Feb 14, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Doug Fister took his usual flight from Northern California to Orlando this week, prepared to embark on another spring training in the Grapefruit League. The only difference? “It was basically: You pull out of Orlando airport and turn right instead of turn left,” he said. After spending parts of the last three…
Feb 14, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Tyler Clippard was prepared to go to arbitration with the Nationals but was much happier Monday when the two sides managed to work out a $5.875 million contract and avoid next week’s hearing altogether. “It was stressing me out,” the reliever said. “I didn’t even think I could stress out over stuff,…
Feb 14, 2014, 1:48 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Jose Lobaton sat at his hastily constructed locker inside Space Coast Stadium, his No. 59 jersey not yet hung, his nameplate thrown together in the wake of Thursday’s trade with the Rays. The 29-year-old catcher, though, looked perfectly at home in his new surroundings, aided in large part by the nearby presence…
Feb 14, 2014, 1:04 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals added another name to the competition for the final spot or two in their bullpen, this one quite familiar to one of their biggest stars. Washington signed right-hander Josh Roenicke to a minor-league contract, with an invitation to big-league camp. Roenicke, owner of a 4.17 ERA in 190 career games…
Feb 14, 2014, 11:29 AM EDT
Once our camera man arrives this weekend in Viera, Fla., we should have tons of video content to share with you from Nats spring training. A CSN producer told me to expect one-on-one sitdowns with nearly every player on the Nationals’ roster, as well as Matt Williams and Mike Rizzo. We’ll also have updates from…
Feb 14, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Brad Peacock and A.J. Cole were the Nationals’ top two ranked pitching prospects entering 2012. Both were traded to Oakland in the deal that brought Gio Gonzalez to Washington. Alex Meyer likely would have been the Nationals’ second-ranked pitching prospect entering 2013, before he was traded to Minnesota for Denard Span. Robbie…
Feb 13, 2014, 4:32 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Mike Rizzo had attempted all winter to upgrade his catching depth but insisted all along he’d be comfortable entering spring training with Jhonatan Solano, Sandy Leon or Chris Snyder backing up starter Wilson Ramos. And then on the first day of camp, Rizzo pulled off a deal long suspected, acquiring Jose Lobaton…
Feb 13, 2014, 2:59 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals placed reliever Erik Davis on the 60-day disabled list Thursday with a sprained right elbow, a move necessitated in part by the club’s four-player trade with the Rays. Two of the four players the Nationals acquired from Tampa Bay (catcher Jose Lobaton and left-hander Felipe Rivero) are now on the…
Feb 13, 2014, 11:56 AM EDT
Updated at 1:52 p.m. VIERA, Fla. — On the day pitchers and catchers reported for spring training, the Nationals dealt one of their hurlers for a No. 2 backstop. The Nationals traded right-hander Nate Karns to the Rays for catcher Jose Lobaton and two prospects: left-hander Felipe Rivero and outfielder Drew Vettleson. Karns, the Nationals’…
Feb 13, 2014, 9:46 AM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Hey, where’s all the snow? Sorry, I promise this will be the last time I compare the weather in Florida to the weather in D.C. (Fingers crossed behind my back.) Believe me, I’m very fortunate to be writing this from venerable Space Coast Stadium, my flight late last night having barely beaten…
Feb 12, 2014, 7:36 PM EDT
Hello and happy Spring Training Eve, everyone. It’s hard to believe we’re just hours from Nats pitchers and catchers reporting in Viera, Fla. After a long offseason – and despite almost a foot of snow in the forecast – the end of winter is finally near. With that in mind, it’s time for the final…
Feb 12, 2014, 11:22 AM EDT
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…
Feb 12, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
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…
Feb 11, 2014, 1:16 PM EDT
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…
Feb 11, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
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…
Feb 10, 2014, 12:59 PM EDT
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,…
Feb 10, 2014, 12:34 PM EDT
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…
Feb 10, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
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…
Feb 9, 2014, 5:55 PM EDT
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.…
Feb 9, 2014, 4:33 PM EDT
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…
Feb 9, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
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…
Feb 8, 2014, 5:02 PM EDT
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…
Feb 8, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
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…
Feb 8, 2014, 8:03 AM EDT
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…
Feb 7, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT
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:…
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.
- Zimmermann perfect against Sabathia, Yankees
- Fister could be ready for season's first week
- Zimmermann leads Nats against Yankees' Sabathia
- Injuries highlight the importance of rotation depth
- Gio Gonzalez starts strong, but Astros top Nationals
- Bryce Harper repping new eye black company
- Gonzalez faces Astros under the lights in Viera
- Should Desmond be the Nationals' No. 2 hitter?
- Strasburg settles down, Nats rout Cardinals 11-1
- Strasburg leads Nationals against Cardinals