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Latest Mike Rizzo Items
From the first day he checked in at spring training, the return to form of catcher Wilson Ramos has been one of the Washington Nationals' most uplifting stories.
Chris Young readily admits he doesn't know how the next few days of his career will play out. The day he can activate the out clause in his minor league deal with the Washington Nationals is Sunday. His next start is scheduled for Monday.
Two years ago, Span was an on-the-rise member of the Minnesota Twins. He gave a lot of thought to his body and taking care of it. He never gave much thought to his head. His life changed on June 3, 2011.
It was about a year ago that Micah Owings decided to ask the question. The thought had been in his mind for some time. It'd crop up, perhaps, with every well-struck line drive, or double, or home run -- of which there were nine — he'd hit as a starting pitcher in the major leagues.
Over the course of a roughly 10-minute session, Lerner chatted about everything Nationals -- including getting over Game 5, the organization's spring training venue situation, ticket sales, payroll, construction around the ballpark and the prospect of luring an All-Star Game.
Haren, 32, says he isn't coming in with the intent of being anyone's mentor. But that figures to happen anyway, even if he never says a word. With as much experience as the others combined, he can likely help the Nats as much off the mound as he can on it.
With 40 percent of their starting rotation now committed to Team USA, the Nationals' attention to the tournament has become much more personal.
Ramos has already begun to conquer what was admittedly his biggest fear: blocking. He participated in a blocking drill on Sunday with bullpen coach Jim Lett throwing balls at the catchers, bouncing them in the dirt and on either side of them, and Ramos had no trouble.
The Washington Nationals' plans for preparing their pitchers this spring will have one added wrinkle when it comes to left-hander Gio Gonzalez, who will leave camp in early March to join Team USA for the World Baseball Classic.