Feb 23, 2015, 9:55 AM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman — that’s a title everyone’s still going to have to get used to — reported to spring training Monday morning and wasted no time getting to work at learning his new position. Zimmerman arrived in the clubhouse at Space Coast Stadium before 8 a.m. and within an…
Feb 23, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — The attention is lavished upon the members of the Nationals’ pitching staff, particularly the five (or more) starters that will make up perhaps baseball’s best rotation in 2015. The one man in charge of preparing them all, though, is Steve McCatty. Now entering his seventh season as Nationals pitching coach, McCatty has…
Feb 22, 2015, 6:37 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Dan Uggla doesn’t hide from it, and he certainly doesn’t try to sugarcoat it. The veteran slugger knows he was an absolutely awful baseball player the last couple years, one who somehow plummeted from being an All-Star second baseman with five consecutive 30-homer seasons to perhaps the worst hitter in the game.…
Feb 22, 2015, 4:22 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — The second pitchers and catchers workout of the spring saw everybody switch routines from Saturday’s first session. Pitchers who threw off the bullpen mounds Saturday went through fundamental drills Sunday, and vice versa. Among the biggest names who toed the rubber were Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez. The three pitchers…
Feb 22, 2015, 9:59 AM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Tanner Roark will prepare this spring as though he’ll be a starter come Opening Day. But that likely won’t be the case unless somebody else from the Nationals’ star-studded rotation gets hurt or is traded. So, Roark probably is destined for a long-relief role. Except that’s not exactly the best way to…
Feb 21, 2015, 5:50 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — It turned into quite an eventful day here. Much of the news had little to do with the Nationals’ first pitchers and catchers workout of the spring — Matt Williams’ 2016 option getting picked up, Jordan Zimmermann talking about his contract status, Danny Espinosa swinging right-handed vs. a right-handed pitcher — but…
Feb 21, 2015, 5:11 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Danny Espinosa will bat right-handed against right-handed pitchers the majority of the time this spring, attempting to give up switch-hitting and revive his career, manager Matt Williams said Saturday. Espinosa, a switch-hitter most of his life, will make the change at the urging of the Nationals, who have seen the infielder struggle…
Feb 21, 2015, 1:44 PM EDT
Updated at 4:36 p.m. VIERA, Fla. — Though he’s willing to engage with the Nationals if they initiate talks this spring, Jordan Zimmermann says no progress has been made on a long-term extension with the club. And he continues to maintain he won’t negotiate once Opening Day arrives. “I’m just getting ready for the season,”…
Feb 21, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Pitchers and catchers have reported (all 37 of them). They’ve taken and passed their physicals (all 37 of them). Which means there’s only one thing left to do: Play ball! OK, so there won’t be any actual (exhibition) games played for another 12 days, but this morning the Nationals will take the…
Feb 21, 2015, 8:19 AM EDT
Updated at 4:27 p.m. VIERA, Fla. — On the morning of the first pitchers and catchers workout of the spring, the Nationals ensured the reigning NL Manager of the Year wouldn’t go into the season as a lame duck. The Nats picked up Matt Williams’ 2016 contract option, rewarding their 49-year-old skipper for the job…
Feb 20, 2015, 5:15 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Though his surgically repaired shoulder isn’t quite 100 percent yet, Nate McLouth firmly believes it will get there in the next few weeks once he ramps up his daily baseball regimen at spring training. “The thing I still have to work up to is the endurance, the volume,” he said. “I’ve been…
Feb 20, 2015, 3:24 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Max Scherzer strolled into the clubhouse at Space Coast Stadium just after 9:30 a.m. Friday, the new guy in an unfamiliar room. He looked around, found his locker, then noticed who holds the next stall: Stephen Strasburg. “Hey, Max,” Strasburg said, extending his right hand. “Nice to meet you.” This was the…
Feb 20, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Upon signing with the Nationals last month, Casey Janssen couldn’t help but do a little research on the guy he’ll be replacing as primary setup man — Tyler Clippard — and realize what exactly was now going to be expected of him. “I definitely looked at Tyler’s numbers, and they’re pretty impressive,”…
Feb 19, 2015, 3:42 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Wilson Ramos entered 2014 with a clear goal in mind: Catch at least 120 games for the first time in his career. That, of course, didn’t happen. A broken hamate bone suffered on Opening Day and yet another hamstring strain later in the summer limited Ramos to 87 games behind the plate.…
Feb 19, 2015, 1:35 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Doug Fister, like several prominent teammates with the Nationals, knows he’s eligible for free agency at season’s end. The veteran right-hander, though, insists his focus is solely on 2015, not whatever may happen to him after that. “I’m wearing this jersey right now, and that’s the most important thing,” Fister said on…
Feb 19, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — And away we go… OK, actually that’s a bit of a false start on my part. Yes, pitchers and catchers do report today, but there will be no organized baseball activity taking place here at Space Coast Stadium. That doesn’t happen until Saturday, with the first official workout. What happens until then?…
Feb 18, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
We’ve reached the final countdown to pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training, so we’re counting down the five biggest storylines the Nationals will face in Viera. We conclude today with No. 1: The pressure to win now and the spotlight that will shine on this team from the first day of camp… The Nationals…
Feb 17, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
We’ve reached the final countdown to pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training, so we’re counting down the five biggest storylines the Nationals will face in Viera. We continue today with No. 2: Jayson Werth’s continued rehab from offseason shoulder surgery… No major-league club reports for spring training this week with fewer question marks than…
Feb 16, 2015, 4:14 PM EDT
In our next spring training preview video segment, we look at a couple of members of the Nationals’ roster who could be “X-Factors” this season, guys who could prove hugely significant or not make a whole lot of difference. The first “X-Factor” is Bryce Harper, who despite moments of glory since reaching the big leagues,…
Feb 16, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
We’ve reached the final countdown to pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training, so we’re counting down the five biggest storylines the Nationals will face in Viera. We continue today with No. 3: Tanner Roark’s uncertain role after losing his rotation spot to Max Scherzer… Tanner Roark made his major-league debut on Aug. 7, 2013,…
Feb 15, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
We’ve reached the final countdown to pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training, so we’re counting down the five biggest storylines the Nationals will face in Viera. We continue today with No. 4: Ryan Zimmerman’s long-anticipated move to first base on a permanent basis… On the day he was drafted, nearly 10 years ago, Ryan…
Feb 14, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT
2014 record: 67-95, 5th place in AL West Manager: Jeff Banister, 1st season Estimated 2015 payroll: $141 million Key additions: RHP Yovani Gallardo, LHP Ross Detwiler, OF Kyle Blanks, OF Nate Schierholtz, RHP Kyuji Fujikawa Key losses: OF Alex Rios, RHP Scott Baker, LHP Neal Cotts, RHP Alexi Ogando, LHP Robbie Ross Projected lineup RF Shin-Soo…
Feb 14, 2015, 12:26 PM EDT
What are some of the most-important issues facing the Nationals this spring? I discussed several of them last night on Comcast SportsNet, including… — Jayson Werth’s recovery from offseason shoulder surgery — The Nats’ new-look bullpen and the need to replace Tyler Clippard — Ryan Zimmerman’s permanent transition to first base Enjoy the video clip…
Feb 14, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
We’ve reached the final countdown to pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training, so we’re counting down the five biggest storylines the Nationals will face in Viera. We begin today with No. 5: Perhaps the last opportunity for GM Mike Rizzo to negotiate long-term contracts with several prominent pending free agents… This was a story…
Feb 13, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
Age on Opening Day 2015: 28 How acquired: Traded with RHP Ryan Tatusko from Rangers for SS Cristian Guzman, July 2010 2015 salary: TBD (will be slightly more than MLB minimum of $507,500) 2014 stats: 31 GS, 198.2 IP, 178 H, 64 R, 63 ER, 16 HR, 39 BB, 138 K, 1.092 WHIP, 15-10, 2.85…
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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.
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 ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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- Nats nearly doubled in franchise value from 2014 to 2015
- Gonzalez settles down, with help from Scherzer
- Former Nats pitcher earns rotation spot with Texas Rangers
- Ian Desmond ranks highly among shortstops, according to ESPN
- Gio Gonzalez faces Mets in Viera
- Harper sidelined as Nats' injuries continue to mount
- Who should Nats' tab as Rendon's fill-in?
- Podcast: 'Baseball in the District' - Mark Zuckerman & Marc Carig
- Scherzer dominates Cardinals' "A" lineup
- Harper on criticism, hopes for 2015: 'I want to do damage'