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Mark Zuckerman

  1. Bell released; Jordan, Meek, Skole sent to minors

    Mar 23, 2015, 7:52 PM EDT

    AP

    Heath Bell’s attempt to resurrect his career with the Nationals came to an abrupt end on Monday when the veteran reliever was released, one of four roster moves made following Washington’s 7-6 exhibition win over the Yankees. In addition to releasing Bell, the Nationals optioned right-hander Taylor Jordan to Class AAA Syracuse and reassigned reliever…

  2. Nats vs. Yankees — 3/23/15

    Mar 23, 2015, 12:45 PM EDT

    AP

    The news out of Viera today that will draw the most attention, of course, is the naming of Max Scherzer as Opening Day starter. But the more important development down there today might well be the fact Yunel Escobar is making his long-awaited spring training debut this afternoon. Sidelined the last three weeks with an…

  3. Scherzer named Opening Day starter

    Mar 23, 2015, 11:33 AM EDT

    AP

    Max Scherzer will start Opening Day for the Nationals, the club announced Monday, a not-surprising answer to a question that nonetheless had hovered over camp all spring. Scherzer, signed by the Nationals in January to the largest contract ever given a free-agent right-hander (7 years, $210 million), gets the nod over equally qualified rotation mates…

  4. Nats have decision to make on Taylor

    Mar 23, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Three weeks ago, back when he didn’t think he’d be looking for an Opening Day center fielder, Nationals manager Matt Williams noted the progress Michael Taylor had made over the previous 12 months and how that left the top prospect on the cusp of the big-league roster. “Mike’s close,” Williams said. “He’s really close.” Circumstances,…

  5. Nats vs. Tigers — 3/22/15

    Mar 22, 2015, 10:21 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Stephen Strasburg was supposed to start today, making the trip to Lakeland to face Miguel Cabrera, Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Verlander and the Tigers. Instead, Strasburg is back in Viera, nursing a twisted left ankle suffered during conditioning drills. The injury is not believed to be serious, but it is enough to keep the right-hander from…

  6. Nats vs. Marlins, Nats vs. Braves — 3/21/15

    Mar 21, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    AP

    It’s going to be such a nice day in Florida, the Nationals decided they might as well play two. Simultaneously. Yes, it’s another split-squad day, with one team staying home in Viera to face the Marlins while another group heads to Disney to face a split-squad Braves team. Most of the starters, as expected, are…

  7. Nats vs. Astros — 3/20/15

    Mar 20, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    AP

    Every member of the Nationals rotation has now made three starts this spring, and every member of the rotation should make three more starts before Opening Day. For now, Max Scherzer leads the way, taking the mound today in Kissimmee for his fourth Grapefruit League start and scheduled to be the first member of the…

  8. Nats injury concern meter

    Mar 20, 2015, 11:03 AM EDT

    AP

    As you stare out the window this morning and see snow falling in the D.C. area, it’s difficult to believe they’ll be playing a real baseball game here in a mere 17 days. Believe it, though, because not even Mother Nature can get in the way of this. Baseball season has almost arrived. Which, in…

  9. Nats send Grace, Butler to Syracuse; Difo to Potomac

    Mar 19, 2015, 5:13 PM EDT

    AP

    The Nationals trimmed their spring training roster by three more Thursday, optioning left-hander Matt Grace and catcher Dan Butler to Class AAA Syracuse, plus infielder Wilmer Difo to Class A Potomac. Difo impressed in his first-ever big-league camp, hitting .318 (7-for-22) with two extra-base hits in 13 Grapefruit League games. The 22-year-old is among the…

  10. Nats vs. Tigers — 3/19/15

    Mar 19, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    AP

    We are fast approaching the stretch run of spring training, which means pitchers start going deeper into games, position players start getting more at-bats and guys on the roster bubble start being evaluated a bit closer. The Nationals today will see Gio Gonzalez make his third start of the spring. The lefty was fantastic in…

  11. Spring surprises throw themselves into roster mix

    Mar 19, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Every team enters spring training with a rough idea what its Opening Day roster will look like, or at least which players will be competing for however many roster spots are up for grabs. And then as official first day of spring approaches and the regular season begins to loom, every team realizes its best-laid…

  12. Storen has left hand surgery, sidelined only 2-3 days

    Mar 13, 2015, 5:09 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Drew Storen became the latest prominent Nationals player to suffer a spring training injury, requiring minor surgery Friday to remove the broken hook of the hamate bone in his left hand. Manager Matt Williams told reporters in Viera the right-handed Storen would likely be able to resume normal throwing within 2-to-3 days and thus is…

  13. Nats vs. Astros — 3/13/15

    Mar 13, 2015, 12:28 PM EDT

    AP

    Two years from now (or possibly three if there are any more delays in construction) when the Nationals and Astros want to play each other in spring training, neither will ever have to set foot on a bus. That’s the beauty of the shared complex these two franchises are going to be building in West…

  14. Rendon has mild MCL sprain, plus other morning news

    Mar 13, 2015, 10:13 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Third baseman Anthony Rendon has a mild MCL sprain in his left knee and will be shut down for several days to let the injury heal, Nationals manager Matt Williams told reporters in Viera. Rendon becomes the latest member of the suddenly fragile Nationals lineup to suffer an injury this spring, joining second baseman Yunel…

  15. Nats vs. Mets — 3/12/15

    Mar 12, 2015, 12:38 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER File Photo

    It’s Stephen Strasburg’s turn to pitch today, but the right-hander won’t be pitching in Port St. Lucie against the Mets. Instead, as a result of an ingrown toenail that needed to be removed, Strasburg is pitching in a minor-league game in Viera. In addition to the idea that he can pitch in a more controlled…

  16. Will easy schedule help Nats early this season?

    Mar 12, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    In his annual look at early season schedules for every MLB club, ESPN’s Buster Olney notes how easy the Nationals appear to have things to begin 2015. Olney goes so far as to say he “cannot recall a team with a better opportunity to break away to a strong start than what the Washington Nationals…

  17. Nats vs. Tigers — 3/11/15

    Mar 11, 2015, 10:25 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Given the star power up and down the Nationals’ rotation, there is regularly going to be a good chance of a premier pitching matchup this season. Consider today’s game in Viera the first of many more to come, with Jordan Zimmermann squaring off against the Tigers’ David Price. These aren’t just two of the better…

  18. Nats vs. Marlins — 3/10/15

    Mar 10, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    For most veterans, the goal of spring training is simple: Get yourself ready for the regular season. For young players and others on the bubble, the goal is entirely different: Prove to club officials you deserve a spot on the Opening Day roster. And nobody in Nationals camp for the next month is going to…

  19. On Span’s surgery, the Nats outfield and what happens now

    Mar 10, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Several random, yet somewhat connected, thoughts that have come to mind in the 24 hours since we learned Denard Span had surgery to repair a core muscle injury… We don’t know how long it will take Span to fully recover from the surgery, or whether this will become a lingering problem all season. While the…

  20. Nats vs. Braves — 3/9/15

    Mar 9, 2015, 12:06 PM EDT

    AP

    The day began with news of Denard Span’s core muscle surgery, a procedure that will force the veteran center fielder to open the season on the DL. But attention now shifts to the field of play, with the Nationals hosting the Braves in this afternoon’s Grapefruit League game in Viera. Tony Gwynn Jr., whose stock…

  21. Span likely to open season on DL after core muscle surgery

    Mar 9, 2015, 9:02 AM EDT

    AP

    Updated at 10:34 a.m. Denard Span is likely to miss as much as the season’s first month after surgery Monday morning to repair a right core muscle injury, yet another blow to the Nationals’ thinning ranks of healthy outfielders. Span is expected to begin baseball activities in 4-to-6 weeks, Nationals manager Matt Williams told reporters…

  22. Strasburg finds positives in abbreviated start

    Mar 7, 2015, 3:49 PM EDT

    AP file photo

    VIERA, Fla. — Stephen Strasburg has a reputation as a bit of a perfectionist, occasionally getting upset at himself over one or two mistakes he made in an otherwise strong performance. Over the years, though, he has learned he can’t take that same kind of mindset to spring training, especially early in spring training. So…

  23. Nats vs. Cardinals — 3/7/15

    Mar 7, 2015, 12:02 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    VIERA, Fla. — We saw Max Scherzer on Thursday. We saw Jordan Zimmermann yesterday. Today, it’s Stephen Strasburg’s turn to take the mound for the first time this spring. As with his rotation mates, Strasburg is slated for two innings or 45 pitches, so don’t blink or you might miss his entire outing. Today’s game…

  24. Escobar out 7-10 days with oblique strain

    Mar 7, 2015, 10:50 AM EDT

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — Yunel Escobar has a Grade 1 left oblique strain and will be shut down 7-to-10 days, but the Nationals believe their new second baseman will be ready for Opening Day. Escobar was diagnosed with the minor strain after complaining of a stiff back, which forced him to be scratched from his scheduled…

  25. Confidence rises for Uggla after strong spring debut

    Mar 7, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Dan Uggla hadn’t felt like this on a major-league baseball field in quite some time. Actually able to see the ball clearly after two dreadful seasons that left a former All-Star’s career in shambles, Uggla debuted for the Nationals on Friday and looked better at the plate than he had…

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Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Sunday at 10:30 p.m. to recap everything happening with the Nats and across baseball.

ON THE RADIO

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.
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