Skip to content

Ready for live BP

Feb 20, 2013, 2:53 PM EST

USA Today Sports Images
Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to face live hitters today.

VIERA, Fla. — After a week's worth of fairly basic, fairly uninteresting workouts, this finally start to ramp up today at Nationals camp.

Yes, it's time for "Live BP," in which pitchers get to face real hitters for the first time this year. It's not quite real game action — the pitchers announce what they're throwing in advance and have an L-shaped screen in front of the mound, and the batters are in a cage — but it's as much excitement as we're going to get before the Grapefruit League kicks off Saturday.

And who are we going to get on the mound right off the bat this morning? Why none other than the Nationals' top two starters: Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez. Each is scheduled to throwRead more »

  1. MicheleS - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Bryce MUST be bummed since he has been waiting at least a year to take his hacks against Stras.. and yes the world would implode when this happens

  2. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    I'm ok if Bryce never faces Stras in anything except golf and video games.What good will come from it?

  3. John C. - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    Stras v. Harp? Epic. It reminds me of the story that Buck O'Neill told in the Ken Burns series about when Josh Gibson finally got to face Satchel Paige after being teammates for many years. Here's hoping that Stras and Bryce stay teammates for many, many years!

  4. Ron In Reston - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    I think as long as Harper knows what's coming (in this case), he has the upper hand. But if it were live BP with no announcing of the pitches, I think Stras would kill him with that changeup. But maybe only once :)

  5. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Yes, in theory it would be very cool for Stras to go up against Bryce. If they face each other its big news and someone may come out with egg on their face. Maybe I'm over-reacting like a protective father but I think its best to keep them off of each others BP session which is why I think last year they avoided it and will so this year.

  6. UnkyD - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Again… Hoping for BigCat to flesh out this opinion, from the Rendon thread:BigCat said:I question Rendon's heart. I don't think he really wants to play. And riding those buses is the wrong spot to be if you don't want to play. Time will tell.February 19, 2013 6:19 PM —————–I don't get this… What possible basis can you have for tossing this bomb?

  7. John C. - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    @UnkyD: What? Are you questioning the accuracy of pop psychology performed based on no personal knowledge whatsoever of the subject? Say it ain't so! Where would chat boards and fan pages be without it?

  8. RickH - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Wouldn't having Bryce face Stras be a good learning experience for him?

  9. NCNatsie - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    i was going to post something else and sign off with our old ST mantra B25GN, but then I got thinking about it, and came to the conclusion that B25GN has lost virtually all its salience. I think its a losers slogan.This year, we all pretty much know who 24 of the 25 are (barring injuries), and the 25th will be the lowest-ranking bulllpen short man. Big deal that. Moreover, when you have a roster like we now do, the slogan doesn't necessarily apply. Christian Garcia may very well be one of the best 25, and yet, it may make perfect sense for him not to be on the list bound for SE Washington, if the decision is made to make him into a starter. In the past, our ST roster was full of people who were marginal big leaguers if that, but the coaches still had to pick the B25. Now, it's a whole different ballgame, as they say.

  10. Doc - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    Yeah, I wonderin' too UnkyD. Is BigCat Rendon's psychiatrist,spiritual advisor, Father Confessor, etc.?It was Rendon's ankle that gave out rounding 3rd in A ball, not his heart!His heart was OK in the AFL in 2012.

  11. UnkyD - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    BC just doesn't usually come off as a troll, so I thought it was a weird….horsey-ish type of a comment…. Not losing any sleep over it….

  12. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    From Kilgore: The possible Strasburg-Harper showdown made us wonder: How many fellow first overall picks has Strasburg faced in his career? The answer is three: Chipper Jones (2 for 7, one walk, two strikeouts), Justin Upton (0 for 5, 2 K) and Pat Burrell (0 for 3, 2K). Go win some money tonight at the bar.

  13. MicheleS - Feb 20, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Ghost.. Love how Eck drove over to see Span just after the trade.

  14. MicheleS - Feb 20, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    BAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHATick tock!Matt Gelb‏@magelbThere is a camera crew from AARP Magazine in Phillies camp today. Seriously.

  15. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 20, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    MicheleS said… Ghost.. Love how Eck drove over to see Span just after the trade. February 20, 2013 11:05 AM Exactly! Glad you astutely said that. No matter what you think about Eckstein, I will say it again, "The hardest working coach in the MLB".

  16. SCNatsFan - Feb 20, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    I also question Rendon's diet and choice of music…

  17. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 20, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Nationals PR ‏@NationalsPR Drew Storen takes the mound, facing Ramos, Harper, Zim, LaRoche and Werth. #Nationals

  18. Diz - Feb 20, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Talking about getting "back in the saddle again". Now that's a challenge!

  19. SonnyG10 - Feb 20, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    John C, thanks for your follow up post at 9:53a on the previous thread. Makes sense.

  20. #4 - Feb 20, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    This may have been widely reported at some point so forgive me if it has. One of the coolest things I've head about Eck is that in order to better learn the hitters he's coaching, he takes BP imitating their swings. He does this both right-handed ad left-handed. He wants to feel what they feel so that he can better correct them when they are in slumps. It's one of the neatest things I've heard a coach do.

  21. original Nats Fan - Feb 20, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    @MicheleAARP love it!Tick tock indeed

  22. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 20, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    #4 nice add on Eckstein!

  23. MicheleS - Feb 20, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Epic Commercial for UA and BryceBryce

  24. Section 222 - Feb 20, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Interesting Kilgore post on Span. One question that isn't addressed is whether he intentionally made a change after his good 2009 season, and if so, who made the suggestion? Or did he just drift away from what he was doing then and not notice what he was doing until Eck reviewed the video from the last 3 years?Don't the Twins have a hitting coach?

  25. Scooter - Feb 20, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    No, no hitting coach. They just let the guys go by feel. An unusual choice, I grant you.

  26. Scooter - Feb 20, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Oh, boy. I just watched that commercial Michele linked to. I kinda wish I hadn't.I love watching Bryce Harper on a ball field. I also suspect that he's largely a good person. But man oh man, I do not at all care for the way he presents himself in the media. (Or, rather, the way he allows himself to be presented.)Hey, I'm not saying I would have done any better at 12 years old. But if that were my kid …

  27. Section 222 - Feb 20, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    How can you not like that Bryce UA commercial? Bryce is going to be a superstar. What better image than hardworking and intensely dedicated to his craft? Wagner's piece in the post is great too. A homebody with his family during the off season, starts a 2 hour workout at 5:30 am four days a week, eats a PBJ sandwich before every game. And according to his brother, “He told me last year in the middle August, he was going to make a push and get that Rookie of The Year Award, and look what he did in September. I truly believe he can do anything he wants to do in his career . . . Anything he puts his mind to he can achieve. If he wants to win the MVP, he will.”And we get to watch this kid for the next five years? Pinch me.

  28. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Bryce is being so carefully constructed by Boras and hats off to him. When does he get his Subway subs endorsement next to RGIII?

  29. Scooter - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Hardworking and intensely dedicated are great images. If only the commercial conveyed that!I'm sorry, 222, did you not see the clothes? The neon clothes?And those awful, hideous, grotesquely embarrassing shoes. The shoes his poor mother had to watch him wearing at the All-Star Game. (Those are the ones, aren't they? Wasn't that that gold lamé again?) One day, that child is going to turn 18, and he will turn to those he loves and say, "Seriously, you let me wear those not just in public but on television?") Oh my sweet merciful Jerry Lee, I feel the vapors coming on. I must away to my salon!

  30. Scooter - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Srsly, though, the kid can do what he wants. I just think he looks like a Grade-A tool when he does these publicity things. But he's a kid. Kids look stupid to old people. They're supposed to.It's just, if I were already inclined to dislike him, this would further that cause. Remember this if you ever wonder, "How could anyone not like Bryce Harper?"

  31. MicheleS - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    some pictures from Photo day.. some goof shots in there;_ylt=A0PDoQ7TySRRW0wA__eJzbkF?p=washington+nationals&fr=news-us-ss&ei=utf-8&n=30&x=wrt&imgt=latest&y=Search

  32. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    Sorry Scooter but I thought everything about the Under Armour commercial was cool.

  33. Dave - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    I'm an old guy, and I thought the Under Armor commercial was cool, too.

  34. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:15 PM sure hope the Florida faithful video tape the entire 1st and 2nd innings for us.Any of you know how to do it and post up on YouTube or VIMEO?

  35. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    Call in now to 1-712-432-1980 to listen to Mike Rizzo!

  36. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Dave said… I'm an old guy, and I thought the Under Armor commercial was cool, too. Let's just say I receive AARP literature, too vain to do it, but I liked the commercial.These type of ads are great for the Nats too.Nobody seems to have issues with RGIII's Adidas, Subway, Gatorade, EVOshield, Nissan, NCAA Football 13, etc.

  37. Scooter - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Fair enough, fellas. Just not my style.

  38. MicheleS - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    GHost.. the game is on MLB Network. We get to watch it, but just with the Mets Guys.

  39. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Michele, Whoa, didn't know that. So you are saying its LIVE on MLB Network on TV or is it another channel or do you need the MLB Ticket?

  40. Scooter - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    Steve, check out the schedule.Saturday's game is on good old cable television. (Granted, a channel that not everybody gets. But cable TV.)

  41. natsfan1a - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    According to the schedule on the MLB Network site, Saturday's game is to air live (on tv).

  42. Ron In Reston - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Just checked myself Ghost, live, 12 noon, MLB Network.And then I called my wife so she could celebrate, too :)

  43. natsfan1a - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    I do believe that I just bought Scooter a virtual NIDO drink.

  44. NatsLady - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    What, just BP? No intra-squad games with crazy team names? No paint-ball like the D-Backs????? They got no imagination!!! Can't wait for the rookie hazing–well, when we find out who the rookies are….

  45. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    Thanks all! That is great! Real Baseball on TV with lots of NatsInsider in the stands!

  46. Scooter - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    But the most important news of today: my first appearance on the vaunted NIDO spreadsheet.YES!

  47. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    Rizzo with lots of affection for Danny Espinosa in that interview. I would say its mostly on the effort he puts out and Rizzo sees some of himself in Danny.Nice to hear.

  48. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Tyler Moore on facing Stephen Strasburg in live BP shortly: "Shoot, I'm swinging away."I LOVE THIS KID!!!!

  49. NatsLady - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Giancarlo just got hit by a pitch in the head during BP for Miami. Went out with "no dizzyness" but a little "fuzzy grey." Be careful, guys!!!!

  50. UnkyD - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    Scooter #fogie….. Lol! Harper is irresistible.

  51. Ghost Of Steve M. - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:59 PM


  52. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Feb 20, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    OK, I just watched thr UA spot. Just another commercial, really, not that good IMO, but I'm sorry Scooter, I LOVE the gold cleats. The haircut, OTOH …

  53. grifftl63 - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    I was behind at the end of cage behind Ramos while Stras was warming up. Even at what looked like 80% effort the dude is intimidating. He is a lot bigger in person – big forearms, big hands, big feet, the whole deal. I could see the sweat glistening on his right arm and made me think of the sweat issues he had last year. Odd thought I know but my son and I were talking about that this morning as we drove to Viera.

  54. mo nats - Feb 20, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    Zim played catch with the other infielders/outfielders today up to the 90 feet range and then dropped out when the distance increased. His throwing motion was just picture perfect as far as I could see and looked like everyone else. He didn't swing the bat in the cage, but that was probably planned.Gio looked very smooth and calm when he was pitching today.





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.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter