As the Washington Nationals' walked off the field late Sunday afternoon, Bryce Harper went into manager Davey Johnson's office and was given the only news he'd hoped he could stave off this spring: he was being sent to the minor leagues. Harper, 19, was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse thereby bringing to a close one of the Nationals' biggest storylines this spring.
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.
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Updates on Rick Ankiel, Michael Morse and Adam LaRoche.
The Washington Nationals signed versatile infielder/outfielder Xavier Nady to a minor league deal with no opt out on Friday. Nady, who arrived in Viera late Saturday evening, will not be in major league camp. He will begin to work himself back into playing shape in minor league camp and is expected to start the season at Triple-A Syracuse.
The Washington Nationals entered Saturday already having two ties on their spring training record. Nationals manager Davey Johnson, then, wasn't too pleased to add a third on Saturday when his team played to a 1-1 tie with the Miami Marlins. "I don't like ties," he said. "I want to see the outcome."
Jordan Zimmermann is on track to make about three more starts before the Nationals head north to start the season. After the performance he had on Saturday, that sounds just about right for the right-hander.
Chien-Ming Wang walked through the Washington Nationals’ complex on Saturday morning without a significant limp and was in good spirits -- all positive signs that the left hamstring strain he suffered Thursday was feeling better. But with Opening Day now less than three weeks away, the Nationals’ pitching staff is going to have to take shape soon, with or without him.
The Nationals are not planning to juggle their pitching staff around Monday's offday, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Saturday. The Nationals will have their only off day of the spring on Monday, March 19 and the Nationals are using the day to simply give every starter an extra day of rest before their next start.
Michael Morse had an MRI on his strained right lat but the diagnosis did not change for the Washington Nationals' cleanup hitter. Morse has not played in a Nationals game since Tueday and has not yet played the field this spring. Updates on LaRoche, Ankiel, Wang and Ramos as well.
In case you hadn't heard, Bryce Harper grew up a New York Yankees fan. In the second inning Friday Harper stepped into the box and stared out at CC Sabathia. That "frickin' train coming at you," as Harper called him Wednesday. Here's how he did.
Gio Gonzalez looked so strong, so sharp, in his first two outings in a Washington Nationals uniform that it was easy for the mind to skip ahead. The Nationals acquired Gonzalez in December, they introduced him in January, they got their first look at him in a game in March. Wanting to finally get to the part where Gonzalez was falling in line with Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and Edwin Jackson in a fearsome starting rotation was understandable. And with the way the Nationals could possibly set up their rotation, the question came to Nationals manager Davey Johnson: Would Gonzalez be considered to be the team's Opening Day starter? But in an up-and-down outing Friday afternoon, Gonzalez reminded everyone that spring training is six weeks long for a reason. Pitchers need time before they're season-ready and Gonzalez is no exception.
The Washington Nationals announced Friday that they've extended their contracts with four of their minor league affiliates, agreeing to stay with Triple-A Syracuse, Double-A Harrisburg, Single-A Potomac and short-season A Auburn through the 2014 season.
The Nationals made one lineup tweak on their way to Tampa this morning, swapping the defensive positions of Bryce Harper and Brett Carroll in the outfield.
Early Friday morning, Chien-Ming Wang stood in the training room at the Washington Nationals' complex with several sets of eyes examining the strained left hamstring that forced him from Thursday afternoon's game. Wang was sent for further testing Thursday evening but Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Friday morning the diagnosis had not changed. Wang is expected to miss "probably a couple of weeks, minimum."
The status of Chien-Ming Wang and his strained left hamstring won't be updated again until later this morning but if the initial reactions were any indication, the Washington Nationals' right-hander could be looking at at least missing a start or two as he works back to full health. It'd be a devastating blow for Wang, who worked tirelessly for two years to make it back to the major leagues after shoulder surgery, and the Nationals are hoping that it won't be anything serious that could push back the stellar progress they'd seen out of him this spring. But Wang's tumble over the first base bag on Thursday will have a significant impact on the Nationals one way or the other.
Friday's lineup in Tampa plus notes on Wang, Ramos, Morse, Bernadina and Lombardozzi.