets in West Palm Beach (1:45 p.m. start)
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - We really haven't had much reason to worry about the weather this spring, but today that's unfortunately the case. The skies have darkened over The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in the last hour, and there's a good chance of heavy rain this afternoon, threatening the Nationals' game against the Mets. If the weather cooperates, Bob, F.P. and Dan will have the call on MASN, and you'll be able to watch a good sampling of Nats regulars take the field. As has been the...
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Thursday morning notes

Thursday morning notes
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals roster is about to become whole again. With the World Baseball Classic now concluded, Tanner Roark and Daniel Murphy are on their way back to Florida for the remainder of the spring. Both players, who were in uniform at Dodger Stadium last night as the United States faced Puerto Rico in the championship game, are scheduled to fly cross-country today and be back with the Nationals on Friday. Manager Dusty Baker said he has tentatively penciled Murphy into...
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Nats breathe sigh of relief after Scherzer passes key test

Nats breathe sigh of relief after Scherzer passes key test
JUPITER, Fla. - Dusty Baker, speaking for everyone employed by the Nationals or fervently rooting for them from the outside, offered up a simple yet telling take after watching Max Scherzer make it through his first Grapefruit League start of the spring with no problems. "Boy," the manager said with a sigh of relief. "That makes me feel a whole lot better." Consider all of NatsTown worry-free about Scherzer after the ace right-hander passed his first real test of the spring with a 4...
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Scherzer makes spring debut, goes 4 2/3 innings (Nats lose 6-1)

Scherzer makes spring debut, goes 4 2/3 innings (Nats lose 6-1)
NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Cardinals 6, Nats 1 Recap: Max Scherzer made his first Grapefruit League start of the spring and went 4 2/3 innings, throwing 73 pitches against a Cardinals lineup featuring six regulars. The right-hander, whose debut was delayed by a stress fracture in his ring finger, allowed two runs on five hits and struck out four. One of the runs charged to Scherzer came after he departed in the fifth, when reliever Joe Nathan surrendered three straight RBI hits to pad the...
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Rotation order taking shape, Taylor still away from team

Rotation order taking shape, Taylor still away from team
JUPITER, Fla. - Though they haven't formally announced anything yet, the Nationals have lined up their rotation in an order that would put Stephen Strasburg on the mound for opening day, with Tanner Roark and Max Scherzer to follow. Scherzer's recovery from a stress fracture in his right ring finger threw something of a wrench into the club's ideal plans, which would have been to let the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner start opening day (April 3 against the Marlins). But with...
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Starting lineups: Nats vs. Cardinals in Jupiter

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Cardinals in Jupiter
JUPITER, Fla. - You wouldn't have thought it would take until March 22 for Max Scherzer to make his first Grapefruit League start of the spring, but here we are nonetheless. The Nationals ace was delayed by a stress fracture in his right ring finger, one that forced him to alter his grip and progress on a slower path than the other starters in camp. But Scherzer at last is ready to go, having successfully pitched three innings in a minor league game last week. He'll face the Cardinals today...
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Roark goes four scoreless as USA advances to WBC final

Roark goes four scoreless as USA advances to WBC final
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - If anyone was worried about how things would go for Tanner Roark in last night's World Baseball Classic semifinal - whether those who feared the right-hander was an underwhelming choice to start for Team USA or those who feared something might happen to negatively impact his preparation for the Nationals season - rest assured all went about as swimmingly as could have been hoped. Roark tossed four scoreless innings, needing only 48 pitches to carve his way through...
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On González's latest effort and Romero's impressive return

On González's latest effort and Romero's impressive return
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Gio González hasn't faced a whole lot of adversity this spring, given how dominant he's been each time he's taken the mound. So when the left-hander found himself in a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first this afternoon, he actually viewed it as a good opportunity to remind himself how to pitch his way out of a tight spot. González managed to do just that, getting a popup and then a ground ball to third to escape that tenuous first inning unscathed and make...
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González strong again, Zimmerman stays hot (Nats win 3-1)

González strong again, Zimmerman stays hot (Nats win 3-1)
NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nats 3, Braves 1 Recap: Gio González battled his way out of a first-inning jam and finished strong during a 4 1/3-inning start. The left-hander allowed one run (Tyler Flowers' homer in the fourth), threw 76 pitches and now has a 1.10 ERA in five spring appearances. Wilmer Difo's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second gave the Nationals their first run of the afternoon. Back-to-back doubles by Emmanuel Burriss and Pedro Severino, followed by a Clint Robinson...
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Nats haven't picked closer yet, will inform him before opener

Nats haven't picked closer yet, will inform him before opener
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals coaching staff and front office decision makers have not yet formally gathered to discuss who will open the season as their closer, but Dusty Baker said that meeting will take place soon and the affected pitchers will know their roles before heading north. "We haven't really discussed it at any length who it is yet," Baker said this morning. "We'll have a meeting. I believe in giving everybody a vote, cause that's what good organizations do. You take...
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Starting lineups: Nats vs. Braves in West Palm Beach

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Braves in West Palm Beach
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals used to face the Braves a bunch in spring training, back when they trained only an hour from Atlanta's complex at Walt Disney World. Now that they're 2 1/2 hours away, they face their longtime division rivals only once: today at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Gio González is on the mound, looking to continue his dominant spring and remain as efficient as he was last time out (49 pitches in five innings). The left-hander could be the first member of...
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Nathan making his case, but do the Nats have room for him?

Nathan making his case, but do the Nats have room for him?
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Joe Nathan hasn't been in this particular position - less than two weeks to go until opening day, trying desperately to make a big league roster, utterly unsure if it's going to happen - in quite some time. The 42-year-old reliever had for well more than a decade used spring training simply to prepare himself for the regular season, knowing he was locked in as his team's closer. And the only times that wasn't the case was because he was recovering from one of his two...
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Little clarity in competition for long relief job

Little clarity in competition for long relief job
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Dusty Baker prefers to have a true long man in his bullpen. The Nationals manager has said so multiple times this spring. "You need that guy," Baker said this morning. "Unless you just have a five-man rotation that's unbelievable, but those are hard to find. We've got a good one, but a lot of teams are going to need that guy." The Nationals have no shortage of long relief candidates in camp this spring, from veterans like Vance Worley, Jeremy Guthrie, Matt Albers...
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Baker, Maddux speak to USA coaching staff (Nats lose 9-3)

Baker, Maddux speak to USA coaching staff (Nats lose 9-3)
NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Yankees 9, Nationals 3 Recap: The largest crowd of the spring to date (7,675, a sellout) saw some early offensive fireworks from both teams. The Yankees scored four runs in the top of the second off Vance Worley, taking advantage of two walks and then RBI hits by Rob Refsnyder, Ronald Torreyes and Brett Gardner. Worley rebounded from that and was able to go 3 1/3 innings on 61 pitches in his first start of the spring. The Nationals scored three runs in the bottom of...
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