Mar 21, 2014, 4:52 PM EST
JUPITER, Fla. — Forgive Gio Gonzalez if he’s just a tad bit sick of the Cardinals and Roger Dean Stadium right now. The Nationals left-hander today faced St. Louis in Jupiter for the fourth time in three seasons. He also faced the Marlins in this ballpark once during that span. And he’s scheduled to face…
Mar 21, 2014, 1:54 PM EST
JUPITER, Fla. — With less than a week of spring training to go, Nationals manager Matt Williams still doesn’t want to name his starting second baseman, saying he wants both Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa to continue competing down to the wire. “I’m not ready to make that decision yet,” Williams said prior to today’s…
Mar 21, 2014, 10:49 AM EST
JUPITER, Fla. — Check out today’s starting lineup. You may not recognize a couple of the names. So, allow me to introduce you to Jose Lozada, a 28-year-old third baseman who hit .204 last season at Class AA Harrisburg. And allow me to introduce you to Caleb Ramsey, a 25-year-old outfielder who hit .290 last…
Mar 21, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
VIERA, Fla. — After a long and frustrating 2013, Ryan Mattheus couldn’t wait to get back on the mound for the Nationals this spring. And then after a long and frustrating spring, the right-hander really couldn’t wait to finally make his 2014 debut yesterday at Space Coast Stadium. The end result: a 1-2-3 inning of…
Mar 20, 2014, 5:45 PM EST
VIERA, Fla. — The Stephen Strasburg who took the mound Thursday afternoon and shut out the Tigers for five innings certainly looked a guy ready to take the mound on Opening Day for the Nationals. In scattering three hits and a walk, Strasburg cruised through his fourth start of the spring and lowered his Grapefruit…
Mar 20, 2014, 12:58 PM EST
VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals made six more cuts before this afternoon’s game against the Tigers, bringing even more clarity to the few remaining roster battles over the final week of spring training. Right-handers Ross Ohlendorf and Christian Garcia and catcher Jhonatan Solano were optioned to Class AAA Syracuse, with fellow reliever Manny Delcarmen and…
Mar 20, 2014, 12:00 PM EST
VIERA, Fla. — As far as spring training matchups go, it doesn’t get a whole lot better than this: Stephen Strasburg vs. Max Scherzer, with a bunch of regulars in both the Nationals and Tigers lineups. Strasburg, who last night was officially named the Nats’ Opening Day starter, makes his fourth appearance of the spring…
Mar 20, 2014, 11:00 AM EST
VIERA, Fla. — The Nationals removed one more name from the mix for the final spot on their bench this morning, optioning infielder Zach Walters to Class AAA Syracuse. Walters entered camp as a long shot to crack the Opening Day roster, but the 24-year-old did everything he could to make a case for himself…
Mar 20, 2014, 9:00 AM EST
VIERA, Fla. — Taylor Jordan knows the situation. He knows he’s now deep into a battle for the final spot in the Nationals’ Opening Day rotation, and he knows he needs to make the best possible impression every time he takes the mound over the final two weeks of spring training. But the young right-hander…
Mar 19, 2014, 9:35 PM EST
VIERA, Fla. — Matt Williams gave it consideration, waited as long as he could before making an announcement. In the end, though, the answer was obvious: Stephen Strasburg will start Opening Day for the Nationals again. Williams finally made that official Wednesday night, naming Strasburg his No. 1 starter for the Nationals’ season opener March…
Mar 19, 2014, 5:17 PM EST
VIERA, Fla. — Luis Ayala was granted his unconditional release by the Nationals today after the veteran reliever was informed he wasn’t going to make the Opening Day roster and asked for the opportunity to seek employment elsewhere. Ayala, 36, was hoping to make the club after signing a minor-league contract last month. The right-hander…
Mar 19, 2014, 4:16 PM EST
VIERA, Fla. — Three weeks removed from his first (and only) appearance in a Grapefruit League this spring, Doug Fister is ready to face big-league hitters again. Fister, out since March 2 with elbow inflammation, is scheduled start Saturday against the Marlins, Nationals manager Matt Williams said. Fister will throw three innings or 45 pitches,…
Mar 19, 2014, 2:45 PM EST
VIERA, Fla. — Ross Detwiler isn’t happy about the Nationals’ decision to move him to the bullpen. That much was clear as the left-hander discussed his situation this afternoon for the first time since getting the news on Monday. Detwiler, though, insists he won’t let dissatisfaction with his role affect his performance once he takes…
Mar 19, 2014, 1:32 PM EST
VIERA, Fla. — Ah, it’s good to be back… I just arrived in town after taking a morning flight down from D.C., and let me tell you it sure is nice to see sunshine and temperatures in the 70s. And, of course, it’ll be nice to see some baseball with my own eyes tonight, with…
Mar 19, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
We have reached the home stretch of spring training. There are nine days left before the Nationals break camp and head north for good. Which means it’s just about time to make those final roster decisions that have been looming all spring. I’m heading back to Viera myself this morning and (hopefully) will be on-site…
Mar 18, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
Ross Detwiler, and the Nationals’ decision to put the left-hander in their season-opening bullpen, grabbed yesterday’s headlines. But what about the remaining competitors for the final spot in the Nationals’ Opening Day rotation? How does that situation now sort itself out? Manager Matt Williams told reporters in Lakeland, Fla., yesterday that the decision will come…
Mar 17, 2014, 3:01 PM EST
The Nationals haven’t named a No. 5 starter yet, but they have eliminated one very prominent name from the competition: Ross Detwiler. Matt Williams told reporters in Lakeland today that Detwiler will open the season in the Nationals’ bullpen, a decision the rookie manager cited as being in the club’s best interests. That leaves Tanner…
Mar 17, 2014, 12:37 PM EST
It’s snowing in D.C., and it’s raining down in Florida, putting today’s game in Lakeland at least somewhat in jeopardy. If they do get started, it’ll be Tanner Roark on the mound for the Nationals, going up against a Tigers lineup that today includes Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera. Several Nats regulars made the trip.…
Mar 17, 2014, 10:41 AM EST
The Nationals made another round of cuts Monday morning, removing six more players from their big-league camp roster, including outfielders Steven Souza Jr. and Brian Goodwin and left-hander Sammy Solis. Souza and fellow outfielder Eury Perez were optioned to Class AAA Syracuse, with Solis optioned to Class AA Harrisburg. Goodwin, infielder Mike Fontenot and catcher…
Mar 17, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
It lasted all of two innings, and during that time only one baseball was hit in his general direction, but Ryan Zimmerman’s brief stint at first base Sunday during the Nationals’ 2-1 exhibition loss to the Tigers in Viera was significant if for no other reason than the fact it happened at all. For several…
Mar 14, 2014, 9:52 PM EST
Nationals owner Mark Lerner joined Comcast SportsNet’s broadcast of the Wizards and Magic game on Friday night to talk with Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier about the new season. He discussed everything from World Series expectations to whether the Nats will get an All-Star Game in the near future. He was also asked for the…
Mar 14, 2014, 12:03 PM EST
While we await word on Doug Fister’s bullpen session in Viera — more specifically, whether or not the right-hander is now ready to pitch in a game again — one teammate who’s fate might well hang in the balance takes the mound in Lakeland. Taylor Jordan, competing for the fifth spot in the Opening Day…
Mar 13, 2014, 12:37 PM EST
We’ve reached that point in the spring where several players are dealing with minor tweaks and other ailments. They say these are the kinds of things they’d play through during the regular season, but on March 13 they figure it’s not worth the risk. So, the Nationals for the moment are without Ryan Zimmerman (sore…
Mar 13, 2014, 9:31 AM EST
The Nationals made another round of cuts this morning, reducing their big-league roster by six. Left-hander Matt Purke and outfielder Michael Taylor each were optioned to Class AA Harrisburg. Pitchers Josh Roenicke, Danny Rosenbaum, Clay Hensley and Daniel Stange — none of them members of the 40-man roster — were reassigned to minor-league camp. Purke…
Mar 13, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
There are now only two weeks remaining until the Nationals break camp in Viera and head north, and a mere 18 days until the season opens at Citi Field. Suffice it to say, baseball season is nearly upon us. Which means it’s time for the return of “The Baseball Show” on Comcast SportsNet. Yes, we’re…
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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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