Mar 17, 2014, 12:37 PM EDT
It’s snowing in D.C., and it’s raining down in Florida, putting today’s game in Lakeland at least somewhat in jeopardy. If they do get started, it’ll be Tanner Roark on the mound for the Nationals, going up against a Tigers lineup that today includes Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera. Several Nats regulars made the trip.…
Mar 17, 2014, 10:41 AM EDT
The Nationals made another round of cuts Monday morning, removing six more players from their big-league camp roster, including outfielders Steven Souza Jr. and Brian Goodwin and left-hander Sammy Solis. Souza and fellow outfielder Eury Perez were optioned to Class AAA Syracuse, with Solis optioned to Class AA Harrisburg. Goodwin, infielder Mike Fontenot and catcher…
Mar 17, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
It lasted all of two innings, and during that time only one baseball was hit in his general direction, but Ryan Zimmerman’s brief stint at first base Sunday during the Nationals’ 2-1 exhibition loss to the Tigers in Viera was significant if for no other reason than the fact it happened at all. For several…
Mar 14, 2014, 12:03 PM EDT
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…
Mar 13, 2014, 12:37 PM EDT
We’ve reached that point in the spring where several players are dealing with minor tweaks and other ailments. They say these are the kinds of things they’d play through during the regular season, but on March 13 they figure it’s not worth the risk. So, the Nationals for the moment are without Ryan Zimmerman (sore…
Mar 13, 2014, 9:31 AM EDT
The Nationals made another round of cuts this morning, reducing their big-league roster by six. Left-hander Matt Purke and outfielder Michael Taylor each were optioned to Class AA Harrisburg. Pitchers Josh Roenicke, Danny Rosenbaum, Clay Hensley and Daniel Stange — none of them members of the 40-man roster — were reassigned to minor-league camp. Purke…
Mar 13, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
There are now only two weeks remaining until the Nationals break camp in Viera and head north, and a mere 18 days until the season opens at Citi Field. Suffice it to say, baseball season is nearly upon us. Which means it’s time for the return of “The Baseball Show” on Comcast SportsNet. Yes, we’re…
Mar 12, 2014, 12:31 PM EDT
It’s another split-squad day for the Nationals, with both games on the road this afternoon. In Kissimmee, Tanner Roark takes the mound to face the Astros, with mostly backups (except for Ian Desmond) behind him in the field. Most notable about this game: It’s the first time the Nats are playing a game with instant…
Mar 12, 2014, 10:59 AM EDT
The Nationals trimmed their spring training roster by two more names this morning, sending down a pair of promising pitching prospects. Left-hander Felipe Rivero was optioned to Class AA Harrisburg, while right-hander A.J. Cole (who isn’t on the club’s 40-man roster yet) was re-assigned to minor-league camp. Both young pitchers impressed in their first big-league…
Mar 12, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
The Nationals have another round of split-squad games this afternoon, after which they will have completed exactly one-half of the Grapefruit League schedule (15 games down, 15 to go). With that in mind, this seems like as good a time as any to highlight the best, the worst and the unsightliest performances of the spring…
Mar 11, 2014, 5:26 PM EDT
Doug Fister threw off flat ground this morning and reported no problems with his injured elbow, leaving the Nationals hopeful the right-hander will be able to open the season without missing any time. “Threw fine, feels good,” manager Matt Williams told reporters in Viera following the Nats’ 3-2 exhibition win over the Yankees. “We’ll progress…
Mar 11, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
It’s been an awfully quiet spring so far for Jordan Zimmermann, and that’s a good thing. The right-hander has simply gone about his business and begun the process of building up his arm with no disruption and no struggles (he has yet to allow a run in five innings). Today, Zimmermann makes his third start,…
Mar 11, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
If the Nationals hold any edge over the Braves entering the season, it’s most likely the dominant starting rotation they intend to send to the mound every night for 162 games. Not much distinguishes these talented ballclubs from each other, but the Nats clearly entered the spring with a more fearsome starting five than Atlanta…
Mar 10, 2014, 3:13 PM EDT
They’ll play under the lights tonight at Space Coast Stadium, where the Nationals host the Astros in a rare, spring training evening game. Gio Gonzalez is on the mound for the Nats, making his second Grapefruit League start after tossing two scoreless innings against the Mets on Wednesday. We tend to focus on the pitchers…
Mar 10, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
A manager constructs a spring training lineup with plenty of objectives in mind. First and foremost, he wants to make sure his best players get as many at-bats as possible as quickly as possible before they take a seat after four or five innings. But a manager also uses exhibition play to try some things…
Mar 9, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT
Stephen Strasburg makes his second start of the spring this afternoon, looking to build up his arm a bit more, likely slated for three innings of work against the Cardinals. The right-hander, who tossed two scoreless frames against the Braves on Tuesday, will again look to use his newly developed slider on occasion. Several regulars…
Mar 9, 2014, 10:23 AM EDT
The Nationals made their first round of spring training cuts this morning, re-assigning four players to minor-league camp, including first baseman Matt Skole. Also re-assigned were catcher Jeff Howell, right-hander Gabriel Alfaro and left-hander Tyler Robertson. Skole, the organization’s fourth-best prospect according to Baseball America, impressed during his three weeks in camp, hitting .357 (5-for-14)…
Mar 8, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
The Nationals experience the first of three split-squad days for the spring, with Matt Williams managing one-half the squad in Viera against the Braves (who also are split up today) and Randy Knorr leading the other half in Jupiter against the Cardinals. Ross Detwiler gets the start against Atlanta, looking for better results than he…
Mar 7, 2014, 12:57 PM EDT
With Doug Fister sidelined for the time being due to inflammation in his right elbow, the window of opportunity opens for some other members of the Nationals pitching staff. That includes Tanner Roark, who today gets a chance to make his first start of the spring, bumped up to take Fister’s spot instead of appearing…
Mar 7, 2014, 11:05 AM EDT
Doug Fister was scratched from his scheduled start today with inflammation in his throwing elbow, an injury the Nationals say isn’t serious but is enough to keep the right-hander from facing the Astros at Space Coast Stadium. Fister complained of discomfort in his elbow following his spring debut Sunday against the Marlins, manager Matt Williams…
Mar 7, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
They call it “Tommy John surgery,” and the left-hander who first had his namesake procedure performed on his elbow back in 1974 will forever be immortalized as a baseball pioneer. Really, though, we should forever refer to it as “Frank Jobe surgery,” because the Los Angeles orthopedist who brilliantly conjured up the ligament reconstruction surgery…
Mar 6, 2014, 3:25 PM EDT
It’s been a stormy day across the state of Florida, and several of this afternoon’s Grapefruit League games were canceled as a result. The Nationals, though, are scheduled to play this evening at Disney World, and for now the game remains on schedule. Assuming they’re able to get this one in, Jordan Zimmermann and Julio…
Mar 6, 2014, 7:45 AM EDT
It’s been exactly three weeks since Nationals pitchers and catchers reported for spring training. And exactly three weeks from today, the Nats will break camp in Viera and head north in anticipation of the 10th Opening Day in club history. Obviously, there’s still plenty of work to be done between now and March 27, and…
Mar 5, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT
Gio Gonzalez is the last of the projected members of the Nationals’ Opening Day rotation to start this spring, which shouldn’t be interpreted as anything other than the schedule falling this way, lining up the lefty right behind Stephen Strasburg for now. Gonzalez has nothing to prove this spring; he merely needs to get his…
Mar 5, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
If you’ve glanced at any boxscores from the Nationals’ five Grapefruit League games to date, you’ve probably paid attention to members of the starting rotation, key lineup regulars and a few top relievers who have appeared so far. Have you noticed, however, what the Nats have been doing on the bases down in Florida? Here’s…
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.
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