Entries Listing

Five reasons to be optimistic about the 2016 Nationals

There is no rational way to review the Nationals’ just-completed spring and not emerge optimistic. Pretty much everything of consequence the Nationals needed to see or do over the last six weeks came to fruition. There were hardly any setbacks along the way. Players are healthy. The new manager has instilled a much-needed laid-back and confident vibe around the clubhouse. And then there’s the actual

Nats close out spring with another offensive outburst (Nats rip Mets 12-1)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 12, Mets 1 Recap: After two straight rainouts, the Nationals finally got a chance to play a full game without interruption this afternoon, then proceeded to stomp on their National League East rivals in their Grapefruit League finale. Ryan Zimmerman homered off Matt Harvey, Jayson Werth homered off Noah Syndergaard and Stephen Drew homered off Zack Thornton to lead the

Dusty Baker on the altered pitching schedule and final decisions

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - The Nationals’ Grapefruit League finale today got underway on time, with sunshine actually hovering over Tradition Field. This was no mundane fact, considering the weather the Nats have had to deal with over the last week. Four rainouts in 10 games, including back-to-back washouts the last two days, forced Dusty Baker and pitching coach Mike Maddux to alter their plans,

With rain again in forecast, Nats using relievers only today vs. Mets

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - And so, after 42 days of camp, 24 completed exhibition games and four rainouts, the final day of spring training has arrived. The Nationals and Mets are set to square off here at Tradition Field, a preview of what could be quite an entertaining pennant race all season between these two rivals ... if they’re able to play this one.

Breaking down the final bench candidates

JUPITER, Fla. - The Nationals essentially have two more roster decisions to make by Sunday’s major league deadline. One involves the bullpen. The other involves the bench. We’ve gone through the various bullpen options (which are complicated some by the possibility of the Nats carrying eight relievers until they need a fifth starter on April 13), but we haven’t spent as much time running discussing

Nats, Strasburg try to adjust after yet another rainout

JUPITER, Fla. - There are two ways to react to bad weather: complain about it or just accept it. Dusty Baker most definitely takes the latter approach. The Nationals manager could be lamenting the fact that four of his team’s last 10 exhibition games have been rained out, but he knows it wouldn’t make the clouds go away, so why bother? “You’ve still got to

Nats rained out for fourth time in their last 10 games

JUPITER, Fla. - The Nationals simply can’t catch a break with Mother Nature right now. They also probably can’t wait to get out of Florida after a week of scorching heat, humidity and enough rain and lightning to significantly interfere with their end-of-spring preparation. It happened again today, with a thunderstorm sweeping through Roger Dean Stadium and forcing the cancelation of the Nationals’ game against

Nats want Turner to work on defense, leadership at Triple-A

JUPITER, Fla. - Trea Turner knew the cards were stacked against him to make the Nationals’ opening day roster. So when the news came down Monday afternoon that he was being sent to Triple-A, the 22-year-old shortstop wasn’t shocked. That doesn’t mean Turner wasn’t disappointed to learn he’ll be opening the season in Syracuse, especially after he got a taste of Washington and the big

Strasburg faces Cardinals in final spring tune-up

JUPITER, Fla. - Hello from Roger Dean Stadium. Again. Why does it feel like we’re here every other day? Probably because we are. This is the Nationals’ third scheduled game in Jupiter in the last five days. The first (against the Marlins) was rained out. Then they played the Cardinals on Saturday. Now they’re playing St. Louis one more time this afternoon. After yesterday’s rainout

Belisle officially added to roster, will make opening day bullpen

JUPITER, Fla. - The Nationals officially made Matt Belisle a part of their opening day roster this morning, purchasing the veteran reliever’s contract. Belisle, 35, had been in camp as a minor league invitee but all along appeared to be a strong candidate to make the club given his experience and ties to Dusty Baker, who managed him in Cincinnati. The right-hander has appeared in

Why we shouldn’t make too big a deal out of the opening day roster

VIERA, Fla. - Monday’s flurry of transactions moved the Nationals closer to finalizing their opening day roster, but they didn’t completely settle the matter. If anything, the club now faces a couple of really difficult decisions in rounding out its bench and bullpen. “I wish we could carry 27, 28 guys, but you can’t,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Whoever it is, it’s going to be

Turner demotion highlights busy afternoon of transactions

VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals made several key transactions following today’s rained-out finale at Space Coast Stadium, though not enough to bring absolute clarity to their opening day roster. Trea Turner, the organization’s top position player prospect who came to camp trying to win the starting shortstop job, was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse in a move that had grown in likelihood over the course of

Final spring game at Space Coast Stadium rained out

VIERA, Fla. - Maybe Mother Nature just couldn’t bear the thought of watching the Nationals and Marlins play the final Grapefruit League game ever at Space Coast Stadium. Today’s finale wound up getting canceled after the ballpark was drenched by a storm that swept through Central Florida and left the field and warning track under water. It won’t be rescheduled. The Nationals desperately wanted to

Baker trots out potential opening day lineup for Viera finale (game canceled)

VIERA, Fla. - And so we have come to this historic moment: the final spring training game ever played at Space Coast Stadium. And it’s only fitting that it features the only two franchises that have called this place home since it opened in 1994: the Nationals and Marlins. The Marlins, who have trained in Jupiter since 2003, aren’t bringing anybody here today who would

A final and fond farewell to Viera

VIERA, Fla. - The question inevitably would come from someone every February, once you mentioned you were getting ready to leave for spring training. “Where do the Nationals train?” “Uh, it’s a town called Viera. You’ve probably never heard of it.” “Vero Beach?” “No, Viera. It’s near Melbourne.” “Where’s that?” “Do you know where Cocoa Beach is?” “Sort of.” “Well, it’s ... eh, it’s 45

Thoughts and observations on Nats’ 7-2 win over Braves

VIERA, Fla. - Some thoughts, observations and quotes from today’s 7-2 Nationals split-squad victory over the Braves in the penultimate spring training game ever at Space Coast Stadium ... * Gio Gonzalez probably put together his best start of the spring. Yes, he gave up a couple of runs and seven hits over six innings. But most importantly, he didn’t walk anybody after issuing four

Nats trade Moore to Braves for fellow first baseman Freiman

VIERA, Fla. - Tyler Moore’s time in the Nationals organization officially ended today when the recently demoted first baseman was traded to the Braves for fellow 29-year-old minor leaguer Nate Freiman. Moore had been outrighted to minor league camp Friday evening after clearing waivers, a transaction that kept him in the organization but removed him from the 40-man roster. Two days later, the Nationals and

Potent Nats lineup continues to rake vs. Braves (Nats beat Braves, tie Mets)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Scores: Nationals (ss) 7, Braves 2; Nationals (ss) 4, Mets 4 Recap: Forced to split their squad into two rosters despite the late date on the spring calendar, the Nationals kept most of their regulars in Viera to face the Braves. That group continued its impressive offensive production, rapping out 10 hits off starter Jhoulys Chacin. Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman delivered

Nats hoping good health carries over into regular season

VIERA, Fla. - As they count down the final days of spring, the Nationals also can count their blessings, thankful they have mostly avoided the kind of significant injuries that have plagued them in previous years. Think back only 12 months ago. When the Nationals headed north for opening day, they were without their projected No. 1 (Denard Span), No. 2 (Anthony Rendon) and No.

Nats split-squads host Braves on MASN, face Mets in Port St. Lucie

VIERA, Fla. - The countdown has begun. There are only four days’ worth of games left down here, and only two games left to be played at Space Coast Stadium ever. Before we go to tomorrow’s teary-eyed finale, though, the Nationals first must play split-squad games today. They’ve got the Braves here in Viera and the Mets in Port St. Lucie. Most of the regulars,

Significant decisions on bullpen likely coming soon

VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals have split-squad games on tap today, kind of an unconventional thing to have this late in the spring, but not something of their doing. Major League Baseball sets the spring training schedule, and with 15 teams training in Florida, somebody has to either go split-squad or get the day off every day in March. Some of the Nats will be

Espinosa wows crowd, Nats with pair of plays at shortstop

JUPITER, Fla. - For all his offensive shortcomings - and there remain plenty - Danny Espinosa has long since established himself as an elite defensive infielder. The vast majority of the work he did to build that reputation has come at second base, but those who have followed the 28-year-old throughout his career know he has always fancied himself as a shortstop first. With each

Roark tosses five scoreless, lowers ERA to 0.64 (Nats blank Cardinals)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 7, Cardinals 0 Recap: After torrential rain and lightning washed out Friday night’s game against the Marlins, the Nationals returned to Roger Dean Stadium today face the complex’s other tenants, and then proceeded to drub the Cardinals. Tanner Roark and relievers Felipe Rivero, Sean Burnett, Matt Belisle and Aaron Laffey combined to shut out a St. Louis lineup that

Nats could use four-man rotation for season’s first week-plus

JUPITER, Fla. - Friday night’s rainout threw a wrench into the Nationals’ pitching plans, but they hope to get everyone back on schedule today, with Tanner Roark pushed back to face the Cardinals here at Roger Dean Stadium and Joe Ross kept back in Viera to pitch in a minor league game. It’s not an ideal situation, but manager Dusty Baker said the club couldn’t

Roark, Nats return to Jupiter to face Cardinals

JUPITER, Fla. - Hello once again from Roger Dean Stadium, where the Nationals will attempt to play this afternoon against the Cardinals after getting torrentially rained out last night against the Marlins. The good news: The sun is out and the field is dry. For now. Tanner Roark unfortunately had to make two round trips on the bus from Viera, unable to pitch last night

Saturday morning Q&A from Jupiter

JUPITER, Fla. - This week’s Saturday Q&A comes not from Viera, but from Jupiter, where the Nationals were supposed to play back-to-back games ... until last night’s game was canceled amid one of the most intense, prolonged thunderstorms I’ve ever experienced in person. Seriously, it poured with massive lightning and thunder for a good two hours straight. Anyway, it’s a new day, and hopefully it

Tyler Moore clears waivers, outrighted to Triple-A Syracuse

JUPITER, Fla. - Tyler Moore cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A Syracuse, the Nationals announced this evening. The transaction removes Moore from the club’s 40-man roster, though it does keep him in the organization. He also continues to earn his $900,000 major league salary. Moore, 29, has spent parts of the last four seasons playing for the Nationals, appearing in 277 total big

Intense thunderstorm washes out Nats’ game vs. Marlins

JUPITER, Fla. - The Nationals brought a bunch of regulars on the one-hour, 45-minute bus ride from Viera for tonight’s game, wanting them take advantage of a rare spring training opportunity to play under the lights in preparation for the regular season. But you can’t really take advantage of a game under the lights if a massive cloudburst prevents that game from ever being played.

Nats head south to Jupiter for back-to-back games

JUPITER, Fla. - The Nationals face a rarity over the next 24 hours: back-to-back road games at Roger Dean Stadium against two different teams. The club isn’t staying over, though some have chosen to do so on their own, so the vast majority of guys are either playing one game or the other. One guy who is scheduled to play in both games is Tyler

Taylor will get playing time, but Werth has earned it, too

VIERA, Fla. - It has become probably the biggest story of Nationals camp, slowly building each day just as Michael A. Taylor’s batting average slowly rises to eye-catching numbers. At one point Thursday afternoon, as he rounded the bases following his fourth home run of the spring, Taylor sported a .500 batting average in Grapefruit League play, his slugging percentage an ungodly .944. And those

Observations and quotes from the Nats’ 8-2 victory

VIERA, Fla. - Some thoughts, observations and quotes from today’s game, an 8-2 victory by the Nationals over the Cardinals: * Max Scherzer’s final line (5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K) looked awfully good, but the right-hander wasn’t totally satisfied with his performance. That’s because he felt like he wasted too many pitches, getting behind in the count and

Taylor’s torrid spring continues (Nationals beat Cards 8-2)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 8, Cardinals 2 Recap: Picking up right where rotation mate Stephen Strasburg left off Wednesday night against the Yankees, Max Scherzer dominated the Cardinals this afternoon, striking out nine over five innings. Scherzer allowed a pair of first-inning runs, but both were unearned after Trea Turner was charged with a fielding error. Combine Strasburg and Scherzer’s pitching lines over

Baker may not define bullpen roles until after opening day

VIERA, Fla. - As they enter their final week in Florida, the Nationals still are trying to establish specific bullpen roles. It would help, of course, if they already knew who exactly will be in their bullpen come opening day. That’s not the case yet, with two jobs still up for grabs even at this late date. Given that situation, Dusty Baker hasn’t been able

Scherzer ramping up pitches, batting for himself today in Viera

VIERA, Fla. - There are several signs that you’ve reached the home stretch of spring training - starting pitchers going five to six innings, position players going back-to-back days, empty lockers throughout the clubhouse after players were cut - but here’s another sign that the end is almost here: No more DH. Yes, Max Scherzer will be batting for himself this afternoon, the first time

Efficient Strasburg strikes out nine Yankees on 68 pitches

VIERA, Fla. - No, it didn’t come against anything that remotely resembled the Yankees’ regular lineup, but all Stephen Strasburg can do is pitch against the lineup that goes up there to face him. And he pitched awfully well this evening, no matter who those guys were wearing Yankees jerseys at the plate. Strasburg struck out nine over five scoreless innings without issuing a walk.

Nats put a hurting on Tanaka with seven early runs (Nats rout Yankees 13-0)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 13, Yankees 0 Recap: Stephen Strasburg dominated the Yankees’ traveling lineup, striking out nine over five scoreless innings and needing only 68 pitches (51 strikes) to do it. It helped that Strasburg’s teammates gave him a huge cushion early: They racked up seven runs off Masahiro Tanaka, six of them coming during a third-inning explosion. Stephen Drew and Wilson Ramos

Baker on tough decisions, Perez on returning from WBC

VIERA, Fla. - As the days down here dwindle, the Nationals must prepare to make their toughest decisions of the spring: the final roster spots on their bench and in their bullpen. And though baseball executives and managers typically won’t admit it, there oftentimes are more to these decisions than the simple question of which player is better than the other. “Contrary to popular belief,

Giolito sent down, but Nats expect him in D.C. before long

VIERA, Fla. - Lucas Giolito knew the situation when he walked into the clubhouse for his first big league camp last month. He wasn’t here to make the Nationals’ opening day roster. He was here to get as much experience and soak up as much knowledge as possible before he was sent back to the minors to continue his development. So when the roster move

Strasburg, regulars take on Yankees in the twilight

VIERA, Fla. - Rested and refreshed from their only day off this spring, the Nationals are back at it later this afternoon, hosting the ... well, it’s not quite the New York Yankees, though it’s still better than the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. Masahiro Tanaka made the long trip over from Tampa to start this game. Brett Gardner is here, as well. But that’s it as far

Five questions facing the Nats over the final week of camp

VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals enjoyed their lone day off of the entire spring Tuesday - who am I kidding, reporters covering the Nats really enjoyed their lone day off of the entire spring - but now they return to the field for the home stretch. There are eight remaining days of Grapefruit League games, beginning at 5:05 p.m. this afternoon when the Nationals host

For Wilson Ramos, seeing is believing after LASIK surgery

VIERA, Fla. - It seems too simple an explanation to actually be true. Then again, sometimes the simplest explanation really does apply. Wilson Ramos struggled at the plate last season. Despite avoiding the disabled list for the first time in his major league career, the Nationals catcher posted a career-worst .229 batting average, .258 on-base percentage and .358 slugging percentage while striking out in a

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Baker bemoans 11 whiffs in 1-1 tie (plus roster moves)

VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals struck out 11 times Monday against Astros pitching, including three whiffs in the final two innings with the potential go-ahead run in scoring position. That’s too much fanning for manager Dusty Baker, who wants his team to make sure they’re not overaggressive at the plate. “Boy, it’s a little frustrating when you’ve got a chance to win over and over,

Correa makes Ross pay for mistake (Nats, Astros tie 1-1)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 1, Astros 1 Recap: Joe Ross allowed only one run during his four-inning stint, a solo homer to Carlos Correa with two down in the first. The Nationals managed only one hit - a Brendan Ryan single in the third - off Houston’s Dallas Keuchel’s three innings. The Nats tied the game in the sixth when Reed Johnson was hit

Hardly star struck, Baker says Harper’s baseball knowledge is impressive

VIERA, Fla. - In the few weeks he’s been around Bryce Harper on a regular basis, new Nationals manager Dusty Baker has enjoyed getting to know the reigning National League MVP. Managing stars is hardly new territory for Baker - he’s skippered clubs with Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Joey Votto, among others - but Harper’s unbridled enthusiasm for the game and his encyclopedic knowledge

Today’s Astros-Nationals lineups

VIERA, Fla. - Just as Dusty Baker promised, Ryan Zimmerman is back in the Nationals lineup today as the designated hitter. Assuming he comes through today’s assignment with no ill effects from the plantar fasciitis in his left foot, Zimmerman should make his spring debut at first base in the next couple of days. Center fielder Ben Revere, who was struck on the left shoulder

Dusty Baker inching closer to decisions on lineup makeup

VIERA, Fla. - The significance of Dusty Baker’s starting lineup Sunday against the Cardinals was not lost on observers inside and outside of the Nationals clubhouse. For one thing, guys who spent much of last season on the sidelines - Jayson Werth, Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman - were part of the lineup. The key offseason additions were represented, Ben Revere atop the order to

Baker on Scherzer’s zone, Zimmerman’s return and Revere’s shoulder

VIERA, Fla. - Having watched the mastery of Max Scherzer mostly from afar and on television, Nationals manager Dusty Baker is still getting to know his ace. On Sunday, Baker got a lesson in how zoned in the right-hander gets during his starts when he attempted to congratulate him on a strong four-inning effort. “Max looked great. He was sharper today than he was, which

Scherzer accomplishes what he set out to do (Nats, Cards tie 4-4)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Cardinals 4, Nationals 4 (nine innings) Recap: Wilson Ramos had three hits, Max Scherzer pitched four innings of two-hit ball and Ryan Zimmerman added an RBI single in his first Grapefruit League appearance. Scherzer allowed a run with a walk and five strikeouts in his longest start of the spring. The Nats’ first four hitters in the first inning reached via

Baker hints at opening day start for Scherzer, sets plans for Zimmerman

VIERA, Fla. - New Nationals manager Dusty Baker has been coy about naming his opening day starting pitcher, even though everyone expects right-hander Max Scherzer to take the ball on April 4 at Turner Field in Atlanta. On the first day of spring training, when asked if he was ready to name his opening day starter, Baker declined. But on Sunday, he gave a more

Zimmerman serving as DH in first Grapefruit League game

VIERA, Fla. - Ryan Zimmerman will make his first start of the Grapefruit League campaign this afternoon, serving as the designated hitter for the Nationals against the Cardinals in a 1:05 p.m. game that will be broadcast on MASN. Zimmerman has spent the bulk of spring training managing a case of plantar fasciitis in his left foot, and the Nationals have taken a cautious approach

At Nationals camp, youth is served on a daily basis

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The young Nationals players huddled together at the far end of the fence in front of the visiting dugout at Champion Stadium, taking in the sight of the Braves taking batting practice in front of them. Erick Fedde, a right-hander taken with the 18th overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, is the most recognizable, only because there’s a

Hearing from Tanner Roark and Dusty Baker

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Tanner Roark will be the first one to tell you he didn’t have his best stuff tonight. He got behind hitters too frequently, but the Braves didn’t force him to pay for that tentativeness in an 11-1 Nationals victory. “A little effectively wild, I guess I would say,” said the right-hander, who surrendered a run on three hits and struck

Taylor continues sizzling offensive spring with three-hit night (Nats win 11-1)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 11, Braves 1 Recap: Tanner Roark went four innings, becoming the first Nats pitcher to work that deep into a game this spring. He allowed a run on three hits with no walks and three strikeouts. The offense came alive behind Michael A. Taylor and Clint Robinson. Taylor had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and Robinson slammed a

Dusty Baker on bench construction

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - As the Nationals get deeper into spring training, more talk turns toward how new manager Dusty Baker will construct his bench. How will he balance his reserves between left- and right-handed hitters? How much does he value experience over versatility? Does speed count more than the ability to hit cold off the pine? So what about it, Dusty? What factors

Tanner Roark gets the call against Braves (with lineups)

VIERA, Fla. - Right-hander Tanner Roark will start this evening against the Braves, and is scheduled to go four innings. If he can hit that benchmark, Roark will be the first Nationals pitcher to do so this spring. In five innings spread across two previous Grapefruit League appearances, including one start, Roark has allowed five hits and no runs with two walks and six strikeouts.

den Dekker hoping to prevail in crowded backup outfield derby

VIERA, Fla. - After riding the shuttle between Triple-A Syracuse and the Nationals last season, outfielder Matt den Dekker finally hit his stride in September, slashing .298/.353/.596 in his final 26 games. If he was looking for a springboard into 2016, the late-season offensive surge provided it. “I think the last couple of years, I’ve always finished strong,” he said. “That’s something I’m proud of

Feeling no ill effects, Papelbon says he was “just a tick off”

VIERA, Fla. - Jonathan Papelbon’s line in Friday’s 9-5 victory over the Mets may not look pretty, but the Nationals closer says he’s not worried. Papelbon said he was feeling no ill effects after a bug making its way through the clubhouse forced him to miss his scheduled outing Thursday. It wasn’t a matter of having not pitched for four days. “I just was a

For Stephen Strasburg, little things can mean a lot (Nats win 9-5)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 9, Mets 5 Recap: Pinch-hitters Brian Goodwin and Chris Heisey came up big in a three-run third inning that erased a 1-0 Mets lead. Goodwin drove in a run with an RBI single and Heisey’s bases-loaded single plated a pair. Stephen Strasburg allowed a run on three hits over three innings. Reliever Michael Brady was struck in the left knee

Baker on Friday’s cuts and Papelbon’s illness

VIERA, Fla. - A.J. Cole was among the four right-handers cut from Nationals camp Friday, the second straight day the team has reduced its spring roster. All were packing their bags and exiting the clubhouse at Space Coast Stadium for the adjacent minor league complex before morning stretch began Cole and Abel De Los Santos were optioned to Triple-A Syracuse, while Austin Voth and Wander

Wilson Ramos set for first Grapefruit League appearance (with lineups)

VIERA, Fla. - Catcher Wilson Ramos is scheduled to make his first Grapefruit League appearance today against the Mets, a week and a day after flying back to Washington, D.C., to undergo LASIK surgery on his eyes. Ramos will bat eighth and catch right-hander Stephen Strasburg, who makes his second start of the spring. Ramos returned to camp Monday and said he expected to play

Hearing from Dusty Baker after Nats’ 4-3 loss

VIERA, Fla. - In what turned out to be a 4-3 Nationals loss to the Astros on Thursday night, what looked like a stellar play by promising shortstop prospect Trea Turner loomed large - and for all the wrong reasons. With the Astros up 2-0 on Marwin Gonzalez’s two-run homer off Trevor Gott in the fourth, Nolan Fontana led off with an infield single off

Bronson Arroyo turns in a strong outing (Nats lose 4-3)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Astros 4, Nationals 3 Recap: Bronson Arroyo threw three hitless innings in his first start of the spring, retiring the Astros 1-2-3 in each frame. Trevor Gott relieved him and coughed up Marwin Gonzalez’s two-run homer in the fourth. Ben Revere had two more hits, upping his spring average to .583. Sac flies by Matt den Dekker in the sixth and

Zimmerman on board with Baker’s timetable for first spring appearance

VIERA, Fla. - Ryan Zimmerman, who has yet to play in a spring training game while the Nationals medical staff monitors and treats the plantar fasciitis in his left foot, says manager Dusty Baker’s timetable that the first baseman could make his first Grapefruit League appearance within another 10 days is on target. “We’re just being slow with it,” Zimmerman said Thursday. “My foot feels

Difo, Grace, Jordan among Nats’ first camp cuts

VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals made their first cuts of spring camp, with infielder Wilmer Difo, left-hander Matt Grace and right-hander Taylor Jordan optioned to Triple-A Syracuse. Additionally, right-handers Taylor Hill and Paolo Espino and catchers Raudy Read and Brian Jerolomon have been reassigned to minor league camp. “A couple guys were surprised because they were such early cuts, but some of the guys need

Bronson Arroyo slated to go three innings vs. Astros (with lineup)

VIERA, Fla. - Veteran right-hander Bronson Arroyo, who is trying to force his way into the Nationals rotation as a non-roster invitee to spring training, is scheduled to go three innings in tonight’s Grapefruit League game against the Astros. Jonathan Papelbon will work the ninth inning. Manager Dusty Baker is giving his regulars another night of game action for this 5 p.m. contest, which will

At career crossroads, Moore needs to come through in a pinch

VIERA, Fla. - There are certain givens each spring training. A major accident will clog up Interstate 95 when you’re trying to pick up the north/south thoroughfare for a road game. A new chain restaurant will open at The Avenue at Viera. The Internet at Space Coast Stadium will fade in and out, usually at the most inopportune time. And Tyler Moore will face uphill

Ben Revere tweaks his swing with a better start in mind

LAKELAND, Fla. - Center fielder Ben Revere is doing just what the Nationals want him to do. Or is he? Two hits in three at-bats in an 11-5 loss to the Tigers on Wednesday lifted his Grapefruit League average to .500. That means he’s getting on base. But two of his five hits so far have been for extra bases, including a third-inning double into

Gio Gonzalez learns quickly that his mechanics were rushed (Nats lose 11-5)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Tigers 11, Nationals 5 Recap: Lefty Gio Gonzalez’s second spring start was a mixed bag, two poor innings sandwiched around a 1-2-3 frame. He allowed four runs (two earned) on two hits and four walks in 2 2/3 innings. Relievers Nick Masset and Sammy Solis were also treated rudely and were charged with three runs each. The Tigers touched Nats pitchers

Dusty Baker on tradition, teaching and teamwork

LAKELAND, Fla. - Nationals manager Dusty Baker has a fondness for this central Florida city known for the citrus and phosphorus mining industries and for being an important intrastate transportation hub. His father was born here and one of Baker’s early Grapefruit League games came here against the Tigers, when a youngster quickly realized the size and abilities of the competition. “They were all guys

Dusty Baker weighs in on Danny Espinosa’s offensive struggles

VIERA, Fla. - The presumed opening day Nationals shortstop has played in only three of the team’s first seven Grapefruit League games and has yet to reach base. Danny Espinosa is 0-for-7 with four strikeouts, yet all signs still point to him manning the position when the Nats open in Atlanta on April 4. If there are any signs of concern, they aren’t evident. Espinosa

Taking stock of a 4-2 victory and 6-1 spring start

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Dusty Baker smiled at the mention that the Nationals had just won their fourth straight spring training game, improving to 6-1 in Grapefruit League play. “That’s fine with me,” Baker said. “I’ll take it.” A lineup populated with few players who will head north with the Nationals dispatched the Astros 4-2 on Tuesday afternoon. Luckily, the battery of right-hander Max Scherzer and

Despite high pitch count in short start, Scherzer savors battle (Nats win 4-2)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 4, Astros 2 Recap: Max Scherzer struggled through two innings - throwing 37 pitches in the first inning alone, 13 in one at-bat against A.J. Reed - but allowed only one run on three hits in his second spring start. Yusmeiro Petit tossed three scoreless innings of relief, striking out four. Jose Lobaton drove in the first two Nationals runs.

Baker likes how new addition Petit embraces multiple roles

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - At 6-foot-1 and a mailbox-like 250 lbs., with a perpetual all-business look on his face, Yusmeiro Petit looks like anything but a Swiss Army knife. A linebacker, maybe. Perhaps a barroom bouncer who’s made a living at keeping the peace. But mention Petit’s name to Dusty Baker and the Nationals manager’s face lights up. Baker knows Petit, who inked a one-year, $3

Scherzer faces Fister as Nats hit the road to play Astros

KISSIMMMEE, Fla. - The Nationals will see an old friend in today’s exhibition game against the Astros. Right-hander Doug Fister, who signed a one-year, $8 million deal with Houston in the offseason, will make the start for the home team. Washington counters with righty Max Scherzer, who will be making his second start of the spring. Once again, not a lot of regulars on the

A little more on Dusty Baker’s sharp learning curve

VIERA, Fla. - We’re going to learn a lot about Dusty Baker during the course of spring training - how he uses his starting pitchers, which situations he thinks call for bunts, how long a leash he’ll give a reliever who’s struggling with his control. Answering those questions are all part of a manger’s genesis into a particular job. But yesterday’s postgame media session with

There’s an interesting history behind Joe Ross’ new splitter

VIERA, Fla. - Every pitch has a pedigree, and the lineage of the splitter Joe Ross unveiled in game for the first time Monday afternoon is a doozy. It was born in a conversation with a teammate, probably somewhere along State Road 528, the route affectionately known as the Beachline, when a group of the Nationals were heading out to bond over a Golden State

Wilson Ramos sees a big difference after LASIK surgery (Nats top Marlins)

NATIONALS GAME WRAP Score: Nationals 7, Marlins 4 Recap: Clint Robinson homered, stole a base and drove in three runs, his mammoth shot to right part of a three-run third inning of ex-National Edwin Jackson, who yielded all five runs. Catcher Pedro Severino had two hits, pushing his spring average to .571. Starting pitcher Joe Ross went 2 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on

Ross to start, Roark to follow against Marlins (with lineups)

VIERA, Fla. - Right-hander Joe Ross will get the start for the Nationals today, with righty Tanner Roark set to follow him to the mound. Both pitchers are expected to throw about 50 pitches, with a maximum of three innings. Both Ross and Roark have designs on spots in the starting rotation, so today’s game amounts to a little head-to-head competition. Jose Fernandez starts for

Loud blasts off Scott Sizemore’s bat are hard to ignore

VIERA, Fla. - Opportunity is knocking for Scott Sizemore, and the 31-year-old is answering loudly. Every time his bat connects with a pitch over the past week, Sizemore has made an emphatic statement. He may be one of many non-roster players in Nationals camp inked to minor league deals, but the veteran of four major league campaigns who signed late last season and finished 2015

Trea Turner’s speed is just what Dusty Baker ordered

JUPITER, Fla. - When he was asked at the Winter Meetings what the Nationals most needed, Dusty Baker pointed to speed as a necessary ingredient in the lineup. It’s no secret Baker likes to put pressure on a defense, and fleet feet on the basepaths can also translate into meaty fastballs thrown to a slugger as opponents try to neutralize the running game. Baker has

Treinen breaks out changeup to confound Cardinals lefties (Nats win 5-2)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 5, Cardinals 2 Recap: Blake Treinen worked two scoreless innings, retiring all four left-handed hitters he faced and allowing only one hit. The Nationals scored twice in the second off starter Deck McGuire and twice in the third off closer Trevor Rosenthal, and the outbursts came without benefit of an extra-base hit. Right-hander Burke Badenhop was touched for two runs

Namath visits Nats, plus Baker on Treinen, Ramos, Papelbon, Zimmerman

JUPITER, Fla. - Dusty Baker was running late for his pregame meeting with the media, though the reason became readily apparent when he ambled down the left field line at Roger Dean Stadium alongside NFL Hall of Famer Joe Namath, another in the seemingly endless string of celebrities the new Nationals manager considers a friend. “I used to go hang in his places in Fort

It’s Treinen’s turn to make an impression (with lineups)

VIERA, Fla. - The bus is about ready to pull away from Space Coast Stadium, bound for Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter and today’s spring training game against the Cardinals. It’s the second time this week the Nationals have journeyed south to Palm Beach County, which will be their home next spring if there are no delays in construction at The Ballpark of the Palm

Sammy Solis’ escape act earns praise from Dusty Baker

VIERA, Fla. - Sammy Solis couldn’t get his fastball down, and in the blink of an eye, he’d loaded the bases. A 6-4 eighth-inning Nationals lead looked precarious, but you’d never know it by what happened next on Saturday afternoon at Space Coast Stadium. The late innings of Grapefruit League games are renowned for strange occurrences. Big leads disappear quicker than pizza at a Chuck

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

Zimmermann all business in first start against his former team

VIERA, Fla. - It was strictly by the luck of the draw that ex-Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann’s first start of the Grapefruit League campaign with his new squad came against his former team in the familiar surroundings of Space Coast Stadium. Zimmerman’s outing included both the kind of pitch efficiency familiar to Nats fans - he needed only 26 pitches to maneuver through two innings

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

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

Saturday morning Q&A from Viera

VIERA, Fla. - Last week’s Saturday Q&A was such a hit, it seems like this might just have to turn into a recurring thing around here. Not sure I can promise this will happen every single Saturday all season long, but let’s definitely go for Round 2 this morning. It’s been quite an interesting spring so far here in Viera. Dusty Baker is making his

Giolito cool as always in first Grapefruit League appearance

JUPITER, Fla. - Lucas Giolito had plenty of time to think about this, his first appearance against a major league club in a spring training game. Way more time than usual. A starter throughout his amateur and now brief professional career, the 21-year-old found himself sitting nervously in the right field bullpen at Roger Dean Stadium this afternoon for 4 1/2 long innings before it

Gonzalez sharp, Arroyo labors in spring debuts (Marlins walk off Nats)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Marlins 5, Nationals 4 Recap: Gio Gonzalez was effective in his spring debut, tossing two scoreless innings while allowing two singles. Bronson Arroyo, on the other hand, looked quite rusty in his first game appearance since June 2014, after which he needed Tommy John surgery. The 39-year-old right-hander gave up two runs on four hits and two walks during his two

Baker on Bonds the coach, plus other pregame notes

JUPITER, Fla. - Some pregame notes to whet your appetite before the Nationals and Marlins get going here at Roger Dean Stadium ... * Trea Turner is in the lineup today, starting at second base. We’ve already seen him at shortstop early this spring. I asked Dusty Baker if he wants to see him play both positions. “I talked to him about it. I talked

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Marlins in Jupiter

JUPITER, Fla. - Early spring training games typically are more about pitching than hitting, and that may apply even more this afternoon than usual when the Nationals face the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium. They’ll be sending three prominent starting pitchers to the mound in this game, each of them for two innings: Gio Gonzalez, Bronson Arroyo and Lucas Giolito. Gonzalez has nothing really to

New-look top of Nats lineup produces in first spring game

VIERA, Fla. - Daniel Murphy knew he’d be the center of attention today in the Nationals’ spring home opener. Not because this was his first game appearance with his new team, but because it just happened to come against his old team. Murphy seemed a bit uncomfortable with all the attention he received, especially from the more than dozen Mets reporters who crowded around him

Vanilla is tasty enough for Scherzer in spring start vs. Mets (Nats win 9-4)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 9, Mets 4 Recap: The first of at least 25 head-to-head meetings in 2016 (six in spring training, 19 in the regular season) between these National League East rivals didn’t have near the importance that future showdowns likely will, but the Nationals happily put together a quality performance all around to thump the defending division champs. Their new-look lineup burst

Netting expanding to far edge of dugouts at Nationals Park

VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals are expanding the netting behind the plate at their ballpark this season in response to Major League Baseball’s recent push for better fan safety. The netting at Nationals Park, which previously sat between the two dugouts, now will extend to the far end of each dugout. “In December, Major League Baseball released new guidelines regarding field netting,” said Jennifer Giglio,

Wilson Ramos returns to D.C. for LASIK surgery

VIERA, Fla. - Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos left camp this morning and returned to Washington, D.C., for LASIK eye surgery in an attempt to improve his vision. Ramos didn’t suffer from any injury or ailment, manager Dusty Baker said. The problem simply was discovered during the annual eye exam all players are given as part of their spring training physical. “They just discovered it,” Baker

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Mets in Viera

VIERA, Fla. - There will be far more at stake when the Nationals and Mets for the first time in the regular season in May (and each time through September, perhaps beyond), but any time these two rivals get together on the diamond, it’s worth a little extra attention. After the way things played out last year, this has become by far the best current

Observations and quotes from Wednesday’s victory

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Dusty Baker is undefeated as Nationals manager. OK, so it was only the Grapefruit League opener. And it came in a game played almost exclusively by reserves and prospects. And it won’t show up anywhere on Baker’s career managerial record. But the Nats put together a solid all-around effort in defeating the Rays 6-2 at Charlotte Sports Park, rewarding their new

Roark strong in spring debut, Ross labors out of bullpen (Nats win 6-2)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 6, Rays 2 Recap: The Nationals didn’t bring any regular starting position players on the 3 1/2-hour bus ride to Port Charlotte, but they still acquitted themselves well in their Grapefruit League opener, thanks to solid pitching and one big blast. Tanner Roark was sharp during a scoreless two-inning start, striking out the final three batters he faced. Joe Ross

After two-year hiatus, Dusty Baker relishes return to dugout

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Dusty Baker hadn’t given very much thought to the subject because he’s been too busy getting to know a 62-man spring training roster and everything else involved in managing a new ballclub, including a 3 1/2-hour bus ride from Viera that departed at 7 a.m. But when Baker did arrive at Charlotte Sports Park, stepped onto the field and into the

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Rays in Port Charlotte

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla - After five long months, the Nationals today will take the field and play another team in an actual (exhibition) baseball game. No, it’s not opening day, but it is the Grapefruit League opener, and that counts for something, right? Game 1 of 31 total exhibitions to be played over the next month in Florida and Washington takes place clear on the

Wrapping up the final day of workouts at Nats camp

VIERA, Fla - This was something of a historic day here: the final workout for the Nationals at the practice fields down the street from Space Coast Stadium. From here on out, all workouts will take place inside the ballpark, prior to Grapefruit League games. And, of course, next spring the Nats will be opening their new shared complex with the Astros in West Palm

Pitchers break up monotony of camp with ... Wiffle ball

VIERA, Fla - There comes a point every spring where the monotony of workouts really sets in, when pitchers’ fielding practice and defensive fundamentals and pick-off drills just don’t cut it anymore. That point came today, the final day of workouts before Grapefruit League play commences. Recognizing this, Nationals pitching coach Mike Maddux figured out a way to get his players the work they needed

Zimmerman taking it slow and steady this spring, by design

VIERA, Fla - When the Nationals embark early Wednesday morning on the three-hour drive to Port Charlotte for their Grapefruit League opener against the Rays, Ryan Zimmerman won’t be on the bus. Then again, neither will any of the projected regular members of their starting lineup, veterans who generally don’t have to make such a long spring training road trip. Zimmerman, though, isn’t expected to

For Trea Turner, baseball is the easy part

VIERA, Fla. - Forgive Trea Turner if the 2015 season remains a blur in his mind. He did, after all, play at three different levels of professional baseball, wearing four different uniforms for two different franchises. It all culminated with a six-week stint in Washington, Turner’s first in the major leagues, in which he played in 27 games, dealt with the highs and lows of

« February 2016 | Main Index | Archives | April 2016 »