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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Burnett making serious case for inclusion in Nats bullpen

Burnett making serious case for inclusion in Nats bullpen
VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals had no idea what to expect when they signed Sean Burnett to a minor league contract in November. As much as they hoped they'd get the guy who established himself as one of baseball's best left-handed relievers during his first stint with the organization from 2009-12, reality suggested it was a long shot. Burnett, after all, had appeared in only 16 major league games since departing from Washington more than three years ago, none since May 27, 2014, when elbow pain...
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Heisey hopes walk-off homer is spark toward spot on bench

Heisey hopes walk-off homer is spark toward spot on bench
VIERA, Fla. - Today's game was perhaps the wildest the Nationals have played so far this spring, a back-and-forth affair with the Braves that included six home runs on an afternoon when the wind wasn't even blowing that hard at Space Coast Stadium. It was the last of those six homers - Chris Heisey's three-run, walk-off shot to left in the bottom of the ninth - that secured the Nationals' 9-7 victory and left them an impressive 11-3-2 in Grapefruit League play. Heisey, who took right-hander...
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Longtime nemesis Freeman terrorizes Strasburg, Nats (Heisey walks off Braves)

Longtime nemesis Freeman terrorizes Strasburg, Nats (Heisey walks off Braves)
NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 9, Braves (ss) 7 Recap: Chris Heisey hit a walk-off three-run home run in the ninth to give the Naitonals the victory in a game that featured six total homers. Freddie Freeman, making the road trip as part of the Braves' split-squad team, did his usual damage against Nationals pitching, homering twice with three RBI and a walk before departing after five innings. The first homer came against Stephen Strasburg, who was dominant at times but had to battle...
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Arroyo admits career could be over due to rotator cuff tear

Arroyo admits career could be over due to rotator cuff tear
VIERA, Fla. - Bronson Arroyo says his rotator cuff is "significantly torn" and though he'll wait a few days for doctors to compare the latest MRI of his shoulder with one from 2014, the 39-year-old right-hander admits he may be forced into retirement. "We'll see if it might be something we could calm down and maybe try to rehab, but it's probably going to be a long shot at this point," Arroyo said this afternoon. "We're just going to take a couple days to really look at it, let them...
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Starting lineups: Nats vs. Braves (ss) in Viera

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Braves (ss) in Viera
VIERA, Fla. - Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone. To celebrate the occasion, the Nationals today are wearing Kelly green caps and special white jerseys with green trim. Dusty Baker said they also were serving cabbage in the clubhouse. Really getting into the spirit. Anyways, today's game features the vast majority of the Nats' regular lineup, with only first base (Clint Robinson) and shortstop (Trea Turner) perhaps occupied by someone who won't be there on April 4. Ryan Zimmerman, who made...
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Taylor homers, Espinosa hits and bullpen dominates

Taylor homers, Espinosa hits and bullpen dominates
VIERA, Fla. - Bronson Arroyo's potentially career-ending shoulder injury, Blake Treinen's strong performance in place of Arroyo and Ryan Zimmerman's spring debut at first base all drew the most attention yesterday at Nationals camp, but there were some other developments worth mentioning before we move on to today's game against the Braves and an official announcement of Arroyo's status ... * Michael A. Taylor delivered the biggest hit in the Nats' 4-2 victory over the Marlins: a...
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Arroyo's career could be finished due to reported shoulder tear

Arroyo's career could be finished due to reported shoulder tear
VIERA, Fla. - Bronson Arroyo, one of baseball's most reliable and durable pitchers for more than a decade, may well have seen his career come to an abrupt end due to a shoulder tear suffered during the past week at Nationals camp. Arroyo, who has been attempting a comeback from 2014 elbow ligament replacement surgery, has a torn labrum in his shoulder, according to MLB Network's Peter Gammons. Nationals officials couldn't immediately confirm the report, but the right-hander was due to be...
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No problems for Zimmerman in first game at first base

No problems for Zimmerman in first game at first base
JUPITER, Fla. - It really wasn't much to get excited about, certainly not in Ryan Zimmerman's mind. All he did was play five innings at first base this afternoon in the Nationals' 4-2 Grapefruit League victory over the Marlins, albeit for the first time this spring. Big deal? "No, it was just kind of the timetable we mapped out," Zimmerman said. "It was just: Get out there and go. I'll be ready to play some more after this." From a purely literal standpoint, what Zimmerman did today...
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Treinen impresses in emergency starting role (Nats win 4-2)

Treinen impresses in emergency starting role (Nats win 4-2)
NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 4, Marlins 2 Recap: With scheduled starter Bronson Arroyo a late scratch due to shoulder soreness, the Nationals had to adjust on the fly this afternoon. Blake Treinen was up to the task, stepping in as emergency starter and cruising through two scoreless innings. Matt Belisle and Felipe Rivero took over from there, combining to retire all nine batters they faced out of the bullpen. The Nationals got a three-run homer from Michael A. Taylor, his second...
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Arroyo's status uncertain after sore shoulder sidelines him

Arroyo's status uncertain after sore shoulder sidelines him
JUPITER, Fla. - Bronson Arroyo's attempted comeback from Tommy John surgery hit a snag today when the 39-year-old right-hander was scratched from his scheduled spring training start with shoulder soreness. Arroyo was supposed to pitch four innings against the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium, but Nationals manager Dusty Baker said the veteran hurler reported soreness earlier in the week when he tried to throw in between starts. The club waited a couple of days to see if the soreness dissipated,...
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Starting lineups: Nats vs. Marlins in Jupiter (Arroyo scratched from start)

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Marlins in Jupiter (Arroyo scratched from start)
JUPITER, Fla. - Hello from Roger Dean Stadium, where the Nationals seem to play every other day in March. They're back today to face the Marlins, with several regulars having made the drive down from Viera. That includes Ryan Zimmerman, who today makes his spring debut at first base. Zimmerman served as designated hitter twice earlier in the week and showed no ill effects of the plantar fasciitis that plagued him last season, so he's good to play in the field today for the first time. Bronson...
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Morning leftovers on Burnett, Murphy, Moore and Sizemore

Morning leftovers on Burnett, Murphy, Moore and Sizemore
VIERA, Fla. - Some morning leftovers to chew on as the Nationals make the drive down to Jupiter for today's game against the Marlins ... * He's been under the radar a bit, but Sean Burnett continues to impress this spring and is making a serious case for himself three years after he last pitched out of the Nationals bullpen. Burnett tossed a scoreless inning yesterday in Kissimmee, his fourth scoreless appearance of the spring. He has faced 12 total batters, retiring 10 of them. And the only...
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Despite 0-for-17 spring, Danny Espinosa "not overly concerned"

Despite 0-for-17 spring, Danny Espinosa "not overly concerned"
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - It has been Danny Espinosa's nemesis for more than three seasons now, occasionally disappearing but almost always resurfacing to raise doubts about the Nationals infielder. And it is rearing its ugly head again this spring. Espinosa's left-handed swing, the one thing that has kept him from long-term success in the big leagues, remains an issue right now. After an 0-for-3 afternoon in the Nationals' 6-4 win over the Astros - to be fair, two of the outs came on bunts - he now...
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Gonzalez laments "boneheaded mistakes" in latest start (Nats win 6-4)

Gonzalez laments "boneheaded mistakes" in latest start (Nats win 6-4)
NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 6, Astros 4 Recap: Gio Gonzalez was efficient for a couple innings but then started having trouble finding the strike zone, leading to four walks. That said, only one Houston batter crossed the plate against the lefty: Marwin Gonzalez, who homered to lead off the fourth. The Nationals already owned a 3-0 lead at that point, thanks to RBI doubles by Daniel Murphy and Michael A. Taylor in the top of the third. There were opportunities for more offense,...
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Zimmerman ready to play first base for first time this spring

Zimmerman ready to play first base for first time this spring
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Ryan Zimmerman will make his spring debut at first base Wednesday, an important milestone for the Nationals, who also are making sure they're exploring several backup options at the position in case they're needed. Zimmerman has been taking a slow approach to his preparation this spring, not wanting to aggravate the plantar fasciitis in his left foot that plagued him most of the 2015 season. Though he has taken grounders at first base and participated in most team defensive...
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Starting lineups: Nats vs. Astros in Kissimmee

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Astros in Kissimmee
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Hello everybody, and a pleasant good morning to you from central Florida. Glad to be back down here - after a short break - for the duration of the spring. Thanks to Pete Kerzel for holding down the fort in my absence. When last we spoke, the Nationals were only 2 1/2 weeks into camp, having played only four Grapefruit League games. Since then, they have begun to trim their roster, stretch out their starting pitchers and worked everyone into the lineup (including guys like...
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Strasburg strikes out five in two-inning spring debut (Nats win 8-4)

Strasburg strikes out five in two-inning spring debut (Nats win 8-4)
NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 8, Tigers 4 Recap: Stephen Strasburg struck out five over two innings in his first spring training start, but did give up a two-run homer to Bryan Holaday. Reliever A.J. Cole also was victimized by a blast from Holaday, who is making a bid for early Grapefruit League MVP honors (he's hitting .750 with three homers and eight RBIs so far). Ben Revere hit a two-run homer to right field for the Nationals, showing that he can occasionally flash some pop to go...
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Union chief Clark offers support for Desmond, Zimmerman

Union chief Clark offers support for Desmond, Zimmerman
VIERA, Fla. - Major League Baseball Players Association chief Tony Clark said it was "disheartening" to watch Ian Desmond's unemployment saga play out this winter and into the start of spring training and suggested the sport's qualifying offer system that contributed to it would be a point of emphasis during his coming bargaining negotiations with the league. In town this morning for the union's annual spring meeting with Nationals players, Clark spoke glowingly about Desmond and was...
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Starting lineups: Nats vs. Tigers in Viera

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Tigers in Viera
VIERA, Fla. - The sight of Jordan Zimmermann taking the mound at Space Coast Stadium isn't particularly jarring. The sight of Jordan Zimmermann taking the mound at Space Coast Stadium wearing an old English D on his cap, however, is going to be quite jarring. In a surprising twist of fate, Zimmermann will be making his Tigers debut this afternoon against the organization he departed after nine seasons (the last six in the major leagues). Former Nationals teammates say they'll be happy to see...
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