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Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman: Homers to opposite field
Zimmerman went 1-for-3 with a solo home run and a walk Thursday against the Cardinals.
Zimmerman homered off Chris Beck, so it wasn't the stiffest of competition. It was his second home run of the spring, but perhaps most importantly, there has been no news of injury flareups for the often sidelined Zimmerman. Assuming he remains healthy, Zimmerman should serve as the team's primary first baseman in the regular season and is projected to slot into the fifth spot in the lineup.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Jeremy Hellickson: May stay back in Florida
Hellickson may not travel north with the team immediately in an effort to stay on schedule and continue to face live hitters Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
Hellickson likely made his final exhibition start Thursday, capping off a strong spring training by throwing five scoreless innings with six strikeouts and three walks. He will begin the season as the team's fifth starter, a role he also occupied last season, racking up a 3.45 ERA and 1.07 WHIP across 91.1 innings of work.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Sean Doolittle: Returns to form
Doolittle threw his fastball between 92 and 93 mph on Thursday, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
Doolittle threw around 20 pitches and told reporters after the game that he felt better after making a mechanical adjustment since his last appearance. While he is still sitting a tick or two below his average fastball velocity from the 2018 season, he has no reported health issues and should be ready to serve as the team's closer to begin the regular season.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Tony Sipp: Could be ready for Opening Day
Sipp could be ready for Opening Day, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
Sipp, who signed with the Nationals in mid-March, is slightly behind other pitchers, though he may still have enough time to get up to speed before the start of the season. The southpaw felt good after a 15-pitch bullpen session Thursday, and he's expected to pitch in a minor-league game over the weekend. Once Sipp is ready to go, he'll likely be deployed as a lefty specialist.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Koda Glover: Resumes throwing
Glover (forearm) has thrown off flat ground twice recently, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports.
Glover has been shutdown for most of spring with a forearm strain. While this is a step in the right direction for the right-hander, he still needs to go through his own spring training to build his arm back up to strength, leaving him a ways away from a potential return. With Glover expected to open the season on the shelf, Trevor Rosenthal, Kyle Barraclough and Justin Miller will be tasked with the majority of setup duties.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Michael Taylor: Ramping up activities
Taylor (knee) is scheduled to run outside, take batting practice and play long toss Thursday, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports.
Taylor has been playing catch, hitting soft toss and running on an underwater treadmill with no issues recently, clearing the way for him to begin increasing the intensity of his workouts. The outfielder remains without a timetable for his return, though he's expected to be sidelined for a significant amount of time.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Anibal Sanchez: Rounding into form
Sanchez gave up two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out three over five innings in Tuesday's Grapefruit League game against the Braves.
The 35-year-old hasn't been dominant this spring -- he has a 5:3 K:BB through 13 innings -- but Sanchez makes his living off weak contact, and he's been producing plenty of it, with Atlanta prospect Austin Riley's solo shot in the fifth inning being the first homer the right-hander has allowed in camp. Sanchez will take his turn as the Nats' No. 4 starter, setting him up to face the Phillies at home April 1 to kick off his campaign.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Howie Kendrick: Puts in on-field workout
Kendrick (hamstring) ran the bases, took batting practice, and went through fielding drills Monday, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports.
With Kendrick now able to complete a full range of baseball activities, he's set to take another step forward by playing in a minor-league game. The Nationals had planned on having Kendrick get some at-bats on the back fields Tuesday, but rainy weather cancelled those plans. He'll likely return to competitive action Wednesday and look to rejoin the big club's lineup by the end of the exhibition slate, which would help his chances of avoiding a trip to the injured list to begin the season.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Patrick Corbin: Mixed results in split-squad game
Corbin coughed up five runs (four earned) on nine hits over five innings while striking out five in Monday's split-squad game against the Marlins.
The outing drove Corbin's spring ERA up to 5.00, but the strikeouts were at least an encouraging sign. The southpaw now sports a 12:2 K:BB through 18 innings as he prepares to enter the regular season as the Nats' No. 3 starter.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Joe Ross: Could be moved to bullpen
Ross is being considered for a switch to the bullpen, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
The Nats' current projected big-league bullpen doesn't feature a true long reliever, which could be a problem if Jeremy Hellickson is strictly limited to pitching only twice through the order -- potentially opening the door for Ross to make the 25-man roster. The right-hander is still being stretched out as a starter for now. He got his first start of the spring in a split-squad game Monday, tossing 61 pitches over three innings, and will probably begin the season in the rotation for Triple-A Fresno. If he struggles in the PCL, Ross could find himself moved to a relief role for good.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Pedro Severino: Rejoins lineup
Severino (undisclosed) will start at catcher and bat sixth in Tuesday's Grapefruit League game versus the Braves.
Severino had been scratched from a scheduled start behind the plate March 14, but returned to action in a reserve capacity both Saturday and Monday. His entry into the starting nine suggests his health is no longer a concern, but Severino doesn't look to be in line for an Opening Day roster spot with Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki secure as the team's two catchers.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Carter Kieboom: Multi-hit game
Kieboom went 2-for-4 with two singles and two strikeouts in Monday's action against the Mets.
Kieboom continues to make the most of his opportunity in spring training, as he is now 11-for-35 with six extra-base hits. He has also shown decent control of the strike zone, walking five times and striking out seven. He peaked at Double-A Harrisburg in 2018, so the chances of Kieboom breaking camp with the club are minuscule, but he has done nothing to hurt his future chances with his strong performance.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Hunter Jones: Reassigned to minor-league camp
Jones was re-assigned to minor-league camp Monday, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
Jones signed a minor-league contract with the Nationals in November. In 2018, he hit .301/.374/.407 across both Double and Triple-A as a member of the Nationals organization. He couldn't carry that success over into spring training action, however, going 7-for-31 with no extra-base hits.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Tanner Rainey: Optioned to Triple-A
Rainey was optioned to Triple-A Fresno on Monday, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
Rainey was acquired by the Nationals in exchange for Tanner Roark this offseason. Known as a hard-thrower who lacks control of his pitches, Rainey struggled this spring allowing seven earned runs and three walks in 4.2 innings of work.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' J.J. Hoover: Sent to minors camp
Hoover was reassigned to minor-league camp Monday, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports.
Hoover was vying for a spot in Washington's bullpen as a non-roster invitee, but a middling spring prompted the Nationals to send him to the minors to open the season. The veteran will provide bullpen depth in 2019.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Jimmy Cordero: Optioned to minors
Cordero was optioned to Triple-A on Monday, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports.
Cordero will open the season back in the minors after struggling to a 9.00 ERA through five spring appearances. The 27-year-old, who struggled to a 5.68 ERA in his first taste of the majors last season, will provide bullpen depth for the Nationals.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Austin Voth: Sent back to minors
Voth was optioned to Triple-A on Monday, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports.
Voth posted a 4.15 ERA and 12:5 K:BB through 8.2 innings this spring, but it wasn't enough to secure a spot on Washington's Opening Day roster. The right-hander figures to shuttle between the majors and minors again in 2019, as he did last season.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Kyle McGowin: Sent to minors
McGowin was optioned to Triple-A on Monday, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports.
McGowin made his big-league debut as a September call-up in 2018, posting a 5.87 ERA and 1.44 WHIP across 7.2 innings of work. He'll return to the minors to begin the 2019 campaign, though he should find himself back in the majors when additional pitching is needed.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Juan Soto: Huge day against Mets
Soto went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a two-run home run in Sunday's Grapefruit League game against the Mets.
Hitting third for the Nats, the 20-year-old continues to tear up spring training. Soto now boasts a .400/.488/.800 slash line through 14 games with three homers and 11 RBI, and his 6:6 BB:K is another strong indicator that he's more than ready for Opening Day.... See More ... See Less
Nationals' Stephen Strasburg: Fans six against Mets
Strasburg allowed three runs on six hits and two walks over five innings while striking out six in Sunday's Grapefruit League game against the Mets.
Facing a plausible version of the Mets' Opening Day lineup, Strasburg did surrender a two-run homer to Michael Conforto in the fourth inning but otherwise had little trouble. The right-hander has delivered a 19:7 K:BB through 15.2 frames this spring, and he appears just about ready to take his first regular-season turn as the Nats' No. 2 starter.... See More ... See Less