Mar 10, 2014, 3:13 PM EST
They’ll play under the lights tonight at Space Coast Stadium, where the Nationals host the Astros in a rare, spring training evening game. Gio Gonzalez is on the mound for the Nats, making his second Grapefruit League start after tossing two scoreless innings against the Mets on Wednesday. We tend to focus on the pitchers…
Mar 10, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
A manager constructs a spring training lineup with plenty of objectives in mind. First and foremost, he wants to make sure his best players get as many at-bats as possible as quickly as possible before they take a seat after four or five innings. But a manager also uses exhibition play to try some things…
Mar 9, 2014, 12:30 PM EST
Stephen Strasburg makes his second start of the spring this afternoon, looking to build up his arm a bit more, likely slated for three innings of work against the Cardinals. The right-hander, who tossed two scoreless frames against the Braves on Tuesday, will again look to use his newly developed slider on occasion. Several regulars…
Mar 9, 2014, 10:23 AM EST
The Nationals made their first round of spring training cuts this morning, re-assigning four players to minor-league camp, including first baseman Matt Skole. Also re-assigned were catcher Jeff Howell, right-hander Gabriel Alfaro and left-hander Tyler Robertson. Skole, the organization’s fourth-best prospect according to Baseball America, impressed during his three weeks in camp, hitting .357 (5-for-14)…
Mar 8, 2014, 10:00 AM EST
The Nationals experience the first of three split-squad days for the spring, with Matt Williams managing one-half the squad in Viera against the Braves (who also are split up today) and Randy Knorr leading the other half in Jupiter against the Cardinals. Ross Detwiler gets the start against Atlanta, looking for better results than he…
Mar 7, 2014, 12:57 PM EST
With Doug Fister sidelined for the time being due to inflammation in his right elbow, the window of opportunity opens for some other members of the Nationals pitching staff. That includes Tanner Roark, who today gets a chance to make his first start of the spring, bumped up to take Fister’s spot instead of appearing…
Mar 7, 2014, 11:05 AM EST
Doug Fister was scratched from his scheduled start today with inflammation in his throwing elbow, an injury the Nationals say isn’t serious but is enough to keep the right-hander from facing the Astros at Space Coast Stadium. Fister complained of discomfort in his elbow following his spring debut Sunday against the Marlins, manager Matt Williams…
Mar 7, 2014, 8:00 AM EST
They call it “Tommy John surgery,” and the left-hander who first had his namesake procedure performed on his elbow back in 1974 will forever be immortalized as a baseball pioneer. Really, though, we should forever refer to it as “Frank Jobe surgery,” because the Los Angeles orthopedist who brilliantly conjured up the ligament reconstruction surgery…
Mar 6, 2014, 3:25 PM EST
It’s been a stormy day across the state of Florida, and several of this afternoon’s Grapefruit League games were canceled as a result. The Nationals, though, are scheduled to play this evening at Disney World, and for now the game remains on schedule. Assuming they’re able to get this one in, Jordan Zimmermann and Julio…
Mar 6, 2014, 7:45 AM EST
It’s been exactly three weeks since Nationals pitchers and catchers reported for spring training. And exactly three weeks from today, the Nats will break camp in Viera and head north in anticipation of the 10th Opening Day in club history. Obviously, there’s still plenty of work to be done between now and March 27, and…
Mar 5, 2014, 8:23 PM EST
Former Nats outfielder Rick Ankiel is officially retiring, as the 34-year-old converted pitcher will now look to join a MLB front office in the near future. Ankiel came up in the big leagues as a starting pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals, but became an outfielder at the age of 27 after losing complete command…
Mar 5, 2014, 4:30 PM EST
In the third installment of ‘Baseball in The District,’ Tim Murray and I are joined by Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to get a peak behind enemy lines at Braves spring training. After entering last season a bit under the radar, the Braves now have a target on their backs as the reigning champions…
Mar 5, 2014, 11:45 AM EST
Gio Gonzalez is the last of the projected members of the Nationals’ Opening Day rotation to start this spring, which shouldn’t be interpreted as anything other than the schedule falling this way, lining up the lefty right behind Stephen Strasburg for now. Gonzalez has nothing to prove this spring; he merely needs to get his…
Mar 5, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
If you’ve glanced at any boxscores from the Nationals’ five Grapefruit League games to date, you’ve probably paid attention to members of the starting rotation, key lineup regulars and a few top relievers who have appeared so far. Have you noticed, however, what the Nats have been doing on the bases down in Florida? Here’s…
Mar 4, 2014, 7:16 PM EST
In Mark’s latest feature from Nationals’ spring training he talks with the team’s rotation about the expectations they face heading into this year. Two seasons ago they were arguably the best group of starters in baseball, but took a step back in 2013. Now Doug Fister joins an already talented mix looking to take them…
Mar 4, 2014, 12:00 PM EST
Yes, it’s the Grapefruit League, and it’s March 4, but today’s game in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., is about as good as exhibition baseball is going to get. The Nationals and Braves meet for the second time in four days, and each lineup is stocked with big names. Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, Adam…
Mar 4, 2014, 9:22 AM EST
Michael Gonzalez, a key member of the Nationals’ division-winning bullpen in 2012, is returning to the organization. The Nationals have signed Gonzalez to a minor-league contract with an invitation to big-league camp, offering him an opportunity to make the Opening Day roster as the club’s second left-handed reliever. Gonzalez, 35, joined the Nats in May…
Mar 4, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
Each of the three contenders for the final spot in the Nationals’ Opening Day rotation has had the opportunity to pitch two innings now, and if this competition is strictly about performance, Ross Detwiler (who was roughed up by the Yankees for four runs — three earned — and five hits Monday) clearly has taken…
Mar 3, 2014, 11:41 AM EST
While the Washington region gets slammed by a late-winter snowstorm, there is some good news: the Nationals play the Yankees today and the game is on television. MLB Network will carry the broadcast at 1:05 p.m. as Ross Detwiler makes his case for the Nationals’ fifth starter job. Detwiler will take the mound three days…
Mar 3, 2014, 9:05 AM EST
Miami Marlins It was a big week for ace Jose Fernandez who was both named the team’s Opening Day starter and received a raise from the team. The first was expected, as Fernandez is clearly their best pitcher, but the second was a bit of a surprise. The Marlins didn’t have to pay Fernandez any…
Mar 2, 2014, 3:44 PM EST
VIERA, Fla. — After watching Doug Fister dazzle in every one of his bullpen sessions and live BP outings the last two weeks, the Nationals might have expected nothing less than perfection the first time Fister took the mound in a game. That’s a lot to ask, though, and so Fister’s debut Sunday felt a…
Mar 2, 2014, 12:13 PM EST
VIERA, Fla. — Some news and notes to whet your appetite while you wait for the start of today’s Grapefruit League game (not to mention another round of snow back home)… — Anthony Rendon is starting at third base this afternoon, and don’t be surprised if you see that several more times this spring. There’s…
Mar 2, 2014, 10:25 AM EST
VIERA, Fla. — We’ve been hearing about the significance of the Nationals’ trade for Doug Fister since Mike Rizzo pulled off that deal three months ago. Today, we finally get to see the big right-hander on the mound in a game. Fister makes his Nationals debut, facing a Marlins club he’ll see plenty this season…
Mar 1, 2014, 6:00 PM EST
VIERA, Fla. — Matt Williams leaned back in the chair in his office at Space Coast Stadium, having just witnessed a 3-hour, 59-minute slop fest of a ballgame that included 31 combined runs, 37 hits, six errors, two wild pitches, way too many pitching changes and way too many unsightly moments to commit to memory.…
Mar 1, 2014, 5:28 PM EST
VIERA, Fla. — Pity anyone who was late to arrive, or stuck in the concessions line, at Space Coast Stadium on Saturday afternoon. They might well have missed Jordan Zimmermann’s outing altogether. Zimmermann wasted no time turning in his two innings of work, facing the minimum six Braves batters and needing only 20 pitches to…
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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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