Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.
Stephen Strasburg did something Wednesday night he had yet to do in his road to recovery from Tommy John Surgery: he struggled. Here's some of what Strasburg had to say:
Right-hander Stephen Strasburg could start for the Nationals as soon as Sept. 2 against the Mets, according to a hypothetical schedule manager Davey Johnson discussed today.
In a phone interview with the Washington Times, Nationals third-round draft pick Matt Purke talked about the health of his left shoulder, why the Nationals were right for him and what he's been doing all summer.
There is no way around it: No matter what the Nationals have to do next year, they will find a place for Michael Morse on the field. If that means he shifts back to left field when a presumably healthy Adam LaRoche returns from shoulder surgery, that's what it means and that's what they'll do. They simply can't justify putting their best hitter of 2011 -- for average, power and to all fields -- into any kind of a position battle. Morse is an every day player. He's been an every day player since the middle of May and one of the most productive ones in all of major league baseball in that time. He's hitting .323, slugging .566 and getting on base at a .372 clip.
Ivan Rodriguez was back at Nationals Park on Tuesday working out and throwing, his first physical activity in nearly a week. The good news was that Rodriguez was allowed to do that, the bad news was that's about all he'll most likely be doing for the next few days.
There will be plenty more to come over the next few days about the Nationals impressive draft haul and what it means for an organization already on the upswing but there is one details from tonight's proceedings that I didn't want to get overlooked: In signing all of their top picks, the Nationals handed out not one but two major league deals. The Nationals gave Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon to a four-year major league deal with a one-year club option for a total of $7.2 million. $6 million of it is bonus money and the major league deal means that Rendon will be on the Nationals 40-man roster for the foreseeable future. The same goes for Matt Purke, the left-hander out of Texas Christian University, who signed a four-year major league deal for roughly $4 million.
This year, there was no Bryce Harper and no Stephen Strasburg. There was no No. 1 overall pick deemed once-in-a-generation waiting until the clock struck midnight to relent, get paid record sums and join the Washington Nationals. But as the 2011 signing deadline for draft picks inched ever-closer the Nationals completed a coup of a different kind: perhaps the most impactful draft from start to finish in organizational history. In signing all of their top five picks in the 2011 draft, and 29 of their 51 selections, the Nationals took in an unparalleled haul.
Minutes before the midnight deadline, the Nationals locked up No. 6 overall pick Anthony Rendon, No. 23 Alex Meyer, No. 34 Brian Goodwin and No. 93 Matt Purke. No. 127 overall, Kylin Turnbull, agreed to a $325,000 deal about 2 ½ hours before the deadline.
The Nationals signed the first of their top five unsigned picks with about 2 1/2 hours to go before the deadline with Baseball America's Jim Callis reporting that they've agreed to terms with fourth-round selection Kylin Turnbull. Callis, who is considered one of the foremost draft experts in the industry, reports that Turnbull agreed for a signing bonus of $325,000 -- $100,000 over the MLB-recommended slot for the 127th overall pick
The Hagerstown Suns site made things official this evening on their site: Stephen Strasburg is on his way back.
With roughly 36 hours to go before the midnight August 15 signing deadline for 2011 draft picks, the Nationals have locked up 26 of their 50 picks from the June draft, including five of their top 10 -- but none of their top five.
There wasn't much that went right for John Lannan in an abbreviated outing Saturday night in Philadelphia, but he did earn himself top billing on ESPN's Baseball Tonight with the No. 1 Web Gem. Lannan's diving glove flip to catcher Wilson Ramos that sailed remarkably over the shoulder of Ryan Howard to get the Phillies' first baseman out at home plate was deemed the best of the night. Sunday morning, though, Lannan was still dealing with a repercussion of that play: his left knee was still feeling a little tight after the ball checked up on him as he was going to the ground for it
With torrential rain pounding much of the east coast Sunday afternoon, the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies didn’t wait around to see if things would clear. Three hours before their scheduled 1:35 p.m. series finale, the game was postponed. It will be made up Sept. 20 at 1:05 p.m. as part of a day-night doubleheader. The second game will be at 7:05 p.m.
Tonight, John Lannan will make his 120th major league start. He'll do it on the same mound that he made his first -- the same mound that he was ejected off of after hitting Ryan Howard and Chase Utley -- and with the same umpire behind the plate as that fateful afternoon.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson said that in his eyes, his closer was "letter perfect," Friday night against the Phillies. Storen entered to pitch the ninth inning with a three-run lead and quickly found himself with the first two men on and a once-slumbering Philadelphia crowd raucously on their feet.
By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years