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First workout in the books

Feb 21, 2012, 7:14 PM EDT

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg throws off a mound under the watchful eye of Davey Johnson.

VIERA, Fla. — Workout No. 1 of the spring has come and gone, wrapped up in a tidy 90 minutes or so per manager Davey Johnson's instructions.

Nine pitchers threw off the bullpen mounds this morning, headlined by Stephen Strasburg, Chien-Ming Wang and Drew Storen. (Gio Gonzalez and Sean Burnett were supposed to join them but instead were whisked away to a batting tunnel to throw their pitches in front of cameras filming scoreboard videos for the regular season.)

Johnson had some hard-and-fast rules in place for this first throwing session: Fastballs and changeups only. No breaking balls, though a couple of guys tried to sneak some cutters in and pass them off as fastballs.

Pitchers also weren't throwing at 100 percent quite yet, so it's tough to put much stock in their performances. That said, both Strasburg andRead more ยป

  1. MicheleS - Feb 21, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    I love spring!

  2. SCNatsFan - Feb 21, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Love it… so much for Wang's shoulder soreness.And Mark is like a 6 gun, firing off post after post.

  3. baseballswami - Feb 21, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Keep it coming!!!!

  4. MicheleS - Feb 21, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Mark's got it on his twitter feed that Wilson is bringing the entire family to DC for the season. He is going to love having his Mamma cook for him! Remember how happy (and hitterish) he was when she was here!

  5. PAY TO PLAY - Feb 21, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Have to like the news except for HenRod gone for family business isn't great to hear given his Visa problems and horrendous start to last year.Let's hope DeRosa and Xavier Paul get into camp early. Sounds like a lot of over-achievers and optimism.

  6. Harper_ROY_2012 - Feb 21, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    with temps in the 70s later this week, it sure feels like baseball here in DC! :)

  7. jcj5y - Feb 21, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    I have a suspicion that Strasburg is going to miss Pudge. Watching that final start in Florida last year, and thinking back on 2010, it seemed to me that Pudge is more willing to mix up Strasburg's pitch sequence than Ramos. Has anyone else noticed this, or am I completely dreaming?

  8. Steve M. - Feb 21, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    jcj5y, I disagree. Ramos really was great at the end of the season at play calling and he really keeps the baserunners in check.

  9. SCNatsFan - Feb 21, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    jcj5y, I agree but I think Ramos and Flores knew he wouldn't be back and learned what they could from him. Will they do as good a job? Not unless they plan on being elected to the Hall of Fame too.

  10. jcj5y - Feb 21, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    To clarify, I'm not questioning Ramos' defensive ability, which is top-notch, or even his game calling in general. I just think the only way to hit Strasburg consistently is to sit on one pitch. I wonder if Pudge did a better job of wrong-footing the hitters than Ramos.

  11. Wally - Feb 21, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Ram-Moose! Really looking forward to seeing him in action this year. JZimm on the mound, the Moose behind the plate and HRod coming in for the last two outs of the 7th. That and a few beers is a ball game.Anyway, I also really think Byrd makes sense for us, and doesn't really make sense for the Cubbies, but this is off the charts too much:Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said… The trade Rizzo should make is for Marlon Byrd…. I'd package LannEn, Lombo, Marrero and Kid Flores to get him. Byrd ought to come cheaply, a salary dump plus Bernie or maybe Burnett.The other guy that would fit perfectly on this team is Maicer Izturis. Only 1 year left before FA, no starting position and getting older. But a perfect MI back up and SS hedge for us. Not sure what it would take to get him, though.

  12. Steve M. - Feb 21, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    New post from NatsEnquirer of the Wilson Ramos tattoo. http://www.natsenquirer.com/2012/02/wilson-ramos-has-a-new-tattoo.html

  13. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 21, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Bernadina straight up, and the Cubs pick up about $5MM of the $6.5 they owe Byrd, maybe.

  14. Steve M. - Feb 21, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    jcj5y – Some thought Pudge made a mistake going changeup to Delwyn Young when he hit the 2 run HR in Strasburg's debut. Who knows. It could have been poor execution or a great job by the batter.Ramos is a stud. That Sept 6th comeback game of Stras where Ramos was the catcher was brilliant. Shutout the Dodgers and kept them off balance and kept Matt Kemp hitless. Then September 17th was almost as good between Ramos and Strasburg against the Marlins. A couple of mistakes but I remember how complimentary Strasburg was of Ramos.Everyone may remember Pudge's last game catching Stras in Miami. Sure, it was great and memorable but that was really Strasburg rising to the occassion and Pudge going out on a high note.Still not sure what you are talking about with mixing up pitches and such as no catcher is a mind reader but some do a better job of knowing what to call. Ultimately the pitcher can call off the catcher. Both do their prep work. I remember JZim learning that with Pudge. He didn't want to call him off.Look, Pudge is a future Hall of Famer and one of the best ever. The book has just started on Wilson Ramos.

  15. Anonymous - Feb 21, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Pudge, schmudge. Who cares about that guy right now in terms of his Nats relevance?

  16. Steve M. - Feb 21, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said… The trade Rizzo should make is for Marlon Byrd…. I'd package LannEn, Lombo, Marrero and Kid Flores to get him. I am sure he was joking. That is probably the package the Orioles want for Adam Jones though. If Jones took his case public to demand a trade, the O's may be more ready to trade him. After the little they got for Guthrie, the pressure is on to trade Adam Jones no later than July 31st. Jones isn't signing an extension there so he is available for the right deal. I still think that is too rich (4 for 1) but sometime you have to over-pay a little so Lannan plus Lombo and Corey Brown sounds about right.

  17. Sunderland - Feb 21, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    PAY TO PLAY said… Have to like the news except for HenRod gone for family business isn't great to hear given his Visa problems and horrendous start to last year.Not sure I get the "horrendous start to last season" part.He was really good last season except the rough patch from mid-July into mid-August.Am I forgetting or missing something?And his visa problems were not his problem. Based primary on switching employers and the extra paperwork that involves.

  18. Anonymous - Feb 21, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Atta Boy Stevie!! That is music to my ears.

  19. MicheleS - Feb 21, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Nats PR just tweeted that the Harold Reynolds/Bryce Harper interview will be on Hot Stove tonight!

  20. jcj5y - Feb 21, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    I'm in no way advocating a return by Pudge. Just thinking that Strasburg and Ramos might be able to learn from the way Pudge called the game.I was in attendance for Strasburg's 9/17/11 and 9/23/11 starts. Seemed like Ramos' was frequently calling fastballs early in the count, curves when ahead, changeups to lefties. I could more easily guess what the next pitch would be. Pudge seemed more likley to call for first pitch curves, fastballs to finish hitters, and generally was just less predictable.Anyway, maybe it's nothing. Just seeing if anyone else had noticed.

  21. natsfan1a - Feb 21, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    I do recall that. And there will be more of mom's food for all now that Livo's no longer with the team (love ya, Livo ;-)). It's also looking good for whatsanattu's Ramos-cheering OD scenario to come true. Ahhh… :-)MicheleS said… Mark's got it on his twitter feed that Wilson is bringing the entire family to DC for the season. He is going to love having his Mamma cook for him! Remember how happy (and hitterish) he was when she was here! February 21, 2012 2:25 PM

  22. Anonymous - Feb 21, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Glad to see Guzman ctach on with the Tribe on a minor league deal. Cristian's a good guy and he can hit. He might find some AB's as a utility guy.

  23. PAY TO PLAY - Feb 21, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Sunderland, he has very little control. I thought it was his first start and it was his 2nd start against the Phillies. Gave up a hit to the pitcher Hamels, walked Rollins, walked Polanco and with bases loaded one out Ryan Howard hit a hard ground out double play. He flirted with danger and stared it right back in the eye so he was lucky that time. 2 nights later he flirted with danger again and came out unscathed. Next outing he wasn't as lucky. After that is the rollercoaster ride that is Henry Rodriguez.Not my type of pitcher in a guy who throws only 58% strikes.

  24. Things Never Heard in 2005 - Feb 21, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Cristian's a good guy and he can hit.

  25. PAY TO PLAY - Feb 21, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    MicheleS said… Nats PR just tweeted that the Harold Reynolds/Bryce Harper interview will be on Hot Stove tonight! February 21, 2012 3:30 PM Any idea what time?

  26. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 21, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    I saw Henry throw a perfect inning last spring training at Disney. He threw 18 pitches, went to 3 – 2 on each hitter and struck each guy out on the 6th pitch that they saw.

  27. sjm308 - Feb 21, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Can't wait for HRod to get to camp! He might not have been consistent last year but I got great joy out of that 82 mph sinker (or whatever it was) and the looks on the faces of the batters as they walked to the dugout. The 98 – 100 mph fastball is one thing but when he changes speeds by almost 20 mph its just crazy.Just read a brief thought by Phil Wood (I know, I know) that the DBacks might consider trading Parra. Although he played lf last year Phil says he has over 300 innings in CF and the kid is gold glove talent in the outfield with 11 assists last year. He is only 25 and I am sure Rizzo is very familiar with him. I realize our outfield is all going to come from "within" but GMs have the right to change their minds if the right deal comes around. Of course then you have to ask about what that does to Harper's timeline?Go Nats!!

  28. Anonymous - Feb 21, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    NatsJack in Florida, that must have been quite the show by Henry. And we should care about that because?

  29. Anonymous - Feb 21, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said… The trade Rizzo should make is for Marlon Byrd…. I'd package LannEn, Lombo, Marrero and Kid Flores to get him.Byrd ought to come cheaply, a salary dump plus Bernie or maybe BurnettITS NOT going to happen. Rizzo is done going for broken down, over-the-hill high age substitutes as starters. He is going for the gusto and that means either Upton, Borjous, Perez, Taylor, and perhaps Brown or Goodwin (If he proves he can actually play CF in the pros.)Anything else is a red herring.

  30. Anonymous - Feb 21, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    NatsArmRace already suggest Para. He can't hit. He's a gold glove and that's it. No way they trade for that guy. They are better off with Ankiel and Corey Brown. Again, the list starts with Upton and Borjous.

  31. Anonymous - Feb 21, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    "Can't wait for HRod to get to camp!"He scared the cr@p out of batters because he was wild. I like the guy. I hope he can continue to keep batters nervous. It is pretty fun to watch him. More so, to watch the batters thinking…."Oh, god…what is gonna happen next? Should I duck and cover…or what?"LOL!!Mark – thanks for posting so often. I need an injection of BB after suffering from non-Seasonal Depressive Disorder!!!Gonna be a fun season. I won't be at ST this year, but I'm following closely, thanks to you!Go Nats!!!!Sofie230

  32. Steady Eddie - Feb 21, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Re HRod — I do like the guy a lot and believe he's developing well under Davey and McCatty and that the end of last year was no fluke — but he was downright Nuke LaLoosh in ST last year. On one of his K's, the second or third strike was thrown behind the guy's back, and just hit the end of his bat by accident. Some of those ST Ks were definitely of the John Kruk "just get me out of here!" variety. LOL

  33. Anonymous - Feb 21, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Steady Eddie – Did that count as a foul ball? :-)Sof

  34. PAY TO PLAY - Feb 21, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    dj in Florida, Thanks for the post!

  35. MicheleS - Feb 21, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    P2PP2P.. Hot Stove is on from 6 to 7, Nats PR said it would air at 6:30. If you miss it, they replay Hot Stove at 8 and then again at 11.

  36. Steady Eddie - Feb 21, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Sof @4:50 — indeed it did, so I guess it couldn't been the third strike, duh to me….But it sure was funny. The kind of location that would get a pitcher tossed in a regular season game IF the ump thought the guy had any command of where it was going. No question of that when at least one of the earlier balls in that PA was a WP.

  37. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 21, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    "And we should care about that because?"You have fungus on your shower shoes.

  38. Cwj - Feb 21, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    Gio Gonzalez being interviewed on MASN right now…but the audio isn't working for them, weird because I could hear him fine.Hopefully they'll have him back on the phone in a minute.

  39. natsfan1a - Feb 21, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    Think classy, you'll be classy.

  40. natsfan1a - Feb 21, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    Daggone postus interruptus.

  41. Cwj - Feb 21, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    MASN needs to replace Mel Antonen on their "Sports Report".Edwin Jackson has control problems, Antonen says? His BB/9 the last 3 years: 2.9, 3.4, 2.8.Not the first time Antonen has shown his lack of stats.I do like Phil Wood and don't understand why many here don't like him.

  42. Cwj - Feb 21, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    I also like Dave Johnson and to a lesser extent Tom Davis, as they are fair enough (despite being Oriole guys).MASN needs a special daily (not an hour on weekend mornings) Nationals report.Ugh, that's Angelos for ya I suppose.

  43. Cwj - Feb 21, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Thanks MicheleS!I'll tune into the 8:00 Hot Stove.

  44. SonnyG10 - Feb 21, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    Glory be, the long winter drought is over. Let it rain baseball. GYFNG!!!!

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