Mar 29, 2011, 1:57 PM EST
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Bryce Harper has returned from a sprained ankle and is slated to open the season.
VIERA, Fla. — Good morning one final time from Space Coast Stadium, where the Grapefruit League wraps up this afternoon with an early 12:05 p.m. game between the Nationals and Mets. It'll be Jordan Zimmermann vs. Chris Capuano. Adam LaRoche is in the lineup at first base.
Before we get to the exhibition finale, a couple of items to pass along…
– Bryce Harper is back playing in minor-league games one week after spraining his left ankle. Harper got two at-bats and played three innings in the field Sunday and would have played yesterday if not for the rain. It appears all systems are go for the 18-year-old phenom to make his minor-league debut with the rest of the Hagerstown club April 7 in Rome, Ga. The Nationals dodged a bullet with this one. They were originally worried this was something serious because Harper, after falling to the ground when he landed awkwardly on first base trying to beat out a grounder, wouldn't get up and had to be taken off the field on a cart. Obviously, the injury wasn't as severe as everyone feared, and Harper was back on his feet soon thereafter.
– The news isn't as positive for the player the Nationals drafted one round behind Harper last summer: Sammy Solis. The left-hander has a groin injury that will sideline him for the start of the season and couldRead more »
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
ON THE RADIO
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.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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- Nationals players excited to see pitching staff in action
- WATCH: Harper faces Strasburg for first time
- Werth hits off tee for first time since surgery
- Matt Harvey expected to make much-awaited return against Nats
- Ankiel starts new chapter as life skills coordinator
- Ian Desmond discusses team expectations and future with Nats
- Eventful BP for Harper, update on Werth in Tuesday's workout
- Desmond, Rendon like what they see from Zimmerman at 1B
- Scherzer to start exhibition opener vs. Mets
- Bryce Harper does a pretty epic videobomb on Anthony Rendon