The Nationals will leave Viera, Fla. for good on Sunday, traveling south to Jupiter to play the Cardinals and then across the state to Fort Myers to play the Red Sox. After that, though, their only path will be north. North to D.C. for an exhibition against the Red Sox on April 3 and north again to Chicago for Opening Day. As of Thursday morning, Nationals manager Davey Johnson had decided that outfielder Michael Morse and closer Drew Storen would be making the trip with the team.
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.
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The Washington Nationals trimmed the roster to 34 Thursday, reassigning outfielder Jason Michaels and infielder Andres Blanco to minor league camp while optioning left-hander Atahualpa Severino to Triple-A. Both Michaels and Blanco have opt-outs on their minor league deals so the two players will have to decide in the coming days whether or not they would be willing to go to Triple-A for the Nationals or see if they can find a major league job elsewhere.
The Nationals next round of cuts is nearing, perhaps as soon as this afternoon. So with the one-week countdown to Opening Day officially on, let's go through a projection for the Nationals' roster and discuss their remaining decisions.
Jordan Zimmermann needed just 68 pitches to throw six effective and efficient innings on Wednesday in his penultimate spring start.
The Washington Nationals got what manager Davey Johnson termed "the best news I had" all day when outfielder Michael Morse underwent a sonogram that showed the slight tear in his right lat muscle is healing.
The news on both Nationals' closer Drew Storen and outfielder Michael Morse Wednesday morning was good -- both are pain free and threw for the first time yesterday without incident -- but came with a caveat. With spring training dwindling, both appear likely headed to the disabled list for the start of the 2012 season.
Xavier Nady, the versatile veteran the Nationals signed to a minor league deal on March 18, is in the Nationals' lineup today, hitting seventh and playing first base.
Former Nationals president Stan Kasten officially reached "the next move" on Tuesday night when Dodgers owner Frank McCourt selected his group from three MLB-approved bidders as the next owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kasten, who teamed with Magic Johnson and a group of investors, pledged a record $2.15 billion to purchase the Dodgers and help extricate them from the once-bankrupt tendrils of McCourt.
Healthy Brad Lidge has been impressing, plus other notes from the Nationals' 3-1 loss to the Marlins
Brad Lidge needed nine pitches to retire the Miami Marlins in bottom of the eighth inning Tuesday afternoon. If the stadium radar gun is to be believed, he was throwing fastballs in the 91-92 mph range and mixed in a few sliders.
Left-hander Gio Gonzalez was tagged for eight runs off 10 hits and four walks in his last spring start, five days ago on this same mound. A little spring training dead arm, the Nationals’ called it, and brushed it off as nothing more.
Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche will play in a minor league game Tuesday and he'll be allowed to run the bases if and when he gets a hit. If all goes well, the Nationals are still hoping he'll be cleared to return to major league action by Thursday, March 29.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson drew up his lineup for Tuesday's game against the Miami Marlins with Steve Lombardozzi hitting eighth and playing left field. It's the second start for the natural second baseman in the outfield and while it may seem like an indication that Lombardozzi, who the Nationals view as an every day player, could be a primary candidate for that spot if Michael Morse starts the year on the disabled list, not so fast.
With Washington Nationals' right-hander Chien-Ming Wang likely headed to the disabled list for the start of the 2012 season, Nationals manager Davey Johnson confirmed Monday what had been expected since Wang strained his left hamstring on March 15: that John Lannan is on track to be his No. 5 starter.
Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche on one of the team's backfields Monday morning running back and forth a few times on the grass around the curve of the infield with Nationals trainer Lee Kuntz. LaRoche ran the route at least three times and also jogged in a circle once to test the bone bruise in his left foot that has been causing him problems since the first week of workouts this spring. The first baseman then came back to Space Coast Stadium and took grounders at first base during the team's batting practice. And all of that is a good sign that LaRoche will be able to be on the Nationals' active roster when Opening Day rolls around next Thursday.
It didn't take long to know that Space Coast Stadium wouldn't hold the 2-0 pitch Jayson Werth connected with in the first inning Sunday. As it lofted into the air toward left field, the only real question was how far would the blast carry.