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Nationals Watch Archive: February 2012

  • Nationals won't manipulate Strasburg's innings (UPDATED)

    The Washington Nationals have made no secret that they will have Stephen Strasburg on an innings limit this season. What the exact number of innings will be they have not divulged. This much is certain: There are no plans to force Strasburg to skip starts or otherwise manipulate the innings to keep him pitching deeper into the season. Once that limit is hit, he'll be shut down. Published February 20 2012

  • Desmond switches to No. 20 in honor of Frank Robinson

    By now, Washington Nationals fans are used to seeing Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa up the middle on defense. They'll still be seeing them there this year but with different numbers on their backs. Espinosa swapped out his team-issued No. 18 this season in favor of No. 8, the number he's always worn, and Desmond is changing from No. 6 to No. 20, the number Frank Robinson used to wear as manager. Published February 19 2012

  • Strasburg wants to be "just another donkey."

    The first year, Stephen Strasburg was the phenom, the guy with the golden arm, and the biggest question was whether or not the Nationals would allow their prized pitcher to skip the minor leagues altogether. The second year, he was the guy who could look but not touch. The road back from Tommy John ligament reconstruction surgery was only part-way paved and Strasburg was mostly spectator while the rest of his teammates prepared for a season in which he'd have little impact. This year, finally, for Strasburg, it's about baseball, and now he can be "just another donkey," as San Diego State University pitching coach Eric Valenzuela calls him to this day. Published February 19 2012

  • Mike Cameron to retire after 17 seasons

    Mike Cameron spent parts of the last 17 years playing major league baseball. He was set to begin his 18th with the Washington Nationals but the 39-year-old outfielder decided instead to call it a career. (UPDATED: Cameron offers comment via twitter.) Published February 19 2012

  • Taking one last crack at projecting the Nationals' Opening Day 25-man roster

    Washington Nationals pitchers and catchers are due to report Sunday but most of them already have checked in at Space Coast Stadium to get the 2012 season underway. Published February 18 2012

  • Playing a backup role not exactly how Flores envisioned it

    There is a career -- a life, really -- that Jesus Flores envisioned for himself. Ten years ago, when the New York Mets signed him as an international free agent and integrated him into their farm system, he believed he would be a starting catcher in the major leagues some day. Published February 18 2012

  • Uninterested in the past, Jayson Werth is healthy, more comfortable and ready for 2012: "I'm home."

    Jayson Werth arrived in Viera, Fla., on Friday night and by early Saturday afternoon he was inside the clubhouse at Space Coast Stadium getting himself together to go taking batting practice with second baseman Danny Espinosa. Published February 18 2012

  • Nationals manager Davey Johnson mourns the passing of Gary Carter

    Nationals manager Davey Johnson just sent out this statement on the passing of Hall-of-Famer Gary Carter, the catcher on Johnson's 1986 World Series Champion New York Mets: Published February 16 2012

  • A few more farm system leftovers

    Many thanks to all who read and sent comments about the farm system piece. As promised here are a few more leftovers from the stuff that was forced to the cutting room floor: Published February 10 2012

  • Harper, Rendon, Taylor highlighted by ESPN's Keith Law's Keith Law released his 100 top prospects in the major leagues on Thursday, and his 30 prospect sleeper picks (one for each team) on Friday and there were three Nationals who made the cut. Published February 10 2012

  • SDSU set to retire Strasburg's number

    San Diego State University announced Thursday that they will retire the jersey number of former Aztec and current Washington National Stephen Strasburg in a ceremony prior to the team's season opener on Feb. 17 vs. Washington. Published February 9 2012

  • Pennsylvania senator sends Lerner letter in protest of 'Take back the park' ticket initiative

    When the Washington Nationals announced a new ticket initiative for the first home series of the 2012 season against the Philadelphia Phillies, aimed at stopping the onslaught of Philadelphia fans who overtake Nationals Park each summer, they were met with mixed reviews. Either way, one thing is for sure: the ticket initiative certainly got under the skin of the Philadelphia fans who've made it an annual pilgrimage to Washington to root on their team. Things reached what one can only assume is an apex on Thursday with U.S. Senator Robert Casey sending a personal letter to Nationals owner Ted Lerner in protest of the presale. The letter was also apparently copied to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig as well as Nationals COO Andy Feffer. Published February 9 2012

  • Leftovers from an in-depth look at the ascension of the Nationals farm system

    A few weeks ago, word surfaced from Baseball America that the Nationals -- owners of the worst farm system in all of baseball just five springs ago -- were the No.1 ranked system in all of baseball in this year's prospect handbook. Their stay atop the rankings will be short-lived as the pages were sent to press just before the Nationals swapped four of their best prospects, ones who helped them ascend to the top spot, to Oakland in the trade that brought Gio Gonzalez to Washington. But the honor remains and, as Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo will be the first to tell you, without the type of farm system that Baseball America felt was the best in the league, the Nationals likely don't get Gio Gonzalez -- don't get the top of the rotation, power left-hander they'd been seeking for quite some time. Published February 8 2012

  • Nationals sign Mark Teahen to minor league deal

    The Washington Nationals announced the minor league signing of Mark Teahen on Monday afternoon, adding the 30-year-old corner infielder and outfielder to the mix for a bench role. The deal includes an invitation to major league spring training. Published February 6 2012

  • Nationals sign OF Rick Ankiel to minor league deal

    According to a source with knowledge of the negotiations, the Washington Nationals have agreed to terms with outfielder Rick Ankiel on a minor league deal that includes an invite to spring training. Published February 5 2012

  • John Lannan's thoughts on arbitration and the Nationals moves this offseason

    A few of John Lannan's thoughts on the arbitration process and the Nationals offseason moves -- before news came down Thursday that they'd added another starting pitcher to their already crowded rotation. Published February 3 2012

  • Nationals ticket initiative aimed at allowing home fans first crack at games vs. Phillies

    Starting at 8 a.m. today (Friday) they're holding a special ticket sale called "Take Back the Park" where only fans with a credit card billing address that registers in Maryland, D.C. or Virginia can purchase single-game tickets to the first series of the season vs. Philly: May 4-6. Published February 3 2012

  • Quick hits from a conference call with Nationals GM Mike Rizzo

    Here's a transcript from Nationals GM Mike Rizzo's conference call with reporters on Thursday afternoon, following the team's signing of right-hander Edwin Jackson: Published February 2 2012

  • A few thoughts on what the Nationals will do about their surplus pitching and other notes after Thursday's signing of Edwin Jackson

    So the Nationals signed free agent right-hander Edwin Jackson on Thursday to a one-year deal worth about $10 million, giving them seven viable starting pitchers for their rotation. My how things have changed down on South Capitol Street. Published February 2 2012

  • Nationals win arbitration case against Lannan

    The Washington Nationals resolved their final arbitration case with a panel of three arbiters ruling in their favor after John Lannan's hearing. Lannan will make $5 million for the 2012 season. He had filed at $5.7 million. Published February 2 2012