March 05, 2012; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher John Lannan (31) during spring training against the New York Mets at Digital Domain Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

Nationals Spring Training 2012: Nats Option John Lannan To Minors

Ross Detwiler will join Washington's Opening Day rotation.

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2012 Spring Training: Nationals Lose Grapefruit Finale To Red Sox 8-7

The Washington Nationals blew a two-run lead in the eighth and ninth innings to lose their final game of Spring Training to the Boston Red Sox, 8-7. Henry Rodriguez picked up the loss, despite pitching only one inning, but giving up the game winner in the top of the ninth on a double by Jason Repko, scoring Dan Butler.

The Red Sox built a 6-0 lead, shelling starter Edwin Jackson (4.2 IP, five hits, six runs) before the Nats halved it with a three-run fifth inning, thanks to a Wilson Ramos home run. After an Ian Desmon solo homer in the sixth, Ramos would add an RBI on a single in the bottom of the seventh inning and Washington would tie the game at 7 before blowing the lead late. In addition to Ramos' two hit, four RBI day, Mark DeRosa also posted two hits.

The Nationals will move home to D.C. for the start of the regular season but open on the road at Chicago at 2:20 p.m. ET on Thursday.

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Nationals To Option John Lannan To Minors, According To Report

The Washington Post's Adam Kilgore is reporting that the Nationals plan to option pitcher John Lannan to AAA Syracuse, ostensibly giving Ross Detwiler the fifth spot in the rotation.

The move would be a stunning decline for Lannan and the Nationals organization. Last year the left hander was the Opening Day starter for Washington (he's earned that honor twice), and won 10 games with a 3.70 ERA. According to the Post, Lannan is assumed to be the highest paid player (due $5 million this season) assigned to the minors this year.

The presumed move of Detwiler to the rotation (even temporarily) means the Nationals will have spots for both Craig Stammen and Ryan Mattheus in the bullpen, aided by the fact that Chad Durbin was signed by the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, opting out of his minor league deal with Washington.

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Roger Bernadina Injury: Nationals Outfielder Expects To Be Ready For Opening Day

The Washington Nationals should have their starting centerfielder Roger Bernadina ready to go for the start of the season. Bernadina suffered a contusion on his right knee in a Monday spring training game. According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Bernadina is expected to be "fine" for opening day.

Bernadina iced his knee, which was hit on an errant pick off throw, to reduce the swelling. He delivered his own diagnosis to Kilgore. Bernadina happened into the starting centerfield job after Rick Ankiel landed on the disabled list recently. Brett Carroll replaced Bernadina in Monday's game against the Red Sox.

Bernadina hit .243/.301/.362 with seven home runs in 91 games last season. He has a .668 OPS since first seeing major league action with the Nationals in 2008.

Washington added Ankiel and three other players, including reliever Drew Storen, to the disabled list on Monday.

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Roger Bernadina Injury: Roger Bernadina Leaves Spring Training Game With Right Knee Contusion; Listed As Day-To-Day

In the wake of announcing that Rick Ankiel, among others, would start the season on the disabled list, Nationals manager Davey Johnson suggested that Roger Bernadina would start the season in center field. If what happened in Monday's spring training game against the Red Sox turns out to be serious, Johnson might want to move down the depth chart a little further.

You can follow along with this afternoon's game here. Brett Carroll has come in to pinch-run and play center field in Bernadina's place.

UPDATE: From the horse's mouth:

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Michael Morse, Drew Storen, Rick Ankiel, Chien-Ming Wang To Disabled List

What had been expected for some time became official Monday afternoon, when Nationals manager Davey Johnson announced that infielder/outfielder Michael Morse, outfielder Rick Ankiel, pitcher Chien-Ming Wang, and reliever Drew Storen would all start the season on the disabled list.

According to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post, Johnson is looking to have both Morse and Ankiel available for the first home series of the year, which begins April 12 against the Cincinnati Reds. Morse is continuing to recover from a lat strain that limited his time at the plate this spring, while Ankiel is dealing with a tight left hamstring.

As for the pitchers, Storen threw off a mound Saturday morning for the first time since disclosing that he was suffering from elbow inflammation. Wang is recovering from a strained left hamstring suffered on March 15.

The announcements mean that the Nationals' Opening Day roster will include free agent signings Brett Carroll and Chad Tracy, young infielder Steve Lombardozzi, and veteran Xavier Nady, who signed with the Nationals as a free agent in March.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Gio Gonzalez Looks Sharp In Spring Finale

The 2012 Major League Baseball regualr season is days from beginning, with the Washington Nationals joining their fellow teams by wrapping up exhibition play in the sunny locales of Florida and Arizona. On Sunday, the Nationals and lefty Gio Gonzalez beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1, with Gonzalez looking primed for the season to begin.

Gonzalez allowed just one run in five innings, on three hits. He walked only one batter, while striking out seven Cardinals hitters, raising his spring strikeout total to 26.

Danny Espinosa hit his first home run of the spring, ending a 0-for-12 slump. It was just the thrid extra base hit of the spring for the Nationals second baseman.

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Cardinals Vs. Nationals: Stephen Strasburg Finishes Up Spring Training With A Tough Outing

The Washington Nationals faced off against the St. Louis Cardinals in some spring training action, which turned out to be Stephen Strasburg's final start of spring training. In his first inning of work, Strasburg struck out two batters and one hit, but gave up two runs in the second inning off a Daniel Descalso double. The third run scored when Jake Westbrook grounded out and the inning was over with another ground out.

Strasburg finished up a rough outing to finish spring training going for four innings and giving up five hits, three runs (two earned) and three strikeouts. The Cardinals ended up winning the game 6-2 as the Nats were limited to spattering six hits through the course of the game. Chad Tracy hit a homerun off of Westbrook in the sixth inning to put the Nats on the board, but the early lead was too much for them to overcome as the Cards got into their bullpen.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Kristina Akra To Debut Friday Night As New Nationals Sideline Reporter

There will be a new face joining Bob Carpenter and F.P. Santangelo for Nationals broadcasts on MASN in 2012, as Kristina Akra has joined the broadcasting team to fill the role of sideline reporter.

Akra comes to the Nationals with a wealth of experience including being the host of SEC Gridiron Live on Fox Sports South, sideline reporting for CoxSports and the Big East Network, and hosting Patriots Today, a daily webshow on the official website of the New England Patriots website.

She is an alumna of the University of Florida, the same school as famous ESPN sideline reporters Erin Andrews and Jenn Brown.

Her website can be viewed HERE. Her Twitter handle is @KristinaAkra.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Rick Ankiel Selected To 40-Man Roster

As the beginning of the regular season looms for the Washington Nationals, the final preparations to the opening day roster are being made. One decision that was made today was to select veteran outfielder Rick Ankiel to the 40-man roster.

Ankiel hit .239 with nine home runs and 37 RBIs last season, his first with the Nationals. His career stats include hitting .246 with a .309 OBP. Ankiel will be there to provide depth given the injury to Michael Morse. Morse will likely miss the start of the season with a strained lat in his back.

The Nationals still are trying to finalize their roster for the start of the season which will be Thursday April 5 against the Chicago Cubs starting at 2:20 p.m.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Team Cuts Four More From The Roster, Sign Zach Duke To A Minor-League Deal

The Washington Nationals are getting closer and closer to finalizing their opening day roster as they reassigned infielder Andres Blanco to minor league camp and released outfielder Jason Michaels, according to an article posted by CSNWashington.com's Nationals insider Mark Zuckerman. They also optioned left-handed pitcher Atahualpa Severino and right-handed pitcher Ryan Perry to Class AAA Syracuse.

Blanco and Michaels hoped to earn back up roles on the Nationals, but both struggled at the plate near the end of their time with the big club. Blanco only managed two hits in 32 at-bats during the spring while Michaels only had two hits in his last 18 at-bats. Michaels also had some issues fielding.

Michaels does have an option in his contract where he could opt out and sign with another team rather than reporting to minor league camp, but manager Davey Johnson hopes that the outfielder will remain in the Nationals organization.

The roster cuts now set up what looks to be a competition between Xavier Nady and Chad Tracy for the final spot on Washington's opening day roster.

In other spring training news, the Nationals signed left-handed pitcher Zach Duke to a minor league deal also according to Zuckerman.

This signing only adds more depth to a pitching staff that is already pretty deep.

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Nationals Spring Training: Michael Morse Likely To Start Season On Disabled List (UPDATED)

It hasn't been confirmed by anyone with the Washington Nationals, but it seems very likely that Michael Morse, 2011's big offensive weapon, will start the 2012 regular season on the disabled list.

Per Mark Zuckerman:

Morse, meanwhile, was scheduled to throw from 60 to 90 feet [Wednesday] in Viera, then receive a sonogram designed to check how much his strained lat muscle has healed. If that test produces positive results, Morse will be cleared to hit off a tee and slowly build himself back into game shape.

Johnson wouldn't go so far to say Morse will definitely start the season on the DL, but suggested there won't be enough time for him to get enough at-bats in time.

"He feels great," the manager said. "From talking to him, he's chomping. Now, whether that means if he can go swing hard, I'll just have to wait and see."

Though Storen and Morse are likely to be placed on the 15-day DL, each player's actual DL stint could be shorter. Teams are allowed to backdate the move to March 26 -- as long as those players do not appear in any games after that date -- which makes them eligible to return as early as April 10.

Morse has missed most of spring training with that lat strain, which has raised some eyebrows and more than a few red flags among Nationals fans. The Nationals offense wasn't exactly expected to be a murderer's row this season, and the absence of Morse, who hit 31 home runs in 2011, will make any power outage even more acute.

UPDATE: Per Mark Zuckerman, the sonogram brings good news.

That April 10 target date isn't out of the realm of possibility, after all.

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Drew Storen Injury: Davey Johnson Confirms Closer Will Start Season On DL

Drew Storen has been out of Spring Training for a few weeks with tightness in his arm, and now it appears as though he won't be ready to start the season.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Davey Johnson Confirms John Lannan As Fifth Starter

With pitcher Chien-Ming Wang likely to begin the season on the disabled list, Nationals manager Davey Johnson confirmed speculation by naming John Lannan the fifth starter for the Nationals to start the season. This was corroborated by Mark Zuckerman of Comcast Sports Washington.

"John's my guy," Johnson said. "I like John. And John can pitch. He led our club last year in wins."

Lannan went 10-13 with a 3.70 ERA last season. Despite being the pitcher on staff that has been with the Nationals for the longest time, he appeared to be the odd man out when training camp started. There were even rumors for a possible trade including Lannan. But when Wang strained his hamstring trying to make a play at first base on March 15, Lannan stepped in and earned the final spot in the rotation.

Pitchers Ross Detwiler and Tom Gorzelanny will most likely start the season as relievers. Pitcher Craig Stammen will likely start the season pitching in AAA Syracuse.

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Stephen Strasburg Ready For Opening Day

The Washington Nationals finally notched a spring training win on Sunday, clubbing the New York Mets 12-0, but as nice as an exhibition win is the real story is the performance of Stephen Strasburg on the mound. Washington's opening day starter threw five scoreless innings, striking out five Mets batters and walking only one. Strasburg allowed five hits, and threw 47 strikes among his 84 pitches. In other words, Washington's young stud looked ready for the regular season to begin. But don't take my word for it, take his.

Via Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:

Opening Day can't get here soon enough if you're a Washington Nationals fan.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Injuries Continue To Prevent Washington From Fielding Possible Opening Day Lineup

Viera has not been kind to the Washington Nationals this spring. As the regular season quickly approaches, all the various ailments and injuries to the Washington roster are severely hampering manager Davey Johnson's attempt to get an opening day lineup on the field while still in Florida. Via Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:

Davey Johnson had planned on using a lineup today that mirrored, or at least closely resembled, the one the Nationals will employ on opening day. Injuries, though, are still keeping that from happening.

With Michael Morse, Adam LaRoche and Rick Ankiel nursing ailments, Steve Lombardozzi is starting in left field, Mark DeRosa is starting at first base and Roger Bernadina is in center. It's Lombardozzi's first start in left since the Nationals added "outfield" to his job description.

Here, then, is the full lineup the Nationals will be using today against the New York Mets:

1. Ian Desmond, SS
2. Danny Espinosa, 2B
3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4. Jayson Werth, RF
5. Mark DeRosa, 1B
6. Jesus Flores, C
7. Roger Bernadina, CF
8. Steve Lombardozzi, LF
9. Stephen Strasburg, SP

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Orioles Defeat Washington 12-3

The Washington Nationals fell to 5-13 overall in Spring Training with a 12-3 loss to the Balitmore Orioles today. Baltimore scored four runs in the third inning and five runs in the fifth inning to pull away. The victory improves the Orioles to 9-9.

Washington starter Edwin Jackson was roughed up in 3.2 innings. Jackson surrendered 11 hits and 10 runs (seven earned) while striking out four and walking two.

Catcher Matt Wieters did the majority of the damage for Balitmore. Wieters homered off Jackson in the third inning and finished the day 4-for-4 with six RBI. Designated hitter Wilson Betemit finished 3-for-3 with two RBI, two runs, and a walk.

Washington had only four hits in the game and also commited four errors. Catcher Wilson Ramos went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a walk.

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2012 Nationals Spring Training: Drew Storen Injury Has Closer Role In Flux, According To Report

With incumbent closer Drew Storen suffering joint inflammation in his elbow, Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson is considering fill-in alternatives to finish games when the regular season begins. Storen has not pitched in a game since March 7, but is expected to resume throwing Tuesday or Wednesday.

As for those closer alternatives? Mark Zuckerman of CSNwashington.com has more insight:

Lidge, a new addition to the Nationals bullpen this season, has the most experience closing, saving 223 games in his nine-year career. The youngster Rodriguez, known to hit 100 mph on the radar gun, did save two games for Washington last year and is also a viable candidate if Storen can't go to start the season..

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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2012 Nationals Spring Training: Bryce Harper Plans To Be In Bigs Sooner Rather Than Later

When last we checked in on the trials and tribulations of Washington Nationals uber prospect Bryce Harper, the stud outfielder was being optioned to Class AAA to begin the regular season, though many fans and media types assumed this would be a brief stint in the minors for Harper. Well, it appears Harper feels the same way. Via Danny Knobler, Senior Baseball Writer for CBSSports.com:

Harper has never lacked for confidence, so such a statement shouldn't surprise anyone. And if he continues to destroy minor league pitching early in the year, the team will have no choice bu to bring Harper up to the big league club.

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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2012 Nationals Spring Training: Michael Morse Could Be In Danger Of Missing Opening Day

Michael Morse has been out for most of Spring Training with a tweak in his side, an injury which had always been described as minor by the Nationals and the player himself. But after missing so much time and with no return date on the schedule, his availability for opening day has started to come into question.

But Zuckerman also makes an interesting observation.

It sounds like a classic case of the player wanting to get back onto the field before he's ready, and in these types of situations, it's always safer to side with the training staff.

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Nationals Show Interest In Gerardo Parra; Chien-Ming Wang Out 'Three Weeks To A Month'

Couple of news items to pass along from today in Viera, where the Nationals lost in ten innings to the Atlanta Braves, 3-2.

First of all, Davey Johnson said that Chien-Ming Wang will be out for a while due to his unfortunate hamstring injury, which he suffered over the weekend. CSNWashington's Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman had the specifics.

That makes it seem more and more likely that John Lannan would be the fifth starter when the season begins April 5 in Chicago.

Meanwhile, rumors continue to ripple about Washington's possible pursuit of Gerardo Parra to bolster the Nationals' outfield. Our colleague at the National desk, Rob Neyer, wrote the following.

It's well-known that the Nationals aren't thrilled with their current center fielders; with Bryce Harper heading back to the minors, the depth chart is headed by Roger Bernadina and a bunch of other guys who won't get drafted by any fantasy owners this weekend. And it's well-known that Parra's too good to sit on the bench most of the time.

Meanwhile, Danny Knobler of CBS reported that the Nationals had no fewer than four scouts at today's Diamondbacks Spring Training game with Parra in the lineup. It's enough to make you wonder, as Neyer does, exactly what Washington's game is and whether the Nationals need to make a decision soon.

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Stephen Strasburg Will Be 2012 Opening Day Starter For Nationals; Gio Gonzalez No. 2

After an impressive showing by Jordan Zimmermann in 2011 and a few additions to the starting rotation, the Nationals had some questions facing them as to how they would set up their rotation. Stephen Strasburg was always the favorite, but there were some other contenders who seriously threatened. On Wednesday, we got our answer, Strasburg will in fact be the Opening Day starter for the Nationals.

The fact that there was even a discussion speaks volumes about the quality in the rotation this year. But Strasburg was always going to be the guy, if for nothing else than to show that he is really the leader of this staff.

Gio Gonzalez will be the No. 2 starter to being the season, according to CSNWashington's Mark Zuckerman.

Look at the last names on that list. If nothing else, Nationals fans should see some really good pitching this season.

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Nationals Trade Rumors: Red Sox, Tigers 'Most Serious' About John Lannan

Washington Nationals left-hander John Lannan has a pair of teams interested in his services, says Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. According to a Tweet on Monday, March 19, the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers are the two teams "most serious" about acquiring Lannan from Washington.

Mike Rizzo denied the team's interest in trading Lannan prior to the start of spring training; however, a so-so spring from the lefty with hefty contract could have them re-thinking that position.

Trading Lannan would clear $5 million in salary from the books.

Lannan has allowed 14 hits and seven earned runs in nine innings of work this spring. Opposing batters are hitting .378 against him, and he has a 1.89 WHIP, second-worst of any pitcher on the team this spring.

Lannan is likely to break camp with the Nationals in a bullpen role.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Injury Bugs Are Biting Nationals Hard This Spring

Recent injuries to the Nationals rotation can be dealt with, but where will the offensive production come from if players like Michael Morse and Adam LaRoche are unable to start Opening Day?

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Bryce Harper Reacts To Being Sent To Class AAA Syracuse

The Washington Nationals announced on Sunday that they have decided to option much-hyped prospect Bryce Harper to Class AAA Syracuse to begin the season. Brian McNally, the Nationals beat report for the Washington Examiner, captured some Harper reaction and posted it on twitter:

That is exactly what you want to hear from Harper. No "woe is me" mentality, whatsoever. One more Harper quote from McNally's feed:

Even if Harper is burning up on the inside about this move, which knowing his mentality he likely is, the move will undoubtedly work out for the best for both Harper and the big league club. While at Syracuse Harper is expected to play center field, a position of need for Washington, and he will benefit from a few more months of minor league seasoning before Washington fans get to see him don a Curly W at Nationals Park.

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Tigers Vs. Nationals: Edwin Jackson Rocked As Washington Falls, 11-7

Nationals pitcher Edwin Jackson suffered through a tough outing, as Washington fell to the Detroit Tigers 11-7 in Viera, Florida Sunday afternoon.

Jackson threw 41 of his 71 pitches over four innings for strikes, but allowed 11 baserunners to reach. All in all, Jackson ended the day allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out three.

The Tigers broke the game open in the fifth, when they scored five runs with the help of shaky defense by the Nationals.

Bryce Harper struck out in his first four at-bats before getting a double in his final at-bat in the ninth. He was optioned to AAA Syracuse following the game and will not appear on the Opening Day roster.

The Nationals are off on Monday and will return to action on Tuesday when they take on the New York Mets.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Bryce Harper Sent To Class AAA Syracuse, According To Report

It appears the ongoing spring training question of whether Washington Nationals uber prospect Bryce Harper will make the big league team out of camp or not has been answered. Via Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:

As Kilgore notes, Harper will being the season with Class AAA affiliate Syracuse. In his last five spring training games, Harper struggled mightily, batting three for 17 with nine strikeouts, most likely making the decision to place him in the minors much easier on Mike Rizzo and the ball club. In nine total spring games, Harper was eight for 28 with two doubles, two walks and 11 strikeouts. All that being said, don't be surprised to see the hitting phenom in a Nationals uniform by June.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Adam LaRoche, Michael Morse, Rick Ankiel All Nursing Injuries

A trio of Washington Nationals are currently battling injuries in Viera, with all expected to return to spring training game action in at least the next week. Via Bill Ladson:

A recent MRI revealed that first baseman LaRoche has a cartilage sprain and bone bruise in his left foot, while left fielder Morse has a strained right lat muscle. Morse can swing a bat, but currently is not allowed to thrwo the baseball.

As insurance for possible slow returns from these injuries to LaRoche and Morse, the Nationals signed veteran Xavier Nady on Sunday to a minor-league deal.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Team Signs Veteran Xavier Nady, According To Report

With first baseman Adam LaRoche and left fielder Michael Morse nursing spring injuries, the Washington Nationals have signed veteran Xavier Nady. Via Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com:

The Nationals have signed Xavier Nady to a minor-league contract, though the veteran outfielder/first baseman will not get an invitation to big-league camp yet, the club announced this morning.

Nady will report to minor-league camp and is likely to begin the season at Class AAA Syracuse. The 33-year-old Nady has played both corner outfield positions and first base in his 10-year MLB career, making him an insurance policy if Morse or LaRoche struggle in their return from injury.

In his career, Nady has hit .275 with 97 homers and 393 runs batted in for the Padres, Mets, Pirates, Yankees, Cubs and Diamondbacks.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Jordan Zimmermann Throws Four Scoreless Innings Vs. Miami Marlins

The Washington Nationals continue to play their way through spring training and had a matchup with the Miami Marlins in South Florida on Saturday. Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann had a nice day, throwing four scoreless innings against the Marlins in his third start of 2012 Spring Training.

Zimmerman rebounded from his last start in which he gave up four runs on seven hits, but struck out three batters on the day. Zimmerman did give up six hits, but didn't surrender a run.

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman went one for two on the day while Chad Tracy hit in a run on a ground out with the bases loaded in the first inning as the Nats and the Marlins ended the game in a 1-1 tie on Saturday afternoon.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Chien-Ming Wang Suffers Hamstring Injury; Nationals Make More Cuts

The race to become the Nationals' fifth starter out of Spring Training took another turn Thursday as Chien-Ming Wang was forced to leave the 8-5 exhibition loss to the New York Yankees.

Wang was forced from the game with two outs in the top of the third inning due to what was officially termed as a left hamstring strain. Wang apparently sustained the injury while running to cover first base on a groundout by Russel Martin. Here's Federal Baseball's take:

... Wang fielded cleanly, but the pitcher stumbled as he made his way across the infield and rolled his ankle as he awkwardly tried to regain his balance and fell toward first, somehow touching the bag as he tumbled into foul territory. Wang was then escorted off the field, under his own power, but noticeably hobbled.

Wang allowed two hits and struck out four in his scoreless appearance. He is expected to receive further treatment, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

First baseman Chad Tracy stood behind Wang as he fielded the ball and was the closest Nationals player to him when he fell.

“You could see his leg quivering,” Tracy said. “He didn’t want to put any weight any weight on it. You could tell he was hurting. But I don’t know what’s going with him. Hopefully, he’s alright.”

Following the game, the Nationals optioned pitcher Yunesky Maya to AAA Syracuse, while sending outfielder Eury Perez to AA Harrisburg. Jeff Fulchino and Waldis Joaquin were also reassigned to minor league camp, bringing the Nationals spring training roster down to 41 players.

The Nationals resume their spring training schedule with another game against the Yankees, this time in Tampa.

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John Lannan Trade Rumors: Nationals 'Not Shopping' Pitcher, Mike Rizzo Says

Although Washington Nationals pitcher John Lannan has been rumored to have some interest from teams like the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox, Nationals general manager Mike RIzzo says that the team is not shopping him around in an interview with Washington Post Nationals Insider Adam Kilgore.

"I wouldn't say there's a lot of interest" in Lannan, Rizzo said. "I haven't made any calls. I've fielded several calls. ... But, again, this is way too early to say we have too much starting pitching."

Rizzo categorically said the Nationals have not made an effort to trade Lannan at this point.

"I am not actively shopping him," Rizzo said. "I haven't actively shopped him all year, all winter."

A current option for the Nationals could be to option Lannan to the minor leagues, however that would mean the Nationals would be paying Lannan $5 million just to pitch in Class-AAA Syracuse. Although it does seem the Nationals have a glut of starting pitchers, its a good position for the Nationals to be in entering the season.

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John Lannan Trade Rumors: Red Sox, Tigers Showing Most Interest, According To Report

When the Nationals traded for Gio Gonzalez and signed Edwin Jackson their salting rotation became very crowded. The two guys who lost spots are John Lannan and Ross Detwiler, and Lannan might be on his way out via trade before Spring Training is over. According to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, the Red Sox and the Tigers are the team that could most use Lannan's services.

The Red Sox and Tigers are believed to be the teams most focused on John Lannan, with a growing expectation that the Nationals left-hander will be dealt by the end of the spring.

Lannan was a 10-game winner and had a 3.70 ERA in 33 starts for Washington last season, but the Nationals rotation became much more crowded when the team first traded for Gio Gonzalez and then signed Edwin Jackson as a free agent. With Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and Chien-Ming Wang also expected to have spots in the opening day rotation, there's no room for Lannan or Ross Detwiler.

He goes on to point out that the Tigers haven't made an specific overtures to the Nationals about Lannan, but they have been interested in all available starting pitching this Spring, so it makes sense that they would check in on Lannan.

For more coverage and analysis from spring training, visit Federal Baseball, SB Nation's home for all things Nationals. Keep track of all the news from spring training with Baseball Nation.

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2012 Spring Training: Washington Nationals Announce First Wave Of Roster Cuts

After an 8-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in Grapefruit League play, the Washington National announced a first wave of roster moves. A total of seven players were optioned to minor league teams or sent directly to minor league camp.

The players cut were: Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Corey Brown, Jarrett Hoffpauir, Matt Purke, Rafael Martin, Anthony Rendon, and Carlos Rivero.

Purke and Rendon were optioned to Potomac, according to the team, and Rivero was optioned to Syracuse. The other players were sent to the Nationals' minor league camp where they will battle for spots in the team's farm system.

Rendon, an infielder, was a first-round pick in last year's draft. Purke, a left-handed pitcher, was a third-round pick in draft last year.

For more coverage and analysis from spring training, visit Federal Baseball, SB Nation's home for all things Nationals. Keep track of all the news from spring training with Baseball Nation.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Red Sox Make Trade Offer For Nationals' John Lannan

The Washington Nationals continue to shop starting pitcher John Lannan as Spring Training in Viera progresses. Initial reports indicated that the Nats had a steep asking price for Lannan, and preferred a haul of prospects in return for the lefty. Jim Bowden tweeted this afternoon that the Boston Red Sox have made an offer, but with few highly-touted prospects in their farm system, the Sox are still nowhere near what the Nats are looking for in return.

The original reports on MLB.com indicated that the Nationals are aggressively trying to trade Lannan before opening day in the three weeks.

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Bryce Harper To Begin Season In Minor Leagues, According To Report

As the Washington Nationals run through the machinations of Grapefruit League Spring Training, one of the biggest questions for the team is what to do with uber prospect Bryce Harper. Whether he shines in Viera or not, does the team want him to start him up with the big club when the regular season begins, or do they want him in the minors for more seasoning. Well, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the team might have already made a decision on Harper:

This is of course just what one writer is hearing. I fully expect to hear others report on Harper's future, whether big leagues or minors, quite a bit in the coming weeks. Don't be surprised if something changes and Nationals fans get to see Bryce Harper in a Washington uniform on Opening Day.

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Washington Split Squads Defeat New York Mets 8-2, Tie Detroit Tigers 5-5

The Washington Nationals played Grapefruit League split squad games on Saturday, with the Nats "A-Team" defeating the New York Mets 8-2 in Viera and the "B-Team" tying the Detroit Tigers 5-5 in Lakeland.

Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos each drove in two runs against the Mets at Space Coast Stadium. Chien-Ming Wang, possibly Washington's fifth starter when the season begins, pitched just two innings, allowing two runs on three hits, striking out two and walking one. The matchup with the Mets also saw Adam LaRoche take the field for the first time in an exhibition game.

The game in Lakeland was dominated early by Tigers' ace Justin Verlander, who pitched four innings of three hit ball against the Nationals, striking out four Washington batters. John Lannan started for the Nats, throwing 56 pitches in two innings, allowing two earned runs but striking out four Detroit hitters against just one walk.

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Nationals Spring Training Report From Viera

A new enthusiasm and energy has infected Nationals Spring Training Camp in 2012 and much of it comes from the Nats off season acquisitions.

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Nationals Spring Training: Edwin Jackson Pitches Four Shutout Innings, Bryce Harper Scratched With Calf Tightness

Edwin Jackson staked his claim to a spot in the Nationals rotation Thursday afternoon, throwing four shutout innings against the Houston Astros in Viera, Fla. The Nationals went on to defeat Houston 8-0.

Jackson only allowed two hits and struck out three batters in his outing, only facing one batter over the minimum when one of the runners he allowed was erased in a 6-4-3 double play in the top of the third inning. Jackson has now pitched six scoreless innings over two spring training outings.

Bryce Harper was scratched from the lineup after suffering tightness in his left calf. The 19-year-old missed Wednesday's 3-3 tie against the St. Louis Cardinals after receiving a scheduled day off. According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Harper is officially considered day-to-day.

With Thursday's win, the Nationals have improved their spring training record to 3-2 (not including Wednesday's tie with St. Louis). They face the Miami Marlins Friday night in Jupiter.

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Nationals Spring Training: Gio Gonzalez Hurls Three Shutout Innings In Spring Debut

The Nationals' biggest offseason acquisition made his spring training debut Tuesday afternoon, and he did not disappoint.

Gio Gonzalez pitched three shutout innings against an Atlanta Braves lineup that included Michael Bourn, Brian McCann, Jason Heyward, Dan Uggla, and Freddie Freeman in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Gonzalez allowed just one hit and one walk in his three innings work and stuck out two Atlanta batters. He also recorded four of his nine outs via groundout. According to CSN Washington's Nats Insider Mark Zuckerman, Gonzalez hit 95 miles per hour on the radar gun in his first inning of work.

On the offensive side of the ledger, Jayson Werth hit his first home run of the spring in the second inning to put the Nationals up 1-0. Two more runs scored on Chad Tracy's double in the top the third inning to make the score 3-0, Washington, and the Nationals added another solo shot, this time from Mark DeRosa, to make the score 4-0 in the top of the fourth.

The Nationals went on to defeat Atlanta, 5-2. They resume spring training tomorrow in Viera against the St. Louis Cardinals.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Michael Morse Scratched From Lineup With Lat Strain

Nationals outfielder Michael Morse has been removed from Tuesday afternoon's spring training baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, according to the team's media relations twitter account.

Any injury is cause for concern, but this doesn't sound like its cause for any undue stress. If the injury lingers after his return and seriously inhibits his offensive production the the Nationals will have serious cause for concern. The hope now is that he comes back fully healthy and able to give full production.

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Nationals Notch First Grapefruit League Win Over New York Mets, 3-1

After opening Grapefruit League play with back-to-back losses to the Houston Astros, the Nationals recorded their first official win of Spring Training Monday night, defeating the New York Mets 3-1 in Port St. Lucie.

Bryce Harper made his second spring training start while batting sixth and playing right field. The 19-year-old top prospect went 2-for-2 with two singles and a walk. Harper is now 4-for-7 so far this spring, but still does not have an extra base hit.

John Lannan got the start for Washington and went three innings, allowing one run on three hits with a walk and a strikeout. New York took a 1-0 lead two batters into the game after Andres Torres walked, stole second, and scored on a single by Daniel Murphy. But Lannan recovered to retire Justin Turner on a lineout to right field and induce a 4-6-3 double play from Ike Davis.

Rick Ankiel tied the game with a solo home run in the top of the second inning and the Nationals took a 2-1 lead in the 5th when Eury Perez scored on Mark Teahhen's sacrifice fly. Jhonatan Solano provided the final margin of victory when Brett Carroll scored on Solano's RBI groundout in the eighth.

The Nationals continue Spring Training play with a game against the Braves Tuesday afternoon in Lake Buena Vista.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Cuts Coming Saturday, According to Report

Spring training is underway, and the Washington Nationals are getting ready to start the regular season a month from now. The team will move one step closer to the regular season with their first round of roster cuts, which are expected to happen on Saturday following a pair of games, according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com.

Cuts happen over the course of spring play, as teams winnow down their massive spring rosters into the final 25-man version that will break camp with the team.

The first round of cuts will weed out some of the fringe players and prospects who need a little more seasoning in the minor leagues before getting their cup of coffee.

We’ll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation’s Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don’t forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Chien-Ming Wang Sharp In Spring Training Minor League Start

Chien-Ming Wang moved one step closer to a return on Monday. The Washington Nationals right-hander made a minor league rehab start in Florida. According to the Washington Post, Wang made a positive impression in his start.

Wang threw his entire assortment of pitches in two innings of work against a smattering of Washington minor league batters. Most encouraging of all is that Wang topped out a 91 mph.

He did allow four hits, but his fastball velocity and a smooth delivery were encouraging signs.

“He’s back,” said manager Davey Johnson. “I liked what I saw. He’s obviously stronger than last year – even in his warm-ups. He looks like the old Chien-Ming”

Wang could make his first spring training start, against big leaguers, on March 10. He is battling John Lannan for the team’s fifth starter position.

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Stephen Strasburg Returns To The Hill

The Washington Nationals played their second Grapefruit League contest in as many days Sunday, with the hometown nine falling to the Houstros Astros 10-2. Tom Gorzelanny had a day to forget for Washington, allowing eight of those 10 Houston runs, but today's game was really about the spring debut of Stephen Strasburg, who pitched well for his first time out.

Strasburg struck out three batters, gave up three hits, walked none, allowing two earned runs on the day. More importantly, the prize arm of the Washington organization had this to say, via the Nationals official twitter feed:

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Adam LaRoche To Play Wednesday, According To Report

Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche, hampered this spring by various ailments, is expected to play his first spring training game on Wednesday. Via Bill Ladson of MLB.com:

Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche said Sunday that he is hoping to play his first spring game against the Cardinals on Wednesday at Space Coast Stadium.

LaRoche, who has been bothered by left shoulder and ankle injuries this spring, was able to take batting practice and participate in throwing drills on Saturday. LaRoche missed most of last season because of rotator cuff and labrum tears in his left shoulder. The ankle, which he hurt running the bases last week, continues to get better.

LaRoche played in just 43 games for the Nationals last season, batting .172 with three home runs and 15 runs batted in.

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Stephen Strasburg Takes The Hill In Viera

The Washington Nationals take the field again today against the Houston Astros, a day after dropping their Grapefruit League Opener 3-1 to Houston. Stephen Strasburg takes the hill for Washington, and will likely throw 40 to 45 pitches in his spring debut. Jayson Werth gets the start in center field on Sunday. Today's complete starting lineup, via Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider:

NATIONALS
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
DH Michael Morse
CF Jayson Werth
1B Mark DeRosa
C Wilson Ramos
LF Jason Michaels
RF Brett Carroll
(P Stephen Strasburg)

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM from Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida. The game can be seen live on MASN, and will also replay at 4:00 PM on MLB Network. It can also be heard on local sports talk station WJFK (106.7 FM).

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Washington Falls 3-1 To Astros, Livan Hernandez In Grapefruit League Opener

Former National Livan Hernandez started and pitched two shutout innings as the Washington Nationals opened their Grapefruit League schedule with a 3-1 loss to the Houston Astros in Kissimmee, Fla. Saturday afternoon.

Edwin Jackson started for the Nationals and allowed one hit and two walks in two scoreless innings; while Hernandez scattered three hits over his two innings, striking out two.

The biggest blow of the game was a two-run home run by Chris Johnson off Ross Detwiler in the bottom of the fourth that broke a scoreless tie. The Nationals scored their only run of the game in the fifth inning after back-to-back doubles by Roger Bernadina and Jesus Flores made the score 2-1 Houston. The Astros closed the scoring in the bottom of the seventh, when Carlos Corporan reached on an error by Carlos Rivero. Brandon Barnes scored on the play to provide the final margin.

Jackson and Detwiler were followed by Chad Durbin, Atahualpa Severino, and Sean Burnett, who combined to allow one run on one hit in the game's final four innings. At the plate, Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa batted in the top two spots in the order and went a combined 0-for-6. Bryce Harper batted seventh in the order and singled in his first at-bat before grounding out in his next two at-bats. Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse did not play.

The two teams hook up again Sunday afternoon in Viera.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Washington Faces Former Teammate Livan Hernandez In Grapefruit League Opener

The Washington Nationals played an exhibition game on Friday against the Georgetown Hoyas, but the team's actual exhibition season begins in earnest today when they face the Houston Astros, and former teammate Livan Hernandez, in Washington's Grapefruit League opener. Here is today's lineup, via Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider:

STARTING LINEUP
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
CF Rick Ankiel
1B Chad Tracy
DH Jason Michaels
3B Mark Teahen
RF Bryce Harper
LF Roger Bernadina
C Jesus Flores
(P Edwin Jackson)

All eyes will of course be on Bryce Harper, who will bat seventh and play right field. Rick Ankiel will start in center field today, but it has already been reported that Jayson Werth will start in CF on Sunday, as the evaluation of that position will occur daily during the spring for Washington.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM from Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Florida. Though Saturday's game will not be televised, it can be heard on local sports talker WJFK (106.7 FM).

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Nationals Defeat Georgetown 3-0 In Exhibition Opener

Matt Purke pitched three scoreless innings and Bryce Harper was held hitless as the Nationals, playing with a mostly minor league lineup, opened their exhibition schedule with a 3-0 win over Georgetown University Friday afternoon in Viera, Fla.

Purke allowed just one hit and struck out three in his three innings of work. Harper walked on four pitches in his first time at the plate in the bottom of the first inning, but was stranded at third when Anthony Rendon struck out looking and Corey Brown flied out to left. The Nats did score a run in the first when Brett Carroll was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Harper was thrown out trying to bunt for a base hit in the bottom of the third and the 19-year-old flew out to right field in his final plate appearance in the 5th.

After Purke, Rafael Martin and Waldis Joaquin tossed two scoreless innings apiece before Jeff Fulchino closed the game out in the 9th.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Nats Open With Exhibition Against Georgetown

The Washington nationals have been taking batting practice and shagging fly balls for a couple of weeks now but they'll start with some actual game action on Friday, even if the competition isn't exactly major league level. They'll face the Georgetown baseball team down in Florida on Friday afternoon, in what will be the professional debuts for some of their recent draft picks. The game starts at Noon, and here is the lineup, via Mark Zuckerman.

So it appears that the Nationals aren't going to put out their big guns, but Bryce Harper is hitting third, and Anthony Rendon is starting at third base. It will also be interesting to see how Matt Purke, a third round pick in the recent draft because of shoulder issues, pitches after some time off to rest his shoulder.

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Nationals Spring Training: Adam LaRoche Plans To Play On Sunday

The Washington Nationals are starting to get ready for their first Spring Training action, and that means getting some of their injured players back into the lineup. One player that is getting a lot of attention for his health this year is Adam LaRoche who missed most of last season with an injured shoulder. According to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider it's the ankle that is giving him trouble this spring, but he still plans on playing in the Grapefruit League opener on Sunday.

Hindered by a mild ankle sprain suffered during a baserunning drill, Adam LaRoche is not fully participating in today's workout at Space Coast Stadium, but the Nationals first baseman expects to make his Grapefruit League debut Sunday against the Astros.

Jayson Werth has also been dealing with back spasms so far in training camp, but it appears that he will be good to go this weekend as well.

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Washington Nationals Confirm That Pitching Prospect Sammy Solis Will Undergo Tommy John Surgery

The Washington Nationals confirmed on Twitter earlier reports that left-handed pitching prospect Sammy Solis will undergo Tommy John Surgery next Tuesday in Los Angeles.

The tweet also confirmed that Dr. Lewis Youcum will be performing the operation. If the name sounds familiar to Nationals fans, he is the doctor that performed Stephen Strasburg's Tommy John operation and Ryan Zimmerman's abdominal surgery last season.

The 23-year-old is expected to miss all of the 2012 season and possibly the beginning of the 2013 campaign as well.

Solis was drafted in the second round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Nationals, and has played in just 19 minor league games in his career so far between the Hagerstown Suns and the Potomac Nationals.

Solis currently ranks as the eighth best prospect in the Nationals farm system according to Baseball America.

For more on this, and other Nationals Spring Training developments, keep it to this StoryStream and Federal Baseball.

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Washington Nationals Prospect Sammy Solis Likely Needs Tommy John Surgery, According To Report

According to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider, Nationals prospect Sammy Solis will likely require Tommy John Surgery on the pitching elbow that has bothered him for the past handful of months.

The 23-year-old lefty, rated by Baseball America as the organization's sixth-best prospect, had been dealing with elbow issues since November, when he was shut down from pitching in the Arizona Fall League with discomfort. Consultations with multiple doctors produced a difference of opinions, so the Nationals instructed Solis to take the rest of the winter off and then report to spring training and attempt to resume a throwing program.

Solis was ranked as a top-ten prospect in the Nationals system on most of the major ranking services, and either the first or second best left-hander with Matt Purke. He will visit with Dr. Lewis Yocum today, the surgeon who performed the procedure on Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann in the past few years. The Nationals expect to hear from Dr. Yocum by the end of the day if the surgery is necessary.

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Ryan Zimmerman Contract Extension: Six Years, $100 Million Added To Current Deal, According To Report

It was reported earlier Sunday that the Washington Nationals and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman had finally agreed on a contract extension. Now the actual details of the agreement have been released. Via Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:

The agreement contains a full no-trade clause and adds six years and $100 million to Zimmerman's current contract, which runs through 2013, plus a team option year worth $24 million. In total, counting the two years on his current deal, Zimmerman will make $126 million over the next eight years or $150 million over the next nine years.

Zimmerman, then, will play in Washington until at least 2019, and the Nationals control him through 2020, shortly after he turns 36.

I'm sure some there will be complaints from some that the Nationals spent too much money on this extension, but it certainly shows a level of commitment from the organization to the face of the franchise that has to resonate with his teammates, and down the road, potential free agents.

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Ryan Zimmerman Contract Extension: Nationals Third Baseman Receives Six Year Deal, According To Report

Early Sunday morning, it was reported the Washington Nationals and star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman had agreed on a contract extension. Now comes word of the details on that extension. Via ESPN's Buster Olney:

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post points out Zimmerman becomes just the sixth Major League Baseball player signed through the 2019 season, joining other stalwarts such as Matt Kemp, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzki and Albert Pujols. Even more importantly for Nationals fans, it shows an ability by the Washington front office to get a deal done that sets a solid foundation for an organization whose future is already bright.

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Initial Grapefruit League Rotation Set

Nationals manager Davey Johnson has announced what his Grapefruit League rotation will look like, at least initially. Via Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider:

Newly acquired Edwin Jackson will start the Grapefruit League opener, which is scheduled for March 3 against the Houston Astros in Kissimmee. Stephen Strasburg will start the next day, March 4, also against the Astros, and John Lannan will take the mound on March 5 against the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie. Gio Gonzalez hits the bump on March 6, with Jordan Zimmermann facing the Cardinals March 7 in Viera.

Strasburg's March 4 start will be his first spring training appearance since he made three starts as a rookie in 2010.

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Ryan Zimmerman Contract Extension: Agreement Reached, According To Report

It appears the week-long, off-field saga of the Ryan Zimmerman contract extension has come to a close, as it is being reported the Nationals and their star third baseman have finally agreed on a contract extension early Sunday morning. Via Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:

There are no details yet on the length of the contract or the money involved, though it is safe to assume if the deal got done there is a no-trade clause involved, as that seemed to be the last stumbling block for the two sides over the past few days.

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Edwin Jackson To Start Exhibition Opener

As the early days of spring training continue, there is information on who will be starting for the Nationals in the early exhibition games according to CSN Washington Nationals reporter Mark Zuckerman. Recently signed pitcher Edwin Jackson will start the first game of the exhibition season March 3 against the Houston Astros.

Update: Stephen Strasburg will make his spring debut against the Astros on March 4, while new acquisition Gio Gonzalez will start March 6 against the Atlanta Braves. As for the other potential starters, Tom Gorzelanny will follow Jackson out of the bullpen on the 3rd, Ross Detwiler will follow Strasburg on the 4th, and Craig Stammen will follow Lannan on the 5th. Yunesky Maya will relieve Gonzalez on the 6th, while 2011 draftee Matt Purke will relieve Zimmermann on the 7th and start the exhibition season opener against Georgetown March 2.

Given the amount of starting pitchers that the Nationals have currently, keep an eye on John Lannan's performance on the fifth because that could very well be him pitching for a spot on the rotation.

For more, visit our Nationals Spring Training 2012 StoryStream and visit Federal Baseball.

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Ryan Zimmerman Contract Negotiations: Nationals' Star Wants Resolution Before Spring Training

The Washington Nationals and star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman continue to work towards a new contract that will keep Zimmerman in D.C. for several years, but with no agreement in place, Zimmerman is looking for an immediate resolution. The Nationals' star said Wednesday that he does not want negotiations to stretch past Saturday, which is the first day of the 2012 Spring Training schedule.

Via Bill Ladson of MLB.com:

Zimmerman's current deal does not expire until 2013, but there is some urgency to get a new contract done because he has said he will test free agency if he does not get a new deal prior to the 2013 season. His agent was present in Viera on Wednesday, but he told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that this visit was merely standard operating procedure.

For more, visit our Nationals Spring Training 2012 StoryStream and visit Federal Baseball.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Stephen Strasburg's Innings Limit To Remain, Mike Rizzo Says

Questions have been flying around at the outset of spring training about whether or not pitcher Stephen Strasburg would be under an innings limit. But according to CSNWashington Nationals insider Mark Zuckerman, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo indicated that Strasburg would pitch every five days and be under an innings limit of about 160.

The limit is roughly the same as was with Jordan Zimmermann, who returned from the same injury as Strasburg. His availability lasted until Aug. 26 after 26 starts and 161 and-a-third innings pitched.

There were thoughts that perhaps because of the possibility of contending for the postseason that the Nationals would find some way to extend Strasburg's availability through September. Rizzo was quick to quash those thoughts as he was looking to make sure Strasburg would be around and a full strength in 2013.

"He's a young pitcher that's still learning how to pitch in the big leagues, I think it's unfair for him to get him ramped up in spring training, start the season on a regular rotation, then shut him down or skip him. All of those guys, we're going to make them comfortable, regular rotation, regular reps and just take it from there. I think we're deep enough that we can do that."

The added arms on the rotation including Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson should compensate for Strasburg's shut down later on in the season.

For more, visit our Nationals Spring Training 2012 StoryStream and visit Federal Baseball.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Washington Ready To Make This Year A Hot One

The 2012 Spring Training season has arrived and there is no team in the MLB more ready or fascinating than the Washington Nationals.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Stephen Strasburg Fully Recovered From Injury, Ready For 2012 Season

As the Nationals spring training gets under way in Viera, Florida, many Washington fans are wondering about the health of franchise ace Stephen Strasburg, who's looking to start his first full season in the majors in 2012. According to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider, Strasburg is completely healthy and feels back to normal. He even told Zuckerman that it feels as if the Tommy John surgery "almost never happened."

Via Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider:

"When I go out there and throw, it feels so much more natural now than it did coming off the surgery," he said today upon reporting for spring training. "My mind's a lot clearer. I just go out there and throw the baseball. I don't think as much about mechanics or anything. I don't feel myself holding back a little bit. I just let it go."

While Strasburg is completely healthy, the Nats will still watch his total innings and pitch count very closely - something the ace says he'll have to learn to deal with. He plans to take a cue from Jordan Zimmermann, who was limited himself in return from TJ surgery.

"I think what I learned from Jordan and what I'm going to try to incorporate is ... I don't want to go out there and say, 'Oh, I know they're going to take me out in this inning because I've thrown this many innings this year,'" he said. "I'm going to go out until they take the ball out of my hands."

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Outfielder Mike Cameron Will Retire, According To Report

Veteran outfielder Mike Cameron, who signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals in December, has chosen to retire, according to the organization. Via the official twitter feed of the Nationals:

The 39-year-old Cameron played 17 season in the big leagues, and was expected to compete for a spot in the outfield this season, along with Rick Ankiel and Roger Bernadina. His retirement leaves the Nationals' center field position in flux to begin spring training, as Cameron could have served as a platoon or fourth outfielder role for the club. Ankiel and Bernadina could split time in center field, but if Bryce Harper were to make the club out of camp, he could play right field with Jayson Werth taking over in center.

We'll have much more on Spring Training here at SB Nation DC in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, for more news and notes. And don't forget to visit Baseball Nation, the MLB hub of SB Nation for information from around the league.

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Nationals Spring Training 2012: Pitchers And Catchers Due To Camp By Midnight Sunday

The hometown Washington Nationals hold spring training in Viera, Florida, and Sunday at midnight is the official deadline for all pitchers and catchers to report.

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