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Spring Training

  1. Blevins’ “awkward” 24 hours ends with strikeout of Harper

    Mar 31, 2015, 5:33 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — Jerry Blevins spent the seventh inning of Monday’s game in Jupiter sitting in the Nationals bullpen, confused why he hadn’t been called upon yet to pitch against the Cardinals. He spent the seventh inning of Tuesday’s game in Viera warming up in the Mets bullpen, then entering to face Bryce Harper, striking…

  2. Werth happy with first game at-bats of spring

    Mar 31, 2015, 1:40 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — Jayson Werth got his first three at-bats of the spring Monday in a minor-league game and emerged feeling confident about the state of his surgically repaired right shoulder. What the veteran Nationals outfielder isn’t confident about is whether he’s got enough time left to be ready for Opening Day. “I felt like…

  3. Nats vs. Mets — 3/31/15

    Mar 31, 2015, 12:20 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    VIERA, Fla. — This could prove to be “Awkward Day” at Space Coast Stadium, when the Nationals and Mets square off in the Viera finale of the spring. Why awkward? Let’s count the ways… 1. Yunel Escobar is playing third base for the first time since 2007 as the Nats try to figure out how…

  4. Rendon getting 3rd opinion after Andrews confirms sprain

    Mar 31, 2015, 11:07 AM EDT

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — Anthony Rendon is getting a third opinion on his injured left knee from a specialist in Colorado after orthopedist James Andrews’ second opinion confirmed the Nationals’ original diagnosis of a sprained MCL. Rendon exercised his right to seek another opinion and headed to Vail to be examined by knee specialist Steve Singleton,…

  5. VIDEO: Discussing all of Monday’s news on CSN

    Mar 31, 2015, 9:17 AM EDT

    STLScreenshot331

    VIERA, Fla. — In the 11 years I’ve been covering the Nationals, I’m pretty sure I’ve never covered a day quite like Monday. The sheer volume of significant news about significant players, all happening in rapid-fire succession over a short period in the afternoon, was enough to leave your head spinning. So, good thing I…

  6. Janssen has rotator cuff tendinitis, unlikely for Opening Day

    Mar 30, 2015, 6:17 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    JUPITER, Fla. — An MRI of Casey Janssen’s right shoulder revealed rotator cuff tendinitis, an injury the Nationals don’t believe will keep the veteran reliever out long-term but likely will sideline him for Opening Day. “He’s had it before,” manager Matt Williams said. “They did an MRI, found that, and he’s going to be fine.…

  7. Rendon gets 2nd opinion on injured knee from Andrews

    Mar 30, 2015, 5:18 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    JUPITER, Fla. — Anthony Rendon had his ailing left knee examined by orthopedist James Andrews on Monday, a potentially troubling development for the Nationals third baseman, who has not played in three weeks and hasn’t been cleared for any baseball activities since. The Nationals sent Rendon to Pensacola, Fla., for a second opinion from Andrews,…

  8. UPDATE: Storen OK after leaving game with blister on toe

    Mar 30, 2015, 3:33 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Updated at 5:45 p.m. JUPITER, Fla. — Closer Drew Storen departed Monday’s game against the Cardinals after facing only four batters, walking off the field with a trainer in what surely caused a moment of panic among the Nationals and their fans. Once it was revealed Storen merely had a blister on his right big…

  9. Nats vs. Cardinals — 3/30/15

    Mar 30, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    JUPITER, Fla. — Hello from Roger Dean Stadium for what feels like the 17th time this spring. The Nationals are here once again to face the Cardinals, once again facing Michael Wacha. The difference this time: It’s Taylor Jordan on the mound, with Max Scherzer staying back in Viera to pitch in a minor-league game…

  10. Nats trade Leon to Red Sox for cash considerations

    Mar 30, 2015, 10:52 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    JUPITER, Fla. — The Nationals traded Sandy Leon on Monday, sending the out-of-options catcher to the Red Sox for cash considerations. Leon had been in a precarious position all spring, unlikely to make the Opening Day roster unless Wilson Ramos or Jose Lobaton suffered an injury but unable to be demoted to the minors without…

  11. Observations from Sunday’s 11-7 win over the Marlins

    Mar 30, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — Sunday wound up being quite a busy news day at Space Coast Stadium, so we weren’t able to get around to observations from the game itself. Before we turn the page to today’s game against the Cardinals in Jupiter, though, let’s revisit a couple interesting developments… — Doug Fister was all over…

  12. Rizzo not looking for outside help despite injuries

    Mar 29, 2015, 5:51 PM EDT

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — Though it appears his team will be forced to open the season without any of its 1-2-3 hitters, projected fourth outfielder or possibly its top setup man, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Sunday he’s not looking outside the organization right now for roster reinforcements. “We’re satisfied with what we have,” Rizzo…

  13. Janssen getting MRI on shoulder

    Mar 29, 2015, 5:02 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — Casey Janssen, signed by the Nationals over the winter to serve as the club’s new setup man after Tyler Clippard’s trade to Oakland, will have an MRI test Monday after complaining of a sore shoulder. Janssen hadn’t pitched since last Monday, when he surrendered a 2-run homer to the Yankees, then noted…

  14. Nats vs. Marlins — 3/29/15

    Mar 29, 2015, 12:33 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    VIERA, Fla. — It’s a beautiful (if a bit on the cool side) afternoon at Space Coast Stadium, where the Nationals today play their second-to-last home game of the spring, facing a Marlins club that sent its entire starting lineup up from Jupiter. That’ll be a good test for Doug Fister, who gets the ball…

  15. Nats have tough decision to make on Uggla

    Mar 29, 2015, 10:43 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — Dan Uggla has been in a big-league clubhouse during the final week of spring training for a decade now, but he hasn’t found himself in this position — uncertain whether he’d be heading north with his club for Opening Day — since his very first camp as a Rule 5 draft pick…

  16. Observations from Saturday’s 10-2 loss to the Mets

    Mar 28, 2015, 5:54 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Stephen Strasburg was making his first start in 11 days, and it looked like it. The right-hander, scratched from his last outing due to a minor ankle sprain, wasn’t as sharp as he had been the last time he faced a major-league lineup, giving up four runs on four hits…

  17. Nationals announce season-opening rotation order

    Mar 28, 2015, 1:50 PM EDT

    AP

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Less than a week after announcing Max Scherzer as their Opening Day starter, the Nationals announced the order for the rest of their rotation to open the season. Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg will follow Scherzer and face the Mets in the season-opening series April 6-9. Gio Gonzalez and Doug…

  18. Zimmerman expects to be back in 2-3 days

    Mar 28, 2015, 1:03 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — Ryan Zimmerman said he felt “way better” Saturday morning than he did the previous afternoon when he injured himself diving for a ball to his left, and the veteran first baseman expects to be back in the Nationals’ lineup within the next 2-3 days and thus ready for Opening Day. “I feel…

  19. Nats vs. Mets — 3/28/15

    Mar 28, 2015, 10:45 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Hello from Tradition Field, where the Nats and Mets meet for the fifth time this spring. (They’ve still got one more meeting Tuesday in Viera before they meet for real on Opening Day.) It’s a bit interesting that Stephen Strasburg will pitch today, considering he’ll be facing New York in…

  20. Storen returns to mound, Williams unhappy with offense

    Mar 28, 2015, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — Two more observations from Friday’s 1-1 tie against the Cardinals, unrelated to each other… — Drew Storen made his return to the mound, exactly two weeks removed from surgery to remove the broken hamate bone from his left hand. What looked like it could be a quick and tidy top of the…

  21. Zimmermann: “It’s not looking good” for deal before opener

    Mar 27, 2015, 5:26 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — When Jordan Zimmermann reported for spring training nearly six weeks ago and said he wouldn’t hold any contract negotiations during the regular season, the right-hander essentially created a deadline for any talks with the Nationals to take place. And as that deadline fast approaches, there doesn’t appear to be any reason to…

  22. Zimmerman banged up on diving play at first base

    Mar 27, 2015, 4:23 PM EDT

    AP

    VIERA, Fla. — Ryan Zimmerman came out of Friday’s Grapefruit League game after only two innings, having “banged himself” on the left side making a diving stop in the top of the first, Nationals manager Matt Williams said. Williams said Zimmerman didn’t ask to be taken out of the game and insisted the move was…

  23. Nats vs. Cardinals — 3/27/15

    Mar 27, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    VIERA, Fla. — As we get closer to the end of spring training, we can start drawing a few more conclusions from the lineup cards Matt Williams is filling out. Such as the fact Tony Gwynn Jr. is leading off and playing left field today, with Michael Taylor batting seventh and in center field. That…

  24. Ka’aihue, Burriss among six morning roster cuts

    Mar 27, 2015, 11:03 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals made six roster cuts Friday morning, re-assigning outfielders Kila Ka’aihue and Derrick Robinson, infielders Emmanuel Burriss and Cutter Dykstra, catcher Steven Lerud and right-hander Manny Delcarmen to minor-league camp. All six players will open the season at Class AAA Syracuse. None of the six moves was surprising, though Ka’aihue had…

  25. Gonzalez composes himself, with an assist from Scherzer

    Mar 26, 2015, 9:08 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    VIERA, Fla. — There was a moment in the top of the third inning Thursday evening at Space Coast Stadium that might as well have been classic Gio Gonzalez. After issuing back-to-back, 2-out walks to the Mets, the left-hander shouted out a naughty word that could be heard in every corner of this cozy ballpark.…

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COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY

ON THE RADIO

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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