Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.
Several Nationals are out for early batting practice at Citi Field this afternoon as they attempt to halt the two-game losing skid that's followed them from Chicago. If they're going to do it, it'll be without second baseman Danny Espinosa in the lineup.
Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa stood on the right field foul line, hands on his knees, looking visibly shaken. Espinosa had just made an impressive play to field an errant throw to first by pitcher Henry Rodriguez and fire a strike to third baseman Ryan Zimmerman to hold Mike Baxter at third base and, for the time being, keep the game alive. He'd also taken Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada's elbow to the right side of his head.
The Washington Nationals learned early Monday afternoon that their closer, the man who’d saved 43 games for them in 2011, was going to spend his Tuesday visiting Dr. James Andrews. That news was the backdrop for the ninth inning Monday night as the Nationals took a tie game against the New York Mets into the bottom of the ninth and then watched it slip away as their fundamentals failed them.
While the Nationals were getting some not-so-good news on their closer, Drew Storen, Monday afternoon at Citi Field, they did get encouraging news on outfielders Michael Morse and Rick Ankiel. Morse and Ankiel, who spent the weekend rehabbing with Double-A Harrisburg in Bowie, Md., were both set to play for Single-A Hagerstown Monday night. Morse was expected to play nine innings for the first time since he strained his right lat in early March and if all went well he'd play nine more on Tuesday.
Washington Nationals closer Drew Storen suffered a setback in his rehabilitation from right elbow joint inflammation on Sunday when he felt tenderness following a simulated game. Storen will visit with renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday for a second opinion.
While the Washington Nationals get set to open a three-game set with the National League East-leading New York Mets Monday night, outfielders Michael Morse and Rick Ankiel will take their rehab assignments to Single-A Hagerstown.
As the Nationals packed up inside the visitors' clubhouse at Wrigley Field Sunday afternoon, they did so in the usual quiet that blankets a loss. But after a weekend in which they were fortunate to find late hits and walk away with two victories, there wasn't all that much to be down about.
Five days removed from getting the news that he would not be a part of the Nationals' 2012 Opening Day roster, John Lannan took the mound in Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday for his first minor league start since 2010.
The Washington Nationals have left no ambiguity with their catching situation. Wilson Ramos is their starting catcher, Jesus Flores their backup.
Updates on Chien-Ming Wang, Michael Morse and Rick Ankiel.
Xavier Nady gets his first start of the season Sunday afternoon, hitting sixth and playing left field as Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson tweaks his lineup for the finale with the Chicago Cubs.
Washington Nationals prospect Anthony Rendon badly sprained his left ankle Saturday night as he rounded third base in Single-A Potomac's game in Lynchburg.
Often times this spring, Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa would talk about his two-strike approach. Espinosa struck out 166 times in 2011 -- the third most in the National League -- and he knew hitting out of the No. 2 hole in the Nationals' lineup this season he'd have to cut that down. He worked on it with hitting coach Rick Eckstein, discussed it with manager Davey Johnson, and put it into practice Saturday afternoon in the eighth inning.
After Adam LaRoche left Wrigley Field Thursday night and met up with his family following an 0-for-3 performance with three strikeouts (and a pivotal walk), he had to face his toughest critic. His nine-year-old son Drake walked right up to him and said "Dad, what were you doing?"
When Chad Tracy was with the Arizona Diamondbacks and his role began to change -- to transition from that of an everyday player to that of a bench contributor -- he began to see the game differently. Sitting on the bench with veterans like Tony Clark for several innings each night, Tracy and Clark would hash out game situations and debate what they'd do if they were the manager. They'd try to predict, he said, where they might be used and help to prepare themselves for when their name was called. On the Nationals' bench on Saturday, Tracy was still doing that.