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  1. Nats vs. Astros — 3/7/14

    Mar 7, 2014, 12:57 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    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…

  2. Fister scratched with elbow inflammation

    Mar 7, 2014, 11:05 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  3. Jobe’s immeasurable impact on baseball

    Mar 7, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    AP

    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…

  4. Nats vs. Braves — 3/6/14

    Mar 6, 2014, 3:25 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  5. Mid-spring roster projection

    Mar 6, 2014, 7:45 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  6. Former Nats OF Rick Ankiel is retiring

    Mar 5, 2014, 8:23 PM EDT

    ceb56-ankiel801us

    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…

  7. Podcast: Baseball in The District – Nats position battles

    Mar 5, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

    a0e37-nationalspark703mz

    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…

  8. Nats vs. Mets (ss) — 3/5/14

    Mar 5, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  9. How much more will the Nats run in 2014?

    Mar 5, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  10. VIDEO: Nats’ rotation enters 2014 with high expectations

    Mar 4, 2014, 7:16 PM EDT

    ZuckermanNI_3-4

    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…

  11. Nats vs. Braves — 3/4/14

    Mar 4, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  12. Gonzalez returns to Nats on minor-league deal

    Mar 4, 2014, 9:22 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  13. How will No. 5 starter be chosen?

    Mar 4, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  14. Nats at Yankees – 3/3/2014

    Mar 3, 2014, 11:41 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    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…

  15. Around the NL East: Spring training update

    Mar 3, 2014, 9:05 AM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    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…

  16. Fister “erratic” but content with spring debut

    Mar 2, 2014, 3:44 PM EDT

    AP

    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…

  17. Updates on Rendon, Zim, Storen, Mattheus

    Mar 2, 2014, 12:13 PM EDT

    AP

    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…

  18. Nats vs. Marlins — 3/2/14

    Mar 2, 2014, 10:25 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    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…

  19. Was sloppy spring training game an aberration?

    Mar 1, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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.…

  20. Zimmermann efficient vs. Braves in spring debut

    Mar 1, 2014, 5:28 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  21. Espinosa on playing shorstop, cutting down on swing

    Mar 1, 2014, 12:04 PM EDT

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — For a guy who has been told he’s competing for the starting job at second base, Danny Espinosa has spent an awful lot of time at shortstop this spring. When Nationals infielders take their positions for defensive drills, Espinosa has been joining Ian Desmond at short, shifting to second only for the…

  22. Nats vs. Braves — 3/1/14

    Mar 1, 2014, 10:38 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    VIERA, Fla. — It’s another beautiful day for baseball, and Space Coast Stadium is ready to host its first game of the spring. (I’m sure all of you suffering through the cold back in D.C. really enjoy reading that right now.) The Nationals face the Braves today for the first of at least 24 times…

  23. Observations from Nats’ 5-4 win over Mets

    Feb 28, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Spring training records mean nothing. Absolutely nothing. Matt Williams knows this. So more than the fact his Nationals rallied late to beat the Mets, 5-4, in Friday’s Grapefruit League opener at Tradition Field, the rookie manager was excited about the way his team played. The Nats made several nice plays…

  24. Jordan makes strong first statement to open spring

    Feb 28, 2014, 5:03 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — It would have been easy for Taylor Jordan to take the mound Friday at Tradition Field, knowing he had the first opportunity of any pitcher battling for a spot on the Nationals roster this spring, and get caught up more in trying to impress decision-makers than simply pitch well. The…

  25. VIDEO: Ryan Zimmerman one-on-one on SportsTalk Live

    Feb 28, 2014, 1:56 PM EDT

    ZimmermanNIss

    Ryan Zimmerman joined Brian Mitchell on CSN’s SportsTalk Live for a one-on-one interview this week, discussing a variety of topics as the Nationals move through spring training. Zimmerman talked about spending time at first base this season, his first impressions of manager Matt Williams, as well as who pulls the best pranks on the Nats.…

Archives

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Brent Harris 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.

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