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Nats vs. Tigers — 3/14/14

Mar 14, 2014, 12:03 PM EDT

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While we await word on Doug Fister’s bullpen session in Viera — more specifically, whether or not the right-hander is now ready to pitch in a game again — one teammate who’s fate might well hang in the balance takes the mound in Lakeland.

Taylor Jordan, competing for the fifth spot in the Opening Day rotation, would obviously stand a greater chance of making the club if Fister needs to begin the season on the DL. Jordan has pitched well in three appearances (one start) so far this spring, allowing three runs over seven total innings. Most impressively, he has 11 strikeouts without walking anybody. The young right-hander, though, faces his toughest challenge to date this afternoon, going up against a fearsome Tigers lineup that includes Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler, Torii Hunter and Victor Martinez.

A few Nationals regulars made the trip over, headlined by Denard Span and Anthony Rendon. They’ll take their hacks against Detroit right-hander Rick Porcello. Enjoy the conversation here…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. DETROIT TIGERS
Where: Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: None
Radio: MLB.com (Tigers’ feed)
Weather: Mostly sunny, 68 degrees, Wind 10 mph in from RF

NATIONALS
CF Denard Span
2B Anthony Rendon
RF Nate McLouth
DH Scott Hairston
C Jose Lobaton
1B Tyler Moore
LF Jeff Kobernus
SS Zach Walters
3B Jamey Carroll
(RHP Taylor Jordan)

TIGERS
2B Ian Kinsler
RF Torii Hunter
DH Miguel Cabrera
1B Victor Martinez
C Alex Avila
CF Austin Jackson
3B Nick Castellanos
LF Rajai Davis
SS Hernan Perez
(RHP Rick Porcello)

108 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Doc - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    Obviously, Rizzo and Williams consult with each other, but I’m wondering when push comes to shove who has the final say in the final 25—Rizzo or Williams???

    • bowdenball - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:05 PM

      Rizzo for sure. Roster moves are his job. Even an established manager wouldn’t have final say on the 25 man roster. A first-time manager in his first season who was handpicked by the GM? He’s lucky if they let him get a cup of coffee in the conference room.

      • Sonny G 10 - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:29 PM

        The cup of coffee comment is funny. I like it. :)

  2. philipd763 - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    The practice of visiting teams sending mostly minor leaguers to road games makes the spring training games very one-sided and meaningless. This situation gets more ridiculous every season. Is a player making five or ten million bucks too important to take a bus trip? Last week, the Red Sox sent only one major league player to Jupiter for an away game with the Marlins. They ended up getting fined. If teams want to continue this practice, they should cut ticket prices in half because they are cheating the fans.

    • knoxvillenat - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:37 PM

      “If teams want to continue this practice, they should cut ticket prices in half because they are cheating the fans.”

      Problem here is it’s the visiting team that is cheating the fans and not the home team which sets ticket prices. The home team has to assume that the visiting team will in good faith send a good number of bona fide major league players and not just the AA and lower versions thereof.

      • ArVAFan - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:51 PM

        The visiting team is supposed to send at least 4 major leaguers. The Marilns objected since the Red Sox apparently only sent two. So the Red Sox apologized, and then the Red Sox owner tweeted that the Marlins ought to be the ones apologizing (for their regular lineup).

        The Nats seem to have met the miniumum requirements–maybe not the starting nine, but there’s no one on that list who we couldn’t expect to see in Nats Park at some point this year. Probably not all of them (at least I hope not!) but each of them are at least a possible bench or starter.

    • naterialguy - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:01 PM

      I enjoy seeing players that will be tomorrows stars playing. I figure if you really want to see the Major leaguers you go at the end of spring training or to the regular season. The number one goal is to get your players in the best possible condition to start the season.

  3. philipd763 - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    By the way, a lot of these fans being cheated travel a substantial distance to watch spring training games. Some come from DC, which is around 900 miles. Personally, I travel 50 miles north (one way) from Vero Beach to Viera.

    • bowdenball - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:39 PM

      If they’re traveling 900 miles, they should have just stayed along the coast and gone to Viera instead of turning inland to Lakeland. They’d save themselves an hour in the car and they’d get to see the regulars, it’s a win-win. If you can’t figure that one out I don’t really have much sympathy for you.

  4. Theophilus T.S. - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    I’m not objecting to the Nats’ lineup today. Tigers fans might but not me. Everybody in the lineup this afternoon has at least a shot at making the final roster — as a bench player. Ergo, they need as many ABs as they can get in ST because once the regular season starts chances to keep sharp will be at a premium. Bus ride or not, the front-line players need to step back once and a while to (A) preserve their bodies (e.g., Zimmerman) and (B) share the opportunities to prepare for Opening Day.

    • Eric - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:50 PM

      I’m with you here and would go even further. I understand it would be disappointing to go watch spring training and catch 8 minor league players and 1 starter; however, it’s spring training. Should teams really be worrying about commercial concerns over their need to decide who makes the cut and prepare starters for the season?

      • naterialguy - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:03 PM

        +1

      • unkyd59 - Mar 14, 2014 at 9:37 PM

        +1 more… I wouldn’t lose one wink of sleep over offending any fan, during spring training. They’re putting a roster together, and evaluating talent. Lopsided or no, there’s nothing in baseball with less meaning than a spring training score. I’m not judging anyone else’s opinion, here, and I’m sure I’m in the minority, but that’s just my two pennies….

  5. philipd763 - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    knoxvillenat…….All the teams do it. Take a look as the Nats lineup for the game today. So, the Tiger fans get cheated and when the Tigers visit the Nats on Sunday the Nats fans will get cheated.

    • knoxvillenat - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:28 PM

      763………I get it, yes all teams do it however your original post make sit sound as if the home team, playing mostly regulars should cut ticket prices as if this situation was their fault. I’m just pointing out that it is usually the visiting team that doesn’t play or bring many of the regulars in a ST away game. The Red Sox were fined and rightfully so. The Sox owner’s comments about the Marlins regular season lineup are spot on, Loria owes all of baseball an apology in my opinion. However they are two different issues.

      BTW…at my one and only Nats spring training in 2011 I went to see the Cardinals play the Nats in Viera. I couldn’t believe it when I saw LaRussa had about 4-5 regulars in his starting lineup that night including Pujols! And it wasn’t late March, more like mid March when I was there.

  6. Theophilus T.S. - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    If I were a Nats fan traveling to Orlando I’d be happy to watch these guys because the most interesting part of ST is the competition for jobs, and if the Nats have to reach down to AAA in the middle of the season I’d be glad I had the chance to put eyes on Walters and Kobernus. Who knows, I might even change my mind about Hairston. (Not likely, because much of my dislike is predicated on his overpriced contract, but all things are possible under heaven.)

    If I were a Braves fan I could give a hairy you-know-what who the Nationals sent. Besides, all of the guys in the lineup have started at least occasional major league games and none of them is going to end up below AAA. If Cutter Dykstra were starting at 3B that might be construed as an insult — but he’s not.

  7. nats128 - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    • Eric - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:10 PM

      Just came here to post this…
      “It was a pretty good bullpen,” Fister said. “Felt pretty good about it. Step in the right direction.”
      On Thursday, Fister pitched on flat ground and felt tightness in his arm. He felt improvement this morning, but some of the feeling remained.
      “Stiffness,” Fister said. “It’s cold outside. A little tight.”

      That’s a horse of an ambiguous color. Call me mildly not unconcerned ;).

      • Eric - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:13 PM

        Oh, but this is actually encouraging:
        The Nationals wanted to see how Fister felt today before he even threw the mound session. Before Fister stepped in the bullpen at Space Coast Stadium, McCatty asked him how he felt. Fister assured him he felt better than Thursday.
        “No lying,” McCatty told him.
        “I wouldn’t lie,” Fister said. And then he walked to the mound, a small relief, for now, for everybody within the Nationals.

      • nats106 - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:01 PM

        May have already been noted, but it looks like Beachy is also meeting with Dr Andrews.

  8. Section 222 - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    Ok, let’s be honest. How many fans going to a Tigers home exhibition game Lakeland today are going to see the Nats? The fans who flew in from colder climes are mostly Tigers fans. They’re seeing plenty of their guys. The Red Sox owner was being snarky, but he’s pretty much right. If the biggest draw to your home exhibition games is the visiting team, you’re in trouble.

    • bickmanpsl - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      It’s SPRING TRAINING! If anyone expects a roster of big league players they obviously aren’t with it.
      162 games that “mean” something… The 30 or so ST games? Come on… Go watch some baseball and
      enjoy. The young players mixed in give a new meaning to a routine play anyway..Catch some rays, drink a beer and enjoy.

  9. NatsLady - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    For your reading pleasure.

    http://ladyandthenats.blogspot.com/2014/03/halfway-to-heaven.html

    • RPrecupjr - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      NL, not to be picking at the nits, but as the son of an editor, I can’t help myself.

      Despite being a certain time of year, those are not “Lenten” clouds as you posted, but “lenticular” as in “lens-shaped”. They were also over Charlottesville, VA, not Charlotte, NC.

      Other than that, good work as always :)

  10. natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    Taylor Jordan K’s Miguel Cabrera on a swingback fastball. TyMo with a Web Gem. Good 1st inning.

    • NatsLady - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      Are at the game or are there videos?

      • natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:38 PM

        Radio. They said Miggy was frozen and looking back and it was a nice pitch.

  11. natsjackinfl - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    Note to other Natsinsider old timers, had a Swift Eagle siting in Viera yesterday. He is also at today’s game in Lakeland and will be at Sundays game.

    More later.

    • natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:56 PM

      I miss Swift Eagle. Tell him I said hi.

      • Sec 3.14159, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:44 PM

        Likewise.

      • Sonny G 10 - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        also, likewise

      • natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        Wasn’t Swift Eagle who branded a few as the Legions of Doom or something like that.

      • natsfan1a - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:52 PM

        Likewise likewise.

      • sjm308 - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        Miss Swift Eagle and his positive takes on most things Nationals

  12. NatsLady - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    Great NEWS!!! This should make the All-Star game interesting–way better than just home-field advantage…

    http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2014/3/14/5508188/KITTENS-PLAYING-BASEBALL-YOU-GUYS

  13. natsfan1a - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    Cool, although I’m not sure about the dressing up part. Would be easier with kittens than with adult cats, though. ;-) Wonder whether they’ll use adoptable animals as with the Puppy Bowl. Hope that rescue groups/shelters will benefit somehow.

  14. natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Announcers say McLouth with a “horrible” throw missing the cutoff. I always thought McLouth had good fundamentals. Costs Taylor Jordan a run possibly as the inning finishes up.

  15. veejh - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Holy sheet! Beachy may need TJ surgery, too? Braves rotation getting clobbered.

  16. natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Hairston K’s with McLouth on 2nd and no outs and that’s the problem with Hairston in particular where the point of emphasis is a productive out to move the runner to 3rd and the K is about the worst outcome in that situation.

    • jd - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      I disagree.

      1) In a 4 – 1 game the point of emphasis is to get hits, not move the runners.
      2) In a spring training game you don’t ask someone who will be one of your main pinch hitters to practice hitting the ball to the right side. During the season in that type of situation in the late innings when you really want to move the runners you will use someone other than Hairston.

      Hairston is this year’s whipping boy and in the end he may earn that honor but it won’t be for lack of making ‘productive’ outs.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        #1 of course you want a hit and if not a productive out if you’ve been following Schu’s point of emphasis this Spring.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:38 PM

        The K is about the worst outcome with a runner on 2nd and no outs. Like Lobaton did, lifter a flyball to RF to move McLouth to 3rd.

      • jd - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:43 PM

        I get it but it depends on the hitter and the situation and the player and to my earlier point this wasn’t the situation or the player to try and hit the ball the other way.

        Hairston won’t become a situational contact hitter but if he matches the numbers from his good years he will be productive with some big home runs. If you are looking for a .300 hitter this ain’t your guy.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:46 PM

        Sure do agree on that!

      • Sec 3.14159, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        I respectfully disagree.
        1) Man on 3rd with one out limits the pitcher’s options significantly. Down only 3 runs early, I want the one run for sure, and I’ll get the others later if I have to. Plus, you’re following up their scores with not-nothing of your own.
        2) Why not? He’s going to have to do it during the season.

        But I agree Hairston-bashing is unfair.

      • jd - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:54 PM

        sec3,

        And here’s why you don’t play for 1 run. Because the Tigers are likely to score a bunch more along the way.

      • Sec 3.14159, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:18 PM

        I think it was Earl Weaver who said, “If you play for one run, that’s what you’ll get — one run.” So there’s that. And if it’s going to be a football score, might as well play for the TD.

      • Sec 3.14159, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:40 PM

        And with that 7th inning leadoff homer for Scott, I bow to reality.

      • nats128 - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:22 PM

        As they say I am late to the game. Unless it got deleted wheres the Hairston bashing.

        On the other side why make excuses for a professional veteran hitter JD.

        He struck out and as I posted a couple of days ago on the FP praises on Schu the job this spring is advancing the runner from 2nd to 3rd with no outs and then finding a way to get that run in. The stat is score 3 runs and the Nats were 50 games above .500 There was no mention of playing for 3 runs because the Tigers score lots of runs. This is spring and you work on things.

  17. natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Tyler Moore with a legit line drive 2 run HR.

  18. natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    “@Nationals: During today’s session w/media, #Nats Mgr Matt Williams listed Moore as a player he’d noticed starting to come around at plate. 1st HR of ST”

    2 for 2 today

    • Sonny G 10 - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      Good for Moore. Make Rizzo’s job tough.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        I don’t see many scenarios if RZim can play 1st that you keep both TyMo and Hairston. I think Moore will have to light it up much more than he has done to force Rizzo to reconfigure the bench.

  19. jd - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    And here’s Luis Ayala pitching himself out of a roster spot.

    • NatsLady - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:55 PM

      Yeah, definitely not his day. AND using a lot of pitches…

  20. natsfan1a - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    This game could go on for a while…

  21. NatsLady - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    Did we send any minor-leaguers? Like half a busfull? It’s probably time.

  22. natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    Ayala can’t even finish his inning. He basically threw BP to the Tigers. Not good for Ayala’s chances.

  23. NatsLady - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    Who is this Zach Jackson? Hasn’t been in the majors since 2009.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/j/jacksza01.shtml

  24. natsfan1a - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    I forgot that Brad Ausmus is a skipper now (if I ever knew it).

  25. NatsLady - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    Mike Morse hurt already. That didn’t take long.

    Carl Steward ‏@stewardsfolly
    Mike Morse will get a few days off with a calf strain, says Bochy. Pagan has a lower back issue and is also off today. #SFGiants

  26. natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Ren-den with the 16 bouncer RBI. H/T to FP

  27. jd - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    I think there may yet be a spot for Christian Garcia in our pen. I am not impressed with any of: Ayala,Delcarmen, Cedeno.

  28. sjm308 - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    So, in the last two days a couple of the vets who were on minor league deals imploded. Have to say that I have always liked Garcia and if he shows he is healthy, to me that is a no brainer. Mattheus will definitely start in AAA and I am guessing the older guys will get some sort of option to either find another team or join the bus rides.

    My new routine is to lift and do cardio listening to MLB.com and while I would probably chose Charlie & Dave if an option, I have been able to listen to various styles. These guys today are better than ave. Good baseball knowledge and also had some idea who our guys are. Lead guy originally pegged Moore as AAA material but came back in that same at bat to say he was wrong and that Tyler was penciled in for our bench this year. The color guy is probably an old pitcher because he seemed to give insight from a pitchers prospective. Talked about how easy it was to pick up the ball on Jordan’s windup and how long his arm action was. Not in a negative way, just analysis. When McClouth missed the cutoff man, they noticed it immediately. When Cabrera moved the runner from 2nd to 3rd by hitting behind him, they brought that up. Interesting that they have Lombardozzi as no better then the 3rd infielder so far this spring. Not that everything needs a ranking but these guys would be the best visiting group I have heard followed by the Astro’s and the drop to last for those guys from the Braves is huge. I still have nightmares of that twosome and the continued repetition of Mark Lemke’s nickname.

    • natsfan1a - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:41 PM

      I also thought the Detroit broadcast team was a good listen.

      • natsfan1a - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:45 PM

        Or rather a good half-listen, as I was multitasking during the game. My cat liked them okay, too. Sometimes when Charlie Slowes gets excited it makes the cat a bit nervous. :-)

    • therealjohnc - Mar 14, 2014 at 9:51 PM

      Interesting that the announcer said that the ball was easy to pick up on Jordan’s windup; I’ve seen it said elsewhere that his motion is quirky and unusual and makes the ball harder to pick up.

      I’ve never had to hit off of him, so I couldn’t say :-)

  29. thelatencn - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Anyody know how Mikey Mo has been hitting? I remember the year (’11?) he led all of ST with 14 HR’s.

  30. natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    Hairston with his own HR

  31. Drew - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Folks who think ST results don’t matter might have a different view after Ayala’s agonisties.

    He and Delcarmen looked promising for awhile.

  32. natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Zach Walters keeps hitting

    • natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      Walters supposedly just made a Jeteresque jump throw at SS and then Souza botched a popup in RF

      • letswin3 - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        Jeteresque, huh. My sixth sense is still working …. who needs more work in Syracuse, Zack or Danny? And, who might be on the trading block, Zack or Danny? And who would I rather see as a pinch-hitter in the 8th inning of a 4-4 game, with a runner on 2nd and 2 outs? I know Zack still isn’t a finished product, but if I had my druthers …. Of course, if Zim has shoulder issues, both may be needed… or maybe the “both” are Zack and Carroll?

      • natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:34 PM

        I’m repeating the announcers. They loved the play and called it Jeteresque.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:34 PM

        Jeteresque is that jump throw from the hole.

      • Jb - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:39 PM

        The roster spot is not Zach Walters’ to win. It’s Espinosa’s to lose. And so far he doesn’t appear to be losing it.

      • natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:49 PM

        I’m pulling for Espi. Overall I like the effort. Walters is much better than my expectations. The worst part of the team right now is the bullpen.

  33. Sec 3.14159, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    In that aerial photo of Griffith Stadium Mark tweeted out (visible in the feed above right, too), you just miss seeing my house! I’m a block south of where that cuts off.

    Cool.

    • sjm308 - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:19 PM

      Ah Sofa:

      what memories!!!
      Street Car from Takoma Park down to the stadium for 10 cents
      Bleacher seat for .25 (damn, no cent symbol)
      Maybe a coke or hot dog if I had enough to get back

      Did not see Mantle’s huge Home Run but I did see hit a bunch.
      Ran down a Yogi Berra foul ball up in the right field grandstands when I was with my mom on Ladies Day, there could not have been 5,000 people total in the stands even though it was the Yankees

  34. philipd763 - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Looks like Taylor Jordan and Luis Ayala just killed any chance of making the team.

    • ArVAFan - Mar 14, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      Well, it’s not as if our regular pitchers did so well against the Tigers last year, either.

  35. Danny - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    Storen with yet another shaky inning.

    • Sec 3.14159, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      Just half-listening as I do other things, but IIRC, he didn’t give up any runs, and one of the hits was a blooper to left. How shaky was he?

    • davecydell - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      Someday, many years from now, game callers will come to say, after a high scoring inning: “It was Stammen and Storen out there”.

  36. jd - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    While I don’t have great concerns about Taylor Jordan he certainly hasn’t grabbed the 5th spot away from Det, I think a regular stint in Syracuse isn’t a bad thing for him I think Roark is more suited for a swing spot on the roster.

  37. sjm308 - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    Question:

    I realize all performances go into making decisions on who comes north but in this esteemed groups opinion, when does it become important to actually start to try and win games during spring training. I am pretty sure that Matt Williams needs to get good looks at lots of different players but at sometime we also have to get a set lineup, at least that is what I think. Don’t get me wrong, I know they are always trying to win but right now we are seeing multiple switches and lots of players resting.

    Thanks in advance

    Go Nats!

    • Jb - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:42 PM

      Not until they have all 8 regulars in the lineup for all or most of the game.

    • jd - Mar 14, 2014 at 6:11 PM

      Unless you have a disastrous spring where you lose most-of your games the results are not relevant at all. It is standard practice for the regulars to play about 4 – 5 innings and then bring in an assortment of prospects and suspects. As cuts happen the level of the subs improves because many of the no hope players are released or sent down.

      There are real battles in this camp so players like Tyler Moore and Jamie Carrol and Luis Ayala’s results certainly matter to them on an individual level and every spring there is usually one player who takes a step forward and opens eyes, this year that player is Zack Walters which certainly has to give Rizzo some satisfaction because it gives him some options.

      • ehay2k - Mar 15, 2014 at 9:55 AM

        My two cents – they really needed to open ST with a win, just to take the pressure off. After that, as long as the team is competitive, wins/losses don’t really matter.

        People seem very worried about the pen, but it seems they are always shaky in ST, perhaps because they are working on pitches and since they get few innings, they have to throw them before they are comfortable, and more often. At any rate, Storen has had terrible ST before (2012?) and then pitched well. Sorianomis no gem either in ST, and as much as people dump on him, he was pretty good last year – 43 saves IIRC – and didn’t always get the help in the field he needed so not all his blown saves were on him.

        So, I don’t worry so much about the pen.. Yet.

  38. Candide - Mar 14, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    Espi’s hitting .167, .519 OPS this spring.

    He’s going to have to step it up very soon. I want him to come back, but he’s making it difficult for me to like his chances.

    • jd - Mar 14, 2014 at 6:15 PM

      I never thought that Espinosa is a bubble player this spring, there simply aren’t many good options for backup short stop at this time but the talk of Espi battling Rendon for an every day spot can certainly be put to bed.

  39. Theophilus T.S. - Mar 14, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    Bullpen not looking very good, or at least very deep. Soriano, meh; Clippard, fine; Storen, wobbly; Blevins OK, Stammen OK; Garcia and Barrett OK against minor leaguers; Roark in BP by default; can’t think of anybody else who’s been good.

    • natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 8:14 PM

      I made the same comment above at 4:49. Blevins has been impressive. It’s still early is my hope on the rust.

  40. Theophilus T.S. - Mar 14, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    Can someone refresh my recollection why Mattheus hasn’t pitched this spring?

    • originalnatsfan - Mar 14, 2014 at 5:46 PM

      sore muscle in his rib cage

      • natinalsgo - Mar 14, 2014 at 8:15 PM

        Did he punch himself in the ribs ;)

  41. nats128 - Mar 14, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    This is interesting and not sure the context. Was he saying he was told to say that? If so then WHAT!

  42. nats128 - Mar 14, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    • nats128 - Mar 14, 2014 at 8:40 PM

      UPDATE, 6:05 p.m.: Pitching coach Steve McCatty said that Doug Fister looked good in his bullpen session on Friday morning. After four straight days of throwing, he will rest on Saturday morning. If Fister feels good, he could throw two innings in a minor league camp on Sunday, McCatty said. But he was encouraged that Fister could complete his bullpen without issue.
      “It’s a positive sign,” McCatty said. “We have to be cautious right now. And just make sure he’s fine. We’ll see how he is (Saturday) morning. Depending how he is, we’ll see when we get him in the game.” –James Wagner

  43. Skippy - Mar 15, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    Can any insider give me some tips on what time to show up at space coast stadium to see players warm up and any other tips on spring training games? Heading down for tomorrow’s game, first spring traing game. Thanks!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 87 63 -- 0
ATLANTA 75 76 12.5
MIAMI 73 77 14.0
NEW YORK 73 79 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 81 18.0
Through Tuesday's early games
x-Clinched division title
UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats 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.

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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