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NATIONALS WATCH

Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.

Latest Blog Entries

Anthony Rendon works out at second base, shortstop

On his first day in Nationals camp, Anthony Rendon was told he'd be moving around the infield a bit this spring as a way to help get him more playing time. On his fourth day in Nationals camp, Rendon spent the morning working at shortstop and second base with Triple-A manager Tony Beasley, working on his footwork at the position.

Rizzo on Zimmerman's contract: "I'm hopeful."

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Thursday that while there are no new developments to report with a possible contract extension for Ryan Zimmerman, the sides are continuing to talk and he's "hopeful," they could get something done.

Feeling as healthy as he has since 2009, DeRosa ready to help Nationals win

The video is a strange one to watch. Mark DeRosa stands in against Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium last year, cocking his bat ever so slightly above his right shoulder. Kershaw delivers a pitch in the dirt and before DeRosa can even begin his swing, he reacts, drops his bat and brings his already twice repaired left wrist in toward his chest. "I'm done," DeRosa mouths as the San Francisco Giants trainers come out to see what's clearly causing him immense pain. A tendon in his wrist, the same one that DeRosa had operated on after the 2009 season and again during the 2010 season, had ruptured. It was possibly the best thing that could have happened to DeRosa.

Nationals window for a contract extension with Ryan Zimmerman before next offseason down to just a few days

Washington Nationals' position players aren't required to report to spring training until Thursday. By then, Ryan Zimmerman will have been around for nearly a week, preparing for his seventh spring training with the Nationals. How many more he'll have with them, though, is the biggest question surrounding the Nationals' Face of the Franchise as he welcomes his first spring with a season to follow that'll contain any real hope of winning. Zimmerman will be a free agent after the 2013 season and getting an extension done is at the top of the priority list for both the player and the team. But there are always deadlines and Zimmerman's set an informal one that makes the next few days paramount. Negotiations, he's said, would not be preferable once spring training begins in earnest on Saturday with the first full-squad workout.

Chris Marrero arrives in camp but torn hamstring will limit him

This was supposed to be the camp where Chris Marrero never saw the inside of the Nationals' minor league complex. It was supposed to be the season where Marrero, the Nationals' first-round draft pick in 2006, served as the right-handed compliment to Adam LaRoche at first base, a valuable bat for manager Davey Johnson. It was what the Nationals had in mind when they welcomed Marrero to the major leagues last year in late August. But a torn hamstring that required surgery in November, suffered while he was playing in the Dominican Winter League, eliminated any shot at any of that for Marrero.

Defining a role for Steve Lombardozzi

The Washington Nationals' roster lists infielder Steve Lombardozzi at 170 pounds. At the end of the season, the Nationals told him to "have a good offseason, work hard and come ready to compete." Even if you don't count the bushy beard he grew over the winter, Lombardozzi checked into spring training at least 25 pounds heavier than that figure would lead you to believe.

How the Nationals outfield shapes up after the retirement of Mike Cameron

When Nationals general manger Mike Rizzo's phone rang last Wednesday the man on the other end of the line was throwing a small wrench into his outfield plans. Mike Cameron was planning to retire, he told Rizzo, and the GM tried to talk him out of it. Think on it for a few days, he said. Cameron did. It was time to hang it up.

LaRoche happy with shoulder progress: "It feels like the old me."

Adam LaRoche made his first appearance in the Nationals' clubhouse Monday morning and spent just a few minutes unpacking before he and his surgically repaired left shoulder left to go hit and workout. It was a good sign for LaRoche that he was able to get right to work after arriving in Viera, but he didn't dance around the health of the labrum in his left shoulder.

Anthony Rendon makes himself at home in big league camp

Wearing a lime green sweatshirt and cargo shorts, Anthony Rendon walked into the Nationals clubhouse Monday morning for the first time and looked around. "I feel like I'm a freshman back at rice," said the No. 6 overall pick in last year's draft. "I'm the rookie again.

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.

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.