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…
Mar 19, 2015, 5:13 PM EDT
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…
Mar 19, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT
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…
Mar 19, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
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…
Mar 13, 2015, 5:09 PM EDT
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…
Mar 13, 2015, 12:28 PM EDT
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…
Mar 13, 2015, 10:13 AM EDT
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…
Mar 12, 2015, 12:38 PM EDT
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…
Mar 12, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
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…
Mar 11, 2015, 10:25 AM EDT
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…
Mar 10, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT
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…
Mar 10, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
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…
Mar 9, 2015, 12:06 PM EDT
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…
Mar 9, 2015, 9:02 AM EDT
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…
Mar 7, 2015, 3:49 PM EDT
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…
Mar 7, 2015, 12:02 PM EDT
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…
Mar 7, 2015, 10:50 AM EDT
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…
Mar 7, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
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…
Mar 6, 2015, 4:57 PM EDT
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Jordan Zimmermann has been doing this long enough now to know what he needs to get out of a 2-inning start in early March. (Hint: Not nearly as much as he needs to get out of a longer start in early April.) “Early in my career I was ready to…
Mar 6, 2015, 2:11 PM EDT
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Yunel Escobar, still dealing with a stiff back, was due to be examined by a Nationals team doctor Friday, a potentially negative development for the club’s new second baseman. Escobar, who was scratched from his scheduled spring debut Thursday evening, hadn’t shown improvement Friday morning at the Nationals’ complex in…
Mar 6, 2015, 10:40 AM EDT
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Hello from the Happiest Place on Earth™, otherwise known as Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World. It’s actually a cool, overcast day here at Braves camp, nothing like the scorcher we had yesterday in Viera. I’m sure, though, that Jordan Zimmermann won’t have any…
Mar 6, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Ryan Zimmerman loves to downplay the significance of events that take place on a baseball field, so it was no surprise he didn’t think the two tough scoops he made at first base Thursday evening on short-hop throws were that big a deal. “I mean, you just run to the base, catch…
Mar 5, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — If you thought Max Scherzer would be fighting any nerves when he toed the rubber late Thursday afternoon at Space Coast Stadium for the first time as a member of the Nationals, you need to get to know the $210 million right-hander a little better. “I love pitching,” Scherzer said about an…
NL EAST STANDINGS
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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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