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  1. VIDEO: Strasburg talks Opening Day; plus notes on Desmond, Espinosa

    Mar 31, 2014, 1:26 AM EDT

    Screen shot 2014-03-30 at 6.31.48 PM

    The Nationals made Stephen Strasburg available to media on Saturday, despite the team’s exhibition game with the Detroit Tigers being canceled due to rain. Strasburg held court at the podium for about 10 minutes, looking both back and forward on his career. I went in-depth on his expectations for Monday in New York in this…

  2. Nats trade for Poveda, sign Laffey to minor league deal

    Mar 30, 2014, 9:09 PM EDT

    Photo from USA Today

    On the eve of Opening Day 2014, the Nationals made two small moves to help bolster their minor league pitching depth. The Nats acquired right-hander Omar Poveda from the Chicago White Sox for cash considerations, and signed lefty Aaron Laffey to a minor league deal. Poveda spent 2013 with the Atlanta Braves’ Triple-A affiliate. In…

  3. Nationals Youth Baseball Academy opens with ribbon cutting ceremony

    Mar 30, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    NatsAcademyNI

    After an eight-year effort led by Washington Nationals Dream Foundation chair Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy officially opened on Saturday with a ribbon cutting ceremony that featured D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and even Wolf Blitzer. On hand to introduce the new baseball and educational facilities were the entire…

  4. Stephen Strasburg ready for third Opening Day start

    Mar 30, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    Strasburg: 'I think our lineup's better'

    Entering his fifth season in Major League Baseball, Stephen Strasburg will take the mound on Monday afternoon in New York to start yet another Opening Day for the Nationals. This will be his third season opener, and having been through it before, he knows exactly what to expect. “You just have to treat it like…

  5. 2014 MLB Predictions

    Mar 30, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    And so the time is near. Technically, the 2014 Major League Baseball season already began last weekend when the Dodgers twice beat the Diamondbacks in Australia. But the stateside portion of the season begins tonight when the Dodgers and Padres meet and then really kicks off tomorrow with the traditional Opening Day. Which means it’s…

  6. Nationals announce Opening Day roster

    Mar 29, 2014, 7:16 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    After Saturday’s exhibition game was canceled, the Washington Nationals officially announced their Opening Day roster. There were no surprises this time around, as after Doug Fister was looking primed for a DL stint on Thursday, it became clear the Nats were going to keep both Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan. Aaron Barrett has made the…

  7. Roark, Jordan make Nats’ Opening Day roster with Fister out

    Mar 29, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    After competing with each other for six weeks for the Nationals’ fifth starter job, it turns out both Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan have made the team’s Opening Day roster. It happened because of an injury to starter Doug Fister, but both Roark and Jordan are excited for the opportunity no matter the circumstances. “It…

  8. Nationals place Doug Fister on DL, could be out a month

    Mar 29, 2014, 1:44 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    [Updated 3:18 p.m.] The Nationals have placed Doug Fister on the 15-day disabled list with a right lat strain retroactive to March 23, manager Matt Williams announced on Saturday. Fister will now be shut down for five days before throwing again and the total recovery process could take up to a month. Williams says the…

  9. Nats vs. Tigers — 3/29 (canceled)

    Mar 29, 2014, 12:28 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    **Today’s game has been cancelled due to inclement weather at Nationals Park** Checking in here at Nationals Park where the tarp is down and the rain is falling. If you saw my post earlier on the forecast, it is not looking great for the afternoon. There is a lot of precipitation expected. The Nats have…

  10. Will weather allow the Nats to play? Also, Pierre Garçon offers help

    Mar 29, 2014, 6:02 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Here are some notes on the Nationals as they ready for their final exhibition game of 2014, a home matchup with the Detroit Tigers… Rain is in the forecast The Nationals have returned to Washington to play one exhibition game against the Detroit Tigers before they head even further north for Opening Day in New…

  11. Podcast: ‘Baseball in The District’ — Adam Rubin of ESPN New York

    Mar 28, 2014, 4:55 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    In the latest episode of ‘Baseball in The District,’ Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I welcomed Mets’ beat writer Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. Rubin gave us an update on Mets spring training and looked forward to Opening Day when the Nationals travel to New York to play at Citi Field. Off the…

  12. VIDEO: Mark Zuckerman talks Doug Fister on STL

    Mar 28, 2014, 4:10 PM EDT

    Screen shot 2014-03-28 at 4.11.46 PM

    Mark joined Brian Mitchell on last night’s SportsTalk Live to talk about the Doug Fister news. What does his injury mean for the Nationals? How does their rotation shape up without him in the mix? Mark does not believe there will be a huge drop-off in production out of the Nationals’ staff. How big of…

  13. Looking at early schedules in National League East

    Mar 28, 2014, 11:53 AM EDT

    Is it still possible to catch the Braves?

    In examining what went wrong for the Nationals last season, one could argue it all started off on the wrong foot. After beginning 2012 with a winning record after their first month, the Nats finished April of 2013 a game below .500. They posted the best record in baseball from Aug. 9 to Sept. 24 at…

  14. No need for Nats to rush Fister back

    Mar 28, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    Associated Press

    The news that came out of Viera yesterday about Doug Fister could under no circumstances be considered positive. Just when it looked like the right-hander was on track to start the season on time, he was pulled from a minor-league game after only one inning with a strained lat muscle. Fister will be examined today…

  15. Updated: Fister likely to open season on DL with lat strain

    Mar 27, 2014, 2:56 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Updated at 6:02 p.m. PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Doug Fister, who already was trying to catch up to the rest of his rotation mates after losing three weeks to elbow inflammation, is now likely to open the season on the disabled list after departing a minor-league start Thursday after only one inning with a…

  16. Zim finishes spring with only 2 innings at first base

    Mar 27, 2014, 12:50 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — For all the talk this winter and this spring about a position switch for Ryan Zimmerman, the Nationals veteran wound up spending only two innings at first base in Grapefruit League play this year. Even so, manager Matt Williams said he’s prepared to use Zimmerman at first base once the…

  17. Nats vs. Mets — 3/27/14

    Mar 27, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — And so we have arrived at the final day of spring training, with one last Grapefruit League showdown between the Nationals and Mets before they meet for real Monday at Citi Field. Both teams are using regular lineups (the only exception for the Nats is that Ryan Zimmerman, dealing with…

  18. Frandsen excited to join Nats after hectic week

    Mar 27, 2014, 11:28 AM EDT

    AP

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Four days ago, Kevin Frandsen was in Clearwater, assuming he would be heading north with for his third consecutive season with the Phillies. Then the veteran infielder got word the Phillies were outrighting him to the minors, removing him from their 40-man roster, prompting a series of twists that resulted…

  19. Gonzalez returns on minor-league deal

    Mar 27, 2014, 9:02 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Left-hander Michael Gonzalez, released by the Nationals on Tuesday, has rejoined the organization on a minor-league contract. Gonzalez originally had signed a minor-league contract with the Nationals on March 4, hoping to pitch his way onto the club’s Opening Day roster. But the 35-year-old struggled in four Grapefruit League appearances,…

  20. Roster of position players now set

    Mar 26, 2014, 7:31 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Nationals optioned utilityman Jeff Kobernus to Class AAA Syracuse and catcher Sandy Leon to Class AA Harrisburg this evening, moves that in turn finalized their Opening Day roster of position players. Today’s signing of veteran infielder Kevin Frandsen was the last piece of the puzzle, leaving no available spots…

  21. 5th starter decision won’t be made til Saturday

    Mar 26, 2014, 5:59 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    JUPITER, Fla. — Six weeks of spring training haven’t been enough for the Nationals to settle on a No. 5 starter, so what’s a couple more days at this point? Manager Matt Williams said Wednesday the club still hasn’t made a decision on its last remaining roster question and won’t until after Tanner Roark and…

  22. Williams on Harper’s spring training ejection

    Mar 26, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT

    AP

    Updated at 5:20 p.m. JUPITER, Fla. — Bryce Harper plays baseball with emotion, and Matt Williams has made it clear he doesn’t want his young star to lose that competitive fire. But the Nationals’ rookie manager also knows Harper’s emotion won’t do him any good if he’s watching games from the clubhouse instead of participating…

  23. Nats void Ohlendorf’s option, place him on 60-day DL

    Mar 26, 2014, 12:57 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    JUPITER, Fla. — The Nationals have voided last week’s option of Ross Ohlendorf to Class AAA Syracuse and placed the right-hander on the 60-day disabled list with a right lumbar strain, a move that opened up a spot on the 40-man roster for newly acquired infielder Kevin Frandsen. Ohlendorf had been demoted to the minors…

  24. Nats vs. Cardinals — 3/26/14

    Mar 26, 2014, 12:12 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    JUPITER, Fla. — Stop me if you’ve seen this game before: Gio Gonzalez and the Nationals face Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals. Yes, it happened on that fateful October night in 2012. It has happened several times in spring training since. Shoot, it happened five days ago, right here in this very ballpark. But that’s…

  25. Nats sign Frandsen for final bench spot

    Mar 26, 2014, 10:35 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Updated at 1:15 p.m. JUPITER, Fla. — Turns out the final spot on the Nationals’ bench will go to a player who hadn’t been in their organization the entire spring. The Nationals have signed veteran infielder Kevin Frandsen, cut loose yesterday by the Phillies, and will give the 31-year-old a spot on their Opening Day…

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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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