Jul 17, 2014, 4:25 PM EDT
With the MLB All-Star break occurring this week, it seems like a good time to take a look at the Nationals’ minor league affiliates. There have been some big surprises and disappointments in the Nats’ farm system in 2014, here is a breakdown of the standouts on each team: — TRIPLE-A SYRACUSE CHIEFS Best position player:…
Jul 17, 2014, 1:53 PM EDT
Here are this week’s MLB Power Rankings featuring thoughts on each team from Mark Zuckerman, Chase Hughes and myself, Steve Roney: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY 1. Oakland Athletics (LW: 1) – Roney: I still love the trade for the Shark and Hammel, but you have to wonder if Russell could have been better used to bring in, say,…
Jul 17, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Yes, I fully understand the first half of the 2014 baseball season ended more than two weeks ago and that at this point the Nationals have played 57 percent of their regular-season schedule. To which I say: So what? There weren’t a bunch of days off following Game 81 that required creative blog post ideas…
Jul 16, 2014, 5:54 PM EDT
On this week’s All-Star break edition of ‘Baseball in the District,’ Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I welcomed in a very special guest. Nationals top prospect Lucas Giolito joined us to talk about his experience at the MLB Futures Game in Minnesota, as well as his 2014 season with the Hagerstown Suns. Giolito was great…
Jul 16, 2014, 1:32 AM EDT
MINNEAPOLIS — Tyler Clippard was minding his own business out in the visitors bullpen at Target Field, chatting with other pitchers on the NL All-Star squad, unsure if he would be appearing in this game at all. And then the call came, and the Nationals right-hander found himself warming up in a hurry, needed to…
Jul 15, 2014, 11:32 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Everyone knew coming in what the 85th Midsummer Classic would be all about: Derek Jeter. And the Yankees shortstop didn’t disappoint in his 14th and final All-Star Game appearance. Afforded no fewer than three standing ovations, he rose to the occasion by going 2-for-2 with a double and a single, also…
Jul 15, 2014, 4:36 PM EDT
MINNEAPOLIS — It’s another cool, windy day in the Twin Cities, but thankfully there’s no rain in the forecast after last night’s already-tedious Home Run Derby was delayed. It should be a beautiful night as the baseball world converges on Target Field for the 85th All-Star Game. There are no shortage of big-name players to…
Jul 15, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
MINNEAPOLIS — Maybe I’m just a softie, but the All-Star Game has always held a special place in my heart. Where else can you find this kind of assemblage of baseball talent, outside of perhaps Cooperstown for one summer weekend, the sport’s best and brightest stars all gathered together in one place for 48 hours?…
Jul 14, 2014, 10:04 PM EDT
MINNEAPOLIS — The Nationals always liked Kurt Suzuki and Derek Norris. They just liked Wilson Ramos better, which is why they were willing to trade away both catchers to the Athletics. Little could the Nationals — or anybody else, for that matter — have foreseen both guys blossoming into All-Stars this season. Yes, stroll through…
Jul 14, 2014, 7:59 PM EDT
MINNEAPOLIS — Hello from Target Field, where the Home Run Derby is about to begin. The weather conditions aren’t ideal; it has been raining on and all since mid-afternoon. But the skies are clear for the moment and they’re ready to get this annual event going. There are some changes from past years. For the…
Jul 14, 2014, 1:29 PM EDT
MINNEAPOLIS — Mike Matheny, as Nationals fans surely know at this point, likes his guys. So it perhaps wasn’t surprising when the Cardinals manager chose one of his own to start Tuesday night’s All-Star Game. Matheny named Adam Wainwright as starting pitcher for the NL squad, selecting the veteran St. Louis ace over Dodgers ace…
Jul 14, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
Top storylines: All-Star Game – This week is the 2014 All-Star break, giving the Nationals four days off before they begin the final 2 1/2 months of the season. Despite sitting tied for first place at the moment, the Nationals will not be well-represented in Minnesota. None of their players will be in the Home Run Derby on…
Jul 14, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Jayson Werth capped off his 2014 first half with another solid game on Sunday, a four-RBI performance in the Nationals’ 10-3 win over the Phillies. Werth notched two hits and a walk, and blasted his 12th home run of the season. The veteran’s recent surge is coming at a great time for the Nats, as…
Jul 13, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT
Today the Nationals play their final game before the All-Star break with a chance to take two of three against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Tanner Roark (7-6, 3.12) will take the mound after skipping his previous start due to last Tuesday’s postponement. Roark last pitched on July 4, a stretch of nine days. He’ll…
Jul 13, 2014, 12:45 AM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Ryan Zimmerman has often talked about his ability to stay relaxed in critical moments at the plate, understanding that the pressure in those situations is not on himself but on the opposing pitcher. He’s been able to thrive so many times with the game on the line, though, not only by taking pressure…
Jul 13, 2014, 12:15 AM EDT
Updated at 12:15 a.m. PHILADELPHIA —The Nationals don’t believe Jordan Zimmermann will need to spend any time on the disabled list after an MRI of his right arm taken Saturday revealed only a biceps strain, no structural damage. Manager Matt Williams dispersed results of the MRI following the Nationals’ 5-3, 10-inning win over the Phillies,…
Jul 12, 2014, 11:18 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: A high-profile pitching matchup produced a low-scoring game, though neither Stephen Strasburg nor Cole Hamels would likely have called this one of their best outings of the season. Strasburg carried a shutout into the sixth but couldn’t finish that inning after his pitch count skyrocketed to 117. Hamels, meanwhile, gave up…
Jul 12, 2014, 3:33 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — While we await the update on Jordan Zimmermann’s MRI, and debate his replacement on the All-Star roster, there is in fact another game taking place tonight at Citizens Bank Park. Featuring a star-studded pitching matchup: Stephen Strasburg vs. Cole Hamels. The Nationals will have Ian Desmond back in the lineup after he sat…
Jul 12, 2014, 3:03 PM EDT
Updated at 8:13 p.m. PHILADELPHIA — The 102-loss, 2008 Nationals had All-Star Cristian Guzman. The 103-loss, 2009 Nationals had All-Star Ryan Zimmerman. The first-place, 2014 Nationals, however, will have no active players at Tuesday night’s All-Star Game after injured right-hander Jordan Zimmermann was replaced today by Marlins pitcher Henderson Alvarez. NL manager Mike Matheny of…
Jul 12, 2014, 11:48 AM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — As the ball rocketed off his bat and soared to right field, well into the bleachers at Citizens Bank Park, Bryce Harper remembered for a moment what it’s like to hit a home run. “It felt really good,” he said. Harper hadn’t had that sensation since returning from the disabled list nearly two…
Jul 12, 2014, 12:00 AM EDT
Updated at 12:00 a.m. PHILADELPHIA — Jordan Zimmermann has made 132 starts in the big leagues, several of them as a rookie with a barking elbow that needed Tommy John surgery, but never before had he stood on the mound after throwing a pitch and motioned to the Nationals dugout that he needed to come…
Jul 11, 2014, 9:52 PM EDT
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: This game already wasn’t going particularly well for the Nationals when things really turned sour in the bottom of the fourth, for reasons having nothing to do with the scoreboard. Jordan Zimmermann took himself out of the game after throwing a 1-2 slider to Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp, departing with an…
Jul 11, 2014, 6:38 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Ian Desmond was not in the Nationals’ lineup Friday night, but manager Matt Williams expects his shortstop to return Saturday after getting hit by a pitch at the base of his right thumb. “He’s fine,” Williams said prior to Friday’s series opener against the Phillies. “He’s a little sore. He got in, did…
Jul 11, 2014, 3:34 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Hello from Citizens Bank Park, where a suddenly banged-up Nationals club closes out the first half of the season this weekend before taking a much-needed All-Star break. The two key injury updates you’re waiting for: 1) Ian Desmond is not in tonight’s lineup after taking a pitch off the pad of his right…
Jul 11, 2014, 10:51 AM EDT
With the Nationals and Orioles squaring off this week, Tim Murray of ESPN 980 and I figured it was a good time to welcome in an O’s insider. This week for our first guest, we were joined by CSNbaltimore.com Orioles reporter Rich Dubroff. Rich has covered baseball and the Orioles for many years and had…
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 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: 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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