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  1. Ayala granted release, hopes to sign elsewhere

    Mar 19, 2014, 5:17 PM EDT

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — Luis Ayala was granted his unconditional release by the Nationals today after the veteran reliever was informed he wasn’t going to make the Opening Day roster and asked for the opportunity to seek employment elsewhere. Ayala, 36, was hoping to make the club after signing a minor-league contract last month. The right-hander…

  2. Fister to pitch 3 innings vs. Marlins on Saturday

    Mar 19, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — Three weeks removed from his first (and only) appearance in a Grapefruit League this spring, Doug Fister is ready to face big-league hitters again. Fister, out since March 2 with elbow inflammation, is scheduled start Saturday against the Marlins, Nationals manager Matt Williams said. Fister will throw three innings or 45 pitches,…

  3. Detwiler dissatisfied but won’t dwell on role change

    Mar 19, 2014, 2:45 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — Ross Detwiler isn’t happy about the Nationals’ decision to move him to the bullpen. That much was clear as the left-hander discussed his situation this afternoon for the first time since getting the news on Monday. Detwiler, though, insists he won’t let dissatisfaction with his role affect his performance once he takes…

  4. Nats vs. Astros — 3/19/14

    Mar 19, 2014, 1:32 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    VIERA, Fla. — Ah, it’s good to be back… I just arrived in town after taking a morning flight down from D.C., and let me tell you it sure is nice to see sunshine and temperatures in the 70s. And, of course, it’ll be nice to see some baseball with my own eyes tonight, with…

  5. What’s left for the Nationals to decide?

    Mar 19, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    We have reached the home stretch of spring training. There are nine days left before the Nationals break camp and head north for good. Which means it’s just about time to make those final roster decisions that have been looming all spring. I’m heading back to Viera myself this morning and (hopefully) will be on-site…

  6. Is Ross Detwiler better suited for the bullpen?

    Mar 18, 2014, 2:02 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    On Monday Nationals manager Matt Williams made the surprise announcement that Ross Detwiler will begin the season in the team’s bullpen. Though Detwiler was pitching poorly through three spring starts, he was the favorite heading into the fifth starter competition, and was only given three outings to prove his case. So, now that Detwiler is…

  7. Sorting out the revised No. 5 starter competition

    Mar 18, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Ross Detwiler, and the Nationals’ decision to put the left-hander in their season-opening bullpen, grabbed yesterday’s headlines. But what about the remaining competitors for the final spot in the Nationals’ Opening Day rotation? How does that situation now sort itself out? Manager Matt Williams told reporters in Lakeland, Fla., yesterday that the decision will come…

  8. Nats trade C Koyie Hill to Phillies

    Mar 17, 2014, 6:03 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Apparently content with their current catching depth, the Nationals traded veteran backstop Koyie Hill to the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday for a player to be named later or cash. MLB.com first reported the deal. Hill signed with the Nationals just over a month prior as a free agent and appeared in 10 spring games with…

  9. Detwiler will open season in bullpen

    Mar 17, 2014, 3:01 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals haven’t named a No. 5 starter yet, but they have eliminated one very prominent name from the competition: Ross Detwiler. Matt Williams told reporters in Lakeland today that Detwiler will open the season in the Nationals’ bullpen, a decision the rookie manager cited as being in the club’s best interests. That leaves Tanner…

  10. Nats vs. Tigers — 3/17/14 (canceled)

    Mar 17, 2014, 12:37 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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.…

  11. Souza, Solis, Goodwin among latest cuts

    Mar 17, 2014, 10:41 AM EDT

    AP

    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…

  12. Zimmerman gets his first taste of first base

    Mar 17, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  13. Nats acquire IF Brandon Laird from Royals

    Mar 16, 2014, 11:46 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    The Nationals made a minor trade on Saturday night, acquiring infielder Brandon Laird from the Kansas City Royals. The Royals’ return has not yet been announced, but is said to be either a player to be named later or cash. Laird is the brother of Braves catcher Gerald Laird. He’s 26 years old and a…

  14. Nats (ss) vs. Tigers, Nats (ss) vs. Astros — 3/16/14

    Mar 16, 2014, 9:56 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Today the Nationals play two split-squad games, one at home against the Tigers and the other on the road against the Astros. Jordan Zimmermann will face Detroit while Gio Gonzalez will take the mound vs. Houston. The Nats-Tigers game will be on TV and Justin Verlander is pitching. The Nats will also have a lineup…

  15. VIDEO: Adam Wainwright wants Bryce Harper to take it easy on him

    Mar 15, 2014, 3:23 PM EDT

    Screen shot 2014-03-15 at 2.27.00 PM

    Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright joined Brian Mitchell for a one-on-one interview on SportsTalk Live this week to talk about the new season and his partnership with Mizuno gloves. The first three minutes or so are about the Cardinals and his expectations for them this year, but he then gets into some Nationals subjects. On Stephen…

  16. Nats at Marlins — 3/15/14

    Mar 15, 2014, 10:50 AM EDT

    4ebd8-rogerdeanstadium322

    Today the Nationals and Marlins will send their aces to the mound as both Stephen Strasburg and Jose Fernandez are nearing the home stretch towards Opening Day. The game is not on television unfortunately, but you will be able to listen to the Marlins’ broadcast through MLB.com. The Nats have sent a decent amount of…

  17. VIDEO: Nats owner Mark Lerner on the Wizards’ broadcast

    Mar 14, 2014, 9:52 PM EDT

    Screen shot 2014-03-14 at 9.51.35 PM

    Nationals owner Mark Lerner joined Comcast SportsNet’s broadcast of the Wizards and Magic game on Friday night to talk with Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier about the new season. He discussed everything from World Series expectations to whether the Nats will get an All-Star Game in the near future. He was also asked for the…

  18. Nats vs. Tigers — 3/14/14

    Mar 14, 2014, 12:03 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  19. The Baseball Show: How good will Bryce Harper be in 2014?

    Mar 14, 2014, 8:45 AM EDT

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    Last night was this year’s first episode of ‘The Baseball Show,’ a spring training special to get you ready for the new season. Mark joined Rob Carlin and Brent Harris in the Comcast SportsNet studio to discuss the biggest topics surrounding the Nats as Opening Day sits just two weeks away. In this first clip…

  20. Podcast: Baseball in The District – Sammy Solis talks spring

    Mar 13, 2014, 4:53 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    In this episode of ‘Baseball in The District,’ Nationals prospect Sammy Solis calls in to chat with Tim Murray about his spring training experience. I also called in from the road in Texas to discuss Doug Fister’s injury, the Braves’ pitching situation, and how the Nats’ second base competition is sorting out. Check it out…

  21. Nats vs. Mets — 3/13/14

    Mar 13, 2014, 12:37 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  22. Purke, Taylor, Roenicke among 6 morning cuts

    Mar 13, 2014, 9:31 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  23. “The Baseball Show” returns tonight

    Mar 13, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    TheBaseballShow

    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…

  24. Nats (ss) vs. Astros, Nats (ss) vs. Braves — 3/12/14

    Mar 12, 2014, 12:31 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  25. Prospects Cole, Rivero cut from big-league camp

    Mar 12, 2014, 10:59 AM EDT

    AP

    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…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 43 --
ATLANTA 54 46 2.0
MIAMI 47 52 8.5
NEW YORK 47 53 9.0
PHILADELPHIA 43 57 13.0
Through Tuesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

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. Click here for past audio clips.

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