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NATIONALS WATCH

Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.

Latest Blog Entries

Talking about the Nationals' bench

The Nationals made their first round of cuts on Monday, sending nine of the 54 players in camp over to the minor league side for the remainder of the spring. So let's take a look at their bench options as it stands.

Nationals cut nine from camp, including Rendon and Purke

The Nationals made their first round of cuts Monday morning, sending nine players out of major league camp and over to the minor league side. Anthony Rendon and Matt Purke, two of the Nationals' top 2011 draft picks, were among those cut. Outfielder Corey Brown, who Nationals manager Davey Johnson singled out as "the guy that impressed me most," was also sent to minor league camp, along with fellow outfielder Xavier Paul and catcher Sandy Leon. Infielders Jarrett Hoffpauir and Carlos Rivero, along with pitchers Rafael Martin and Austin Bibens-Dirkx were also cut.

Injury updates: Morse to DH, Harper improving

Nationals outfielder Michael Morse was back in the lineup for the first time in a week on Monday, hitting cleanup as the team's designated hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals. Bryce Harper said Monday morning that his left calf was feeling better. He tested it with a little running on Sunday and was hopeful he'd be able to get back into the lineup on Tuesday.

Chien-Ming Wang strong in first start

The reviews of Chien-Ming Wang's start Saturday were extremely positive. Wang was making his first start of the spring after throwing in a simulated game last Monday and he was clocked 88-91 mph with his fastball and had great sink. When the ball is sinking like that, one coach said, you know it's going to be a good day.

Nationals-Cardinals halted after four but Gonzalez sharp

Gio Gonzalez stood on the mound as sheets of rain came pouring through Roger Dean Stadium Sunday afternoon. He thrust his arms out to his sides, wondering how much rain was enough for the umpires to decide he didn't need to face Yadier Molina with two outs in the fourth inning.

Corey Brown homers, hopes for healthy year; Plus a note on Blanco's homer

Corey Brown started and stopped so many times in 2011, looking back, it was basically a lost year. Brown was traded to the Nationals as part of the deal that sent Josh Willingham to Oakland, but hurt his ankle early in spring training and wasn't able to make an impact. He got out of the gate slow at Triple-A and never found his rhythm (he finished the year with a .235 average) but had a torrid month of August (he hit .351) to earn a September call-up. He arrived in Washington, had one major league at-bat, and went down with a staph infection in his right knee that required surgery.