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  1. Beltway Baseball: Did the Nats fix their bullpen?

    Feb 12, 2014, 11:22 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    The Nationals’ bullpen in 2013 was a bit of a weakness. After ranking seventh in the majors (third in the NL) with a 3.23 bullpen ERA in 2012 , they dropped to 17th last season with a 3.56 mark. This offseason the Nats helped balance out the unit by trading with the Oakland Athletics for…

  2. Spring training storyline No. 1: Williams takes over

    Feb 12, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    As the countdown to spring training reaches its final day, we’re counting down the Nationals’ five biggest storylines of camp. We conclude today with storyline No. 1: Matt Williams’ first spring as Nationals manager… Matt Williams has been stepping onto spring training fields in Arizona and Florida for nearly 30 years, but never as his…

  3. Beltway Baseball: Projecting the Nats’ 2014 lineup

    Feb 11, 2014, 1:16 PM EDT

    Associated Press

    Entering his first spring training as manager, Matt Williams has thrown out several possibilities for each key Nats player in terms of where they will slot in the lineup. Basically, he’s going to feel it out through camp before deciding what his Opening Day lineup will look like. We know which players will be on…

  4. Spring training storyline No. 2: Harper, Strasburg recovery

    Feb 11, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    As the countdown to spring training reaches its final days, we’re counting down the Nationals’ five biggest storylines of camp. We continue today with storyline No. 2: The return of Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg from offseason surgeries… Upon revealing that three of their star players (Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg and Adam LaRoche) all had…

  5. Nats settle with Clippard, avoid arbitration

    Feb 10, 2014, 12:59 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals and Tyler Clippard agreed to salary terms today, thus avoiding an arbitration hearing that was scheduled to take place Feb. 17 in Florida. Clippard will make $5.875 million this season, according to CBSsports.com, settling on a number that was higher than the midpoint of the two sides’ formal arbitration offers last month. Clippard,…

  6. Beltway Baseball: How good will Nats’ rotation be?

    Feb 10, 2014, 12:34 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    With pitchers and catchers reporting on Thursday, it’s time to take a look ahead at the 2014 Nationals. Going into spring, how does their roster stack up? Mark and I filmed some spring training preview videos looking around the Nationals roster that we’ll have each of the next few days. The first takes a look…

  7. Spring training storyline No. 3: Who’s the 5th starter?

    Feb 10, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    As the countdown to spring training reaches its final days, we’re counting down the Nationals’ five biggest storylines of camp. We continue today with storyline No. 3: The open competition for the final spot in the starting rotation… Ross Detwiler didn’t have to compete for his spot in the Nationals’ rotation one year ago. And…

  8. Roster preview: Taylor Jordan

    Feb 9, 2014, 5:55 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Age on Opening Day 2014: 25 How acquired: Drafted 9th round, June 2009 2014 salary: N/A 2013 stats: 9 G, 51.2 IP, 59 H, 27 R, 21 ER, 11 BB, 29 K, 1.355 WHIP, 3.66 ERA, 3.47 FIP, 0.7 WAR 2014 storyline: Taylor Jordan enters spring training as one of three candidates competing for the fifth and final rotation spot.…

  9. VIDEO: Do Nats have MLB’s best rotation?

    Feb 9, 2014, 4:33 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Last night’s Geico SportsNet Central featured another segment with Mark looking ahead to Nationals’ spring training. In this clip he takes a look at whether the Nats have the best rotation in baseball. After trading for Doug Fister, the Nationals boosted what was already a strength. On paper they look better than last year as…

  10. Spring training storyline No. 4: Espinosa’s challenge

    Feb 9, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    As the countdown to spring training reaches its final days, we’re counting down the Nationals’ five biggest storylines of camp. We continue today with storyline No. 4: Danny Espinosa’s attempt to bounce back from a disastrous 2013… To say Danny Espinosa has something to prove this spring is a gross understatement. Espinosa has everything to…

  11. Roster preview: Xavier Cedeno

    Feb 8, 2014, 5:02 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Age on Opening Day 2014: 27 How acquired: Selected off waivers from Houston Astros, April 2013 2014 salary: N/A 2013 stats: 16 G, 12.1 IP, 15 H, 12 R, 9 ER, 8 BB, 9 K, 1.865 WHIP, 6.57 ERA, 4.02 FIP, 0.0 WAR 2014 storyline: Xavier Cedeno enters 2014 with a chance to make the roster in spring, but it’s…

  12. Spring storyline No. 5: Zimmerman’s throwing

    Feb 8, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    As the countdown to spring training reaches its final days, we’re counting down the Nationals’ five biggest storylines of camp. We begin today with storyline No. 5: Ryan Zimmerman’s throwing… Ryan Zimmerman’s throwing woes — a national storyline early in 2013 — quietly dissipated late last season. After a brutal stretch that saw him charged…

  13. VIDEO: The biggest questions heading into Nats spring training

    Feb 8, 2014, 8:03 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Mark was in studio last night for two segments in Geico SportsNet Central alongside new anchor Keli Fulton. The first is a quick preview of Nationals’ spring training looking at the biggest questions facing the team. Mark covers a variety of subjects including Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg’s health, and Matt Williams’ first spring training…

  14. Spring Training Fan’s Guide Part 2: The town

    Feb 7, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    Viera207

    So you’ve decided to go to spring training. You already know how to watch Bryce Harper take live BP off Stephen Strasburg, but you don’t know how to get to Viera. Or where to stay once you’re there. Or where to eat. Or what to do when you’re not at Space Coast Stadium. Good news:…

  15. Ayala returns to Nats on minor-league deal

    Feb 7, 2014, 12:17 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Luis Ayala, a key member of the Nationals’ inaugural bullpen in 2005, is returning to the organization six years after last pitching for it. The Nationals have signed Ayala to a minor-league contract with an invitation to big-league spring training, according to a source familiar with the deal. The 36-year-old right-hander pitched for the Braves…

  16. Roster preview: Tanner Roark

    Feb 7, 2014, 7:21 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Age on Opening Day 2014: 27 How acquired: Trade with Texas Rangers, July 2010 2014 salary: N/A 2013 stats: 14 G, 5 GS, 53.2 IP, 38 H, 11 R, 9 ER, HR, 11 BB, 40 K, 0.913 WHIP, 7-1, 1.51 ERA, 2.41 FIP, 1.4 WAR 2014 storyline: Tanner Roark was one of the biggest surprises for the Nationals in 2013.…

  17. Spring Training Fan’s Guide Part 1: The complex

    Feb 6, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    As you can tell by the countdown clock to your right, we are now down to the final stretch of a long offseason. Nationals pitchers and catchers (not to mention yours truly) report to Viera in one week as baseball season officially begins. And, from what I gather, a good number of you plan to…

  18. Roster preview: Ross Ohlendorf

    Feb 6, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Age on Opening Day 2014: 31 How acquired: Signed as free agent, Jan. 2013 2014 salary: $1.25 million 2013 stats: 16 G, 7 GS, 60.1 IP, 56 H, 22 R, 22 ER, 8 HR, 14 BB, 45 K, 1.160 WHIP, 4-1, 3.28 ERA, 4.03 FIP, 0.3 WAR 2014 storyline: Ross Ohlendorf heads into 2014 with a chance to earn a…

  19. 2014 Outlook: Toronto Blue Jays

    Feb 5, 2014, 4:10 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    2013 record: 74-88, 5th place in AL East Manager: John Gibbons, 7th season Estimated 2014 payroll: $135 million Key additions: C Erik Kratz, IF Brent Morel, C Dioner Navarro Key losses: SP Josh Johnson, RP Darren Oliver, OF Rajai Davis, C J.P. Arencibia, IF/OF Mark DeRosa Projected lineup SS Jose Reyes RF Jose Bautista 1B…

  20. VIDEO: Clippard believes Nats bullpen could be best in baseball

    Feb 5, 2014, 2:05 PM EDT

    MLB: Washington Nationals at Toronto Blue Jays

    Tyler Clippard enters 2014 as one of the Nationals’ most tenured veterans. This will be his sixth season with Washington and his eighth in the majors overall. In his time with the Nats, Clippard has seen the team undergo a dramatic change. They are now World Series contenders just three years removed from being a…

  21. Nats sign veteran catcher Hill to minor-league deal

    Feb 5, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Adding yet another catching option as a backup to Wilson Ramos, the Nationals have signed Koyie Hill to a minor-league contract, offering the veteran an invitation to big-league camp. Hill, who turns 35 in March, is a career .206 hitter in parts of 10 major-league seasons with the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Cubs and Marlins. He appeared…

  22. Roster preview: Craig Stammen

    Feb 5, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Age on Opening Day 2014: 30 How acquired: 12th round pick, 2005 draft 2014 salary: $1.375 million 2013 stats: 55 G, 81.2 IP, 78 H, 30 R, 25 ER, 4 HR, 27 BB, 79 K, 1.286 WHIP, 0 SV, 1 BS, 7-6, 2.76 ERA, 2.82 FIP, 1.0 WAR 2014 storyline: After back-to-back seasons that showcased…

  23. Walters on his offseason, getting sick in Venezuela

    Feb 4, 2014, 4:08 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    Heading into a year he hopes to make the Nationals’ roster out of spring training, infielder Zach Walters put in extra time this offseason playing winter ball in Venezuela. The experience in the South American country, however, got off to an ominous start. Walters fell ill on the second day there with a virus and…

  24. 2014 Outlook: Texas Rangers

    Feb 4, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    2013 record: 91-72, 2nd place in AL West Manager: Ron Washington, 8th season Estimated 2014 payroll: $132 million Key additions: 1B Prince Fielder, OF Shin-Soo Choo, C J.P. Arencibia Key losses: 2B Ian Kinsler, OF Nelson Cruz, C A.J. Pierzynski, OF David Murphy, RHP Matt Garza, RHP Joe Nathan Projected lineup LF Shin-Soo Choo SS…

  25. VIDEO: Storen ready to build off strong finish to last season

    Feb 4, 2014, 12:19 PM EDT

    Storen projects mid-April return

    2013 was a long season for Nationals reliever Drew Storen as he posted the worst numbers of his career and was sent down to Triple-A to figure out his problems. But over the final five weeks of the season Storen was excellent, he looked like his old self and closed the year on a positive…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 45 --
ATLANTA 57 48 1.5
MIAMI 51 53 7.0
NEW YORK 50 55 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 59 12.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
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.
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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