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Michaels to Syracuse, Blanco to Phillies

Mar 31, 2012, 3:21 PM EDT

VIERA, Fla. — Outfielder Jason Michaels, released by the Nationals on Thursday, will return to the organization and report to Class AAA Syracuse. Infielder Andres Blanco, however, has signed a minor-league contract with the Phillies.

The Nationals were hoping both Michaels and Blanco would stay with the organization following their releases, but each veteran had an opt-out clause in their contract that allowed them to sign with another team.

Blanco wound up finding a better opportunity with the Phillies, who are in need of infield depth after seeing several players succumb to injury (including starter Chase Utley and projected backup Michael Martinez) this spring. The 27-year-old had only two hits in 32 Grapefruit League at-bats.

Michaels, 35, hit .220 (9-for-41) in 20 games this spring. An 11-year veteran with the Phillies, Indians, Pirates and Astros, he’ll join the roster at Syracuse and be asked to serve as a mentor to Bryce Harper. The two had adjacent lockers in big-league camp this spring, a request made by general manager Mike Rizzo.

  1. Anonymous - Mar 31, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Not too sad to see Blanco depart…never overly impressed with his offensive or defensive performanc. Hopefully he'll help the Philthies off to an unimpressive start!H8PHILS

  2. SonnyG10 - Mar 31, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    I second that, H8PHILS!

  3. SonnyG10 - Mar 31, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    I broke down and ponied up for the MiLB TV subscription. I'm really excited to have this capability so I can watch Bryce and our other up-and-coming players.

  4. NatsLady - Mar 31, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    I got the MiLB subscription also. Based on last year, be prepared for some chancy video quality, but it's fun to watch the mascots and crazy promotions they do at minor-league games.

  5. Bups - Mar 31, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    Good riddance regarding Blanco. The Phillies must be desperate. He made plenty of errors and couldn't hit a lick.

  6. Anonymous - Mar 31, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Tell us about this subscription – it's for minor league games?

  7. NatsLady - Mar 31, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Yes, minor-league games. All Triple-A games, and many games at the lower levels. MiLB.com.I have MLB.tv, so adding MiLB.tv was only $20.00. I could spend that in one trip to see the P-Nats (for example, if Wang or someone else is doing rehab there or if the Big Nats are out of town).

  8. MicheleS - Mar 31, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    NatsLady on MLB.TV are the Nats games blacked out during the regular? One of the posters from yesterday was asking.

  9. NatsLady - Mar 31, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    I was watching Yu Darvish and he has that same over the head starting motion that CMW has. Why do they do that? Advantages/disadvantages, anyone?

  10. DWS - Mar 31, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    I live in Pei Canada and the only games blacked out are the Bluejays. Before you purchase the service you can see which games will not be available. Mind you certain "Superstations" YES,WGN Peachtree (Braves) are not mentioned. Just a heads up.

  11. DWS - Mar 31, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Forgot to mention re:MLBTV your ISP is what MLB goes by.

  12. NatsLady - Mar 31, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Yes, on MLB.tv all Nats games are blacked out (home and away) if you are located in the Nats viewing area. So you can only watch the over-the-air broadcasts (Sunday afternoon or Fox) on your TV.Your choices to watch are(1) cable (which I broke down and got this year; of course you have to be at home or string a cable from your ear…(2) go to the gym or a bar and watch the games;(3) live in or travel to a distant city;(4) techie tricks upon which I will not elaborate.The MLB.tv also extends nationally to ANY game on Saturday afternoon or Sunday evening. The NY Yankees have a system where if you are a cable subscriber then for an additional fee you can get their games on your devices but we don't have that here that I know of.The blackout is PET PEEVE of mine. Staying home with my cable box is NOT HOW I LIVE MY LIFE!

  13. Kirbs - Mar 31, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Perhaps Michaels can learn to catch a pop fly?

  14. Kirbs - Mar 31, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Perhaps Michaels can learn to catch a pop fly?

  15. Kirbs - Mar 31, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Perhaps Michaels can learn to catch a pop fly?

  16. NatsLady - Mar 31, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    That should be "The MLB.tv blackout extends…"Let me say also, having just gone through a very frustrating experience trying to get cable and get it to work, that the cable companies and the equipment manufacturers have GOT to be in collusion because you can't watch cable on your computer (you can watch over-the-air HD digital), and several other limitations that are really stupid. I don't mind paying, I wouldn't even mind paying an extra dip like the Yankees system, but you can't get it!!! This was discussed a few weeks ago re: the economics of these huge TV deals.

  17. Kirbs - Mar 31, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Uh, my phone went crazy and wants to post a bunch I guess? Sorry everyone.

  18. Anonymous - Mar 31, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Nats LadyI think they believe the hesitation move throws off the hitter's timing. It's reputedly a common feature of many pitching deliveries in Japan.Laddie_Blah_Blah

  19. Feel Wood - Mar 31, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    sjm308 said…sm13: (great initials by the way) – if you really want to get excited about development, check out what is going to happen in "The Yards". There is already a beautiful park that opened over a year ago and now they are seriously talking about both residences and some great dining/drinking establishments as well. Most excited about the Churchkey venture and there will be another brew pub as well.Don't get too excited just yet. If you read carefully, most of what is supposed to open there in 2012 won't be until fall. Looks like there might be one or two new eating establishments this summer, though.Also, don't get over-excited about the Half Street Marketplace. It's not development, just a pop-up temporary use of the site just like The Bullpen was. Same thing but different. The real development on that block is still yet to come.

  20. Anonymous - Mar 31, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    the phillies and the braves signing Nats castoffs? Is this the best of all possable worlds?

  21. Anonymous - Mar 31, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Lannan in relief just doesn't work … even when he gets the starter's warm up and prep.

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