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Taylor’s dramatic ninth inning carries Nats to walk-off win

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Michael A. Taylor knows a thing or two about spring training heroics. This is the guy, after all, who maintained a batting average over .500 for most of the spring one year ago only to struggle through a difficult regular season after that. So forgive the Nationals outfielder for not getting overly excited by his dramatic performance in the ninth

Guthrie impresses in ballpark opener (Nats walk off Astros 4-3)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 4, Astros 3 Recap: Michael A. Taylor threw out the potential go-ahead run from right field in the top of the ninth, with Jhonatan Solano blocking the plate and making a sweeping tag, then hit a two-out walk-off homer to left in the bottom of the inning for the win. ... The Nationals’ first game at the brand-new Ballpark of

Manfred on the new ballpark and pace-of-play rule changes

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Rob Manfred had been to The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches only once before. Or, more specifically, he had been to the future site of The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches only once before. On Nov. 9, 2015, Major League Baseball’s commissioner joined owners of both the Nationals and Astros to break ground on what at the time was an

Sources: Nats sign veteran reliever Blanton for $4 million

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals have signed veteran reliever Joe Blanton to a one-year, major-league deal, according to a club source, adding some much-needed right-handed depth to their bullpen. Blanton has arrived in West Palm Beach and could be in uniform as soon as Wednesday. His deal, according to a source familiar with the terms, guarantees him $4 million this season, with up

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Astros in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The day has arrived. Not everyone was convinced it would happen, at least not in time. But it is happening, and it’s happening on time. Today, the Nationals and Astros play a game inside their new spring training stadium after years of planning and 16 furious months of construction that went right down to the wire. “I’m very impressed, cause

Roark on pitching in the WBC, Turner on homering vs. Cards

JUPITER, Fla. - When Tanner Roark was offered a chance this winter to pitch in the World Baseball Classic, the right-hander didn’t have to think twice before saying yes. Never mind whatever concerns others may have about the injury risk of pitchers participating in the quadrennial international tournament. This was an opportunity to wear the uniform for Team USA and face elite competition, and Roark

Roark tosses three scoreless in tune-up for WBC (Nats lose 5-4)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Cardinals 5, Nationals 4 Recap: Tanner Roark cruised through three scoreless innings, striking out four and needing only 37 pitches to do it against a Cardinals lineup featuring mostly regulars. Trea Turner launched his first homer of the spring, a solo shot to left off right-hander Jack Flaherty. Chris Heisey, Jhonatan Solano and Derek Norris hit successive singles in the bottom

Nats ready for ups and downs of Turner’s first season at short

JUPITER, Fla. - Chris Speier was, by all accounts, a good shortstop during a career that spanned 19 seasons, the majority of those with the Giants and Expos. But ask the Nationals bench coach and infield instructor about his rookie season in 1971, and he immediately shudders. “Thirty-one errors?” he asked. Actually, Speier had 33. “It should’ve been about 50,” he said. “I had (Willie)

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Cardinals in Jupiter

JUPITER, Fla. - If you want to know what the real benefits of the Nationals’ spring relocation are, here’s a perfect example: I just drove from The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches to Roger Dean Stadium in 17 minutes. And, had I been gutsy enough to try to beat a yellow light, I might’ve done it in 15 minutes. That’s a beautiful thing. You should

Fedde impresses in first appearance vs. big leaguers

FORT MYERS, Fla. - For most everyone in attendance at Hammond Stadium yesterday afternoon, it was merely the fifth and sixth innings of a Grapefruit League game between the Nationals and Twins. Minnesota led 5-1 in a fairly nondescript late February contest that does not count for anything. For Erick Fedde, well, let’s allow the 24-year-old right-hander to speak for himself. “It’s up there as

Baker on Cole, Worley and a 5-2 loss to the Twins

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Not that he ever wants to lose a ballgame, even those played in late February in front of 5,314 fans, but Dusty Baker couldn’t have been too surprised by today’s 5-2 loss to the Twins at Hammond Stadium, given the circumstances. “Overall, we didn’t play that well,” the Nationals manager said. “This was our first game after a long bus ride,

Cole sharp early, then fades in spring debut (Nats fall 5-2)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Twins 5, Nationals 2 Recap: A.J. Cole was strong in his first inning of the spring, but labored in the second and couldn’t finish the frame after allowing three straight two-out hits (including a home run by Jason Castro) and a walk. Veteran Vance Worley, trying to make the club as a swingman in the bullpen, gave up another run in

Scherzer gets through first bullpen session with modified grip

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Max Scherzer was able to throw his first bullpen session of the spring Saturday, using a modified grip on his fastball to avoid the pain in his right ring finger he experiences when trying to throw it the conventional way. Scherzer has been behind the rest of the Nationals pitching staff this spring while he recovers from a stress fracture in

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Twins in Fort Myers

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The biggest reason the Nationals moved their spring headquarters from Viera to West Palm Beach was to avoid all the excessively long road trips that were a byproduct from training in such a remote locale. But while they will reap the benefits of that switch over the course of the entire spring, with the majority of their road games requiring a

Harper, pitching staff shine in Nationals’ spring opener win

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Upon watching Bryce Harper hit a towering home run on his very first swing of the spring, Gio González and others in the Nationals dugout had a thought. “We were hoping he’d just run home, get in his car and drive back to our place,” González said. “What a day.” Indeed, what a day for Harper, who in his first

Harper homers on first swing of spring (Nats win 8-6)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 8, Mets 6 Recap: The Nationals brought their bats up the road to Port St. Lucie, pouncing on the Mets pitching staff with an impressive display of power. Bryce Harper got things started with a two-run homer to deep right-center on his first swing of the spring. Neftali Soto, Andrew Stevenson and Matt Skole also homered later in the game.

Baker meets with Torre, talks plan for Wieters and Zimmerman

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Before emerging from the clubhouse for his first Grapefruit League game of the spring, Dusty Baker got a crash course in Major League Baseball’s rule changes for 2017. Joe Torre, MLB’s chief baseball officer, met with Baker and members of the Nationals coaching staff for more than an hour this morning. There aren’t many formal rule changes, but there is

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Mets in Port St. Lucie

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - No, it doesn’t count for anything, there are a bunch of non-regulars in the lineup and the pitchers will be going one inning apiece. But disregard all that and just focus on the following three words: Ball. Game. Today. Yes, the Nationals play the first of what they hope will be more than 200 baseball games in 2017 this afternoon,

When it comes to lineup combinations, Baker has options

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - When Dusty Baker’s first lineup of the spring was posted yesterday morning, it was impossible not to immediately notice how the Nationals manager chose to align his top four hitters. The batting order: Trea Turner, Adam Eaton, Daniel Murphy, Bryce Harper. There’s certainly nothing controversial about that order. It features perhaps the fastest player in baseball leading off, a high

New teammates believe Wieters will blend right in with Nats

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals have seen plenty of Matt Wieters over the years, but from a distance. The veteran catcher has played 30 games against Washington in his career, by far his highest total versus any National League club. And so when Wieters formally entered the Nationals clubhouse this morning as the newest member of their roster, teammates felt like they already

Rizzo on Wieters, Norris, closers and Baker’s contract

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals were not all that interested in Matt Wieters when the offseason began, general manager Mike Rizzo said, but when the four-time All-Star catcher’s price dropped dramatically in recent weeks they renewed contract talks and were able to complete the deal. “We touched base early in the winter, like we do with a lot of free agents,” Rizzo said

Wieters always thought Nats “would be a good fit for me”

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - For anyone who watched him get drafted by the Orioles, debut with the Orioles and become a four-time All-Star with the Orioles, the sight this morning of Matt Wieters wearing a red No. 32 jersey and a curly W cap had to be jarring. For Wieters, whose signing with the Nationals finally was made official, it was a bit awkward,

Wieters introduction, and corresponding move, expected today

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals agreed to terms with Matt Wieters on Tuesday. Today, that contract is expected finally to become official. Wieters was at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches yesterday, on the Nationals’ side of the complex, though he stayed mostly out of view while the club waited to make the announcement. But he is believed to have passed his physical,

Top prospect Robles gets chance to impress vs. big leaguers

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Victor Robles is all of 19, having played all of 41 games of high Single-A ball, so he could’ve been excused had he been a bit overexcited to play in the Nationals’ intrasquad game today against major leaguers. Robles, though, showed no such signs of that. If anything, he looked and acted like he belonged with the advanced company. “I

Strasburg and Roark pitch intrasquad game, Scherzer bullpen set

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The rules were loosely defined, there were no umpires and players from both sides were wearing the same white uniforms, but the Nationals’ intrasquad game today nonetheless offered an opportunity for everyone to progress beyond the simple workouts that had previously constituted spring training. The game, really more of a glorified scrimmage, lasted seven innings. None of the regular position

After erratic 2016, González seeks All-Star berth and consistency

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Upon reporting for spring training earlier this month, Gio González went into Dusty Baker’s office to say hi to his manager. The left-hander also wanted to make clear his motivation for the coming season. González told Baker his goal is to be an All-Star in 2017. Selfishly, because the Midsummer Classic is being played in Miami (González’s hometown) but also

How the Nats-Boras relationship compares to other teams

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Every time the Nationals sign another Scott Boras client, there’s a round of snickering around the game of baseball. It’s as if everybody’s in on the joke now. Yes, the Nationals have a lot of players who are represented by Boras. They could have as many as nine of them on their opening day roster: Max Scherzer, Jayson Werth, Stephen

News from workout, a look at tomorrow’s intrasquad game

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - When I tweeted this morning that a major storm was plowing through the state of Florida and that the Nationals’ workout might get washed out, a player pointed out to me that I should have included the phrase “pending physical.” As we all did Tuesday with the Matt Wieters news, and as reporters across the sport do many times a

Trea Turner misses part of workout while serving jury duty

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Scour through the annals of baseball history, and you’ll find countless reasons why players miss a day or two of spring training. But you’ve probably never heard of this one. Certainly no one around Nationals camp recalled it happening before. Trea Turner was absent from the start of this morning’s workout before he was summoned for jury duty. Yes, jury

Despite other offers to start, Drew preferred return to Nats bench

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - After a strong debut season with the Nationals, the first of his career in which he didn’t start on a regular basis, Stephen Drew had a decision to make. There were opportunities this winter to sign with other clubs that could offer a guarantee of more playing time. And Drew admittedly thought long and hard about accepting one of those

More on Wieters and the Nationals’ catching corps

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Spring training signings aren’t rare. They happen every year. But spring training signings of players as notable as Matt Wieters don’t happen that often, at least not for the Nationals, who at this time of year typically have brought in guys only on minor league contracts with no guarantee of an opening day roster spot. Wieters, of course, is going

Notes from today’s Nationals workout

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Though the Matt Wieters news dominated the day, there was an actual workout this morning at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. The Nationals’ third full-squad workout, to be precise, and the second in a row to feature pitchers throwing to live hitters. All the guys who didn’t throw off the mound Monday participated today (aside from Max Scherzer, who

Norris surprised but understands deal for Wieters

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Derek Norris knew what was up when a group of reporters approached him at his locker following today’s workout at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. “No comment!” the 28-year-old catcher barked, before quickly revealing he was joking and inviting the group to move closer to ask him about the subject on everyone’s mind: Matt Wieters. Norris learned of the

Baker glad Nats got Wieters deal done now rather than wait

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals’ signing of Matt Wieters is a done deal, pending the catcher passing a physical, Dusty Baker said this afternoon. Now the veteran manager and his organization have to figure out what to do with their logjam behind the plate. Baker confirmed the deal in his daily press briefing, saying it was important to get Wieters in camp now

Source: Nationals progressing toward deal with Matt Wieters

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals and Matt Wieters had been linked to each other all winter, seemingly a good match for both the club and the free agent catcher. This morning, the two sides appear finally to have found common ground. Though nothing is done yet, a source familiar with the talks said the Nationals are progressing toward a deal with Wieters, one

A tour through the Nationals’ new spring training complex

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Before we get started, I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the kind words and well wishes over the last week. For those who don’t know, my mother-in-law passed away unexpectedly late last Monday night. I flew back to Washington the next morning and was home all week, helping my wife, our son, my father-in-law and

Strasburg vs. Harper showdown highlights first live BP session

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - There’s not that much to it, and it hardly is a true representation of the pitcher-batter confrontations that will take place nightly not long from now. But at this early stage of the spring, the sight of live batting practice always perks everybody up. If nothing else, it’s a reminder that the games themselves are fast approaching. The Nationals held

Scherzer won’t throw off mound until he’s pain-free

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Until Max Scherzer can throw pain-free, he won’t be throwing off a mound. The Nationals right-hander is slowly progressing in his recovery from a hairline facture of the knuckle on the ring finger of his throwing hand. So far in camp, he’s been limited to long tossing on flat ground and participating in pitchers fielding practice to maintain his agility.

Glover leveraging first big league camp into a learning experience

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Under normal circumstances, a rookie pitcher in his first major league spring training would be a fly on the wall. He’d say little, listen a lot and hope he lasted long enough in camp to glean something from the older veterans with something to offer him. But nothing about Nationals right-hander Koda Glover is ordinary. Not his imposing look on

Baker’s message before first full-squad workout: “It’s going to be tougher”

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The first full-squad workout of spring training is old hat for Nationals manager Dusty Baker. Baker doesn’t feel it’s necessary to see every player each day. So if he missed Bryce Harper taking batting practice - or the barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat sent to him by the folks at “The Walking Dead” that the slugger toted to the practice field

Unfinished business motivates Werth in final year of deal

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Last May 11, Jayson Werth was batting .196 and wondering whether his thrice-broken left wrist was ever going to be strong enough to help him power through his swing. Six years into the seven-year, $126 million contract he signed in December 2010, Werth often looked overmatched, and some wondered whether he’d ever be a regular contributor again. “After like the

Kelley on Nats’ search for a closer: “Everybody started somewhere”

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Shawn Kelley understands the intense scrutiny Nationals manager Dusty Baker faces as he tries to come up with a plan for who will close games. But Kelley wishes the fans up in arms about the possibility of an inexperienced closer taking over the ninth inning would keep one thing in mind. “Everybody wants the big innings, but there’s a lot

Eaton craves opportunity to ignite offense for Nationals

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - He’s yet to take part in an official spring training workout, and his first Grapefruit League game is still six days away, but new Nationals center fielder Adam Eaton is already feeling comfortable enough in his new surroundings to dream about what might me. From his stall at the end of veterans’ row in the Nationals clubhouse, he peers to

No lack of ideas for fixing Zimmerman’s offensive woes

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Everyone seems to agree that Ryan Zimmerman has some work to do to rebound from the worst offensive year of his 12-year major league career. Teams need power from first base, and Zimmerman’s .218/.272/.2370 slash line, 15 homers and 46 RBIs left something to be desired. Problem is, there are different thoughts as to what Zimmerman should do. Dusty Baker

Baker on Harper: “I’m not worried about Bryce”

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - One of the reasons the Nationals selected Dusty Baker as their manager two offseasons ago was the veteran skipper’s pedigree of successfully dealing with high-profile, young sluggers. For Baker, working with Bryce Harper on a daily basis is no different than his past relationships with Barry Bonds in San Francisco or Ken Griffey Jr. in Cincinnati. Maybe that’s why Baker

Goodwin trying to build on breakout campaign, cement roster spot

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Brian Goodwin’s status in the Nationals organization has changed since this time last year, when he was still viewed a somewhat raw prospect yet to realize his potential. That’s what a seven-week cup of coffee at the end of the season does for a player’s standing, especially when the player holds his own offensively, displays good defensive tendencies and turns

Eager Harper committed to living in the moment

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - As a season’s worth of whispers about what was wrong with Bryce Harper - whether he had an injured shoulder, a kink in his neck, whether his swing was irreparably broken - leaked into the offseason, the Nationals slugger couldn’t care less. Instead of paying any attention to his critics or their omnipresent theories, Harper had a busy offseason of

Joe Nathan’s new goal: “Give them confidence to give you the ball”

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Baseball’s circle of life has brought Joe Nathan - whose 377 career saves are the second-most among active major leaguers - to a curious corner of the Nationals clubhouse at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. The number on his locker stall nameplate and uniform jersey - 74 - matches the year he was born, and he’s grouped with other

Latecomer Lind happy for shot at Nationals bench role

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - When the call finally came after a long offseason of waiting and wondering, Adam Lind was only too happy to join Nationals spring training with an opportunity to carve out a new niche as a productive bench player. “To sign this late with this quality of a team, you couldn’t ask for anything else,” Lind said Friday. “I’m real excited

Turner on returning to short, Murphy on his new double play partner

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals will have a new double play combination this season, with Trea Turner moving from center field to shortstop to team with second baseman Daniel Murphy. Murphy is as eager to play alongside Turner, who returns to his natural position. “Trea and I will do some work together,” Murphy said Friday as position players reported to Nationals camp at

Harper and Zimmerman report, plus notes on Kieboom’s kitchen

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Position players are required to report to Nationals camp at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches today, and a few newcomers have been trickling into the clubhouse this morning. The room became a beehive of activity, with players searching out and moving into their locker stalls, shaking hands and hugging teammates. Ryan Zimmerman, fresh off a family trip to Disney

Norris on learning a new staff and pitch framing metrics

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - With a new staff to learn about and only a few weeks to forge those relationships, you’d expect catcher Derek Norris to be working the Nationals clubhouse like a lobbyist works a D.C. fundraiser, making sure he spends a few minutes with every pitcher in camp to get a read on who they are, how they approach the game and

Strasburg on first workout, offseason training regimen and slider

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The 10 minutes that Stephen Strasburg reared back and fired a baseball at catcher Derek Norris on Thursday morning will quickly be forgotten. There’s just too much baseball left between now and October to focus too heavily on however many pitches the right-hander could cram into 600 seconds. But for a pitcher whose 2016 season ended prematurely in early September

Slow-healing knuckle puts Scherzer’s opening day start at risk

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - While some of his Nationals mound mates threw bullpen sessions on the first day of spring training workouts for pitchers and catchers on Thursday, right-hander Max Scherzer played catch. Scherzer is still dealing with the aftermath of a stress fracture in the knuckle on his right ring finger, and the injury that has confounded hand specialists and frustrated the Nationals

Early notes from the first workout day (with video)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Nationals pitchers and catchers will go through drills for the first time today at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. But there’s a notable absence among the 32 pitchers scheduled to participate in the first spring training workout. Right-hander Max Scherzer, recovering from a stress fracture on the knuckle of his right ring finger, is not listed among the pitchers

Workmanlike Fedde not taking his first major league camp for granted

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - When Erick Fedde’s 2016 season ended, the right-hander was no better than the third man in the Nationals’ prospect pecking order. Splitting time between Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg, Fedde logged 23 games, including 22 starts, in his first full season coming off Tommy John ligament replacement surgery performed three days before the Nats snagged him with the 18th overall

Lind agrees to one-year deal with Nationals

The Nationals have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with a mutual 2018 option with first baseman/outfielder Adam Lind. Lind, 33, will receive a base salary of $1 million, with a $500,000 buyout on the option. By adding Lind, the Nationals beef up their bench and add a left-handed hitting complement to first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who is coming off the worst offensive season

Treinen’s thoughts on closing (and a peek at Nats’ new digs)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - At first blush, the Nationals’ new spring training facility is, in a word, impressive. The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, the $148 million complex they share with the Astros, will have that new-car smell for a while, especially considering the hoards of workers clad in reflective neon vests that lurk around every corner and move in packs throughout the place.

Dusty Baker returns to West Palm Beach

Nationals manager Dusty Baker is known for his experience in the major leagues as both player and manager, the people he knows, and the things he’s done and seen. Baker has so much experience that his briefings with the media are more so known as “story times” than actual press conferences. Everything from his time with Hank Aaron and the Braves to playing for the

Baker addresses closer situation as pitchers and catchers report

With Nationals pitchers and catchers finally reporting to spring training at their new facility in West Palm Beach, baseball season is officially back, meaning a couple of things. First of all, you have obvious returns of the crack of the bats and that beautiful sound of ball meeting mitt. But it also means the return of many phrases ballplayers and managers love to use with

Live from West Palm Beach ... it’s reporting day!

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - And so the big day has arrived at last. Nationals pitchers and catchers officially report to The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches for the start of spring training. Now, as any of you who have followed these things closely over the years know, not a whole lot actually happens on reporting day. Players aren’t even required to set foot in

Nats finalizing deal with veteran first baseman Adam Lind

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals are finalizing a deal with veteran first baseman/outfielder Adam Lind, adding another left-handed bat to their options off the bench and some insurance behind Ryan Zimmerman. The major league contract won’t be complete until Lind passes a physical, according to a source familiar with the deal, which was first reported by ESPN’s Jim Bowden (the former Nats general

Nats’ most pressing spring question: Who’s the closer?

The final countdown to spring training has arrived, and so we’re spending the final days of the offseason counting down the Nationals’ top storylines of the spring. We conclude today with the team’s most pressing question in West Palm Beach: Who’s the closer? When they departed the ballpark 122 days ago, dejected from yet another first-round loss in the postseason, the Nationals knew there was

Pressure’s on Harper and Zimmerman to bounce back this spring

The final countdown to spring training has arrived, and so we’re spending the final days of the offseason counting down the Nationals’ top storylines of the spring. We continue today with Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman’s attempts to bounce back from rough years ... Raise the subject of Nationals who underperformed in 2016, and the first two names out your mouth are likely to be

Nationals announce full, 63-man spring training roster

Erick Fedde, Andrew Stevenson and Drew Ward are among the 24 non-roster invitees to Nationals spring training, the first opportunity for all three prospects to play in big league camp. The club announced all of its non-roster invitees this afternoon, three days before pitchers and catchers are due to report to the brand-new complex in West Palm Beach, Fla. Several previously announced veterans who signed

All eyes will again be on post-injury Strasburg this spring

The final countdown to spring training has arrived, and so we’re spending the final days of the offseason counting down the Nationals’ top storylines of the spring. We continue today with Stephen Strasburg’s return from his late-season elbow injury ... It’s not unusual for Stephen Strasburg to report for spring training with some kind of question looming over him. Whether it was his return from

MASN announces spring training broadcast schedule

If you’re not able to make it down to West Palm Beach to see the Nationals in person this spring, rest assured you will have plenty of opportunities to watch them on television. MASN will be televising seven exhibition games this spring, the network announced this morning, including the first Grapefruit League game to be held at the new The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

Baker could need full spring to settle on best batting order

The final countdown to spring training has arrived, and so we’re spending the final days of the offseason counting down the Nationals’ top storylines of the spring. We continue today with Dusty Baker’s batting order decisions ... We know which eight players will be in the Nationals’ opening day lineup against the Marlins come April 3 (barring injuries or other unexpected developments, of course). We

Nats to host Red Sox in newly created exhibition at Naval Academy

The Nationals’ exhibition slate will once again conclude with a game against an American League opponent on South Capitol Street - and then a newly created final game in a unique venue: the United States Naval Academy’s field. The club announced today it will host the Red Sox on March 31 at Nationals Park, then face Boston again the next day at Max Bishop Stadium

How will Turner perform at shortstop?

The final countdown to spring training has arrived, and so we’re spending the final days of the offseason counting down the Nationals’ top storylines of the spring. We begin today with Trea Turner taking over as the everyday shortstop ... Say what you want about Danny Espinosa’s oft-maddening approach at the plate and how you won’t miss watching that four times a night. But here’s

Projection models split on Nationals and Mets in NL East

As equipment trucks (not to mention a handful of early-arriving players) across America make their way to Arizona and Florida, anticipation for the 2017 baseball season perks up. As do season projections by various stat-based sites. FanGraphs.com and Baseball Prospectus have both published their 2017 projections. They do not, however, agree on the identity of the top dog in the National League East division. FanGraphs

Nationals acquire lefty reliever Romero from Rays

The Nationals have added another hard-throwing (if erratic) left-hander to their bullpen, acquiring Enny Romero from the Rays in exchange for minor league right-hander Jeffrey Rosa. Romero was on Tampa Bay’s 40-man roster and thus immediately joins the competition for a spot in the Nationals’ opening day bullpen. The 26-year-old will need to show improved command from last season, though, to head north with his

Nats outfield has big names, but how much will they produce?

As the start of spring training fast approaches, we’re breaking down the state of the Nationals roster, position by position. The series concludes today with the outfield ... There are no questions about the identities of the Nationals’ three starting outfielders. Those jobs are locked up, two by longtime club stars and one by a high-profile newcomer. It remains to be seen, however, how those

Infield includes MVP candidates and a vet trying to bounce back

As the start of spring training fast approaches, we’re breaking down the state of the Nationals roster, position by position. The series continues today with the infield ... The Nationals’ planned 2017 infield includes the league’s reigning MVP runner-up, the league’s reigning Rookie of the Year runner-up, one of the league’s better all-around third basemen and a once-elite player who still hopes he can recapture

Nationals catchers face tall task in replacing Ramos

As the start of spring training fast approaches, we’re breaking down the state of the Nationals roster, position by position. The series continues today with the catching corps ... How do you replace an All-Star catcher who hit .307 with 22 homers, 80 RBIs, an .850 OPS and threw out 37 percent of opposing base stealers? The answer is: You don’t. The Nationals will feel

Bullpen has some holes but plenty of talent

As the start of spring training fast approaches, we’re breaking down the state of the Nationals roster, position by position. The series continues today with the bullpen ... This may come as a surprise, given how much angst there seems to be over the subject, but the Nationals had one of baseball’s best bullpens last season. The unit ranked in the top five in the

Nationals add veteran Guthrie on minor league deal

In need of some experienced rotation depth, the Nationals have signed veteran Jeremy Guthrie to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league camp this spring. Guthrie hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2015 with the Royals, but the Nats are willing to take a low-risk chance on the 37-year-old, a highly popular member of rotations in Baltimore and Kansas City over the

Nats rotation is stacked again, but does have question marks

As the start of spring training fast approaches, we’re breaking down the state of the Nationals roster, position by position. The series begins today with the starting rotation ... In each of the last five seasons, the Nationals have boasted one of baseball’s best rotations. But it’s notable that in the three seasons in which that rotation ranked among the top two in the sport,

Thursday morning Nats Q&A

We are now a mere 12 days away from pitchers and catchers officially reporting to the Nationals’ new spring training complex in West Palm Beach, but it’s hard to imagine the offseason is nearly over for this team. The Nats haven’t made many moves since the end of the National League Division Series on Oct. 13. The only players they’ve added to their 40-man roster

A brief history of the Nats’ ever-changing closer identity

We don’t know yet who will serve as the Nationals closer come opening day, but we do know it will be someone new. Mark Melancon is no longer in D.C., having signed a four-year deal with the Giants earlier this winter. Drew Storen also is long gone, having spent 2016 in Toronto and Seattle, and now signed with the Reds for 2017. Jonathan Papelbon? He

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