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Roster spot within his grasp, Guthrie is at peace with whatever happens

If Jeremy Guthrie is at all worried about what will happen in the next couple of days - whether he’ll buck improbable odds to snag a 25-man roster spot with the Nationals after coming to camp as a non-roster invitee and forcing his way into a crowded bullpen picture - the 37-year-old isn’t showing it. Before Friday’s exhibition game at Nationals Park against the Red

Baker on Rendon’s calf injury: “He’s not ready” (game canceled)

The bruised left calf that kept Anthony Rendon out of the final three Grapefruit League games continues to trouble the Nationals third baseman, and manager Dusty Baker isn’t sure whether the injury will affect Rendon’s status for Monday’s season opener against the Marlins. “I don’t know,” Baker said Friday afternoon when asked about Rendon’s prognosis for the opener. “You guys want me to have that

With closer named, Nats bullpen has chance to be exceptional

While everyone spent the last seven weeks - or, actually, the last 5 1/2 months - worrying about who was going to be the Nationals closer in 2017, a slightly more important fact might well have been glossed over: This team could have a really good bullpen in 2017. And that’s not just touting the company line. Stop for a moment and consider the seven

Nationals head home healthy, with most questions answered

FORT MYERS, Fla. - They arrived in Florida nearly seven weeks ago, knowing this would be a longer than normal spring because of the World Baseball Classic. And when they walked out of JetBlue Park late this afternoon and boarded a bus for Southwest Florida International Airport, they knew they were heading north at long last. There are still things to be done before they

Updates on Murphy, Werth and Rendon (Nats fall 8-1)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Red Sox 8, Nats 1 Recap: In their final Grapefruit League game of the year - but only their first of three straight exhibition games against the Red Sox - the Nationals watched as Joe Ross got his work in. Ross went five prolonged innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, two walks and a hit batter but did strike out

Nationals tab Treinen as closer over Kelley, Glover

FORT MYERS, Fla. - For more than six weeks, they considered their options, going back and forth in their minds, weighing the positives and the negatives for each of the candidates they had to open the season as their closer. And when the time finally came to make the call this morning, the Nationals made it with conviction. Shawn Kelley has experience. Koda Glover has

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Red Sox in Fort Myers

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Hello from JetBlue Park, aka “Fenway South,” spring training home of the Red Sox. This is my first time here, and I believe that means I’ve now hit for the Grapefruit League ballpark cycle. (Not sure if that’s something I should be proud of or embarrassed by.) Anyways, the Nationals are here for their final Florida game of the spring, the

Nationals reaped benefits of first spring in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals will gather at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches one last time this morning, pack up all their remaining gear and head out as one team on a bus ride across the Florida swamp for their Grapefruit League finale against the Red Sox in Fort Myers. It’s a long trip, 126 miles across mostly two-lane highways, consuming 2

Nats reach final day in Florida with few remaining concerns

JUPITER, Fla. - These are among the toughest days of spring training. For manager Dusty Baker, because it’s when he has to pull players into his office and inform them they didn’t make the team, affecting their lives in ways the public never sees. For players on the bubble, because they literally don’t know whether they’re getting on a plane Thursday bound for Washington or

Strasburg completes final tune-up before opener (Nats fall)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Cardinals 6, Nats 2 Recap: In his final spring start before taking the mound opening day, Stephen Strasburg got his requisite work in. The right-hander allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits in four innings, throwing 61 pitches. The Nationals scored two runs off Michael Wacha, with Matt Wieters doubling and scoring on Stephen Drew’s single in the second, and

Worley among flurry of cuts that bring Nats roster to 27

JUPITER, Fla. - The Nationals moved significantly closer to finalizing their opening day roster this morning, cutting six players to bring the total number of players left in big league camp to 27 on the penultimate day of spring training. Most significant among the moves was the unconditional release of right-hander Vance Worley, who was competing for a spot in the bullpen as a long

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Cardinals in Jupiter

JUPITER, Fla. - It’s looking like a newsy day at Nationals camp, the penultimate day of spring training. The team announced a flurry of cuts this morning: Vance Worley was granted his unconditional release; A.J. Cole and Trevor Gott were optioned to Triple-A Syracuse; Jacob Turner, Neal Cotts and Jhonatan Solano were reassigned to minor league camp. That leaves Jeremy Guthrie as the only non-roster

Nats have three final decisions to make before opening day

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals have wrapped up the home portion of their spring training schedule, with only two road games left on the docket before they leave Florida: Today against the Cardinals in Jupiter (note the early 12:05 p.m. start) and Thursday against the Red Sox in Fort Myers. They still have some things to sort out, though, before heading north for

Turner, Guthrie make final cases to make pitching staff

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - While bigger names came and went this spring, Jacob Turner remained in the Nationals clubhouse, a quiet-but-constant presence that didn’t draw much attention. Here we are, though, with the club breaking camp and heading north in fewer than 48 hours, and the tall right-hander remains a member of the spring training roster, still theoretically battling for a spot on the

Still no closer, plus an update on Murphy (Nats lose 4-2)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Marlins 4, Nats 2 Recap: In their lone night game of the spring, the Nationals turned to Jacob Turner for the start, giving the non-roster right-hander one more chance to make a case for himself to make the club. Turner’s night got off to a rocky start, though, with two hits, a walk, a stolen base and an error leading to

Robinson placed on waivers, heads home to mull future

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Clint Robinson had six weeks to prepare for the news he didn’t make the Nationals opening day roster. He all but knew it when the team signed Adam Lind - a carbon-copy of himself as a player, just with more of a track record of success, not to mention a guaranteed contract - on the eve of spring training reporting

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Marlins in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals are playing their lone night game of the spring, their first (of course) at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Time to see how the lights work here, and time to see how these guys deal with playing under the lights for a change. It’ll be Jacob Turner, still fighting for a spot as the long man in

After another big spring at the plate, Harper is ready to go

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - While Max Scherzer scrambles to build his arm up over the final week of spring training and Daniel Murphy scrambles to get as many at-bats as he can and Matt Wieters tries to get his body ready for the rigors of a full season behind the plate, there’s at least one player in Nationals camp who clearly doesn’t need any

Despite mechanical glitches, Scherzer dominates Mets

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Max Scherzer felt like his mechanics were out of whack today, his fastball command off, his fatigue level coming sooner than he’d normally like. The result of all those problems: five innings of scoreless ball, with the only two hits he allowed coming in his final inning. “That’s a pretty good outing for a guy who didn’t really have it

Decision-makers meeting tonight to pick closer (Nats win 6-0)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nats 6, Mets 0 Recap: Max Scherzer cruised through the Mets lineup, carrying a no-hitter into the fifth before he allowed two singles. The right-hander did walk three batters and drove up his pitch count to 85 before departing after five scoreless innings. He got plenty of offensive support from Bryce Harper and Trea Turner. Each young star homered twice, with

Nathan on unconditional release: “I get it”

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Joe Nathan and Matt Albers did just about everything within their power to convince the Nationals to make them part of their opening day roster. In the end, the club simply didn’t have space for either veteran in its deep bullpen. The Nationals granted both Nathan and Albers their unconditional releases this morning, beating a noon Eastern time deadline that

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

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Who wants to see a 29-year-old Heisman Trophy winner with extremely limited baseball experience step into the batter’s box against the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner? Well, you’re in luck, because that’s going to happen today at First Data Field. Tim Tebow is going to bat against Max Scherzer. In a game. Probably more than once. The Nationals

Decision looms for Nats and Nathan (Albers, Nathan released)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The time has come for the Nationals and Joe Nathan to make a decision on each other. Per Major League Baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement, the Nationals have until noon Eastern time today to either inform Nathan he has made their opening day roster, grant him his unconditional release or pay him a $100,000 retention bonus, which would allow Nathan

On González’s struggle, Albers’ zeros and Snyder’s demotion

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Given how well he has pitched all spring, Gio González was entitled to one rough day. That’s how Dusty Baker viewed the left-hander’s uncharacteristically poor start this afternoon, in which he was roughed up by the Astros for five runs in five innings. “It’s hard to be good all the time in the spring,” the Nationals manager said. “That was

González endures first rough start of the spring (Nats lose 5-1)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Astros 5, Nats 1 Recap: Gio González struggled through his worst start in an otherwise fantastic spring, allowing five runs in five innings, including a pair of home runs. The left-hander entered with a 1.10 ERA but departed with that number having jumped to 2.95. The Nationals managed only one run off Astros starter Joe Musgrove, the product of Trea Turner’s

Strasburg gets fourth career opening day assignment

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The worst-kept secret at Nationals camp was unsealed and made public this morning: Stephen Strasburg will start on opening day. “Yeah, that’s correct,” manager Dusty Baker said. “I know you guys can count. He’s slated to go opening day.” It had been obvious for more than a week that Strasburg would be getting the ball for the April 3 season

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Astros in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals and Astros face each other for the second straight day, the only difference that the Nats are wearing white pants this time while the Astros wear gray. Such are the perks of the shared spring training complex, all that differentiates road games from home games are the color of slacks. Gio González takes the mound for this one,

After learning pitching staff, Wieters now addressing his swing

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Matt Wieters sees the batting average on the scoreboard in right-center field. On Saturday afternoon, it read “.100” and that’s hard to ignore. Wieters also recognizes his top priority in his first month with the Nationals hasn’t involved his bat, but rather the connection he has attempted to make with every pitcher he’ll be catching throughout the season. “Getting comfortable

Strong return for Roark and Murphy; Nats make five cuts

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Dusty Baker didn’t know what he could reasonably expect today from Tanner Roark, considering the right-hander hadn’t pitched in Nationals uniform since March 10 and didn’t get regular work while away from camp during the World Baseball Classic. Suffice it to say Baker was more than pleased with what he wound up seeing from Roark: 5 1/3 innings of one-run,

Roark, Murphy sharp in first game back (Nats win 4-1)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 4, Astros 1 Recap: In his first start since returning from the World Baseball Classic, Tanner Roark was exceptionally sharp. The right-hander carried a shutout into the sixth inning before allowing back-to-back hits and departing with one run across the plate, having thrown 71 pitches. Daniel Murphy, his Team USA mate, went 2-for-4 with an RBI double in his first

Nats have picked a closer, but haven’t told him yet

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals appear to have decided on their closer to open the season. They just haven’t informed the winner of that spring training competition, so his identity will remain anonymous for now. “We’ve kind of settled on a guy,” manager Dusty Baker said. “But we’ve got to tell the guy first.” The most significant and intriguing battle of the spring

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Astros in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - When last he stood on a mound throwing a pitch, Tanner Roark was at Dodger Stadium, wearing a Team USA uniform and facing an imposing Japanese lineup in a do-or-die World Baseball Classic semifinal game. The stakes won’t be quite as high this afternoon when Roark returns to the mound, this time wearing a Nationals uniform at The Ballpark of

Where the roster stands with nine days to go

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - We are now nine days from opening day, and it’s time for the Nationals to start making those hard decisions they’ve been putting off all spring. We may even get a few of them today, now that yesterday’s split-squad day-night doubleheader in two different towns is over, negating the need for extra bodies in big league camp. But before anything

Guthrie makes one last pitch to make Nationals staff

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Jeremy Guthrie came to Nationals camp last month with a simple objective: make one genuine last attempt to make a major league pitching staff. He still had a bitter taste in his mouth after pressing too hard one year ago and then struggling with two different Triple-A clubs. He wanted to give it another try. And if it didn’t work

Strasburg, Ross get work in minor league games (Nats fall 3-1)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Cardinals 3, Nats 1 Recap: In the first half of their split-squad, two-town, day-night doubleheader, the Nationals’ regular lineup faced a comparable lineup from the Cardinals. Both starting pitchers, though, stole the show. Jeremy Guthrie, trying to make the Nats roster as a long reliever, did not allow a hit over 4 1/3 innings, pitching around two walks and a hit

Roark and Murphy still beaming after WBC experience

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Tanner Roark and Daniel Murphy rejoined the Nationals this morning, each still basking in the glow of their experience playing for the gold-medal-winning Team USA in the World Baseball Classic and each confident he’ll be ready for the start of the regular season. The WBC experience differed between the two, with Roark pitching four scoreless innings in Tuesday’s semifinal victory

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Cardinals in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals are playing a rare day-night, split-squad doubleheader today, with half the club facing the Cardinals at home this afternoon and the other half facing the Marlins in Jupiter this evening. If you’re in town and trying to decide which game to attend ... come to The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. As you can see below, all the

Raines still getting used to new title as Hall of Famer

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Tim Raines has been involved in baseball for more than 40 years, including 15 years now since he last played a game. Wherever he goes, wherever he’s introduced, he’s greeted warmly and viewed as one of the best players of his generation. But there’s been a new wrinkle to the process in the last two months. Or, more accurately, three

Postgame thoughts on Fedde, Nathan and Romero

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Erick Fedde’s stock within the Nationals organization rose by default this winter when the team included top pitching prospects Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez in its trade for center fielder Adam Eaton. The right-hander’s stock has continued to rise this spring, and that’s entirely of his own doing. Fedde has made a strong impression in his first major league camp,

Fedde dominates Mets regulars with five scoreless (Nats win 1-0)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nats 1, Mets 0 Recap: Erick Fedde overcame both the elements (waves of heavy rain) and the opposition (the Mets’ A lineup) to toss five scoreless innings in an impressive performance. The organization’s top pitching prospect didn’t put a man on base until the top of the fourth and let only one reach second base before departing with his pitch count

Taylor returns to camp following father’s death

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Michael A. Taylor has returned to the Nationals after a five-day absence due to the death of his father. Taylor left camp Saturday to join his family in nearly Fort Lauderdale, with manager Dusty Baker telling the outfielder to take as much time as he needed. Taylor decided he wanted to return today; he was hoping to play in a

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Mets in West Palm Beach (1:45 p.m. start)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - We really haven’t had much reason to worry about the weather this spring, but today that’s unfortunately the case. The skies have darkened over The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in the last hour, and there’s a good chance of heavy rain this afternoon, threatening the Nationals’ game against the Mets. If the weather cooperates, Bob, F.P. and Dan will

Thursday morning notes

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals roster is about to become whole again. With the World Baseball Classic now concluded, Tanner Roark and Daniel Murphy are on their way back to Florida for the remainder of the spring. Both players, who were in uniform at Dodger Stadium last night as the United States faced Puerto Rico in the championship game, are scheduled to fly

Nats breathe sigh of relief after Scherzer passes key test

JUPITER, Fla. - Dusty Baker, speaking for everyone employed by the Nationals or fervently rooting for them from the outside, offered up a simple yet telling take after watching Max Scherzer make it through his first Grapefruit League start of the spring with no problems. “Boy,” the manager said with a sigh of relief. “That makes me feel a whole lot better.” Consider all of

Scherzer makes spring debut, goes 4 2/3 innings (Nats lose 6-1)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Cardinals 6, Nats 1 Recap: Max Scherzer made his first Grapefruit League start of the spring and went 4 2/3 innings, throwing 73 pitches against a Cardinals lineup featuring six regulars. The right-hander, whose debut was delayed by a stress fracture in his ring finger, allowed two runs on five hits and struck out four. One of the runs charged to

Rotation order taking shape, Taylor still away from team

JUPITER, Fla. - Though they haven’t formally announced anything yet, the Nationals have lined up their rotation in an order that would put Stephen Strasburg on the mound for opening day, with Tanner Roark and Max Scherzer to follow. Scherzer’s recovery from a stress fracture in his right ring finger threw something of a wrench into the club’s ideal plans, which would have been to

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Cardinals in Jupiter

JUPITER, Fla. - You wouldn’t have thought it would take until March 22 for Max Scherzer to make his first Grapefruit League start of the spring, but here we are nonetheless. The Nationals ace was delayed by a stress fracture in his right ring finger, one that forced him to alter his grip and progress on a slower path than the other starters in camp.

Roark goes four scoreless as USA advances to WBC final

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - If anyone was worried about how things would go for Tanner Roark in last night’s World Baseball Classic semifinal - whether those who feared the right-hander was an underwhelming choice to start for Team USA or those who feared something might happen to negatively impact his preparation for the Nationals season - rest assured all went about as swimmingly as

On González’s latest effort and Romero’s impressive return

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Gio González hasn’t faced a whole lot of adversity this spring, given how dominant he’s been each time he’s taken the mound. So when the left-hander found himself in a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first this afternoon, he actually viewed it as a good opportunity to remind himself how to pitch his way out of a tight

González strong again, Zimmerman stays hot (Nats win 3-1)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nats 3, Braves 1 Recap: Gio González battled his way out of a first-inning jam and finished strong during a 4 1/3-inning start. The left-hander allowed one run (Tyler Flowers’ homer in the fourth), threw 76 pitches and now has a 1.10 ERA in five spring appearances. Wilmer Difo’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second gave the Nationals their

Nats haven’t picked closer yet, will inform him before opener

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals coaching staff and front office decision makers have not yet formally gathered to discuss who will open the season as their closer, but Dusty Baker said that meeting will take place soon and the affected pitchers will know their roles before heading north. “We haven’t really discussed it at any length who it is yet,” Baker said this

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Braves in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals used to face the Braves a bunch in spring training, back when they trained only an hour from Atlanta’s complex at Walt Disney World. Now that they’re 2 1/2 hours away, they face their longtime division rivals only once: today at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Gio González is on the mound, looking to continue his dominant

Nathan making his case, but do the Nats have room for him?

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Joe Nathan hasn’t been in this particular position - less than two weeks to go until opening day, trying desperately to make a big league roster, utterly unsure if it’s going to happen - in quite some time. The 42-year-old reliever had for well more than a decade used spring training simply to prepare himself for the regular season, knowing

Little clarity in competition for long relief job

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Dusty Baker prefers to have a true long man in his bullpen. The Nationals manager has said so multiple times this spring. “You need that guy,” Baker said this morning. “Unless you just have a five-man rotation that’s unbelievable, but those are hard to find. We’ve got a good one, but a lot of teams are going to need that

Baker, Maddux speak to USA coaching staff (Nats lose 9-3)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Yankees 9, Nationals 3 Recap: The largest crowd of the spring to date (7,675, a sellout) saw some early offensive fireworks from both teams. The Yankees scored four runs in the top of the second off Vance Worley, taking advantage of two walks and then RBI hits by Rob Refsnyder, Ronald Torreyes and Brett Gardner. Worley rebounded from that and was

Nationals trim roster with four cuts

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals made another round of cuts today, reassigning left-hander Braulio Lara, catcher Spencer Kieboom, and infielders Neftali Soto and Grant Green to minor league camp. None of those moves will come as a shock to anyone, but the cuts do move the Nationals closer to making the tougher decisions that are looming in the near future. Their spring roster

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Yankees in West Palm Beach on MASN

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - It’s a big day here at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Not only are the Yankees in town, with a sellout crowd expected, but you’ll be able to watch it live on MASN as well. Bob Carpenter, F.P. Santangelo and Dan Kolko have made the trip to Florida and will have today’s game on the air, with some special

Some encouraging (and discouraging) spring developments

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - We are now exactly two weeks from opening day. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? The home stretch of spring training has arrived for the Nationals, who are now lining up their rotation for the regular season, setting up bullpen roles and deciding the composition of their bench. There is still plenty left to play out before the team

Zimmerman heats up, Strasburg finishes strong, Kelley returns

JUPITER, Fla. - Ryan Zimmerman is, by nature, as even-keeled as they get. He refuses to get too excited or too depressed about anything he does on a baseball field, certainly anything does on a baseball field in March. The veteran first baseman was able to at least smile after his performance today in the Nationals’ 10-4 Grapefruit League victory over the Marlins, in which

Taylor will be gone several days for family issue (Nats win 10-4)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 10, Marlins 4 Recap: The Nationals broke out their bats early and often at Roger Dean Stadium, with Ryan Zimmerman leading the charge. Zimmerman went 3-for-3 with a homer, a double and a walk, leaving the veteran first baseman in a 7-for-10 hot streak after an 0-for-17 slump to open the spring. Clint Robinson also provided a big blast,

Roark to start WBC semifinal; Baker still worried about Murphy

JUPITER, Fla. - Tanner Roark and Daniel Murphy won’t be rejoining the Nationals until Thursday at the earliest, but at least Roark is slated to get some much-needed work at the World Baseball Classic. Roark reportedly will start for Team USA in Tuesday night’s semifinal game against Japan, with the Rays’ Chris Archer (who had returned to spring training) saying this morning he has been

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Marlins in Jupiter

JUPITER, Fla. - We’re back at Roger Dean Stadium yet again this afternoon, the Nationals facing the Marlins again (though this time in a split-squad group). It’ll be Stephen Strasburg on the mound, making his fourth start of the spring, cleared to go up to five innings if he can keep his pitch count manageable. After getting roughed up by the Cardinals a couple of

Tough bullpen decisions looming for Nationals

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - We’re just about getting to that point when the Nationals have to start making some tough roster decisions. And none they face over the final two weeks of spring training may be tougher than how to divvy up the last few spots in their bullpen. Forget the competition for closer. That’s an issue itself, but the more complicated competition is

Previously flawless defense falters in loss to Astros

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals have played exceptional defense all spring, entering the day with a major league-low 11 errors through 20 exhibition games. So Dusty Baker isn’t about to start worrying just because things got sloppy during today’s 5-4 loss to the Astros. “Our defense has been good all spring,” the Nationals manager said. “We work on it every day tirelessly. I

Werth scratched with sore knee (Nats lose 5-4)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Astros 5, Nats 4 Recap: Defense was not on display early in this game. The two teams combined to commit five errors in the first 4 1/2 innings, including three by the Astros on one batted ball. Yes, three errors on one batted ball, which turned Trea Turner’s third-inning single to right into a Little League homer. Joe Ross wasn’t helped

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Astros in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - We haven’t quite reached the home stretch of spring training, but we’re getting closer. Starters are beginning to play more regularly and play more innings on a given day. Pitchers are being stretched out, cleared to go five innings and 75 pitches if they can get there. Beginning tomorrow, the Nationals won’t even be using a designated hitter anymore, finally

With new arm angle and new attitude, Lannan attempts comeback

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - His face looks a bit older, his body a bit thinner, his stilted Long Island accent same as it ever was. Once he put the red curly W cap on his head, it was like John Lannan had never left. Even though he did. Four years and four different organizations since he last wore a Nationals uniform, Lannan is back

In spite of difficult day, Fedde hopes experience pays off later

JUPITER, Fla. - When Erick Fedde makes his major league debut - a development that could occur sometime this summer - he might well harken back to this afternoon at Roger Dean Stadium and the lessons he learned during an otherwise dreadful performance against the Marlins. Fedde, in his own words, “let the game speed up” on him. Put another way, he let the game

Fedde roughed up by Marlins (game ends in a 5-5 tie)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Marlins 5, Nats 5 Recap: Erick Fedde, getting perhaps his last chance to start in a Grapefruit League game this spring, lasted only 1 2/3 innings. The 24-year-old prospect was battered around for five runs on four hits, three walks and a hit batter while throwing 51 pitches during a disappointing performance. A Nationals lineup made up mostly of backups was

Baker concerned about Murphy’s lack of action in WBC

JUPITER, Fla. - Managers always have concerns when one of their players leaves camp for several weeks to play in the World Baseball Classic. Those concerns only grow when one of their players leaves camp for several weeks and then barely plays in the WBC. Such is the case right now with Daniel Murphy, who in the 12 days since he left the Nationals to

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Marlins in Jupiter

JUPITER, Fla. - Hello from Roger Dean Stadium, where the Nationals seem to play every couple of days. Today they’re facing the Marlins, and sending their top pitching prospect to the mound. Erick Fedde isn’t going to make the opening day rotation, but because Tanner Roark is pitching in the World Baseball Classic and Max Scherzer has yet to pitch in Grapefruit League games -

More on González and Glover’s dominant spring numbers

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - There are any number of ways to evaluate Gio González’s performance so far this spring, and all of them are positive. Start with an 0.75 ERA in four outings. Then consider he has allowed only eight batters to reach base in 12 innings of work. Opponents are hitting a scant .135 against him. And he has issued only three walks.

Scherzer feels “back,” ready to face major league opponent

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Max Scherzer didn’t need to say much this afternoon. His smile and upbeat mood said enough about his state of mind after an encouraging start in a minor league game. “Now I feel back,” he said. The venue - Field 4 outside The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in front of a few dozen fans - might not have suggested

Scherzer takes key step, González dominates Mets (Nats win 3-1)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 3, Mets 1 Recap: Gio González authored the best start of an already strong spring, holding the Mets without a hit over five innings. The left-hander put only one man on base (via walk) and quickly erased him with a double play. In four Grapefruit League starts now, González has surrendered only one run and five hits in 12 innings,

With better balance, Harper’s swing looking more like 2015

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - It’s only been three weeks of games, spring training games at that, so no one should draw any dramatic conclusions about its long-term implications. But those who have been watching Bryce Harper at the plate in the Grapefruit League can’t help but notice a significant improvement in his swing. Harper enters today’s game against the Mets sporting a .308 batting

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Mets in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals host the Mets this afternoon inside The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, but there will be an interesting development taking place at the same time outside the ballpark. Max Scherzer is scheduled to start a minor league game, the first time he’s facing another team this spring and trying out his three-fingered fastball grip. All things considered, Scherzer’s

Pérez, Solano return to Nats after high drama in WBC

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Oliver Pérez and Jhonatan Solano would rather not have been in the clubhouse at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches yesterday morning, rejoining the Nationals teammates they said goodbye to 10 days earlier en route to the World Baseball Classic. And each player nearly had reason not to return to West Palm Beach just yet, each having seen his home

Cole still struggling to find consistency from start to start

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - If everything goes according to the Nationals’ plan, A.J. Cole won’t be in their opening day rotation. But with Tanner Roark still pitching in the World Baseball Classic and Max Scherzer still avoiding Grapefruit League games while testing his new three-fingered fastball grip, Cole is going to continue getting starts against big league opponents. And what would the Nationals like

Roark stays with USA; Zimmerman snaps skid (Nats lose 8-2)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Astros 8, Nationals 2 Recap: A.J. Cole was roughed up by the Houston lineup, allowing seven runs on six hits and three walks over 3 2/3 innings. Cole allowed a pair of homers (to Brian McCann and Jon Kemmer) and also walked in a run while throwing 73 total pitches. ... The Nationals scored two runs in the top of the

Nats release Norris, responsible only for $688,000 of salary

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - From the day they signed Matt Wieters, Derek Norris knew his time with the Nationals would be short-lived. The end finally came this morning, when the club granted the 28-year-old catcher his unconditional release. Norris, who had been acquired from the Padres in early December presumably to be the Nationals’ starting catcher, now becomes a free agent hoping to sign

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Astros in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Hello again from The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. It’s good to be back after a little mid-spring trip home (complete with some unexpected snow shoveling). Thanks as always to Pete Kerzel for helping out in my absence. I’ll be here through the remainder of camp, and things should start ramping up soon as the big decisions have to be

For Eaton, giving back is just another part of the game

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - When you’re the new guy on a new team, there are a variety of factors that can make the transition a daunting experience. You have to find a new place to live. You’re probably going to spring training in a different location, perhaps in an entirely different part of the country. There are the logistics of a move - do

Checking in on some camp storylines

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals are enjoying their second and final off-day of spring training today. Their complex at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is closed. Players and staff have scattered like the four winds. Speaking of wind, a strong cold front has swept through South Florida, and it’s supposed to dip into the 50s at night through the rest of the

Baker on “electric” Glover, Strasburg’s mechanical tweak

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Another day, another scoreless inning for Koda Glover. The right-hander has now worked five innings this spring, allowing just one hit and two walks with nine strikeouts. This time, he contributed an important shutdown frame after the Nationals had rallied for three runs in the eighth inning to knot their game with the Tigers at 3-3. That’s the way it

Stretched-out Strasburg works to combat pitch-tipping (Nats, Tigers tie)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 3, Tigers 3 (10 innings) Recap: Stephen Strasburg threw four innings - twice the length of each of his previous outings - and yielded two runs on three hits. He walked none and fanned five. ... Ryan Zimmerman went 0-for-2 and is 0-for-17 to start the Grapefruit League. ... Bryce Harper had a three-game homer streak snapped. ... Tyler Collins

Ward and Stevenson leave positive impression on Baker

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals made 10 cuts this morning, optioning four players to minor league affiliates and reassigning six others to minor league camp. Right-handers Jimmy Codero and Austin Voth and infielder Matt Skole were optioned to Triple-A Syracuse. Catcher Raudy Read was optioned to Double-A Harrisburg. Reassigned to minor league camp were right-handers Dustin Antolin and Taylor Hill, infielders Corban Joseph

Starting lineups: Tigers vs. Nationals at West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Stephen Strasburg will attempt to rebound from a poor March 8 start against the Cardinals in Jupiter when he takes the mound for the Nationals in today’s 1:05 p.m. game against the Tigers. In that outing, Strasburg was tagged for six runs on seven hits in two innings. Maybe Detroit pitching will be the cure for first baseman Ryan Zimmerman’s

Baker believes Rendon can be a run-producing weapon

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Get used to seeing third baseman Anthony Rendon hitting in the middle of the Nationals lineup - and not just because second baseman Daniel Murphy is still playing with Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. “There’s certain guys in your lineup that are foundation guys in your lineup, and he’s one of the foundation guys in your lineup,” manager

After simulated game, Scherzer to move to four-day plan

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Max Scherzer won’t have to wait another five days to see how the fractured knuckle on his right ring finger reacts to the stress of pitching in game conditions. Next time out, it’ll only be a four-day wait. Scherzer threw 38 pitches during a simulated game this morning and came out of the activity with no apparent problems, said Nationals

Breaking down a 5-4 victory

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - If Andrew Stevenson hadn’t come through with a walk-off RBI single to give the Nationals a 5-4 win over the Astros on Sunday, the teams were planning to go to a 10th inning. Guess there is at least one drawback to sharing a spring training complex with another team after all. “We were going to go 10 because they had

Ross mixes pitches effectively in four scoreless frames

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Joe Ross ended his strongest start of spring training with a flourish, retiring the final eight hitters he saw during a scoreless four-inning outing. “I felt good. I felt like my mechanics were a lot better this outing than last one,” Ross said. “My command seemed a lot better, too. I got a little tired towards the end, but other

Baker reviews Scherzer’s simulated game (Nats win 5-4)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 5, Astros 4 Recap: Adam Eaton, Bryce Harper and Drew Ward each homered ... Harper homered for the third straight game ... Joe Ross tossed four scoreless innings ... Jacob Turner allowed four runs on six hits in 2 2/3 innings of work ... Andrew Stevenson smacked a walk-off RBI single to left-center in the bottom of the ninth to

Nathan unsure of future with Nats: “I wish I could tell you”

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - With a little less than two weeks before the reported March 24 opt-out date in his minor league contract, veteran reliever Joe Nathan isn’t quite sure where he stands with the Nationals. And that’s all right with the 42-year-old right-hander, whose 377 career saves are the second-most among active major leaguers. “I wish I could tell you,” Nathan said. “That’s

Starting lineups: Astros at Nationals at West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Matt Wieters will make his long-awaited Grapefruit League debut for the Nationals this afternoon. He’ll be behind the plate catching right-hander Joe Ross when the Nats host the Astros at 1:05 p.m. in a game that will be televised live on MASN. Wieters, signed last month to a one-year, $10.5 million deal with a player option for a second year

Baker enjoys his glimpse of Nats’ future in 6-0 win

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Dusty Baker got a glimpse of the Nationals’ future Saturday afternoon and liked what he saw. But one pitch - the final one Erick Fedde threw in what turned out to be three scoreless innings against the Mets in a 6-0 victory - may have been the difference between ending the day on a high note and seeing a strong

Fedde’s two-seamer grounds Mets (Nats win 6-0)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 6, Mets 0 Recap: Making his first Grapefruit League start, Erick Fedde threw three shutout innings, allowing just one hit. ... Michael A. Taylor went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. ... Five different Nats drove in runs. Need to know: After struggling in his past two relief outings, right-hander Vance Worley threw two innings of one-hit ball. He lowered his

Baker says starting pitching depth will sort itself out

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Dusty Baker knows that he’s putting young right-hander Erick Fedde in a tough spot in today’s game against the Mets. Fedde hasn’t started a game all spring training - he’s only pitched twice - but if Baker wants to see the promising starting pitcher stretched out instead of in two-inning relief outings, Fedde has got to take what the manager

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

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Erick Fedde gets his first Grapefruit League start today when the Nationals visit the Mets at First Data Field. And he won’t be pitching against a B lineup. The Mets will trot out six regulars against the right-handed pitching prospect, who has made two relief appearances this spring but hasn’t pitched in a Grapefruit League game since March 3. The

Voth content to listen, learn and prove his worth

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - If not for the fact that Austin Voth’s name is stitched onto the back of his Nationals jersey, you might not even know the promising right-handed pitcher is part of spring camp. Most mornings, Voth sits quietly in front of his locker stall in the home clubhouse at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Lately, while his teammates are playing

Baker on focused Harper’s spring power surge

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Of all the developments for the Nationals this spring, none has been more positive - or welcome - than to see Bryce Harper once again battering the bejeezums out of baseballs. Harper homered again Friday, accounting for the home team’s lone run in a 7-1 loss to the Cardinals. His fourth-inning blast off right-hander Mike Leake wasn’t a cheapie, either

González pleased he could limit the damage (Nats lose 7-1)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Cardinals 7, Nationals 1 Recap: Starter Gio González worked out of trouble during two frames in a three-inning outing, allowing a run on four hits. But relievers Trevor Gott and Matt Grace combined to allow five runs in the fourth. ... Bryce Harper homered again and now has four roundtrippers this spring. ... Koda Glover made quick work of the Cardinals

Baker on cuts, González’s goals and more

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals made their first cuts of the spring today, sending five pitchers to minor league camp so they could get more frequent work. Right-handers Michael Broadway, Derek Eitel, Kyle McGowin and Wander Suero, and left-hander Tim Collins were all non-roster invitees to camp. They’ve been reassigned to minor league camp (players on the 40-man roster are optioned, others are

Starting lineups: Cardinals vs. Nats at West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Left-hander Gio González faces the Cardinals for the second time this spring in his third spring start this afternoon. He’ll look to build on a successful three-inning outing from March 4 during which he allowed only a hit and a walk. In four spring innings, González has yet to allow a run. Left fielder Jayson Werth slides back into the

Taylor hoping for carryover into regular season

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Michael A. Taylor doesn’t want to be known as the King of Spring. So the soft-spoken Nationals outfielder is embarking on something that’s a little foreign to many younger players: He’s reinventing himself to try to wipe away negative impressions that came with a season he’d prefer to forget. Last spring, after the Nats had acquired Ben Revere to man

Baker says Scherzer will throw another live BP session Sunday

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Max Scherzer finally knows what his next assignment will be, and it’ll look and feel a lot like how he most recently tested the slow-healing fractured knuckle on his right ring finger. Nationals manager Dusty Baker said after Thursday’s 2-2 tie with the Marlins that the right-hander will throw another session of live batting practice Sunday morning, before the Nats

Derek Norris focused on job, not uncertain future

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Derek Norris knows the math doesn’t favor his long-term presence in the Nationals clubhouse. But instead of being an unhappy square peg in a round hole, the veteran catcher has adopted a workmanlike approach while his unique situation plays itself out. For the most part, that means doing what he’s used to doing: strapping on his catcher’s gear and working

Relaxed Cole makes short work of Marlins (Nats, Fish tie 2-2)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 2, Marlins 2 Recap: Right-hander A.J. Cole threw four hitless innings, walking one and fanning a pair. ... Bryce Harper and Derek Norris hit solo homers for the Nats. Need to know: One strong spring training start can make a big difference in the stat line. Cole’s effort lowered his ERA from 13.50 to 7.27. On deck: Friday vs. Cardinals

Blanton will pitch Friday, Wieters will catch Sunday

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Joe Blanton came through his live batting practice session earlier this week with no issues and the veteran right-hander is scheduled to make his Grapefruit League debut on Friday when the Nationals host the Cardinals. Manager Dusty Baker said catcher Matt Wieters will make his first spring start Sunday when the Nationals entertain the Astros in a game that will

Starting lineups: Marlins vs. Nats in West Palm Beach (updated)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - With the uncertainty surrounding ace Max Scherzer’s availabiity to start the season because of an injury, each start right-hander A.J. Cole makes carries with it greater importance. If Scherzer has to start the season on the disabled list, Cole seems to be the most likely candidate to assume a place in the rotation. Cole gets the ball today against the

Wieters knows what Eaton can do from top of lineup

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Since the moment the Nationals pulled the trigger on a deal at the Winter Meetings to send three top pitching prospects to the White Sox for center fielder Adam Eaton, Nationals fans have contemplated the havoc that could be created atop a lineup headlined by Eaton and Trea Turner. It didn’t matter which speedster hit first and which was second.

Baker on Strasburg’s struggles in a 9-3 defeat

JUPITER, Fla. - Dusty Baker wanted Stephen Strasburg to throw three innings today, the logical progression in his workload after a two-inning debut last week. The Cardinals had other ideas, and their aggressive approach, especially early in the count when Strasburg was trying to throw his fastball for a strike, limited the right-hander’s workload. “It was a work day,” Baker said after watching Strasburg get

Still in stretch, Strasburg takes subpar outing in stride (Nats lose 9-3)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Cardinals 9, Nationals 3 Recap: Stephen Strasburg yielded six runs on seven hits in two innings while still pitching exclusively from the stretch. ... Michael A. Taylor, Grant Green and Chris Heisey drove in runs for the Nationals. ... Taylor is hitting .409 after a 2-for-3 day, Pedro Severino pushed his spring average to .571 with a 2-for-2 afternoon and Wilmer

Mistakes hindering Difo’s possible move to super utility role

JUPITER, Fla. - Sometime this spring - maybe later today - the Nationals will continue the process of seeing whether 24-year-old Wilmer Difo has the chops to assimilate into one of the game’s lost arts as a jack-of-all-trades. But there’s one deal breaker for manager Dusty Baker if he’s going to morph the career infielder into a super utility guy. “First, he has to demonstrate

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Cardinals in Jupiter

JUPITER, Fla. - It’s an overcast day in South Florida, rain currently falling at Roger Dean Stadium. But there’s baseball in store, as the Nationals face the Cardinals at 1 p.m. By that time, the rain should have moved out and the only obstacle will be the clouds blocking the sun. Stephen Strasburg will try to build on his successful March 3 spring training debut,

Blink and you’ll miss what Koda Glover is doing this spring

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Every spring, there’s a guy who opens eyes. This year, Koda Glover is that guy in Nationals camp. But blink and you’ll miss what Glover is accomplishing as he tries to cement a spot in the Nationals bullpen, perhaps even worm his way into the closer conversation. Yesterday against the Red Sox, Glover made quick work of some established major

Ross on his outing, Baker and Maddux on Scherzer

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Joe Ross has a plan. He knows what he wants to work on in Grapefruit League games, and even when the results aren’t so pleasant - like the back-to-back home runs he gave up in the first inning of the Nationals’ 5-3 loss to the Red Sox on Tuesday - he isn’t going to be deterred. That’s the beauty of

Ross rebounds after first inning, but Worley struggles (Nats lose 5-3)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Red Sox 5, Nationals 3 Recap: Right-hander Vance Worley allowed three runs in the fourth inning as the Red Sox snapped a 2-2 tie. Worley walked the first two batters he faced and now sports a 7.50 ERA. ... Joe Ross allowed two solo homers in the first inning - to Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez - in his 2 2/3

Nats sign John Lannan to minor league deal (updated)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals have signed John Lannan, who pitched for the team from 2007-12, to a minor league contract. Lannan last pitched in the majors for the Mets in 2014 and spent last season at Triple-A Omaha, the top Royals affiliate, where he went 7-8 with a 5.24 ERA in 25 games (19 starts). His deal does not include an invitation

Scherzer and Wieters on his first live BP session

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Max Scherzer threw off a mound for the first time this spring Tuesday morning, using all of his pitches - but still a three-fingered grip on his fastball to protect the slow-healing fractured knuckle on his right ring finger. The 44-pitch live batting practice session was caught by Matt Wieters and watched carefully by Nationals manager Dusty Baker and general

Starting lineups: Red Sox vs. Nats in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Right-hander Joe Ross makes his second start of the spring today when the Nationals host the Red Sox in a 1:05 p.m. game that will be aired live on MASN. You have to wonder who the Red Sox angered to draw three straight road games on the East Coast. Yesterday, they played at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches against

Lee out with non-displaced fracture of left elbow

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A little after 8 a.m., Nick Lee walked into the Nationals clubhouse at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, popped his backpack off his shoulder and onto the chair in front of his locker stall, and stored his keys in his lockbox. If not for the fact that his left arm was wrapped in a bandage and encased in a

What can be gleaned from spring training statistics?

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Now that we’ve reached the midpoint of spring training - which is about a week longer than usual due to the World Baseball Classic - it might be a good time to talk about spring training statistics and what can be learned from them. In a word, little. A wise baseball sage once cautioned me against putting too much stock

No closer? No problem, insist members of Nats bullpen

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Shawn Kelley doesn’t know who the Nationals closer is going to be to start the season. Neither does Blake Treinen nor Joe Nathan nor Joe Blanton nor Dusty Baker. (Well, maybe Baker knows deep down who he intends to have pitching the ninth inning, but he’s publicly insisting that decision hasn’t been made yet.) To outsiders, this appears to be

Roark, Murphy ready for intensity of World Baseball Classic

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - There is no way to adequately prepare in only two spring training starts for pitching in a high-level international competition at the end of the week. Tanner Roark knows this. He also knows he has done everything he can so far this spring to prepare himself as best he can for his next assignment: the powerhouse Dominican Republic in the

Pitchers still ahead of hitters this spring (Nats lose 4-2)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Twins 4, Nationals 2 Recap: In his final tune-up before the World Baseball Classic, Tanner Roark looked as sharp as he could, tossing four scoreless innings on 57 pitches. The right-hander scattered two hits and struck out three, setting himself up well to next pitch for Team USA against the Dominican Republic on Saturday night at Marlins Park. Dusty Baker’s lineup

Baker understands risk of watching spring games from field

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - It’s a familiar sight in spring training ballparks across Florida and Arizona, managers and coaches watching the game not from the dugout but from folding chairs stationed behind the on-deck circles, on the field of play. Given how many players there typically are in spring training, and given the less-than-official nature of these games, many managers and coaches like to

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Twins in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Today marks the last time we’ll see Tanner Roark, Daniel Murphy and four others in Nationals uniforms for a little while. Later this afternoon, the Nats’ six representatives in the World Baseball Classic are set to leave camp and join their home countries to play in the international tournament. (Along with Team USA’s Roark and Murphy, Rafael Martín and Oliver

A mid-spring fan’s guide to West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - We have reached, believe it or not, just about the halfway point of spring training. (Time flies when you’re having fun, huh?) Which means there has been ample time to start to get to know both the complex at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and the entire area. I knew very little previously about this part of South Florida,

Lee injury in ninth puts damper on otherwise clean game

JUPITER, Fla. - This was shaping up to be an entirely positive afternoon for the Nationals, who got three scoreless (and efficient) innings from Gio González and then five more scoreless innings from a parade of relievers to carry a 1-0 lead over the Cardinals into the bottom of the ninth at Roger Dean Stadium. And then things took a decided turn for the worse.

González tosses quick three innings vs. Cards (it’s a 1-1 final)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP SCORE: Nationals 1, Cardinals 1 Recap: Gio Gonzalez cruised through three scoreless innings, allowing one hit and one walk and using two double-play grounders to help him record nine outs on only 29 pitches. Wilmer Difo produced the game’s first run thanks to a single, two bases advanced on Lance Lynn’s wild pickoff throw and Grant Green’s RBI groundout. The Nationals bullpen

Wieters still catching bullpens, Norris dealing with sore back

JUPITER, Fla. - Matt Wieters has been in a Nationals uniform for more than a week now, but has yet to take the field with his new team for a game. That development should be only a few days away, though, with the veteran catcher still focused for now on catching bullpen sessions from the Nats pitching staff. While the Nationals are playing the Cardinals

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Cardinals in Jupiter

JUPITER, Fla. - It’s another windy day in South Florida, and just like yesterday in West Palm Beach the wind is blowing straight in from center field. Pitchers love it. Hitters and fielders, not so much. The Nationals face the Cardinals for the second straight day, merely moving the venue 15 minutes north to Roger Dean Stadium. There aren’t many regulars on the trip, but

Zimmerman pleased with process over results in first game

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - When Ryan Zimmerman stepped to the plate Friday for the first time this spring, then ripped a line drive to left field, there was an audible reaction from the crowd at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. It would have been difficult to strike a baseball with much more authority than the Nationals first baseman did. The crowd reaction, though,

Nationals agree to terms with all 22 pre-arbitration players

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals announced tonight they agreed to terms with all 22 of their pre-arbitration players, ensuring everyone on the roster is under contract with a set salary for the season. The players who agreed to terms: right-handers Blake Treinen, Joe Ross, Trevor Gott, A.J. Cole, Koda Glover, Rafael Martín, Austin Adams, Jimmy Cordero and Austin Voth; left-handers Sammy Solis, Enny

Strasburg ditches windup and likes the results

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - It may look a bit odd - pitching from the stretch, not a full windup, when there’s nobody on base - but in Stephen Strasburg’s mind, if that unconventional tweak can help make him a healthier and more effective pitcher, why not give it a shot? “I’m not trying to reinvent myself,” the Nationals right-hander said today after debuting his

Sans windup, Strasburg cruises in spring debut (Nats split a pair)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAPScore: Nationals (ss) 8, Marlins 5 Recap: Jhonathan Solano’s two-run single capped a four-run seventh inning as the Nationals rallied past the Marlins. ... Right-hander A.J. Cole started and was battered for six hits and four runs (three earned) in three innings, with his ERA zooming to 13.50. Need to know: Wilmer Difo, a career infielder, made his first appearance in the outfield

Pregame notes on Strasburg, Zimmerman, Difo and Wieters

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - We’re now a full week into Grapefruit League play, but today is a pseudo-debut day for several Nationals. Stephen Strasburg is on the mound against an opponent for the first time. Strasburg, who tossed one inning in last Thursday’s intrasquad game, is slated to pitch two innings today against the Cardinals The Nationals held off Strasburg’s Grapefruit League debut by

Starting lineups: Nats split-squad vs. Cardinals and Marlins

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals play their first split-squad games of the spring today, with one team staying home to face the Cardinals while another team makes the short drive up to Jupiter to face the Marlins. The home game features three notable Grapefruit League debuts: Stephen Strasburg on the mound, Ryan Zimmerman at first base and Pedro Severino behind the plate. Strasburg

Joe Blanton isn’t at all like you probably think he is

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - If you’ve followed baseball over the last decade and you have some knowledge of Joe Blanton, you probably have an image in your mind of the right-hander. There’s a good chance the image you have of him, however, is inaccurate. You probably think of Blanton as something less than a physical specimen, a pitcher with an everyman’s body that does

Despite “pure panic” moment, Werth swinging a hot bat

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Jayson Werth was taking swings in the big batting cage just outside The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, just as he would normally do in the minutes leading up to a spring training game in which he was only serving as designated hitter. This being the Nationals’ home ballpark, and him batting sixth in the lineup, he figured he had

Notes on Scherzer, Wieters and Strasburg (Nats roll 13-1)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 13, Astros 1 Recap: Playing their first road game inside their home ballpark, the Nationals jumped out to a 5-0 lead on the Astros and never looked back, banging out 17 hits. Jayson Werth’s three-run homer highlighted the first-inning rally. Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper also homered to lead the onslaught. Non-roster invitee Kyle McGowin got the start and tossed

Blanton reports to camp, S. Kieboom DFA

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Joe Blanton is officially a National. Spencer Kieboom now faces an uncertain future with the organization. The Nationals announced their signing of Blanton to a one-year contract this morning, and the veteran reliever is already in uniform (No. 75, though that will likely change before opening day) with a locker and a nameplate inside the team’s clubhouse at The Ballpark

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Astros in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals are on the road again today, this time facing the Astros, but surprisingly they’ve brought a bunch of big-name starters with them. Maybe that’s because this road game is actually being played in their own home ballpark. Finally, everybody gets to reap the real benefits of a shared spring training complex. We’ll be getting a look today at

McGowin gets surprise start; Strasburg still hasn’t debuted

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - When everyone is healthy and available, the Nationals have one of the best rotations in baseball. But until that happens, they’re getting a look at several backup options, including a rather obscure right-hander later today. Kyle McGowin is scheduled to start this afternoon against the Astros at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches - this is the first time the

Ross sharp vs. Tigers regulars in first start of spring

LAKELAND, Fla. - Joe Ross hadn’t taken the mound yet this spring to face another team, so when he arrived at Tiger Town this morning and saw a Detroit lineup featuring the likes of Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Ian Kinsler and J.D. Martinez, he couldn’t help but hope he wasn’t in for a long day. “I wouldn’t say I was looking forward to it,” Ross

Red-hot Taylor launches another homer (Nats win 9-1)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Nationals 9, Tigers 1 Recap: The Nats sent their B/C squad on the three-hour trip to Lakeland to go up against the Tigers’ A squad, but you wouldn’t know it from what took place on the field. The Nationals exploded at the plate, with Michael A. Taylor, Raudy Read and Drew Ward all homering. Taylor, who hit the walk-off homer in

Baker on the Blanton addition and how he’ll choose a closer

LAKELAND, Fla. - Joe Blanton isn’t officially a member of the Nationals bullpen just yet - the veteran still needs to pass his physical, and the club needs to clear a spot for him on its 40-man roster - but Dusty Baker is intrigued by the positive effect Blanton could have on his ever-changing relief corps. “It’ll be significant,” the manager said. “You’re adding a

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Tigers in Lakeland

LAKELAND, Fla. - Hello from Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, spring home of the Detroit Tigers since 1966 but looking as beautiful as ever right now following a major renovation this winter. They really did a nice job modernizing what already was one of the great, traditional spring training ballparks in Florida. The Nationals made the long drive (nearly three hours) here for today’s

Still with Nats, Norris is making the most of his playing time

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - There may be no player in the Nationals clubhouse, perhaps no player in any major league clubhouse this spring, in a position more awkward than the one Derek Norris finds himself in these days. Norris was supposed to be the Nationals’ starting catcher after the organization that drafted him way back in 2007 but traded him four years later and

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