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Shattered bats and broken backs

Mar 1, 2010, 8:37 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Matt Capps impressed during his live BP session today.

VIERA, Fla. — You always expect pitchers to be ahead of hitters at this early stage of the spring, so it was no surprise to see several hurlers dominate during today's live BP session. That said, a couple of guys in particular really seemed to impress the coaches, front office execs and teammates who were watching up close.

Let's start with Matt Capps, who has quickly established himself as a must-see guy in these sessions, again overwhelmed the batters who dug in against him. Chris Duncan got buzzed by a high-and-tight heater and had to back away for a moment to compose himself. Moments later, Mike Morse absolutely froze on a slider that started out inside but wound up whizzing right through the strike zone. You never want to get too excited about these performances, but it would certainly appear Capps is determined to prove his worth after getting non-tendered by the Pirates in December.

John Lannan was his usual self, unspectacular but efficient in his session against Willie Harris, Cristian Guzman, Elijah Dukes and Jamie Burke. His curveball especially looked sharp.

Ron Villone isn't the type of pitcher who's going to blow anyone away, certainly not at age 40, but the ol' lefty still has some tricks in his book. He sawed one of Adam Dunn's bats in half with an insideRead more ยป

  1. peric - Mar 1, 2010 at 8:58 PM

    So, in other words:Bullpen : "check"; ready to rock and roll.Starting Rotation: "needs work/question mark"Great post. You are an even better food critic than Chico. Let me know when they go "raw"? Green dragon smoothies, Quinois, Stevia sweetened deserts that are dairy free. Vita Mix recipe selections from a Raw Food establishment … ~laughing~

  2. Anonymous - Mar 1, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    Joe Beimel is still not signed, I don't care how good everyone says the new bullpen is improved, signing Joe Beimel would be a major upgrade.Do it!!!

  3. Steve M. - Mar 1, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    Mark said…One other note for those who were concerned the Nats are providing unhealthy food after I mentioned the spreads purchased recently by million-dollar club members Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman: They make a point to get healthy stuff. Indeed, today's spread, purchased by clubhouse manager Mike Wallace (not a member of the million-dollar club), included grilled chicken, whole-wheat pasta, broccoli and asparagus. I have seen Mike Wallace's physique so his healthy food diet may need to be tweaked! LOLGreat stuff. Love your behind the scenes! Thanks!

  4. Anonymous - Mar 2, 2010 at 3:22 AM

    I look for Capps to have a fantastic year.

  5. natsfan1a - Mar 2, 2010 at 3:40 AM

    Great capsules, thanks.Thanks for reporting on the Baerga sighting. IMO he may be the most comical runner the Nats ever had. I remember one game where he was motoring around the bases and a bunch of guys (Castilla for sure, and I think Loiza and ??) were mocking him and cackling from the dugout. I liked the guy, and was glad to hear about his broadcasting work. I would imagine that he would be quite an entertaining commentator.



x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
ATLANTA 76 77 13.0
MIAMI 74 79 15.0
NEW YORK 74 80 15.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Friday's games


x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
LOS ANGELES 88 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 86 68 3.5
SAN FRANCISCO 84 69 5.0 +1.0
PITTSBURGH 83 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 75 10.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
Through Friday's games

SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.


As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 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: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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