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Day one thoughts

Feb 21, 2010, 8:17 PM EST

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VIERA, Fla. — I'll have a longer posting on Stephen Strasburg and his spring training workout debut in a little while, but before we get to the day's biggest event, I wanted to share a few other tidbits from today's proceedings that deserve mention…

— Even with Strasburg all but certain to open the season in the minors (manager Jim Riggleman confirmed that today) the Nationals still have a boatload of starting pitchers contending for three open spots this spring. Basically, you're looking at Scott Olsen, Miguel Batista, Craig Stammen, Garrett Mock, J.D. Martin, Matt Chico, Collin Balester, Shairon Martis and Shawn Estes all receiving some level of consideration for a roster spot come Opening Day. Obviously, there's no way to get an extended look at all nine of those guys (plus guaranteed rotation members John Lannan and Jason Marquis in only six weeks. So the Nats are going to have to get creative finding game-type situations to throw each pitcher into. Riggleman said today one likely possibility is to have Lannan and Marquis throw in several "B" games on the minor-league side, opening up slots for the other contenders against big-league competition. But at the same time, both of those pitchers need to get some work against realRead more ยป

  1. Brian - Feb 21, 2010 at 8:26 PM

    "There certainly appeared to be a good number more cars in the parking lot near the minor-league complex than I can recall seeing the past five springs"As it should be ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Anonymous - Feb 21, 2010 at 8:37 PM

    Mark – Was there only one bullpen session today, or where there more scheduled for later? It is good to hear that Flores was catching (if not throwing) for the initial sessions, rather than a bullpen catcher. BinM.

  3. Mark Zuckerman - Feb 21, 2010 at 8:39 PM

    There were three separate bullpen sessions, each with about five or six pitchers participating today. Basically, one-half of the guys in camp threw today. The other half will throw tomorrow. And then they'll continue on an every-other-day routine from here on out.For a complete list of everyone who threw today, check out my first post this morning.

  4. Positively Half St. - Feb 21, 2010 at 9:12 PM

    Chuck James is also a starting pitcher, and his success as a starter occurred more recently than it did for Batista or Estes. Did he receive an invitation to Spring Training, or is he going to exclusively be in the minor league camp?Thanks.

  5. Mark Zuckerman - Feb 21, 2010 at 9:13 PM

    James is at minor-league camp. There's a chance he could be called up to join the big boys at some point. But not at the outset of camp, at least.

  6. SpotsyNats - Feb 21, 2010 at 9:39 PM

    Hey Mark,Perhaps for those of us who have not been to Viera, could you provide us with a description of the Nationals complex: number of fields, number of mounds, buildings, proximity to other key facilities, etc.? It will help us get a visual in our minds as you describe the happenings. Thanks.



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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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