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Harris placed on 10-day IL with right groin strain

The Nationals placed Will Harris on the 10-day injured list this morning with a right groin strain, an injury that cropped up in recent days and kept the veteran reliever from pitching in what seemed like an obvious situation for him during Thursday’s win over the Blue Jays. The transaction is retroactive to July 29, making Harris eligible to return Aug. 8 at the earliest.

As Doolittle and Harris get right, Nats trust Rainey and Hudson

As the bottom of the eighth arrived Thursday evening, the Nationals leading the Blue Jays by three runs, Davey Martinez needed to decide which two relievers he would put on the mound to try to close out this victory. Based on both track record and recent usage, the answer appeared to be obvious: Will Harris for the eighth, Sean Doolittle for the ninth. Neither would

Nerve pain gone, Strasburg plans to throw off mound

Stephen Strasburg is no longer feeling the nerve pain in his right hand that prevented him from making his first two scheduled starts of the season, and the Nationals are planning for the veteran right-hander to throw off a mound this weekend and then potentially make his 2020 debut shortly after that. Strasburg, sidelined with what he referred to as a nerve impingement in his

Kendrick day-to-day with upper back injury

There were several moments late in Wednesday night’s game at Nationals Park that seemed to be screaming for Howie Kendrick to grab a bat and step to the plate. The veteran infielder was scratched from the Nationals’ original lineup against the Blue Jays due to upper back stiffness, but in announcing that change several hours before game time the club also stated he would be

Nats win 10-inning pitchers’ duel to snap skid (updated)

Whether played in Washington, Toronto, Buffalo or Sheboygan, tonight’s game between the Nationals and Blue Jays deserved to be played in front of a packed house. It was that good. Alas, you can’t play a ballgame in front of anyone right now, so the select few who were allowed inside Nationals Park to witness this taut pitchers’ duel that ended as a 4-0, 10-inning victory

Game 6 lineups: Nats at* Blue Jays (Kendrick scratched)

Who’s ready for some poutine, fastball velocities measured in kph instead of mph and the Nationals wearing their gray coloured pants inside their home ballpark? It’s Bizarro World on South Capitol Street for the next two nights. Because the Canadian government won’t allow teams to travel in and out of the United States without going through 14-day quarantines, and because the Triple-A stadium in Buffalo

Nats trying to find the fun while snapping out of losing streak

Ask anyone who was around the 2019 Nationals what turned their season around and you’ll get two answers: They got healthy after a rash of injuries devastated the roster in April and early May, and they relaxed and started having fun on and off the field. Five games into the 2020 season, the Nationals are again dealing with the absence of several key players (Juan

Nationals slog through another loss to Blue Jays (updated)

There’s no delicate way to put this: The Nationals are a listless bunch on the baseball field right now. It’s perfectly understandable, given the circumstances. They’re trying to play through a pandemic. Their top slugger remains stuck in quarantine even though he’s passed two official coronavirus tests and several more unofficial ones. Their World Series MVP is sidelined with a nerve injury in his hand.

Nats won’t play this weekend after Marlins series is postponed

The Nationals are playing the Blue Jays tonight at Nationals Park in the finale of a two-game series in which they are the home team. Then the two clubs will play again Wednesday and Thursday at Nationals Park, with the Blue Jays becoming the designated home team because they’re not allowed to play in Toronto and their replacement home in Buffalo isn’t ready yet. Then

Game 5 lineups: Nats vs. Blue Jays

This has become a recurring theme every day during this unprecedented season: The Nationals spend the morning and afternoon dealing with major news events, then have to actually take the field to play a ballgame in the evening. So far, that has resulted in a 1-3 record. They’ll try to flip that back in a more positive direction tonight in the second of four games

Nats’ thoughts on Marlins, Strasburg throws, Roark returns

Some news and notes on this Tuesday morning ... * Baseball can be a respite from world events. Right now, it’s also a respite from baseball. After spending all of Monday morning and afternoon consumed with the news of the Marlins’ coronavirus outbreak, the Nationals went out and played their own game. They went on to lose, 4-1 to the Blue Jays, but nobody was

Blue Jays’ blasts beat Nationals’ bloops and blunders (updated)

A flurry of singles and well-struck balls should have portended a good night at the plate for the Nationals. It didn’t. Ten singles and a double by the home team only produced one run, and that wasn’t nearly enough to make up for the four solo homers the Blue Jays launched off Aníbal Sánchez during a 4-1 victory at Nationals Park that only served to

Game 4 lineups: Nats vs. Blue Jays

As we’re quickly learning, much of the morning and afternoon right now is spent dealing with serious news stories involving people’s health, and then the evening arrives and we remember there’s a ballgame to be played. Strange times, and I’m not sure we’ll ever get used to this daily ritual. The Nationals, after dropping two of three to the Yankees in frustrating fashion, now host

Nats add veteran utilityman Harrison, send Read down

The Nationals formally signed Josh Harrison to a major league contract today and will have the veteran utilityman in uniform for tonight’s series opener against the Blue Jays. Harrison, 33, was released by the Phillies last week before playing in a regular season game for them. The nine-year veteran and two-time All-Star is a career .273 hitter with 53 homers, 277 RBIs and a .714

Hitters need a crash course in timing at the plate

It was kind of understood that pitchers would be ahead of hitters during baseball’s first weekend of 2020. Even though pitchers had precious little time build their arms up during a three-week summer camp, hitters had even fewer opportunities to hone their timing against live pitching. The result hasn’t been surprising. Thirty-three times already, a team has been held to two or fewer runs. “I’ve

Nationals let game, series slip away late (updated)

In this shortened, 60-game season, the outcome of any tight ballgame is going to be magnified, all the more so when the lead flips late. Under normal circumstances, the Nationals might not feel terrible about a 3-2 loss to the Yankees in a well played game between two powerhouse clubs that could’ve gone either way. But these are not normal circumstances. Every win is precious,

Game 3 lineups: Nats vs. Yankees

If someone told you neither Juan Soto nor Stephen Strasburg would appear in the Nationals’ opening series against the Yankees but they’d still have a chance to win the series, what would you have thought? To their credit, the Nats have given themselves an opportunity to do just that, if they can win this afternoon’s finale on South Capitol Street. The good news: They’ve got

Unexpected stars shine in Nats’ rout of Yankees (updated)

No Stephen Strasburg? No worries, because Erick Fedde was ready for his emergency start. No Juan Soto? No worries, because Victor Robles, Asdrúbal Cabrera and the rest of the Nationals lineup more than made up for the continued absence of the club’s best hitter. And if those two developments during tonight’s 9-2 blowout win over the Yankees weren’t surprising enough, Davey Martinez managed to get

Game 2 lineups: Nats vs. Yankees

A lot has happened over the last 72 hours, only some of it having to do with actual baseball. Hopefully, though, baseball takes center stage this evening and remains there for the foreseeable future. If nothing else, the Nationals would love to be able to play a full nine innings for the first time since October. The good news: Tonight’s forecast looks much better. There’s

Strasburg scratched, Fedde to start, Soto awaiting results

The Nationals had to take the field opening night without their star slugger in the lineup. Now they’ll have to take the field tonight without their World Series MVP on the mound. Stephen Strasburg has been scratched from his scheduled season debut against the Yankees due to a nerve issue in his right hand and thumb, manager Davey Martinez revealed this afternoon. Erick Fedde, who

Barrera suspended 80 games after positive PED test

Tres Barrera, who made his major league debut for the Nationals last season and was in camp this summer competing to make the opening day roster as the club’s third catcher, has been suspended 80 games without pay by Major League Baseball after testing positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, a performance-enhancing drug. Barrera, who denied having ever knowingly taken a banned substance, appealed his positive test, but

Entire series with Blue Jays will be played at Nationals Park

The Nationals won’t have to leave South Capitol Street for their first road series of the season. Though the Blue Jays finally found a replacement home in Buffalo, the Triple-A ballpark in Western New York won’t be ready for play until next weekend at the earliest. So their first scheduled home series, July 29-30 versus the Nats, will be played at Nationals Park, a source

Friday morning Nats Q&A

Well, opening day certainly proved to be eventful, if not exactly satisfying for the Nationals. They learned Juan Soto had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and couldn’t open the season on the active roster. They raised their World Series flag and pennant in an empty stadium with no fans to cheer them on. They joined the Yankees in kneeling on the field following a

Rain-shortened loss caps sad day for Nationals (updated)

It should’ve been a glorious day, a chance to celebrate what happened at the end of the 2019 season and begin the 2020 season with a marquee matchup. Alas, July 23, 2020 will not be remembered fondly by anyone in these parts. Unless you’re a Yankees fan glad your team was awarded a rain-shortened 4-1 victory over the Nationals to cap off an evening that

Game 1 lineups: Nats vs. Yankees

And so it begins. The strangest season in baseball history gets underway with the strangest opening night in baseball history. The defending champion Nationals will raise a flag and a pennant and face the sport’s most-storied franchise, even though it comes from the American League. It will be televised nationally, with artificial crowd noise pumped through the otherwise empty stadium’s public address system. And the

Soto tests positive but shows no symptoms, placed on IL (updated)

The Nationals’ season-opening roster will not include the team’s best and brightest young star. Juan Soto was not included on the Nats’ initial 30-man roster and will not be active for tonight’s opener against the Yankees after testing positive for COVID-19, general manager Mike Rizzo announced this afternoon. Soto, like others on the team, was tested Tuesday. He is asymptomatic, but early this morning his

2020 Nats media season predictions

The 2020 Major League Baseball season begins tonight, and did you ever think those words would mean what they do right now? This promises to be a season unlike any other, and we don’t know yet if that will be for positive reasons, negative reasons or a little of each. It may be different, but that doesn’t mean it won’t include a few familiar traditions.

Nats, Yanks hope to set example for American team sports

When they take the field Thursday night for the first time in 2020, the Nationals will do so as defending World Series champions, having just raised a flag and pennant minutes earlier. They’ll be sending their potential future Hall-of-Famer Max Scherzer to the mound. The opponents, the Yankees, are merely baseball’s most-storied franchise, one sending its new ace, Gerrit Cole, to the mound in its

Suero, Elías throwing but won’t make opening night bullpen

Though Wander Suero and Roenis Elías have rejoined the Nationals and have been cleared to work out with the club, neither reliever will be ready to open the season on the active roster. Suero and Elías were among the group of 11 players who were not initially cleared to participate in summer training at Nationals Park, either because they tested positive for COVID-19 or were

Ready or not, exhibition season is over for Nationals

Are the Nationals ready for what awaits them Thursday night, when the atmosphere inside Nationals Park will be no different than it was for tonight’s exhibition finale - a rain-shortened, 6-4 victory over the Orioles - but the stakes will be ramped up by a factor of 10? It’s impossible to know at this point, but here’s what we do know after three exhibition games

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Orioles

It has taken an extraordinarily long time for the Nationals’ exhibition finale to arrive. And yet it still feels like it sneaked up on us without notice, doesn’t it? Such is life when you’ve had a four-month hiatus in the middle of the exhibition season, then only three games upon returning to action. This is the last chance the Nats will get, though, before facing

Martinez still likes Castro as Nationals’ new No. 3 hitter

Think back, if you can, to the offseason and one of the most pressing questions facing the Nationals as they prepared to defend their title in 2020: Who was going to replace Anthony Rendon as the No. 3 hitter? There never was a perfect answer to the question, but there were several potential answers, each earning a few weeks in the spotlight before getting replaced

Starting lineups: Nats at Orioles

The Nationals passed their first test of the exhibition season, successfully hosting a game against the Phillies. Now they face their next important test: a road game. It’s not really a road trip, just a short bus ride up to Camden Yards and back. No overnight stay in a hotel. No flights. But there are different protocols and considerations they must follow for tonight’s game

With 72 hours to go, Nats facing final roster decisions

They’ve played only one exhibition game, but the Nationals have no choice but to start thinking seriously about finalizing their opening night roster, which must be submitted 72 hours from now. In some ways, this is a trickier proposition than it usually is, given the lack of time and lack of performance to make such player judgments. And yet in some ways it’s also a

Robles expects to be ready for opener, Suero rejoins camp

Victor Robles is convinced he’ll be ready for opening night. The Nationals have four days to decide if they concur. Robles, who was cleared to participate in workouts Saturday for the first time this summer, said today that despite his lack of baseball activities while in quarantine, he expects to be good to go for the Nats’ season opener against the Yankees. “Absolutely. I think

Cabrera likely to start, Voth impresses, Toronto is out

Given an opportunity to write out what may very well be his opening night lineup for Saturday’s exhibition opener, Nationals manager Davey Martinez included one mildly unexpected name: Asdrúbal Cabrera. Two weeks after suggesting rookie Carter Kieboom would be his everyday third baseman for this shortened season, Martinez offered a clue that probably won’t be 100 percent true. Cabrera, not Kieboom, got the nod against

Exhibition opener at Nats Park is both familiar and abnormal

They stretched and played catch in the outfield, just like they always do. Max Scherzer warmed up in the bullpen, just like he always does. After a moment of silence for late Rep. John Lewis, everyone lined up and listened to the national anthem, just like they always do. And then, as pump-up music blared over the sound system and PA announcer Jerome Hruska introduced

Robles joins camp, watches game from dugout (updated)

The final missing piece of the Nationals lineup has joined the club at last. Victor Robles was spotted in the home dugout during tonight’s exhibition opener against the Phillies, the center fielder having completed his District of Columbia-mandated quarantine more than two weeks after Nats summer training opened. Robles was part of a large group of Nationals players that traveled to Washington from the Dominican

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Phillies

And so, here we go again. When last we saw the Nationals on the field playing against another team, their biggest concerns were whether the pitching staff would suffer from all the extra innings they threw during the postseason, whether Carter Kieboom deserved to start at third base, how much playing time Ryan Zimmerman would get and whether Joe Ross would win the No. 5

Nats ready to take next step with first exhibition game

They’ve spent the last two weeks working first in small groups, then as a full (socially distanced) unit. They took grounders. They took batting practice. They threw off the bullpen mound. They simulated some game situations. And they played several intrasquad games. And now, at long last, the Nationals will take the field and play a baseball game against an opposing team for the first

Kendrick will be ready for opener (MASN to air two exhibitions)

He’s had only two days in camp after spending 14 days in mandatory quarantine. He’ll get to play in only three exhibition games. But Howie Kendrick insists he’ll be at Nationals Park on Thursday night, in the lineup as his team opens its title defense against the Yankees. “I’ll be ready,” the veteran hitter said today in his first Zoom session with reporters of the

Nationals release veteran reliever Abad

The Nationals released Fernando Abad this morning, cutting ties with the veteran reliever, who had been among the group of players waiting the last two weeks to be cleared to participate in summer training. Abad, a non-roster invitee to big league camp back in the spring, had been a viable candidate to make the opening day bullpen, all the more so after Major League Baseball

Summer training news and notes

Some news and notes for you on this Friday morning, the eve of the Nationals’ first exhibition game against another club in four months ... * Though most of the attention - rightfully and deservedly - during Thursday night’s intrasquad game was on Juan Soto and Howie Kendrick, there were other notable moments not involving the two big-name lineup regulars who made their summer training

Nationals in standoff with D.C. over quarantine rules

The Nationals and the District of Columbia are engaged in something of a standoff, the team trying to convince local authorities to grant an exception of its strict COVID-19 quarantine rules and suggesting it may move games away from Nationals Park if the city doesn’t comply, a source familiar with the situation confirmed. Though D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser granted an exemption to the team earlier

Soto, Kendrick, García cleared to work out (updated)

Juan Soto, Howie Kendrick and Luis García were cleared to participate in workouts at Nationals Park today after two weeks of quarantine required for those who either tested positive for COVID-19 or were exposed to someone who did. Soto and Kendrick were among the biggest names among the group of 11 Nationals players who had not initially been cleared to join the rest of the

Fedde sharp in intrasquad game, makes case for No. 5 job

With only three weeks of summer training and only a few intrasquad or exhibition games to make evaluations, the Nationals are probably going to have to make their choice for No. 5 starter more off old information than anything they see right now. Still, Erick Fedde’s chances for winning the job could only have improved Wednesday night, given the right-hander’s performance against teammates in an

After some tinkering, Nats pleased with artificial crowd noise

As Stephen Strasburg took the mound, “Seven Nation Army” blared over the public address system. The sort-of-familiar din of crowd noise could be heard in the background. And then as the leadoff batter stepped to the plate, there was Jerome Hruska’s voice booming throughout Nationals Park, introducing “the shortstop ... Trea Turner!” as the crowd cheered. And then tonight’s intrasquad game began, and a team

Menhart “impressed” with pitchers’ readiness after hiatus

After the entire team had departed West Palm Beach and spread throughout North America, the Nationals coaching staff was left to figure out what to tell each player to do to stay sharp until everyone could gather together again. The staff had to do this without having any idea when or where baseball would resume. And that meant nobody faced a challenge as difficult as

Wednesday morning Nats Q&A

We are 12 days into summer training at Nationals Park, and we’re now only eight days from opening night against the Yankees. (Wow, that happened quick, didn’t it?) Though they’ve accomplished a lot over these last 12 days, the Nationals still have a lot to straighten out before they’re playing for real. That includes getting Juan Soto, Victor Robles and Howie Kendrick in camp for

Nats try out new extra-inning rule, get hitting coach back

Tonight’s workout at Nationals Park featured a parade of relief pitchers, a trial run of baseball’s new extra-inning rule and the return of a key member of the coaching staff. Rather than put two separate teams on the field that switched sides every half-inning like they did Monday, the Nationals mixed and matched their defensive players and batters throughout the hour-long intrasquad game. No starting

Catcher-umpire relationship faces new tests this season

Baseball, more than most team sports, naturally creates social distance. There aren’t many circumstances that bring people together in close quarters for more than a second or two during a specific play. With one major exception: The catcher and the plate umpire. For all the extensive changes and protocols Major League Baseball is putting in place to protect everyone on the field during a game,

Nats make their own intensity during quiet intrasquad game

They wore jerseys with names and numbers on them for the first time in four months, one team in red tops and gray pants, the other in all white. They played music between innings from a large speaker near the dugout. They sent two big league starters to the mound for this five-inning intrasquad matchup, but didn’t have enough available position players to fill both

Suero, Elías placed on IL for undisclosed reasons (updated)

The Nationals placed relievers Wander Suero and Roenis Elías on the injured list this evening, the first such transactions the club has made involving any of the eight players who had yet to be cleared to participate in summer training. No reason for Suero and Elías’ placement on the IL was provided, but neither pitcher has been present through the first 11 days of at

With family’s blessing, Hudson sets out to duplicate 2019

Daniel Hudson need not prove to anyone his commitment to family over baseball. This is the guy, of course, who missed Game 1 of last fall’s National League Championship Series so he could fly home to Phoenix and be with his wife, Sara, as she gave birth to the couple’s third daughter. So it should come as no surprise to learn that Daniel and Sara

Nats shift to evening workout schedule this week

The Nationals can’t do anything about the scarcity of exhibition games permitted by Major League Baseball - only three per team - before opening night, so they’re left to try to get more creative in creating game-like situations for players during the rest of summer training. So far, the most they’ve done is hold informal, intrasquad games each afternoon. Most of these have lasted only

Starters believe they’ll be ready for 90-100 pitches by opener

Max Scherzer threw 48 pitches over three innings on Wednesday. Stephen Strasburg and Erick Fedde followed Friday with three innings apiece. Patrick Corbin duplicated that feat Saturday afternoon. And today, Aníbal Sánchez topped everybody by totaling 65 pitches over four mostly sparkling innings in an intrasquad game at Nationals Park. It’s impossible to know how any of that will translate to actual performance once the

Taking a crack at a 30-man opening day roster

It’s hard to believe the Nationals open the 2020 season in 11 days, but here we are. Barring a calamitous event - and, unfortunately, calamity must remain within the realm of possibility - Max Scherzer and company are going to take the field shortly after 7 p.m. on July 23 to face the Yankees and kick off this unprecedented baseball season. And there’s a whole

Nats preparing for opener with or without missing regulars

As each day passes with no change in the status of several prominent Nationals players who have not yet been cleared to participate in summer training, the club moves a step closer to confronting a dilemma that may pale in comparison to matters of greater significance in the world right now but does matter to the defending World Series champs. What happens if Juan Soto,

More than one factor to consider in No. 5 starter choice

The Nationals’ chances for success in a 60-game season would seem to be bolstered by their top-of-the-line rotation. It’s the backbone upon which they built a championship last year and how they’ve always intended to make a run at another title this year, no matter the length of the schedule. And in Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin and Aníbal Sánchez, they’ve got as good

Nats try to make most of limited games, MLB releases test results

With only three true exhibition games on their schedule, the Nationals aren’t going to get much of an opportunity to build themselves up into regular season shape before opening night arrives July 23. They have to make the most of whatever game-like situations they can draw up in the meantime, such as today’s four-inning intrasquad contest at Nationals Park. “I don’t feel like these guys

Entering “uncharted waters,” Strasburg seeks healthy 2020

Stephen Strasburg had spent the better part of a decade learning how best to prepare for - and then thrive in - a 162-game baseball season. And after years of fine-tuning and injuries and hopeful stretches following by disappointing conclusions, he figured it out at last. Strasburg’s 2019 season was the perfect culmination of a career spent tinkering. He led the league in innings pitched.

Castro joins camp, Nats thinking about piping in crowd noise

The Nationals got one of their key absent regulars into camp today, encouraged to see Starlin Castro in person at last while still waiting for several others to be cleared to participate in summer training. Castro, projected to be the club’s new second baseman and potentially No. 3 hitter, hadn’t been allowed to come to Nationals Park upon first arriving from the Dominican Republic. Team

2021 schedule announced, Nats to host Mets in opener

They aren’t 100 percent sure they’ll be able to start and complete the 2020 season yet, but Major League Baseball is already moving forward with plans for the 2021 season, releasing next year’s schedule two weeks before this unprecedented campaign is set to begin. The Nationals are scheduled to host the Mets on opening day, which falls on April 1. Their opening homestand features three

Extended break gave Kieboom chance to fix some glitches

When last we saw him on a baseball field, nearly four long months ago, Carter Kieboom was under an intense spotlight. And feeling the heat more often than not. The Nationals’ top hitting prospect, Kieboom was trying to prove he was ready to replace Anthony Rendon as the club’s starting third baseman, despite precious little experience at the position. His performances through one month of

At least three Nats pitchers not cleared for workouts yet

Three Nationals pitchers were confirmed today as having not participated in summer training yet, joining a group of five position players who have not yet been seen by reporters on the field through the first four workouts at Nationals Park. Pitchers Wander Suero, Roenis Elías and Joan Adon have not been cleared to join the rest of the club for summer training at Nationals Park,

60-game schedule won’t produce fair pennant race

A 162-game season separates the great teams from the good teams, the good teams from the average teams, the average teams from the bad teams, the bad teams from the truly wretched teams. A 60-game season in which everybody’s playing different schedules? Probably not. As foolish as it may be right now to look ahead three months and try to deduce how a season as

Work ramps up in D.C. as second camp opens in Fredericksburg

As the regular season creeps closer - opening night versus the Yankees is 16 days away - the Nationals are starting to ramp up baseball activities following an initial period of light individual work to begin summer training. This morning, all available position players were on the field together for the first time since March 12. With multiple players at each position, they ran through

Nats return to work, still waiting for several players to be cleared

The Nationals returned to work today, and they did so in a manner we hadn’t yet seen during these first days of summer training. Every available position player was on the field at Nationals Park at the same time this morning, coaches hitting balls to various outfielders so they could work on relay throws. At the same time, a few pitchers were throwing in the

Nats to host Yankees in nationally televised MLB opener

Major League Baseball’s attempt to play the 2020 season will begin at Nationals Park with a nationally televised matchup between the reigning World Series champions and the sport’s most storied franchise. The Nationals will host the Yankees on July 23 at 7:08 p.m., the first half of an opening night doubleheader on ESPN that - if successfully pulled off - will serve as the highly

Nationals cancel workout due to delay in test results (updated)

The Nationals have called off today’s scheduled workouts at Nationals Park amid concerns about the delay in getting COVID-19 test results back from Major League Baseball’s lab. Despite assurances from MLB that results sent to the league’s lab in Salt Lake City would be available 24 hours after testing, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said players and staff members still haven’t received results from the

What it’s like being at Nationals Park for summer training

I’ve been getting the question multiple times a day, from family, friends and colleagues, all curious to know: What’s it been like at Nationals Park during these first three days of summer training? Well, sorry to disappoint you, but the answer is: Pretty boring. That’s not to say my time spent at the ballpark is worthless, or normal. It’s just been rather uneventful. For those

Doolittle playing for now, but has several concerns

Sean Doolittle is here. He’s been on the field, participating fully in early summer training workouts. He has thrown off the mound, at times while wearing a mask. He wants to be around for the entire 2020 season. But he’s not completely convinced yet he’s willing to take the risk. “So far - and we’re only three days into this - our medical staff has

Two Nationals players tested positive for COVID-19

Two Nationals players tested positive for COVID-19 during the team’s initial intake testing program, manager Davey Martinez revealed today. The club has not publicly identified the names of the two players and may only do so with the players’ permission, per Major League Baseball’s protocols this season. No player is allowed to report to Nationals Park before the intake testing results are returned, so neither

Scherzer impressed with testing, gearing up for opening day

Max Scherzer laughed when a reporter mentioned hearing he threw 65 pitches to live hitters Friday during the Nationals’ first workout of the summer, then made sure to clarify that manager Davey Martinez may not have conveyed that information with 100 percent accuracy. Turns out Scherzer threw 32 pitches to hitters over two simulated innings. The 65 total Martinez revealed most likely included his warmup

Kieboom is everyday third baseman “as of right now”

The Nationals’ most pressing question of spring training may already be answered at the outset of summer training: Carter Kieboom is expected to be the club’s everyday third baseman. Manager Davey Martinez revealed that significant bit of news today during his second video conference with reporters of this unprecedented summer camp, making it clear his plan at this moment is to pencil Kieboom’s name in

Castillo opts out, Cavalli added to roster as workouts begin

As they took the field (in small groups, staggered over the entire day) for the first time in nearly four months, the Nationals revealed more adjustments to their 60-man roster pool for summer training and the upcoming season, with another veteran opting out and another young prospect joining the group. Welington Castillo, the veteran catcher who had been in spring training as a non-roster invitee,

Summer training begins today at Nationals Park

It’s been 114 days since the Nationals last took the field in any kind of formal capacity. On that warm March afternoon in West Palm Beach, they faced the Yankees in an exhibition game played as the entire country was beginning to shut down due to the still-mysterious novel coronavirus. When Major League Baseball announced it was suspending operations, little could anyone have known how

Some pressing on-field questions as Nats prepare to return

There hasn’t been much reason to have actual baseball discussions around here in a while. But lo and behold, baseball players are going to begin doing baseball things inside baseball stadiums Friday for the first time in nearly four months, so it’s finally appropriate to discuss some actual baseball topics. There are countless issues facing the Nationals over the next three weeks and beyond, and

Mayor approves Nats Park for workouts, fan-less games

The schedule hasn’t been finalized yet. The protocols are still being fine-tuned. More players could choose to opt out. But 48 hours from now, the Nationals will be gathering on South Capitol Street for their first team workout in nearly four months. Summer training is officially approved for Nationals Park after D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser granted the team a waiver Tuesday to hold group workouts

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