Mar 28, 2015, 1:50 PM EDT
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Less than a week after announcing Max Scherzer as their Opening Day starter, the Nationals announced the order for the rest of their rotation to open the season. Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg will follow Scherzer and face the Mets in the season-opening series April 6-9. Gio Gonzalez and Doug…
Mar 28, 2015, 1:03 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Ryan Zimmerman said he felt “way better” Saturday morning than he did the previous afternoon when he injured himself diving for a ball to his left, and the veteran first baseman expects to be back in the Nationals’ lineup within the next 2-3 days and thus ready for Opening Day. “I feel…
Mar 28, 2015, 10:45 AM EDT
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Hello from Tradition Field, where the Nats and Mets meet for the fifth time this spring. (They’ve still got one more meeting Tuesday in Viera before they meet for real on Opening Day.) It’s a bit interesting that Stephen Strasburg will pitch today, considering he’ll be facing New York in…
Mar 28, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Two more observations from Friday’s 1-1 tie against the Cardinals, unrelated to each other… — Drew Storen made his return to the mound, exactly two weeks removed from surgery to remove the broken hamate bone from his left hand. What looked like it could be a quick and tidy top of the…
Mar 27, 2015, 5:26 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — When Jordan Zimmermann reported for spring training nearly six weeks ago and said he wouldn’t hold any contract negotiations during the regular season, the right-hander essentially created a deadline for any talks with the Nationals to take place. And as that deadline fast approaches, there doesn’t appear to be any reason to…
Mar 27, 2015, 4:23 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Ryan Zimmerman came out of Friday’s Grapefruit League game after only two innings, having “banged himself” on the left side making a diving stop in the top of the first, Nationals manager Matt Williams said. Williams said Zimmerman didn’t ask to be taken out of the game and insisted the move was…
Mar 27, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — As we get closer to the end of spring training, we can start drawing a few more conclusions from the lineup cards Matt Williams is filling out. Such as the fact Tony Gwynn Jr. is leading off and playing left field today, with Michael Taylor batting seventh and in center field. That…
Mar 27, 2015, 11:03 AM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals made six roster cuts Friday morning, re-assigning outfielders Kila Ka’aihue and Derrick Robinson, infielders Emmanuel Burriss and Cutter Dykstra, catcher Steven Lerud and right-hander Manny Delcarmen to minor-league camp. All six players will open the season at Class AAA Syracuse. None of the six moves was surprising, though Ka’aihue had…
Mar 26, 2015, 9:08 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — There was a moment in the top of the third inning Thursday evening at Space Coast Stadium that might as well have been classic Gio Gonzalez. After issuing back-to-back, 2-out walks to the Mets, the left-hander shouted out a naughty word that could be heard in every corner of this cozy ballpark.…
Mar 26, 2015, 4:16 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Hello from Space Coast Stadium, where the Nats and Mets are scheduled to play the odd 5:05 p.m. ballgame this afternoon/evening. I would offer an explanation for the strange starting time, but I have none. It’s actually not ideal from a weather standpoint: It’s been beautiful here all day, but there are…
Mar 26, 2015, 3:28 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Add Bryce Harper to the list of Nationals regulars unable to play right now, but don’t worry, this ailment legitimately doesn’t appear to be anything serious. Harper was scratched from the lineup for Thursday evening’s game against the Mets due to a stomach virus that has been bothering the young slugger the…
Mar 26, 2015, 10:17 AM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Put together a list of the most indispensable players on the Nationals roster, and Anthony Rendon might well sit at the top. Or, at least, in the top three. So Wednesday’s revelation that Rendon’s ailing left knee required a second MRI, leaving him unlikely to be ready for Opening Day, was a…
Mar 25, 2015, 5:56 PM EDT
JUPITER, Fla. — It was a spring training game, and so all the usual caveats must apply. But it was a spring training game against the entire regular Cardinals lineup, one of the better top-to-bottom lineups in baseball, and Max Scherzer knew that. So while it would be easy to brush off any serious accolades…
Mar 25, 2015, 12:27 PM EDT
JUPITER, Fla. — Anthony Rendon’s chance of being ready for Opening Day, already a question mark, appears slim at best after a second MRI of the Nationals third baseman’s left knee showed only minor improvement. The MRI, administered Tuesday in Viera, showed Rendon’s MCL remains sprained, better than it was three weeks ago but not…
Mar 25, 2015, 10:40 AM EDT
JUPITER, Fla. — Hello from Roger Dean Stadium! It’s good to be back in Florida for the final stretch of the spring, which includes three trips in eight days to this complex. It begins today when the Nationals face the Cardinals, who have Michael Wacha on the mound and all of their regulars in the…
Mar 25, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
JUPITER, Fla. — We have officially reached the home stretch of spring training, with 10 remaining exhibition games (nine in Florida, one in D.C.) over the next 12 days before the 2015 season begins for real at Nationals Park. Which means it’s finally time to start trying to figure out who exactly is going to…
Mar 24, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
The Nationals are taking a break today, enjoying their first scheduled day off of the entire spring. (Your trusty beat reporter, meanwhile, will be on a Florida-bound airplane in just a few hours and will be bringing you live updates from Jupiter tomorrow morning.) So this seems like an opportune time to take a step…
Mar 23, 2015, 7:52 PM EDT
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…
Mar 23, 2015, 12:45 PM EDT
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…
Mar 23, 2015, 11:33 AM EDT
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…
Mar 23, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
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,…
Mar 22, 2015, 10:21 AM EDT
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…
Mar 21, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT
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…
Mar 20, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT
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…
Mar 20, 2015, 11:03 AM EDT
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…
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