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  1. 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…

  2. “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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. The good, the bad and the ugly

    Mar 12, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  6. Fister could be ready for season’s first week

    Mar 11, 2014, 5:26 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  7. Nats vs. Yankees — 3/11/14

    Mar 11, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    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,…

  8. The importance of pitching depth

    Mar 11, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  9. Nats vs. Astros — 3/10/14

    Mar 10, 2014, 3:13 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  10. Should Desmond be Nats’ No. 2 hitter?

    Mar 10, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  11. Nats vs. Cardinals — 3/8/14

    Mar 9, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  12. Skole among first round of camp cuts

    Mar 9, 2014, 10:23 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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)…

  13. Nats (ss) vs. Braves, Nats (ss) vs. Cardinals — 3/8/14

    Mar 8, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  14. Nats vs. Astros — 3/7/14

    Mar 7, 2014, 12:57 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    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…

  15. Fister scratched with elbow inflammation

    Mar 7, 2014, 11:05 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  16. Jobe’s immeasurable impact on baseball

    Mar 7, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    AP

    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…

  17. Nats vs. Braves — 3/6/14

    Mar 6, 2014, 3:25 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  18. Mid-spring roster projection

    Mar 6, 2014, 7:45 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  19. Former Nats OF Rick Ankiel is retiring

    Mar 5, 2014, 8:23 PM EDT

    ceb56-ankiel801us

    Former Nats outfielder Rick Ankiel is officially retiring, as the 34-year-old converted pitcher will now look to join a MLB front office in the near future. Ankiel came up in the big leagues as a starting pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals, but became an outfielder at the age of 27 after losing complete command…

  20. Podcast: Baseball in The District – Nats position battles

    Mar 5, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

    a0e37-nationalspark703mz

    In the third installment of ‘Baseball in The District,’ Tim Murray and I are joined by Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to get a peak behind enemy lines at Braves spring training. After entering last season a bit under the radar, the Braves now have a target on their backs as the reigning champions…

  21. Nats vs. Mets (ss) — 3/5/14

    Mar 5, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  22. How much more will the Nats run in 2014?

    Mar 5, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  23. VIDEO: Nats’ rotation enters 2014 with high expectations

    Mar 4, 2014, 7:16 PM EDT

    ZuckermanNI_3-4

    In Mark’s latest feature from Nationals’ spring training he talks with the team’s rotation about the expectations they face heading into this year. Two seasons ago they were arguably the best group of starters in baseball, but took a step back in 2013. Now Doug Fister joins an already talented mix looking to take them…

  24. Nats vs. Braves — 3/4/14

    Mar 4, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Yes, it’s the Grapefruit League, and it’s March 4, but today’s game in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., is about as good as exhibition baseball is going to get. The Nationals and Braves meet for the second time in four days, and each lineup is stocked with big names. Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, Adam…

  25. Gonzalez returns to Nats on minor-league deal

    Mar 4, 2014, 9:22 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Michael Gonzalez, a key member of the Nationals’ division-winning bullpen in 2012, is returning to the organization. The Nationals have signed Gonzalez to a minor-league contract with an invitation to big-league camp, offering him an opportunity to make the Opening Day roster as the club’s second left-handed reliever. Gonzalez, 35, joined the Nats in May…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 44 --
ATLANTA 55 46 1.0
NEW YORK 48 53 8.0
MIAMI 47 52 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 43 57 12.5
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
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.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 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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