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  1. Pitchers find entertaining way to work on hitting

    Feb 25, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — Workouts can get a bit mundane at this juncture of spring training, with players long since having reported to camp but several days still remaining until the Grapefruit League gets underway. Fortunately, Matt Williams scheduled a couple of new and interesting drills for Monday’s workout, keeping everyone from being bored to death.…

  2. Harper will remain in left field for now

    Feb 24, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — Despite his relative lack of experience, Bryce Harper has already seen considerable playing time at all three outfield spots with the Nationals. In 253 total games since reaching the majors in 2012, he has spent 39 percent of his time in left field, 36 percent of his time in center field and…

  3. Clippard returns from back injury, throws in bullpen

    Feb 24, 2014, 1:50 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — Tyler Clippard threw off a bullpen mound today, showing no ill effects of a minor back injury that had sidelined him nearly a week ago. “All normal,” the Nationals reliever said. “I mean, I need to iron out some pitching stuff. But physically, I feel good.” Clippard had been restricted since tweaking…

  4. VIDEO: Ian Desmond on long road with the Nationals

    Feb 24, 2014, 11:28 AM EDT

    DesmondNIss

    Yesterday Mark wrote a feature on shortstop Ian Desmond, how the 28-year-old has come a long way in the Nationals’ organization. It took him years to become an elite player at his position after many had written him off as a prospect. Today we have some of Mark’s one-on-one interview with Desmond that aired in…

  5. Mattheus awaiting MRI on upper chest

    Feb 24, 2014, 9:52 AM EDT

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — Ryan Mattheus will undergo an MRI on his upper chest later today, a test the Nationals reliever hopes reveals only a minor injury that would allow him to resume throwing in a matter of days. Mattheus hasn’t pitched since Tuesday, when he first felt a pull in his upper right chest while…

  6. Detwiler glad to be facing live hitters again

    Feb 24, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — Ross Detwiler hasn’t faced big-league hitters since July, when a lingering back injury prematurely ended his 2013 season. So Sunday’s live batting practice session, while baring scant resemblance to a major-league ballgame, did represent a significant step for the left-hander. “I think anytime you see a hitter in there, especially if you…

  7. Prospects describe what it’s like to face Strasburg

    Feb 23, 2014, 4:11 PM EDT

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — There’s no rhyme or reason why certain batters face certain pitchers during live BP at Nationals camp. Matt Williams and his staff don’t try to set up particular matchups; they simply instruct a group of three outfielders or infielders to head over to an adjacent field and take their hacks against whatever…

  8. Venezuelan players worried about families’ safety

    Feb 23, 2014, 3:01 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    VIERA, Fla. — For three hours each morning, the five Venezuelan members of the Nationals’ roster allow their minds to be consumed only with baseball. Wilson Ramos, Jose Lobaton and Sandy Leon can focus on their catching skills and working with the club’s pitching staff. Gabriel Alfaro and Felipe Rivero can concentrate on their bullpen…

  9. Podcast: Baseball in The District – Episode 1

    Feb 23, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    With a new baseball season around the corner, it’s time to try some new things. At CSN we cover the Nationals on a variety of platforms, so why not start a podcast? I, Chase Hughes, along with Tim Murray of ESPN 980 have done just that. This week we recorded the first episode of our…

  10. VIDEO: Ryan Zimmerman recalls a frustrating year

    Feb 23, 2014, 12:10 PM EDT

    ZimmermanssNI

    Ryan Zimmerman joined Mark for a one-on-one interview at Nationals spring training to look back on last season and give an update on his shoulder. As far as the shoulder goes, Zimmerman has some interesting stuff on how long it took to get healthy last season. Zimmerman tells Mark that he thought he would be…

  11. Desmond reflects on 10 years in organization

    Feb 23, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — Ian Desmond was among the first members of the Nationals to report for spring training earlier this month, early enough that the big-league clubhouse inside Space Coast Stadium wasn’t yet fully up and running. So on his first day in town, Desmond instead drove to the year-round, minor-league complex just down the…

  12. Williams schooled on new instant replay rules

    Feb 22, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    VIERA, Fla. — Expanded instant replay is coming to baseball this season, and Matt Williams has now been schooled on many more details of the new system MLB is implementing that allows managers to officially challenge blown calls on the field. Williams joined fellow managers Fredi Gonzalez, Bo Porter and Brad Ausmus in Kissimmee on…

  13. Fister, Solis stand out in first live BP session

    Feb 22, 2014, 3:51 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    VIERA, Fla. — A fast-developing downpour threw a wrench into today’s workout on the fields outside Space Coast Stadium, forcing right-handers Taylor Jordan and Chris Young to abort their sessions throwing to live hitters after only a couple of minutes. But sandwiched around the 20-minute rain delay were some intriguing batter-vs.-pitcher matchups, particularly those involving…

  14. VIDEO: Espinosa and Rendon discuss battle at second base

    Feb 22, 2014, 12:03 PM EDT

    RendonssNI

    The Nationals have made it clear the competition for starting second baseman is open. The candidates are Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa, and the Nats plan to give both an equal shot at the job. In Mark Zuckerman’s latest feature from Viera, he talks to both players as well as manager Matt Williams, getting their…

  15. On live BP, catcher collisions and rocket launches

    Feb 22, 2014, 9:40 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — It’s a gray, muggy, lazy morning here, with the threat of rain looming at any moment. After more than a week of gorgeous weather to open camp, things have taken a turn for the worse. Assuming Mother Nature cooperates, the Nationals will be taking the practice fields outside Space Coast Stadium in…

  16. Span hopes to pick up where he left off

    Feb 21, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — For all the discussion of Matt Williams’ lineup decisions — whether Bryce Harper hits third or fifth, whether Jayson Werth hits second or fourth, etc. — the one spot in the Nationals batting order that isn’t up for grabs might also be the spot with the most question marks. Denard Span will…

  17. Moore happy, comfortable at first base

    Feb 21, 2014, 4:02 PM EDT

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — Tyler Moore played first base at Mississippi State. He played first base as he ascended through the Nationals’ farm system. And then, once he arrived in the big leagues two years ago, the young slugger found himself in a most uncomfortable position: left field. With Adam LaRoche enjoying a Silver Slugger/Gold Glove…

  18. VIDEO: Matt Williams pleased with Nats’ progress so far

    Feb 21, 2014, 1:53 PM EDT

    MattWssNI

    Nationals manger Matt Williams is approaching spring training with a lot more structure this season, perhaps a little more than the team is used to. He has them working on fundamentals early on, getting the team back to basics as they begin the new year. So far Williams is pleased with the Nationals players’ effort…

  19. Fister impresses in the field

    Feb 21, 2014, 9:40 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — Obviously, you can tell a lot about a pitcher when you watch him throw off a bullpen mound. But you can also learn a lot about a guy when you watch how he performs far more mundane tasks in spring training, like fielding practice. Watching the entire Nationals infield together for the…

  20. Embracing expectations, avoiding pressure

    Feb 21, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — Perhaps no club in the majors had loftier expectations entering 2013 than the Nationals. Certainly no club struggled with living up to those expectations like the Nats did. One year later, the expectations remain sky-high. They just hope they’re better-equipped to handle them. “I think expectations are good,” first-year manager Matt Williams…

  21. VIDEO: Bryce Harper enters 2014 a motivated man

    Feb 20, 2014, 7:14 PM EDT

    HarperssNI

    To say Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is motivated for the 2014 season may be quite the understatement. After experiencing success in 2012 with a Nats team that won 98 games and the NL East, he still isn’t over falling short of a playoff berth last season. He’s back and hopes things go much differently this…

  22. Espinosa works more at SS than 2B on first day

    Feb 20, 2014, 4:53 PM EDT

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — Read into it as much or as little as you like, but it didn’t go unnoticed Thursday that Danny Espinosa spent more time at shortstop than second base during the Nationals’ first full-squad workout of the spring. Matt Williams has said Espinosa is in an “open competition” with Anthony Rendon for the…

  23. Clippard, Ohlendorf dealing with minor tweaks

    Feb 20, 2014, 3:44 PM EDT

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — Though the Nationals have no major injuries throwing a wrench into the early days of spring training, two pitchers are dealing with minor issues that have altered their workout regimens: Tyler Clippard and Ross Ohlendorf. Clippard has not fully participated in drills the last two days after tweaking his back. The reliever…

  24. VIDEO: Zimmermann not worried about a new contract

    Feb 20, 2014, 12:36 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    After seeing Homer Bailey sign a six-year, $105 million deal with the Cincinnati Reds this week, it was hard not to think about Jordan Zimmermann’s value with the Nationals. Zimmermann signed a two-year deal with the Nats this offseason, but is still without a long-term extension. Zimmermann discussed his contract with Mark in a one-on-one…

  25. Williams considers lineup with Harper batting fifth

    Feb 20, 2014, 9:56 AM EDT

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — Among Matt Williams’ tougher decisions this spring involves the construction of his starting lineup, and there are no shortage of options for the rookie manager to consider. The Nationals are somewhat unique in that two of their best offensive players (Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth) are versatile enough to hit anywhere from…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 78 58 -- 19
ATLANTA 72 66 7.0
MIAMI 67 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 74 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 63 74 15.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Braves at Nats, 7:05 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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