Mar 24, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT
JUPITER, Fla. — Taylor Jordan handed the ball to Matt Williams with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and walked back to the first base dugout. And with that came the official conclusion of the evaluation phase of the Nationals’ No. 5 starter spring competition. Now comes the hardest part: Making the decision…
Mar 24, 2014, 1:43 PM EDT
JUPITER, Fla. — Even though they’re already committed to carrying both Ross Detwiler and Jerry Blevins on their Opening Day roster, the Nationals still are thinking about carrying a third left-hander in their bullpen to begin the season. The decision to move Detwiler out of the rotation and into the bullpen last week seemed to…
Mar 24, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
JUPITER, Fla. — Tanner Roark made his final case to win the No. 5 starter’s job yesterday. Today, it’s Taylor Jordan who gets his chance to make one last positive impression on the Nationals before they decide who will open the season as the final member of their starting rotation. Jordan has had an up-and-down…
Mar 24, 2014, 10:43 AM EDT
Updated at 12:50 p.m. JUPITER, Fla. — The Nationals reduced the competition for their final bullpen spot by one this morning, re-assigning Blake Treinen to minor-league camp. Treinen had been among the biggest revelations of the spring, a right-hander who, in the words of manager Matt Williams, throws “an easy 97″ mph. Acquired from the…
Mar 24, 2014, 7:41 AM EDT
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Aaron Barrett is having the time of his life right now, pitching extremely well in his first-ever big-league camp and thrusting himself smack dab into the middle of one of the Nationals’ toughest Opening Day roster decisions. The 26-year-old reliever has absolutely no idea where he’ll be living this time…
Mar 23, 2014, 5:37 PM EDT
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Having seen both Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan pitch for nearly six weeks now, Nationals manager Matt Williams admitted his opinion of either right-hander probably wasn’t to be altered much by each hurler’s final Grapefruit League start. There’s nothing wrong, however, with leaving a good impression on your manager’s mind…
Mar 23, 2014, 12:27 PM EDT
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Doug Fister emerged healthy from his start yesterday against the Marlins and now is scheduled to pitch again in Thursday’s Grapefruit League finale, putting the right-hander on track to make his first start for the Nationals on April 6. Fister reported no problems with his elbow this morning, according to…
Mar 23, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Anthony Rendon is unavailable to play for the third straight day due to a severe chest cold, but the second baseman is expected to return well in advance of the Nationals’ March 31 season opener. Rendon hasn’t played since Thursday, when he came off the bench to replace Ryan Zimmerman…
Mar 23, 2014, 10:23 AM EDT
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — It’s going to be a warm Sunday afternoon at Tradition Field, where the temperatures are supposed to climb into the upper 80s. So it’s only fitting that the battle for the final spot in the Nationals’ rotation begins to heat up today, with Tanner Roark getting perhaps his last chance…
Mar 22, 2014, 5:34 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals have been telling Danny Espinosa all spring they’ve been pleased with his approach at the plate, even if the results didn’t necessarily back it up. Then on Saturday afternoon, that same approach — a compact swing and an emphasis on trying to hit the ball the other way — finally…
Mar 22, 2014, 3:16 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals planned to be cautious with Doug Fister and limit the right-hander to three innings in his first start in 20 days. Fister, though, was so effective this afternoon against the Marlins that the Nationals decided to let him go beyond their pre-planned limits. Showing no outward ill effects of the…
Mar 22, 2014, 10:50 AM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — The question pops up every spring: Who’s the Nationals’ emergency catcher? The need never actually arises, but every club wants to have a plan in place, just in case the worst-case scenario presents itself during the course of a game. And as was the case last year under Davey Johnson, Bryce Harper…
Mar 22, 2014, 9:21 AM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Doug Fister was among the most impressive players in camp for about three weeks. But then the right-hander experienced elbow inflammation after his first start of the spring and he’s spent the last 20 days working way back. Today, though, Fister returns to the mound for a Grapefruit League game, scheduled to…
Mar 21, 2014, 4:52 PM EDT
JUPITER, Fla. — Forgive Gio Gonzalez if he’s just a tad bit sick of the Cardinals and Roger Dean Stadium right now. The Nationals left-hander today faced St. Louis in Jupiter for the fourth time in three seasons. He also faced the Marlins in this ballpark once during that span. And he’s scheduled to face…
Mar 21, 2014, 2:58 PM EDT
Episode 5 of ‘Baseball in The District’ turned out to be quite action packed. Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I welcomed two guests, Nationals assistant GM Doug Harris and radio voice of the Miami Marlins, Glenn Geffner. Harris talked about the Nationals’ minor league pitching depth and Geffner gave us a preview of the…
Mar 21, 2014, 1:54 PM EDT
JUPITER, Fla. — With less than a week of spring training to go, Nationals manager Matt Williams still doesn’t want to name his starting second baseman, saying he wants both Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa to continue competing down to the wire. “I’m not ready to make that decision yet,” Williams said prior to today’s…
Mar 21, 2014, 10:49 AM EDT
JUPITER, Fla. — Check out today’s starting lineup. You may not recognize a couple of the names. So, allow me to introduce you to Jose Lozada, a 28-year-old third baseman who hit .204 last season at Class AA Harrisburg. And allow me to introduce you to Caleb Ramsey, a 25-year-old outfielder who hit .290 last…
Mar 21, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — After a long and frustrating 2013, Ryan Mattheus couldn’t wait to get back on the mound for the Nationals this spring. And then after a long and frustrating spring, the right-hander really couldn’t wait to finally make his 2014 debut yesterday at Space Coast Stadium. The end result: a 1-2-3 inning of…
Mar 20, 2014, 5:45 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — The Stephen Strasburg who took the mound Thursday afternoon and shut out the Tigers for five innings certainly looked a guy ready to take the mound on Opening Day for the Nationals. In scattering three hits and a walk, Strasburg cruised through his fourth start of the spring and lowered his Grapefruit…
Mar 20, 2014, 12:58 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals made six more cuts before this afternoon’s game against the Tigers, bringing even more clarity to the few remaining roster battles over the final week of spring training. Right-handers Ross Ohlendorf and Christian Garcia and catcher Jhonatan Solano were optioned to Class AAA Syracuse, with fellow reliever Manny Delcarmen and…
Mar 20, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — As far as spring training matchups go, it doesn’t get a whole lot better than this: Stephen Strasburg vs. Max Scherzer, with a bunch of regulars in both the Nationals and Tigers lineups. Strasburg, who last night was officially named the Nats’ Opening Day starter, makes his fourth appearance of the spring…
Mar 20, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals removed one more name from the mix for the final spot on their bench this morning, optioning infielder Zach Walters to Class AAA Syracuse. Walters entered camp as a long shot to crack the Opening Day roster, but the 24-year-old did everything he could to make a case for himself…
Mar 20, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Taylor Jordan knows the situation. He knows he’s now deep into a battle for the final spot in the Nationals’ Opening Day rotation, and he knows he needs to make the best possible impression every time he takes the mound over the final two weeks of spring training. But the young right-hander…
Mar 19, 2014, 9:35 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Matt Williams gave it consideration, waited as long as he could before making an announcement. In the end, though, the answer was obvious: Stephen Strasburg will start Opening Day for the Nationals again. Williams finally made that official Wednesday night, naming Strasburg his No. 1 starter for the Nationals’ season opener March…
Mar 19, 2014, 5:17 PM EDT
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…
NL EAST STANDINGS
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m. TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
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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- Depleted Nationals lineup shut out by Marlins
- Nationals can't fight back against Marlins, lose 3-0
- Werth out but says ankle sprain isn't serious
- Strasburg takes mound for big start vs. Marlins
- Zimmermann returns to form in dominant start
- Around the NL East: Which team will make a big splash via trade?
- After meltdown, Nationals must bounce back
- Werth hopes to play Tuesday after spraining ankle
- Nationals surrender four runs in 9th, fall 7-6 to Marlins
- Span proving skeptics wrong with summer surge