May 19, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
Bryce Harper is receiving a boatload of attention right now, and deservedly so. Win back-to-back NL Player of the Week honors, get talked about a whole lot. But Harper alone is not responsible for the Nationals’ resurgence over the last three weeks. Yes, he has contributed to their 15-4 record since April 28 more than…
May 9, 2015, 10:09 AM EDT
Bryce Harper once again stole the show last night, but there was plenty else worth discussing about the Nationals’ 9-2 thumping of the Braves. Such as… Danny Espinosa hit two homers left-handed If you’ve followed his career at all, last night’s performance by Espinosa was one of the all-time head-scratchers. He struck out twice while…
May 8, 2015, 11:40 PM EDT
The quotes from teammates about him — “Don’t touch him, you might get third-degree burns” — are ludicrous. The records being dug up by Elias and on Baseball-Reference — “He’s the first player in D.C. baseball history to do this” — are telling. And the balls soaring off his bat are leaving everybody watching in…
Apr 29, 2015, 11:29 AM EDT
ATLANTA — If your head is still spinning from the hysteria of last night — as a certain beat reporter’s certainly is — here are even more takeaways from the Nationals’ historic, 13-12 victory over the Braves… Denard Span went 5-for-6 with 11 total bases and nearly hit for the cycle Dan Uggla got most…
Apr 29, 2015, 1:51 AM EDT
ATLANTA — At the end of a 3-week stretch of bad baseball that had seen the Nationals find new soul-crushing ways to lose ballgames on a nightly basis, this sure felt like rock bottom: Down eight runs after two innings, with an unsuspecting rookie pitcher forced to take a beating in his major-league debut for…
Apr 21, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
Though the Nationals are getting healthier by the day – they saw both Jayson Werth and Denard Span return over the last week – they are still making do with temporary replacements. Danny Espinosa, for one, is playing third base. He has started at the hot corner in two consecutive games after Yunel Escobar, who…
Apr 18, 2015, 12:07 PM EDT
It’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon in the District, a perfect day for some matinee baseball as the Nationals try to extend their winning streak to four game and get back to the .500 mark overall, facing a Phillies club that has lost six in a row. Yunel Escobar is not in the lineup after straining…
Apr 17, 2015, 3:33 PM EDT
The resurgence of the Nationals’ lineup has coincided with a couple of tweaks that — at least based on history — you wouldn’t think would make a positive difference: Ian Desmond batting second and Danny Espinosa batting left-handed. But somehow those two guys have managed to reverse historical trends and be productive. So Matt Williams…
Apr 12, 2015, 12:20 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Danny Espinosa spent the entire spring hitting right-handed against right-handed pitching, acknowledging his long-term struggles from the left side of the plate, recognizing his best (and possibly only) hope of sticking in the big leagues was to give up switch-hitting. But when given his first opportunity of the season to face a right-handed…
Apr 11, 2015, 3:35 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — In their search for some semblance of offense, the Nationals are giving a couple of guys their first opportunity to start a game tonight: Reed Johnson and Danny Espinosa. The logic behind it: Both hit left-handers well. Johnson owns a career .310 batting average and .818 OPS against lefties, while Espinosa hits .271…
Apr 10, 2015, 6:24 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Matt Williams talked this spring about the need for better “offensive efficiency” from his Nationals lineup this season, making the most of the opportunities presented to manufacture a run or two. Three games in, the Nats haven’t looked particularly impressive in that department. They entered Friday night’s game against the Phillies just 3-for-19…
Apr 3, 2015, 12:24 PM EDT
Today the Nationals play their final spring training game before heading north for Washington. They face off with the Yankees, whom they will also play in tomorrow’s exhibition at Nationals Park. The pitching matchup today is a good one, as both Stephen Strasburg and C.C. Sabathia are set for their final warmups before the 2015…
Mar 30, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Sunday wound up being quite a busy news day at Space Coast Stadium, so we weren’t able to get around to observations from the game itself. Before we turn the page to today’s game against the Cardinals in Jupiter, though, let’s revisit a couple interesting developments… — Doug Fister was all over…
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, 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 2, 2015, 3:36 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals typically have held live batting practice drills on four consecutive days each spring, giving each pitcher in camp two opportunities to work off a mound with a batter at the plate. But a condensed scheduled this spring forced them to cut these sessions in half, putting some added emphasis on…
Feb 27, 2015, 4:22 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Those of you still dealing with real winter back north won’t have any sympathy, but it was downright miserable today in Viera. The Nationals’ morning workout was conducted under gray skies that produced on-and-off rain, with temperatures in the low-50s and a strong wind howling from the north, with no tall structures…
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 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?…
Jan 31, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
Age on Opening Day 2015: 32 How acquired: Signed as a free agent, March 2014 2015 salary: $1 million 2014 stats: 105 G, 236 PA, 17 R, 57 H, 8 2B, 0 3B, HR, 17 RBI, 0 SB, 6 BB, 26 SO, .259 AVG, .299 OBP, .309 SLG, .608 OPS, 2 E, -0.4 WAR 2015 storyline: Kevin Frandsen returns to the Nationals in 2015 as…
Jan 7, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT
The Nationals entered the offseason three months ago with one glaring roster hole: second base. Yet here they stand today, with pitchers and catchers due to report for spring training in a mere six weeks, and that one glaring hole hasn’t really been addressed. So, what’s going on with the Nats at second base? The…
Dec 9, 2014, 11:07 PM EDT
SAN DIEGO — Matt Williams addressed a number of topics during his 31-minute Winter Meetings media session late Tuesday afternoon, including some interesting thoughts on the plan for Bryce Harper in 2015. (I’ll have a full post on that subject in the morning.) The recently crowned NL Manager of the Year revisited his first season…
Dec 2, 2014, 5:09 PM EDT
The Nationals tendered 2015 contracts to all 10 of their unsigned, arbitration-eligible players on Tuesday, a group that includes Ross Detwiler and Danny Espinosa, two players whose future with the organization has been in doubt. For now, the Nationals chose to retain all 10 of those players, tendering them contracts in advance of Tuesday’s 11:59…
Dec 2, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
All MLB clubs face more roster decisions tonight, with a midnight deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. It’s mostly a procedural event, with the vast majority of arbitration-eligible players (those with more than three years but less than six years of big-league service time, plus the Super-2 players who qualify) being tendered contracts and setting the…
Oct 26, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Age on Opening Day 2015: 27 How acquired: 3rd round pick, 2008 draft MLB service time: 3 years, 113 days 2014 salary+bonuses: $541,000 Contract status: Arbitration-eligible in 2015, free agent in 2018 2014 stats: 114 G, 364 PA, 31 R, 73 H, 14 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 8 SB, 18 BB, 122 SO, .219 BA, .283 OBP…
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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.
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