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Nationals Journal: February 20, 2011 - February 26, 2011

Brian Broderick, the Rule 5 draft pick who struck out Bryce Harper

On Nov. 3 in Surprise, Ariz., Brian Broderick, the 652nd selection of the 2007 baseball draft, stood on the mound, wearing his Cardinals uniform, and knew precisely who the player walking toward the plate was: Bryce Harper, the first...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 26, 2011; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Chien-Ming Wang throws his 'best stuff' of the spring, will pitch in games

Chien-Ming Wang continued to make progress this afternoon by throwing his most impressive pitches this spring in a live batting practice session. Wang pitched for 10 minutes, the same duration as the other Nationals pitchers, and he will throw...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 26, 2011; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Cla Meredith received an arthrogram on his elbow

Cla Meredith yesterday received a second MRI on his surgically repaired right elbow, an enhanced version of the test called an arthrogram in which doctors inject dye into the joint. Meredith, a side-winding, right-handed reliever in camp on a minor...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 26, 2011; 2:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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The Nationals first spring lineup, plus updates on Cla Meredith and Chien-Ming Wang

The Nationals' first game of the year is about 50 hours away, and Manager Jim Riggleman has got the lineup set for Monday against the Mets: 1. Nyjer Morgan, CF 2. Ian Desmond, SS 3. Roger Bernadina, LF 4. Michael...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 26, 2011; 9:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Illness before spring a slight complication for Tom Gorzelanny

While they believe he is and will be fine, the Nationals are keeping an eye on the spring training progression of newly acquired left-handed starter Tom Gorzelanny, who suffered from a sinus infection and walking pneumonia for the two weeks...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 25, 2011; 3:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Cla Meredith hurt again, Chien-Ming Wang pushed back

Reliever Cla Meredith's hard-luck spring continued today. Last week, he cut short his first bullpen session after he felt a sharp pain in his elbow, which had been operated on last October in order to remove bone chips. Meredith was...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 25, 2011; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Ross Detwiler's new mechanics

Ross Detwiler, having fully recovered from the hip surgery that derailed his 2010 season, has stood out this spring training. Pitchers have been limited to just bullpen sessions and live batting practice, but one Nationals officials said he's looked like...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 25, 2011; 1:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Long toss: Stairs or Bernadina?

Adam Kilgore wrote a nice piece about pinch-hitter Matt Stairs for today's newspaper. And this morning he blogged about Roger Bernadina. Commenter rnkorby posed an interesting roster question: I understand Matt Stairs' value as a pinch hitter and asset in...

By Washington Post editors  | February 25, 2011; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Is Roger Bernadina a lock to make the Nationals?

The Nationals gave Roger Bernadina 461 plate appearances last year with the hope he would claim the left field position as his own. He flashed, at times, the powerful swing and athleticism that made the Nationals believe he had,...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 25, 2011; 9:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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Some Matt Stairs leftovers

Matt Stairs, nearing the conclusion of a remarkable career, is trying to make the Nationals' 25-man roster on a minor-league contract, and you get the sense that most everyone inside the clubhouse hopes he does. The list of reasons is...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 25, 2011; 7:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Morning brushback  
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Elvin Ramirez arrives, pitches in the bullpen

After flying into the States yesterday, reliever Elvin Ramirez passed his physical this morning in Viera and participated in today's practice with the Nationals. He threw a bullpen session monitored by pitching coach Steve McCatty, pitching coordinator Spin Williams, Manager...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 24, 2011; 2:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Long toss: Who are the Nats' leaders?

Yesterday, Adam blogged about Manager Jim Riggleman asking his players to establish their own guidelines for the clubhouse. Early this morning, as the other Nationals began warming up, Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond ducked into Manager Jim Riggleman's...

By Washington Post editors  | February 24, 2011; 12:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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Bryce Harper will likely play, but not start, in the Nationals spring training opener at the Mets

Bryce Harper will travel with the Nationals to their first game of the spring training, meaning the first overall pick's first action against a major league opponent will likely come Monday in Port St. Lucie against the New York...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 24, 2011; 10:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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Ryan Zimmerman explains why more veterans will matter

The times that make baseball players, really, are the moments in between. The afternoons before night games, the winter workouts, the morning weight-lifting during spring training. During those times, Ryan Zimmerman is usually apart from most of his teammates, maybe...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 24, 2011; 7:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Morning brushback  
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Bryce Harper's second day, Chien-Ming Wang's progress, Jim Riggleman's meeting

I'm wrapping up a pretty busy here at Panera, otherwise known as the Svrluga Bureau. Before I call it a night, here are a few tidbits that haven't made it out of my notebook: >>>Bryce Harper didn't disappear after...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 23, 2011; 7:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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John Lannan, Jason Marquis fit into the Nationals' spring rotation

Manager Jim Riggleman set the Nationals' starters for their third and fourth spring training games, deciding on John Lannan and Jason Marquis to follow Chad Gaudin and Livan Hernandez. Though Hernandez has received the opening day designation, Riggleman cautioned...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 23, 2011; 4:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Elvin Ramirez, Henry Rodriguez on their way to Nationals spring training

After experiencing visa delays that prevented them from joining the Nationals at spring training, rocket-armed relievers Elvin Ramirez and Henry Rodriguez are set to arrive in Viera by tomorrow, a team source said. The Nationals acquired Rodriguez, 23, in the...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 23, 2011; 3:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Bryce Harper tops prospect rankings, three other Nationals in top 100

Baseball America named outfielder Bryce Harper the top prospect in baseball and included three other Nationals on their annual list of the game's top 100 prospects. The magazine, a leading authority on the minor leagues, also rated catcher Derek...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 23, 2011; 2:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Drew Storen meets Jayson Werth again

When Jayson Werth stepped into the cage this afternoon for live batting practice and saw Drew Storen standing on the mound, he told the catcher Storen would buzz a fastball right at him. He expected it because of their...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 23, 2011; 2:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Long toss: Opening day dilemma

Mixed among comments about Bryce Harper trying to make the big leagues is an interesting question about opening day. Commenter Brue said he heard Larry Bowa criticizing some teams for naming their opening day starting pitchers too soon -- such...

By Washington Post editors  | February 23, 2011; 1:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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How Jayson Werth fits at Nationals Park

When Jayson Werth came to Nationals Park this winter for his introductory press conference, his agent, Scott Boras, came with him. Boras made the point that, of all the visiting parks he played, Werth hit best at Nationals Park, his...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 23, 2011; 7:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Morning brushback  
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Bo Porter's football-toting outfield drill

On one of the backfields Tuesday afternoon, new Nationals third base coach Bo Porter accomplished a rare feat during his very first drill as the coach in charge of outfielders. He did something none of his players had ever...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 22, 2011; 7:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Bryce Harper: 'I'm trying to make this club'

Your Browser DoesNot Support IFrames. Today, during the Nationals' first spring training workout, Jayson Werth approached Bryce Harper in the outfield and asked him, "You gonna make the team or what?" The easy answer, and the actual answer, is no....

By Adam Kilgore  | February 22, 2011; 3:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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Jayson Werth meets the press

Jayson Werth pulled on a Nationals uniform for the first time this morning, his wooly beard replaced by a clean-cut goatee. He ran through outfield drills and took batting practice, meeting his most of his new teammates. He knew Matt...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 22, 2011; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Long toss: Is it too much?

In this morning's newspaper, Thomas Boswell wrote about the huge amount of attention surrounding Bryce Harper so far at spring training. After security men and Washington Nationals officials had pried Bryce Harper out of the middle of a scrum of...

By Washington Post editors  | February 22, 2011; 1:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Bryce Harper  
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Nationals full-squad workouts begin with all eyes on Bryce Harper

The Nationals formally met this morning as a complete group for the first time, gathering in their clubhouse as 8:30. Manager Jim Riggleman and other Nationals officials oversaw introductions and explained the schedule. Then, briefly, they tried to set a...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 22, 2011; 10:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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A look at the Nationals' many bench possibilities

As the Nationals begin full-squad workouts today, they seem to have few questions about the makeup of their opening day roster. A spot of two in their bullpen could be decided in the next five weeks. The state of left...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 22, 2011; 7:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Morning brushback  
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Chien-Ming Wang makes a change, Cole Kimball throws heat, Ross Detwiler looks good

Before Bryce Harper stole the spotlight at the Nationals' workout this morning, three things stood out about the morning bullpen sessions. As always, we'll make the disclaimer that we're talking about February bullpen sessions, here. But, anyway, here goes:...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 21, 2011; 5:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Bryce Harper takes the field at Nationals spring training

Bryce Harper arrived at Nationals spring training today, and with him came the crowd. He walked to Field 4, a swarm of people inching toward him, watching. Harper warmed up, stretching with the rest of the Nationals' early-arriving position...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 21, 2011; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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Bryce Harper will play right field, Jayson Werth will see action in center

Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper are both main attractions during spring training for the Nationals, and they're both right fielders, too. This morning, Manager Jim Riggleman settled how they'll be used defensively this spring. The Nationals plan to give...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 21, 2011; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Mike Rizzo on the effects of the Nationals' offseason

Late last week, General Manager Mike Rizzo uttered to Boz a pretty tremendous line. "Every year," he said, "we get better beef in our clubhouse." He meant that the Nationals have created a more athletic, more toolsy team in...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 21, 2011; 7:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Nationals need Alberto Gonzalez to accept his role

Alberto Gonzalez's chances to make the Nationals' roster this spring may have more to do with his attitude than his ability. Manager Jim Riggleman could tell that a lack of playing time among a crowded middle-infield situation rankled Gonzalez last...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 20, 2011; 4:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Mike Rizzo 'very comfortable' with Jim Riggleman

Manager Jim Riggleman will enter the 2011 season in the final guaranteed year of his contract, a circumstance General Manager Mike Rizzo said today he feels comfortable with. "I am very comfortable with Jim as our manager," Rizzo said....

By Adam Kilgore  | February 20, 2011; 3:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Luis Atilano clears waivers, assigned to Syracuse

The Nationals assigned right-handed pitcher Luis Atilano to Class AAA Syracuse today after he cleared waivers. The Nationals, who designated Atilano for assignment Wednesday, invited Atilano to major league spring training, and he should arrive later today. Atilano, 25,...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 20, 2011; 2:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Report date and a rotation guess

Nationals position player have to report today, with physicals taking place tomorrow and the first full-squad workout coming Tuesday. Alex Cora and Matt Stairs are the lone players yet to make an appearance at the facility. (Bryce Harper hasn't really...

By Adam Kilgore  | February 20, 2011; 10:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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