- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 21, 2007

SEEN AND HEARD IN VIERA:

Nationals pitchers tossed live batting practice yesterday for the first time during camp. For hitters, however, swinging was optional.

“It’s not really BP for us. If you wanted to swing, you could,” outfielder Ryan Church said. “You can track the ball and get something out of it.”

For the pitchers, it helps just to have someone in the batter’s box.

“It’s good for us to have a hitter up there because you always feel it’s more of an adrenaline boost to get into game mode,” right-hander Jason Bergmann said. “Some of them were hitting — not all of them. You anticipate them hitting, but you work on a lot of stuff, too.”

The Nationals will continue to conduct live BP over the next few days so that all the pitchers in camp will face at least a few batters before the Grapefruit League season begins March 2.

“The biggest thing is not overthrowing and really making sure that you’re accurate with all your pitches and whatever you’re comfortable with,” Bergmann said. “It’s a good opportunity to face righties and lefties.”

TEMPERATURE CHECK

CESAR CEDENO (UP)

Former Astros great here to help out

SPACE COAST STADIUM RENOVATIONS (DOWN)

Good morning. No power, no Internet

PLAYER FAVORITE (UP)

Belliard instant hit in clubhouse

TAX FORMS (DOWN)

Players inundated with paperwork

BY THE NUMBERS

35 Pitches left-hander Matt Chico threw yesterday during live batting practice

8 Minutes it took Chico to throw 35 pitches.

OVERHEARD

“Kory Casto! Kory, they’re going to miss you in Harrisburg this year.”

— Spring instructor John Stearns while throwing batting practice to Casto, the organization’s two-time minor league player of the year.

SEVEN-DAY SCHEDULE

Today: Full-squad workout, 9 a.m.

Tomorrow: Full-squad workout, 9 a.m.

Saturday: Full-squad workout, 9 a.m.

Sunday: Full-squad workout, 9 a.m.

Monday: Full-squad workout, 9 a.m.

Tuesday: Full-squad workout, 9 a.m.

Wednesday: Full-squad workout, 9 a.m.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Washington: Partly cloudy/wind, 53 degrees

Viera: Sunny, 79 degrees

Ken Wright


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