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Hearing from Corbin, Martinez and García after a 6-3 loss

JUPITER, Fla. - When Nationals manager Davey Martinez outlined his desire to delay Patrick Corbin’s first Grapefruit League start until the beginning of the second week of exhibition games, the left-hander took the one-week deferral in stride. “I actually didn’t think too much about it,” Corbin said. “I was told the 29th was my first game, but it was good. I think it was smart,

Updates on relievers, Robles and Braymer (Nats lose 6-3)

JUPITER, Fla. - The Nationals are about to start getting a better look at the three pitchers who will form the back end of their bullpen in 2020. Closer Sean Doolittle and setup man Daniel Hudson, neither of whom has pitched in a Grapefruit League game this spring while manager Davey Martinez slow-plays them into action, are both nearing their debuts. Doolittle, a left-hander, has

Lineups: Nats vs. Cardinals in Jupiter

JUPITER, Fla. - And then there was one. When Patrick Corbin toes the rubber at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium against the Cardinals this afternoon, he’ll become the last of the Nationals starting pitchers to pitch in a Grapefruit League game. Manager Davey Martinez held back Corbin and Stephen Strasburg, who started yesterday against the Rays in West Palm Beach, as a way to compensate for

Harper makes his pitch for a spot in Nationals bullpen

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - In some ways, Ryne Harper is like the new kid in class. The proverbial new kid doesn’t know where the library is, isn’t sure who to sit with at lunch and stands alone at the bus stop. Harper might be new to the Nationals, traded from the Twins on Jan. 29 in exchange for minor league right-hander Hunter McMahon, but

Strasburg sees good and bad in uneven first outing

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Ever the routine-oriented pragmatist, Stephen Strasburg found both good and bad in his first Grapefruit League start - and he took both in stride. The good: He retired the first four batters he faced in order, striking out three of them. The bad: The next four batters reached base, and Vidal Bruján’s two-run double to center gave the Rays a

Martinez on Cabrera, Zimmerman, Elías and Soto (Nats lose 8-1)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Ryan Zimmerman came through his first Grapefruit League game Thursday night unscathed and Nationals manager Davey Martinez expects to have the veteran first baseman back in the lineup tomorrow when the club travels to Jupiter to play the Cardinals. “Typical soreness,” Martinez said, “but he said he made it through.” Zimmerman has come a long way as a first basemen,

Lineups: Rays vs. Nats in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Stephen Strasburg gets his first start of Grapefruit League play this afternoon, and you’ll be able to watch the right-hander battle the Rays on MASN at 1 p.m. Given that it’s about a three-hour trek from the Rays’ spring home in Port Charlotte on the state’s west coast, there will only be a few major leaguers in the lineup facing

Fewer opportunities this spring for 2019 camp phenom Noll

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The scruffy five o’clock shadow Jake Noll wore as a rookie has morphed into a full, flowing beard. It’s noticeable because the chair at Noll’s locker stall in the Nationals clubhouse faces outward, affording him a view of the room. Last year’s camp phenom looks a lot more comfortable in his second spring training with the major league club. He

Hearing from Scherzer, Martinez after 5-5 tie

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - For his second Grapefruit League start, Max Scherer had simple goals. He wanted to build up his pitch count, and succeeded, throwing 49 pitches over three innings. He hoped to display better glove-side location with his fastball, something he and catcher Kurt Suzuki had talked about between starts. Those were the things Scherzer could plan for. It was what he

Abdominal issue sidelines Will Harris (Nats, Astros tie 5-5)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Right-hander Stephen Strasburg will make his first Grapefruit League start at home against the Rays on Friday, and lefty Patrick Corbin will take his first spring turn on Saturday when the Nationals travel to Jupiter to face the Cardinals. Manager Davey Martinez has been slow-playing his veteran starters in the early portion of the exhibition schedule and said he expects

Lineups: Astros vs. Nats in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Ryan Zimmerman makes his Grapefruit League debut for the Nationals tonight, playing first base and hitting fifth against the Astros. “I was scratching my head about it, but I talked to him and he said he’d like to play today, which is nice,” said manager Davey Martinez, who is well aware of the veteran’s penchant for delaying his spring debut

Early spring reasons to be encouraged or discouraged

Spring training is only 33 percent complete at this point. Two weeks have passed since pitchers and catchers reported to West Palm Beach. Four weeks remain until the Nationals face the Mets at Citi Field and officially begin their title defense. So it’s probably unfair to start drawing any conclusions yet. But it’s not unfair to point out some things that appear to be going

Ross thrives vs. Yankees, Robles survives misplay in field

TAMPA, Fla. - Joe Ross could be forgiven if he was feeling a bit antsy before taking the mound at Steinbrenner Field this afternoon for his long-awaited spring debut. He thought he was going to pitch last weekend in West Palm Beach, and even warmed up to relieve Max Scherzer in the Grapefruit League opener, but watched the heavens open up and force the cancellation

Turner gets first opportunity to bat third (Nats lose 8-2)

TAMPA, Fla. - Davey Martinez has been talking about it much of the winter and through the first two weeks of the spring. Today the Nationals manager will finally see his unconventional lineup idea in action: Trea Turner is batting third against the Yankees. It’s not a perfect way to evaluate this lineup wrinkle, because only three players guaranteed to be in the opening day

Lineups: Nats vs. Yankees in Tampa

TAMPA - The Nationals’ spring relocation from Viera to West Palm Beach three years ago dramatically reduced the amount of time players have to spend on buses traveling to road games. But it didn’t completely eliminate long trips from the Grapefruit League schedule. Today the Nats make their longest trek of the spring, a full 204-mile jaunt across the state of Florida to Tampa, where

Opposite field remains Soto’s best friend

JUPITER, Fla. - It was a home run off a minor league reliever on Feb. 25. It’s not going to make Juan Soto any money or help the Nationals win any games that actually matter. And yet it was impossible to watch Soto’s blast off Cardinals right-hander Seth Elledge during Tuesday’s 9-6 exhibition win and not react with the same astonishment and approval that accompanies

After strong finish to 2019, Sánchez seeks fast start to 2020

JUPITER, Fla. - It’s easy to forget now, because - like the Nationals as a whole - Aníbal Sánchez was so good from late May through late October. But you may recall that the veteran right-hander’s first six weeks with the club were an abject disaster. When he took the mound on May 16 to face the Mets, Sánchez was 0-6 with a 5.27 ERA.

Strasburg to debut Friday, rotation order takes shape (Nats win)

JUPITER, Fla. - Davey Martinez isn’t about to announce his rotation order to begin the season. There’s too much time and too many things that could happen to throw a wrench into his plans. But with all of the regular starters now lined up here in Florida, it’s not hard to extrapolate things out and see how it all projects for March 26 and beyond.

Lineups: Nats vs. Cardinals in Jupiter

JUPITER, Fla. - Spring training lineups don’t always resemble regular season lineups. And today presents the perfect reminder of that. Eric Thames is leading off for the Nationals against the Cardinals, with Kurt Suzuki batting second. Has Davey Martinez lost his mind? No. This is simply a way to get two veterans two quick at-bats and then let them head home. You won’t be seeing

Nats could go many different ways with 26th roster spot

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The most significant of Major League Baseball’s rule changes for the upcoming season is the three-batter minimum that will now be required for every reliever that enters a game. (With an exception granted for anyone who finishes an inning, even if it’s only one batter.) Less discussed but not necessarily less significant is the addition of a 26th man to

After fiasco of 2019, Elías determined to reveal his true self

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - It’s not entirely accurate to say the Nationals never saw the real Roenis Elías last season. “We saw it,” manager Davey Martinez said. “The first day. Then after that ...” This is true. Acquired from the Mariners on July 31 to help fix the Nats’ major bullpen woes, Elías made his debut two nights later in Arizona, summoned by Martinez

Kieboom adjusting to game speed at third base (Nats lose 2-1)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - There is a month’s worth of exhibition games to play, and there will be countless opportunities for Carter Kieboom to make his case to be the Nationals’ opening day third baseman. What happens right now may have little to no bearing on the club’s ultimate decision. But every game Kieboom plays, he is going to be scrutinized more than perhaps

Lineups: Nats vs. Mets in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - In deciding to delay Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin’s first starts of the spring a few days, the Nationals have opened the door for some younger pitchers to get an opportunity to take the mound for the first and second innings this week. Today, that young pitcher will be Wil Crowe, who gets the start against a Mets lineup featuring

Virginia native Snyder gets to enjoy his moment vs. Astros

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Brandon Snyder would be the first to admit this was nothing like what the rest of the Nationals experienced the last time they faced the Astros, when the stakes were just a bit higher. While his teammates were hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy in Houston on Oct. 30, Snyder was watching on television with a buddy at his home in Warrenton,

Voth succeeds, Fedde struggles in Round 1 of competition

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Austin Voth, Joe Ross and Erick Fedde all sit next to each other in the Nationals clubhouse this spring. They all hang out together. They all want one another to do well. And yet, each knows the harsh truth: Only one of the three is going to open the season in the Nats rotation. One other is likely to get

Strasburg, Corbin, Zimmerman not playing yet (Nats win 2-1)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - They aren’t holding anybody back because of injury, but the Nationals are easing a few of their veterans into game action this spring, most notably members of their rotation. Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin won’t make a start the first time through the rotation this week, instead throwing live batting practice one more time before debuting in a Grapefruit League

Split-squad lineups: Nats vs. Astros and Marlins

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Good news: The skies have cleared, the rain is long gone and it should be a beautiful day for baseball. So beautiful, the Nationals are going to play two - at the same time. It’s a split-squad day, with half of the guys staying home to face the Astros again while the other half of the roster goes to Jupiter

Unable to replicate October vibe, Scherzer content with ‘20 debut

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - If Max Scherzer has proven nothing else, it’s that he’ll never take the mound with anything less than 100 percent commitment to compete. Having said that, not all starts are created equal. And a start on Feb. 22 can never compare to a start on Oct. 30, even if the opponent is the same. “The last game I pitched was

Nats cheered, Astros booed during rained-out spring opener

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - They came to cheer the defending World Series champs and boo the runners up. And they did so at every possible opportunity. Any mention of the Nationals (technically, the visiting team) tonight in the Grapefruit League opener at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches - a game that wound up getting canceled after two scoreless innings due to a persistent

Castillo has sore shoulder, plus other notes (game canceled)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals’ first injury of the spring may not involve a member of the 40-man roster, but it does involve a veteran trying to squeeze his way onto the opening day roster. Welington Castillo, a catcher with 10 years of big league experience, was due to DH in tonight’s Grapefruit League opener but was scratched with a sore right shoulder.

Lineups: Nats vs. Astros in West Palm Beach (updated)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - One hundred fifteen days have passed since the Nationals and Astros last took the field, a late October night that will forever bring smiles to anyone who lives in Washington and tears to anyone who lives in Houston. Tonight, both teams return to begin their quest to reach late October again. The Grapefruit League opener is a big deal any

Baker still close with Nats: “I left my heart over there when I left”

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Dusty Baker stood near one of the practice fields outside FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on Thursday morning, wearing an Astros cap and pullover, answering questions about the team he now manages. He looked very much at home, very much in his element. The 70-year-old baseball lifer has done everything there is to do in this sport, and yet

Union chief addresses players’ vitriol toward Astros

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Tony Clark, head of the Major League Baseball Players’ Association, visits every club every spring. Those meetings can run long, sometimes topping two hours, depending on the list of topics that need to be discussed. This morning, Clark and his associates with the players’ union, walked into the Astros clubhouse at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and did not

Handful of Nats regulars will play in exhibition opener

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - After more than a week of bright sunshine and temperatures in the mid-80s, the Nationals walked outside this morning to an unfamiliar sight this spring: rain. For the first time in camp, weather altered the club’s plans. What should’ve been a two-hour full squad workout instead was condensed into a quick session that took care of the day’s most pressing

West Palm Beach throws Nationals another parade

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - It didn’t compare to the parade they threw the Nationals in Washington three days after Game 7 of the World Series. How could it? Maybe there weren’t hundreds of thousands of fans lining Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach on Thursday evening. But those who did turn out - and there were plenty who did - were treated to

For Fedde, more options mean less opportunity

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Erick Fedde got a text message from his father in December. The message was brief: “Hey, I was reading an article online saying you have a fourth option.” Fedde’s reply was direct and didn’t mince words: “Dad, don’t be dumb. Fourth options are not a thing.” Everyone in baseball, certainly younger players who bounce up and down between the minor

Martinez on today’s workout and what he expects Saturday

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Starlin Castro came to Nationals camp with a revamped swing that results in more balls pulled in the air and fewer balls on the ground, a swing that produced big numbers late last season with the Marlins. But the first live pitcher he had to face here was immune to such tweaks. Castro groaned Wednesday when he found out he

Boring, drama-less camp is fine with Nationals

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Spring training life for the defending champions is a bit different than in previous years. There are questions about trying to repeat. New signs all over the place touting last fall’s achievement. Fingers to be sized for championship rings. Everybody’s in a good mood, for good reason. But there’s something lacking from Nationals camp so far, something that can be

Martinez ready to try Robles at leadoff, Turner batting third

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The casual observer should be awfully careful reading too much into a team’s lineup during the early days of spring training. With many veterans resting and those who do play often batting high in the order so they can get a couple of at-bats and get out of there, there isn’t a whole lot worth interpreting. That said, don’t be

“Sore in all the right spots,” Scherzer will start Saturday

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Max Scherzer offered up a simple, yet important, takeaway from his first session throwing to live hitters this spring. “I’m sore in all the right spots,” he said. For the uninitiated, there’s no reason to be alarmed. Scherzer knows the difference between being “sore,” being “hurt” and being “injured.” Sore is good. Hurt is potentially worrisome. Injured is full-blown panic

Nats getting fitted for rings today, won’t see them until April 4

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The note was visible to all at the top of the video board inside the Nationals clubhouse: “Ring fitting Wednesday and Thursday.” Add this to the growing list of developments that remind everyone the Nats’ World Series victory really did happen. Players, coaches, support staff and front office executives all will be fitted for their championship rings over the next

Nats’ infield intentions take shape during first workout

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals’ first full-squad workout of 2020 began with an extra-long “Circle of Trust” meeting that at one point featured team massage therapist Patrick Panico’s cannonball into the adjacent pool but most importantly featured a hammering home of the overriding message Davey Martinez wants to convey to a club seeking to repeat as World Series champions. “Process. Process. Process,” the

Kendrick never doubted he’d back with Nats for another year

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Howie Kendrick went home to Arizona a few days after the World Series ended, a free agent with no assurances of returning to the same Nationals club he had just helped lead to victory. There was reason to wonder if the defending champs would want to bring back a 36-year-old utility man coming off far and away the best season

Sudden fame, success haven’t changed driven Soto

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The 21-year-old said what you expect most 21-year-old outfielders to say when asked for their goal upon reporting to spring training. “I come here to make the team,” the young outfielder said. “I’m going to fight for my place. I’m going to keep working hard, keep playing baseball the right way. Because it’s a lot of new players, a lot

The infield and catching plans, cabbage race and title sign

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - If it wasn’t already clear before, Davey Martinez today made his plan for the Nationals infield this spring very clear. Starlin Castro will get all of his work at second base for now. Carter Kieboom will get all of his work at third base for now. Asdrúbal Cabrera will get the bulk of his work at third base. Howie Kendrick

Healthy Zimmerman sets goal to avoid IL in 16th MLB season

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Ryan Zimmerman has been coming to Florida for 15 springs now, during which time he’s taken 740 official plate appearances, amassing 43 homers and 136 RBIs, batting .320 with a .955 OPS. Suffice it to say, Zimmerman knows the routine. He knows how much work he needs to feel ready for opening day, and that typically is contingent on the

As position players report, Scherzer ready to face hitters

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Nationals position players officially report to spring training this morning, and there may be nobody in camp happier to hear that than Davey Martinez. “I’ve actually been excited since right after the New Year, really,” the third-year manager said. “I’ve started gathering my thoughts and looking forward to seeing all the guys, and then all of a sudden you’re here,

Upbeat Castro fits right in on first day with Nationals

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Some might be intimidated walking into a clubhouse full of returning veterans - veterans returning from a World Series title, for that matter - and trying to blend in as one of only a handful of new guys. Starlin Castro walked into the Nationals clubhouse today for the first time, though, and looked and acted like he’s been here all

Suzuki takes the high road after Correa lashes out

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Kurt Suzuki wasn’t expecting to find himself in the middle of the war of words between the Astros and players around the majors who are now blasting the 2017 champs for cheating by illegally stealing signs. But when the Nationals catcher was quoted in The Washington Post saying he believed the Astros were still cheating during the 2019 World Series

How improved bullpen could make up for loss of Rendon

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - So much mental energy has been spent this winter trying to figure out how the Nationals are going to account for the loss of Anthony Rendon’s production. Here’s one potential way they could do it: by having a better bullpen. It may not seem one has anything to do with the other at first glance, but the Nats actually do

High-energy Robles reports early, will get chance to lead off

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - He came bounding through the doors around 8:30 a.m., announcing his presence with authority in an otherwise sleepy clubhouse partially filled with pitchers and catchers. Position players are not required to report to Nationals camp until Monday, but a handful have already found their way here, staying mostly quiet and staying mostly out of the way. Victor Robles, however, wasn’t

Super Bowl commercial capped Barrett’s emotional comeback

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Aaron Barrett was working out in his hometown in Mississippi three weeks ago when he got a text message from a friend with an odd question included: “Have you seen the Budweiser commercial?” Barrett, completely confused, replied that he hadn’t and then asked why. “You’re in it,” the friend responded. Thus did the Nationals reliever, learn he was part of

Strasburg on track, Rizzo on contract, Hellickson retires

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Like Max Scherzer the previous day, Stephen Strasburg threw 56 pitches during his bullpen session Friday morning. Like Scherzer, he felt perfectly normal. Like Scherzer, this winter and spring really won’t be all that different from prior ones, despite all the extra pitches Strasburg threw last fall. “I mean, you try and take the same amount of time off, and

With no trade in works, third base job is Kieboom’s to lose

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals have a plan and a backup plan to replace Anthony Rendon at third base this season. Plan A is for Carter Kieboom, long considered one of the organization’s top prospects, to prove he deserves the job this spring and enter the season as the everyday third baseman. Plan B is for several veterans already on the roster -

Rizzo won’t be satisfied until Astros admit they “cheated”

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - At some point this spring, the Astros sign-stealing scandal will dissipate into the background and earn only occasional mention. Not yet, though. The saga that has engulfed the baseball world for weeks continues to be front and center at camps across Florida and Arizona, especially this particular camp that houses both of the 2019 World Series participants. It didn’t help

Martinez’s message for defending champs: “Repeat the process”

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - That Davey Martinez was even present for the opening of spring training Thursday was significant from a Nationals historical perspective. By merely setting foot on the practice fields outside FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, Martinez became only the second manager in club history to lead his third spring camp. Dusty Baker didn’t do it. Neither did Davey Johnson, Jim

Healthy Scherzer leads the way on first day of workouts

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Oh, yeah, there actually was some baseball being practiced around here today. It kind of got lost in the shuffle of the Nationals opening their title defense while the Astros tried to defend themselves, but pitchers and catchers took the fields outside FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches for the first time in 2020. And that meant Max Scherzer took

As Astros apologize, Nats players share thoughts on scandal

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The contrast was impossible to ignore. On one side of FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, more than 50 reporters and photographers listened to Astros owner Jim Crane and players Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve apologize for the sign-stealing scandal that has engulfed baseball since it was revealed three months ago. It was not, by all accounts, well received. On

A wild first day of spring expected in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Sometime around 9:30 a.m. today, every pitcher and catcher in Nationals camp will emerge from the clubhouse and gather on the adjacent agility field outside for the first of 37 planned “Circle of Trust” morning meetings. Davey Martinez will set the tone for the day - and the spring in general - with some combination of instruction, wisdom and laughter.

Nats invite 22 non-roster players to big league camp

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals have invited 22 non-roster players to participate in big league camp, a group that includes a host of veterans with major league experience and a handful of prospects who aren’t yet on the organization’s 40-man roster. Among the veterans who signed minor league contracts and were extended big league invitations are: * Javy Guerra, who made 40 relief

Seven Nats exhibition games to be broadcast on MASN

MASN announced today that seven Nationals exhibition games will be televised this spring, including next week’s highly anticipated Grapefruit League opener against the Astros and new manager Dusty Baker. The first six televised games will all come from FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. The seventh broadcast game will come from Nationals Park, where the defending World Series champions will face a team made up

Spring training storylines: Life as defending champs

We’ve reached the final countdown to spring training, so we’re counting down the most important storylines surrounding the Nationals this spring. We conclude today with the quest to repeat as World Series champions ... Nationals pitchers and catchers report to West Palm Beach today. Just as they’ve done each of the last three springs. And just as they did the previous 12 springs in Viera.

Spring training storylines: Is Kieboom the answer at third?

We’ve reached the final countdown to spring training, so we’re counting down the most important storylines surrounding the Nationals this spring. We continue today with the search for Anthony Rendon’s replacement at third base ... When Bryce Harper departed for Philadelphia one year ago, the Nationals knew exactly how they intended to account for his loss. They had three starting outfielders already in house, and

Spring training storylines: Finding the right lineup combo

We’ve reached the final countdown to spring training, so we’re counting down the most important storylines surrounding the Nationals this spring. We continue today with the lineup decisions Davey Martinez must make ... It’s surprise quiz time, folks. Do you remember who batted leadoff for the Nationals on opening day last season? Who hit sixth? Who hit eighth? (No peeking allowed.) Do you know the

Spring training storylines: The No. 5 starter competition

We’ve reached the final countdown to spring training, so we’re counting down the most important storylines surrounding the Nationals this spring. We continue today with the battle for the No. 5 starter’s job ... It’s not unusual for a club to hold an open competition for at least one spot in its opening day rotation. It is unusual, however, for a club to have four

Spring training storylines: Rizzo and Martinez’s contracts

We’ve reached the final countdown to spring training, so we’re counting down the most important storylines surrounding the Nationals this spring. We begin today with the status of Mike Rizzo and Davey Martinez’s contracts ... If there’s one subject a defending World Series champion shouldn’t have to think about, it’s the future of its general manager and manager. Really, why would anyone spend a second

Nationals outfield returns intact, with room for growth

As spring training fast approaches, it’s time to break down the state of the Nationals roster, position by position. The series concludes today with the outfield ... The Nationals infield may be chock full of questions entering spring training, but the guys who will line up behind them are firmly locked into place. All three starting outfielders - plus the primary backups - from last

New-look infield must answer plenty of questions this spring

As spring training fast approaches, it’s time to break down the state of the Nationals roster, position by position. The series continues today with the infield ... So much of the Nationals’ World Series-winning roster returns intact this spring, but one aspect of the roster has undergone some serious change since we last saw this team take the field. An infield that was among the

Can returning catching tandem duplicate 2019 numbers?

As spring training fast approaches, it’s time to break down the state of the Nationals roster, position by position. The series continues today with the catching corps ... The Nationals knew they needed a major catching upgrade last winter, and they could’ve attempted to achieve that with one big acquisition. Instead, general manager Mike Rizzo decided to add two veterans and hope their combined production

Nats hope improved depth leads to improved bullpen

As spring training fast approaches, it’s time to break down the state of the Nationals roster, position by position. The series continues today with the bullpen ... We know the Nationals bullpen was terrible last season. That’s not news to anyone. How bad was it, though? And, more importantly, why was it so bad? The stat most often cited throughout the ordeal that was the

Nats will again go as far as star-studded rotation takes them

As spring training fast approaches, it’s time to break down the state of the Nationals roster, position by position. The series begins today with the starting rotation ... What was the biggest difference between the 2018 Nationals, who disappointed and failed to reach the postseason, and the 2019 Nationals, who not only reached October but were the last team standing at the end of the

Do Nationals’ stars get enough credit on an individual level?

MLB Network has been airing its annual “Top 10 Right Now!” series over the last several weeks. If you haven’t watched it before, the network attempts to rate the 10 best players at each position at this moment, using a complex computer algorithm affectionately referred to as “The Shredder” to come up with the final rankings. This, of course, means nothing and shouldn’t be taken

Phil Rizzo, Nationals scout and GM’s father, dies at 90

Phil Rizzo, a Hall of Fame scout who spent the last 11 years serving as senior advisor to his son, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, died Friday night. He was 90. Over a scouting career that spanned more than five decades, Phil Rizzo worked for nine different franchises and was credited with signing future big leaguers including Brandon Webb, Mike Matheny, Bob Wickman, Mark Loretta,

Only two members of World Series roster remain unsigned

As the clock ticks down to the start of spring training, so does the scramble for the remaining unsigned free agents out there to find jobs. One member of the Nationals’ World Series-winning roster found a job Friday: Matt Adams, who agreed to a minor league deal with the Mets. Adams, the left-handed half of the Nats’ first base platoon for most of the last

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