WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Mike Rizzo insisted all along Victor Robles would play every day in 2018, wherever that may be. We found out today where the Nationals' top prospect will be playing every day to begin the season: Triple-A Syracuse.
The Nationals optioned Robles to Triple-A this afternoon, a not-terribly-unsurprising move but one that did come well before the club makes its final round of cuts before it breaks camp and heads north Sunday evening.
Left-hander Isamel GuillÃ³n also was...
Jonathan Papelbon is back in the Nationals bullpen, but the identity of the player removed from the roster to clear a spot for the veteran closer was a surprise: Michael A. Taylor.
The Nationals chose to option Taylor to Triple-A Syracuse before this morning's Independence Day game against the Brewers, activating Papelbon off the disabled list and giving them - for the moment - a 13-man pitching staff and a short bench.
Papelbon had been out since June 12 with a strained right ribcage muscle,...
It was about this time last season everything changed for Zach Duke.
Last season, he struggled in Houston Astros camp and was eventually released. Two days later, he was picked up by the Nationals.
After battling to regain his consistency and break on his best pitches, he worked his way back to the majors.
Oh, he did work all right.
Duke went 15-5 with a 3.51 ERA at Triple-A Syracuse. The left-hander made 26 starts, and had two complete games and a shutout over 164 1/3 innings. He had 91...
The Nationals were able to sign center fielder Denard Span to be their leadoff hitter and complete their 2013 lineup. One player who got some time with the big club late in 2012 and could also someday fill that role for the Nationals is Eury Perez.
The Dominican continued to play well in winter ball, as high Single-A Potomac Nationals manager Brian Daubach said here.
Perez did get a call-up late last season during the Nationals' clinching month. With the Nationals, Perez played in 13 games,...
Outfielder Corey Brown is vying for a spot on the Nationals' 25-man roster this spring. The 27-year-old showed well in last season's call-up. He got attention with a nice series in Milwaukee in late July.
Brown went 3-for-9 with three runs, one double, one homer and one RBI on July 28-29. His first major league hit was a home run,a solo shot over the left-center field wall in Miller Park, contributing to a 4-1 win over the Brewers.
The Oklahoma State product appeared in 19 games last...
There has always been a lot of talk about the potential of outfielder Eury Perez. Last season, for the first time, Nationals fans finally got to see him play in the big leagues.
Perez, ranked as No. 7 on Baseball America's list of 10 top Nationals prospects, played in 13 games in September, going 1-for-5 (.200) with three stolen bases and three runs. It was a small sample size, and now Perez will have a shot to try to grab one of the utility slots in the Nationals outfield in spring training...
Right-hander Ryan Perry was pleased with his season and the progress he made, moving from reliever to starter, trying to become a pitcher instead of just a thrower.
He not only was able to find success at his new job with Double-A Harrisburg, but also received an invitation to pitch in the prestigious Arizona Fall League.
His season wrapped up with the starting pitching spot in the Arizona Fall League title game, and although he did not go out the way he wanted, he still was happy with where...
Manager Davey Johnson said Monday he would consider Christian Garcia as a starter next season. Going up to Garcia and saying this, Johnson said the right-hander responded, "I'm good with being in the bullpen."
"Of course you are," Johnson laughed. "You are in the major leagues".
But Double-A Harrisburg pitching coach Paul Menhart, who worked with Garcia before he was promoted to Triple-A Syracuse, said Garcia can start because that is all he ever knew coming into this season.
Just in case you were worried Alex Meyer's six runs allowed in his last start would be habit forming, the 6-foot-9 right-hander was back to his normal self Thursday.
Meyer allowed just one run on five hits in six innings, notching the victory over Carolina, 7-5. Meyer struck out three batters and walked two, leaving with a 6-1 lead.
He is now 3-2 with a 2.31 ERA in seven starts for the P-Nats. Overall, he has tossed 129 innings and has struck out 139 batters.
The next step will be the...
Center field prospect Eury Perez continues to excel at Triple-A Syracuse since his call-up from Double-A Harrisburg.
Perez has played 25 games and is hitting .330 with a .374 on-base percentage for the Chiefs. Syracuse manager Tony Beasley said they have liked what they have seen from the speedy outfielder in his first month with the squad.
"He has been doing a nice job," Beasley said. "He definitely hasn't been overwhelmed offensively. He is a good hitter. He has done a good job hitting...
The amazing statistic almost defies reality.
One earned run allowed in 19 appearances.
In a span of 23 1/3 innings, the right-hander has allowed one earned run.
He has not allowed a run since June.
While in the Yankees organization, he underwent Tommy John surgery...twice - in 2006 and in 2010.
And he can throw his fastball consistently from 95-97 mph.
Right-hander Christian Garcia has been tearing up the International League. The 27 year old has been through a lot, but now with Triple-A...
Good news this week for Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs first baseman Chris Marrero, who has been slowed the last month as he recovers from an offseason torn hamstring.
Manager Tony Beasley said Marrero has made big progress the last few weeks.
"He has been running the bases," Beasley said. "He will run them again (today). He has been taking batting practice. He is feeling pretty good right now. We anticipate him back in probably (five) days or so. He will probably go and get some A-Bs...
Right-hander Yunesky Maya has had experience with the Nationals in the past, and was sent to Triple-A Syracuse to start the season to build on his command and control on the mound.
Maya is 9-8 with a 3.54 ERA in 22 starts and has really turned it on since July 22, winning three straight games.
In the last three starts, Maya has shown he can deliver on a consistent basis, allowing just three earned runs in the past 21 2/3 innings. In six of his last 10 starts, the Cuban right-hander has...
Right-handed pitcher Josh Wilkie has been given his release by the Nationals. Director of player development Doug Harris confirmed today that Wilkie is no longer with the organization.
Wilkie was suspended for 50 games June 2 for using a banned substance, which Wilkie described as Spice, a synthetic form of marijuana.
He was eligible to return to the team last week after staying in shape pitching in Venezuela. Wilkie last pitched for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs on May 29, and was 0-2 with...
The highest minor league promotion of the week goes to centerfielder Eury Perez, who moved from Double-A Harrisburg to Triple-A Syracuse.
In his Syracuse debut Friday night, Perez went 1-for-4 with a fourth-inning RBI single in a 6-5 win over Norfolk.
Perez had the groundball single for the run-scoring hit. On defense, Perez misplayed a ball over his head in center field but also made one nice running catch.
The 22-year old hit .299 in 82 games for the Senators with two doubles, 26 stolen...
The movement of prospects continues today within the Nationals organization, this time on the offensive side.
MASNsports.com has confirmed that outfielder Eury Perez has been promoted from Double-A Harrisburg to Triple-A Syracuse. Perez was hitting .300 with 30 RBIs, 26 stolen bases and 34 runs scored in 81 games with the Senators.
The biggest jump in classifications belongs to speedy outfielder Brian Goodwin. A club source confirms Goodwin has been bumped two levels from Single-A Hagerstown...
Left-hander John Lannan started off slowly at Triple-A Syracuse but then got into a nice rhythm, compiling six wins. Before the season started, Lannan sent out an email requesting a trade, following his demotion to Triple-A. He has been waiting for his shot back with the Nationals or to pitch well enough to get another team's attention, or both.
The Nationals have a couple of doubleheaders coming up on the schedule where Lannan could get the opportunity to showcase his talents again with the...
The move of Ryan Perry from reliever to starter continues to progress in a positive direction. Although not as overpowering as his recent starts, Perry continues to make hits difficult to come by for opponents.
Perry allowed just two hits over five innings Sunday as Double-A Harrisburg defeated Erie 3-1, improving his record to 1-1 as a starter. He gave up two walks and struck out three, marking the second start in which he lasted at least five innings.
The plan was to ramp him up each start...
Right-hander Henry Rodriguez continues his path back to the Nationals as he recovers from a finger injury. Today, Rodriguez is expected to make a rehab appearance for the Harrisburg Senators in a relief role.
Outfielder Destin Hood went 2-for-4 with a run scored, an RBI and a walk in last night's game. It was his first game with Harrisburg in over a month. But for today's early game, Hood has the day off.
The plan with Hood appears to not have him on an everyday schedule as he gets his...
The Double-A Harrisburg Senators' pitching staff has been focused and locked in from the beginning of the season, according to pitching coach Paul Menhart.
"It is a great group, they work hard and look to get better every day, it has shown in the way they have been pitching early on," Menhart said.
The proof is in the statistics.
The staff boasts a 3.11 ERA and leads the Eastern League with 219 strikeouts. They have allowed only 86 earned runs in 27 games. Their 1.25 WHIP is third best in...