Results tagged ‘ Stephen Strasburg ’

Nationals Game Notes: May 25 vs. New York Mets

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New York Mets (26-19) vs. Washington Nationals (28-18)
LHP Steven Matz (6-1, 2.81) | RHP Tanner Roark [3-3, 2.89]
Wednesday, May 25 l Game #47 / Home # 22 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 1:05 P.M.
Television: MASN/MLBN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

ABOUT LAST NIGHT
The Nationals blasted five home runs and RHP Stephen Strasburg cruised to his eighth victory of the season on Tuesday night as Washington topped the New York Mets, 7-4…The Nationals continue this seven-game homestand Wednesday afternoon with the finale vs. the Mets, and the St. Louis Cardinals (four games) come to town this weekend…Washington will then depart on a three-city, nine-game, 11-day road trip to Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Chicago (White Sox).

  • At 28-18 (.609), the Nationals have the second-best record in the National League behind the Chicago Cubs (30-14; .682) and possess the third-best record in MLB.
  • The Nationals’ 28-18 record matches the best mark in team history (2005-pres.) through 46 games, joining the 2012 Nationals (28-18).
  • The Nationals have posted a +53 run differential, the second-best mark in the National League (CHI: +118) and third-best in Major League Baseball (CHI: +118; BOS: +71).

HOMER HAPPY
The Nationals’ five home runs on Tuesday night (hit by 1B Ryan Zimmerman, 3B Anthony Rendon, 2B Daniel Murphy, CF Ben Revere, and C Wilson Ramos) were a new season high and matched the second-most home runs hit in a game this year league-wide…STL, NYM and BAL have each had a six-homer game this season.

  • Zimmerman and Rendon went back-to-back with their blasts in the fourth inning, the third time the Nationals hit back-to-back home runs this season.
  • Entering Tuesday’s game, the Mets were the only Major League team not to allow more than two home runs in a game this season.
  • The benefactor of all that run support, RHP Stephen Strasburg, improved to 8-0, joining RHP Pedro Martinez (April 15-May 23, 1997) and LHP Kirk Reuter as the only starting pitchers in franchise history (Nationals/Expos) to begin a season 8-0…The Nationals have now won each of Strasburg’s past 14 starts, a franchise record.

BULLISH ON THE ‘PEN
Despite allowing two runs in the ninth on Tuesday, Nationals relievers have posted a miniscule 0.93 ERA (4 ER/38.2 IP) since May 9 (14 games)…In that stretch, the Nationals’ ‘pen has struck out 9.8 batters per nine innings, posted a 3.82 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and surrendered just five extra base hits (4 2B, 1 HR)…That is far-and-away the best bullpen ERA in MLB in that stretch (2nd: MIL, 1.74).

  • Nationals relievers have also not allowed a single inherited runner to score during this run (22 IR, 0 IRS)…No other team that’s inherited 10 or more runners in that span has kept all of them from scoring…Only the Brewers (6 IR, 0 IRS) relievers have joined the Nationals in keeping all of their runners inherited since May 9 from crossing the plate.

Nationals Game Notes: May 23 vs. New York Mets

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New York Mets (25-18) vs. Washington Nationals (27-17)
RHP Bartolo Colon (3-3, 3.75) | LHP Gio Gonzalez [3-1, 1.86]
Monday, May 23 l Game #45 / Home # 20 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

WELCOME HOME
The Nationals open a seven-game homestand tonight that will feature visits from the New York Mets (three games) and St. Louis Cardinals (four games).

  • At 27-17 (.614), the Nationals have the second-best record in the National League behind the Chicago Cubs (29-13; .690) and are tied for the third-best record in Major League Baseball.
  • Washington’s 27-17 record is the best in team history (2005-pres.) through 44 games, topping the 2015 Nationals (26-18) and the 2012 Nationals (26-18).
  • The Nationals have posted a +50 run differential, second-best in the National League (CHI: +110) and third-best in Major League Baseball (CHI: +110; BOS: +66).

HEATING UP
In 12 games dating to May 10, 3B Anthony Rendon is 17-for-42 (.405) with five doubles, one triple, eight RBI, 10 walks, two stolen bases and eight runs scored…He has posted seven multi-hit efforts over that stretch, including four in his last five games…During that five-game stretch, Rendon is 9-for-17 (.529) with three doubles, one triple, seven RBI, five walks and four runs scored.

SETTING THE PACE
The Nationals’ pitching staff, as a whole, leads MLB with 412 strikeouts and ranks second in MLB with a 2.79 ERA…The staff also ranks in MLB in opp. slugging percentage (2nd, .344), opp. OPS (2nd, .637), WHIP (2nd, 1.14), hits/9.0 innings (3rd, 7.46), opp. average (3rd, .226), and opp. OBP (3rd, .292).

  • The Nationals boast four starting pitchers in the top 18 in ERA in the National League: LHP Gio Gonzalez (3rd, 1.86), RHP Joe Ross (T11th, 2.70), RHP Stephen Strasburg (15th, 2.80) and RHP Tanner Roark (18th, 2.89)…No other team has more than three.

Nationals Game Notes: May 20 vs. Miami Marlins

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Washington Nationals (25-16) at Miami Marlins (21-19)
RHP Tanner Roark [2-3, 3.10] | LHP Justin Nicolino [2-1, 3.75]
Friday, May 20 l Game #42 / Road #23 l Marlins Park l Miami, F.L. l 7:10 P.M.
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

NO NATIONALS LIKE THESE
The Nationals reached the approximate quarter pole of the season this week in New York, taking two of three from the Mets and sealing the best start in Nationals history (2005-present) through the season’s first 41 games…No previous Nationals team won as many as 25 of its first 41 games (2015 & 2012 teams went 24-17)…The 1996 Montreal Expos went 27-14.

  • The Nationals continue this six-game road swing Friday night in Miami…Washington has played to a 13-9 record on the road in 2016.

BREAK OUT THE BATS
The Nationals had their longest inning of the season on Thursday night, sending 11 batters to the plate in the top of the third vs. the Mets…The 11 batters produced seven runs, which, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, was the most the franchise (Nationals/Expos) had scored in an inning against the Mets since July 26, 2004 at Montreal, and the highest-scoring inning that any Nationals or Expos team had ever produced in New York.

  • Four Nationals (CF Ben Revere, 2B Daniel Murphy, 3B Anthony Rendon, and SS Danny Espinosa) produced multi-hit games as Washington tallied 11 hits one night after registereing 11 walks and 11 strikeouts (Weds. vs. NYM).
  • With the win, RHP Stephen Strasburg improved to 7-0 on the season…Washington has won each of Strasburg’s last 13 starts, a franchise record (Nationals/Expos), besting the 12 straight earned when Jordan Zimmermann started from Aug. 2, 2015-April 8, 2015.

HAVE YOU MET MR. MURPHY?
Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy is leading the Major Leagues with 20 multi-hit games this season…Having played in 40 of the Nationals’ 41 games, Murphy has at least two hits in half the games he’s played in…He has also hit safely in 17 of his last 20 games, going 33-for-78 (.423) with seven doubles, four homers, 18 RBI and 14 runs scored in that stretch.

  • Murphy leads Major League Baseball in batting average (.397), multi-hit games (20), hits (60), OPS (1st, 1.065)…He also ranks among MLB hitters in slugging percentage (3rd, .636), doubles (T5th, 14), and on-base percentage (6th, .429).
  • On the season, Murphy has hit safely in 34 of his 40 games played.

BULLETPROOF BULLPEN
Since May 9, the Nationals bullpen has posted a 0.68 ERA (2 ER/26.2 IP), 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings, a 3.88 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and has surrendered just three extra base hits (3 doubles)…That is far-and-away the best bullpen ERA in MLB in that stretch (2nd: NYM, 2.05).

  • Nationals relievers have also not allowed a single inherited runner to score during this run (17 IR, 0 IRS)…Since May 9, no team in MLB has inherited as many runners without allowing one to score.

Spring Training Preview: Starting Pitchers

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This spring, 63 players — each member of the Nationals’ 40-man roster, plus 23 additional non-roster invitees — will vie for the 25 spots on Dusty Baker’s Opening Day ball club. Over the next week, we will introduce these players in their position groups, beginning today with starting pitchers.

SPRING TRAINING NATIONALS

March 5 – Starting Pitchers

March 6 – Relief Pitchers

March 7 – Catchers

March 8 – Infielders

March 9 – Outfielders

A.J. COLE

2015 Season Totals: 5.79 ERA, 2.92 FIP, 8.68 K/9, 0.96 BB/9, .394 BABIP, 0.1 fWAR

A highly-regarded right-handed pitching prospect, Cole saw his first Major League action in 2015. He opened the season with Triple-A Syracuse before being recalled to Washington on April 28 to make his MLB debut that night against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Cole later rejoined the Nationals in mid-May and made two relief appearances, converting his first save May 15 at San Diego. The Winter Springs, Fla. native went 5-6 with a 3.15 ERA in 21 games (19 starts) for Syracuse.

GIO GONZALEZ

2015 Season Totals: 3.79 ERA, 3.05 FIP, 8.66 K/9, 3.54 BB/9, .341 BABIP, 3.7 fWAR

Entering his fifth season in Washington, Gonzalez will look to improve upon his stellar 53-34 record as a member of the Nationals’ organization. The affable southpaw induced a career-high 53.8 percent ground ball rate in 2015, but was also stung by a .341 batting average on balls in play (BABIP). A correction to previous levels could be a key indicator for Gonzalez’s success in 2016, as his previous Nationals high was just .294 prior to last season.

TAYLOR JORDAN

2015 Season Totals: 5.29 ERA, 2.90 FIP, 5.82 K/9, 3.18 BB/9, .333 BABIP, 0.3 fWAR

Jordan, a local product out of Merritt Island High School and Brevard County Community College, enters the 2016 season looking to catch the eye of new manager Dusty Baker and pitching coach Mike Maddux. The 6-foot-5 sinkerball specialist appeared in nine games (six starts) for the Nationals over the past two seasons, after earning nine starts and posting a 3.66 ERA over 51.2 innings in 2013. Jordan put together 19 solid outings at the Triple-A level a season ago, contributing a 2.95 ERA.

TANNER ROARK

2015 Season Totals: 4.38 ERA, 4.70 FIP, 5.68 K/9, 2.11 BB/9, .292 BABIP, -0.2 fWAR

One of the game’s biggest success stories in 2013 and 2014 when he compiled a 22-11 record with a 2.57 ERA, Roark will battle in Spring Training to return to the Nationals’ starting rotation on a full-time basis. The 29-year-old appeared in 40 games in 2015 (12 starts), picking up his first career save with a scoreless ninth inning on May 4 against the Miami Marlins. Roark had his best stretch of the season from July 25 to August 11, holding his opponents scoreless with a .103 batting average over six games.

JOE ROSS

2015 Season Totals: 3.64 ERA, 3.42 FIP, 8.10 K/9, 2.47 BB/9, .265 BABIP, 1.4 fWAR

Ross burst onto the scene for the Nationals in early June, making the leap from Double-A Harrisburg to the big leagues and holding his own at the highest level. Still just 22 years of age, the big right-hander posted historic numbers in his first seven starts, recording 47 strikeouts against just four walks in 45 innings pitched. Ross finished his rookie campaign with a 5-5 record and a 3.64 ERA over 16 games in Washington (13 starts), plus 2-2 with a 2.81 ERA in Double-A and 3-1 with a 2.19 ERA in Triple-A.

SPRING TRAINING NATIONALSMAX SCHERZER

2015 Season Totals: 2.79 ERA, 2.77 FIP, 10.86 K/9, 1.34 BB/9, .268 BABIP, 6.4 fWAR

No hurler had ever authored two no-hit performances as dominant as the pair Scherzer turned in this past season, as the right-hander etched his name in the history books. Between his performances on June 20 against the Pittsburgh Pirates and October 3 against the New York Mets, Scherzer fired 18 no-hit innings, walked no opposing hitters and struck out 27. For the year, the first-year National compiled an 8.12 strikeout-to-walk ratio, the fifth-best mark in MLB history for a pitcher with 200 strikeouts.

STEPHEN STRASBURG

2015 Season Totals: 3.46 ERA, 2.81 FIP, 10.96 K/9, 1.84 BB/9, .311 BABIP, 3.4 fWAR

Strasburg recovered from early ankle and back ailments to deliver one of baseball’s best second-half performances, building momentum toward the 2016 campaign. Over his last 13 starts, Strasburg compiled an 8-2 record with a 1.76 ERA, held opponents to a .175 batting average and recorded a 112-to-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 82 innings. He enters the season just two strikeouts shy of Jordan Zimmermann’s team record and just 99 punchouts from the 1,000 mark for his career.

 

NON-ROSTER INVITEES

BRONSON ARROYO… 39-year-old veteran right-hander has 145 victories and a World Series ring.

PAULO ESPINO… Panamanian righty posted a 3.21 ERA in 117.2 IP for Triple-A Syracuse in 2015.

LUCAS GIOLITO… Nats’ consensus top prospect split time between Single-A and Double-A last season.

TAYLOR HILL… Made 22 starts for Triple-A Syracuse and added six relief appearances in Washington.

AARON LAFFEY… Southpaw has pitched in the Major Leagues for CLE, SEA, NYY, TOR, NYM and COL.

AUSTIN VOTH… 23-year-old righty with a 2.70 career ERA in three Minor League seasons.

 

Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg named co-NL Players of the Week

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by Amanda Comak

Following a week filled with dominance by both players, Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper and right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg were named co-National League Players of the Week on Monday.

Harper – who currently leads the National League in several categories, including: batting average (.343), on-base percentage (.470), slugging percentage (.674), home runs (41), OPS (1.143), OPS+ (206), runs scored (116), and WAR (9.6) – had quite a week at the plate. In seven games, Harper hit .519 (14-for-27) with a .576 on-base percentage and a 1.111 slugging percentage. He clubbed five home runs and one double, walked five times, drove in 10 runs and scored 12 times as the Nationals went 6-1. Harper struck out just three times in his 33 plate appearances from Sept. 14-20.

During this stretch, Harper became just the second player in Nationals history to tally 40 or more home runs in a season, joining only Alfonso Soriano (46, 2006).

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Harper’s 96 career home runs are the fourth-most for any player in Major League history before his 23rd birthday, joining only Mel Ott (115), Eddie Mathews (112), and Tony Conigliaro (104). At 22 years, 335 days old, Harper also became the sixth-youngest player in MLB history to hit 40 home runs in a season, again joining Ott (1929: 20 years, 203 days) and Mathews, (1953: 21 years, 316 days), as well as Johnny Bench (1970: 22 years, 249 days), Joe DiMaggio (1937: 22 years, 285 days), and Juan Gonzalez (1992: 22 years, 331 days).

Strasburg, who joined right-hander Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers in franchise history to post back-to-back 13-plus strikeout games with his performances on Sept. 9 and Sept. 15, set a Nationals record (2005-present) by tallying 37 strikeouts in his past three starts – the most for any Nationals pitcher in a three-start stretch.

The right-hander went 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA, allowing just one earned run over 15 innings in two outstanding performances at Philadelphia (9/15) and vs. Miami (9/20). Strasburg struck out 24 batters last week and walked just two, holding opponents to a .135 average, .167 on-base percentage and .192 slugging percentage.

During his season-best eight-inning performance at Philadelphia, Strasburg tied his career high with 14 strikeouts and limited the Phillies to one hit. He generated swings-and-misses on 30 of 55 swings, a 55 percent swing-and-miss rate – the highest by a pitcher in any start of at least 100 pitches in the past 10 seasons.

This is the third Player of the Week award of Harper’s career, following back-to-back honors in May (May 4-10, 11-17), the second of Strasburg’s career (also June 7-13, 2010), and the 16th and 17th such honors for the Nationals organization.

They join Max Scherzer (June 15-21, 2015), Jordan Zimmermann (Sept. 22-28, 2014; June 2-8, 2014), Adam LaRoche (Sept. 1-7, 2014), Jayson Werth (June 30-July 6, 2014), Ryan Zimmerman (July 16-22, 2012; Aug. 15-21, 2011; July 30-Aug. 5, 2007), Josh Willingham (July 27-Aug. 2, 2009), Cristian Guzman (Aug. 25-31, 2008), and Nick Johnson (May 31-June 6, 2005) as honorees.

Nationals recall RHP Taylor Hill, place RHP Stephen Strasburg on DL

The Washington Nationals recalled right-handed pitcher Taylor Hill from Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday and placed right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day disabled list with neck tightness
 
Hill, 26, joins the Nationals for the first time this season. The right-hander is 3-2 with a 4.35 ERA (25 ER/51.2 IP) in nine starts with Triple-A Syracuse. His last start for the Chiefs came on May 25 at Norfolk, where he earned the win, allowing two earned runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings of work.
 
Hill entered 2015 rated by Baseball America as the No. 16 prospect in Washington’s chain and is cited as having the “Best Control” of any pitcher in the Nationals’ Minor League system.
 
A sixth-round selection in the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Vanderbilt University, Hill made his Major League debut in 2014, appearing in three games (one start) for the Nationals last season.  
 
Strasburg is 3-5 with a 6.55 ERA in 10 starts this season. He was removed from his start Friday night in Cincinnati in the bottom of the second inning.

Daily Wrap: Live BP gets underway, SportsCenter visits Nationals camp & more

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by Amanda Comak

VIERA, Fla. — It was a very busy day here at Nationals camp as Photo Day overtook the morning, and the first live batting practice session of the Spring overtook the afternoon. All the while, ESPN’s SportsCenter was broadcasting live from the Nationals’ workout with sit-down interviews with Max Scherzer, Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Mike Rizzo and Drew Storen, along with Matt Williams and Ryan Zimmerman.

News of the Day: Live Batting Practice sessions commence

It’s usually about this time of the spring when bullpens and fielding drills leave everyone wanting a little bit more. And that’s when live batting practice arrives. Live BP, while still practice for everyone, does usually provide a bit more in the way of entertainment and evaluation. The pitchers are always ahead of the hitters, but it’s good for both to see one another on opposite ends once again.

The highlight on Sunday was Max Scherzer throwing his first live batting practice as a member of the Nationals.

Scherzer looked sharp, though few Nationals hitters offered at his pitches as it was their first time seeing live pitching in quite some time. He did, however, entertain.

After finishing his bullpen warm-up, Scherzer and Nationals Manager Matt Williams removed their caps and hummed the Star Spangled Banner. Then Scherzer got to work.

“It’s part of Max’s thing,” Williams said later Sunday afternoon. “He always takes that break for the national anthem when he prepares to start a game. He wanted to take the break, so we hummed it for him. (We) made him feel comfortable in that regard so he could go out and start BP.”

Images of the Day

 

Social Media of the Day

Your 2015 #Nats starting pitchers. #aces

A photo posted by @nationals on

#TonyTwoBags showed off his pro flow at photo day this morning. #Nats #SpringTraining

A photo posted by @nationals on

 

Video Highlights of the Day

 

Quote of the Day

You have to simulate it like it’s a real game. It’s all about the little things.” — Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer on humming the national anthem before live batting practice, which he says he does before every live BP session he’s thrown. 

Daily Wrap: The Full Squad arrives, Bryce Harper talks title & much more

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by Amanda Comak

All that’s left now is for Matt Williams to hold his first team meeting of the year and for the full Washington Nationals squad to take the field Thursday morning. Baseball will truly begin tomorrow as the Nationals will hold their first full-squad workout, provided the weather here on the Space Coast Cooperates.

The Nationals’ position players took their physicals today and came out of them well. It was great to see Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth, Wilmer Difo and Yunel Escobar make their first appearances at camp this spring. And there’s so much more fun to come in the days ahead.

First, to the daily wrap…

News of the Day: Full-Squad is ready to go

The Nationals’ pitchers and catchers had a light workout Wednesday morning, with the pitchers getting the day off from bullpen sessions.

Williams met the media for his daily briefing with some good news: no issues with the position players’ physicals and the Nationals’ full-squad will be ready to go on Thursday morning. The only issue now will be whether or not the weather will cooperate with storms in the forecast.

No matter, the 2015 Nationals will be together for the first time. That’ll make it a pretty sunny day, regardless.

A few injury updates the manager shared: “We’re ready to go tomorrow,” Williams said. “Of course, Jayson (Werth, who is coming off surgery to the AC joint in his right shoulder) is limited in that regard because he’s post-surgery, so we’ll watch him. With regard to Nate (McLouth) he’s on a throwing program, so we’ll monitor that, too, but everybody is good to go.”

Images of the Day

 

Social Media of the Day

 

Quote of the Day: 

“I absolutely love this organization. I love the city that I play for. And I’m not done here. Like I said five years ago when I first signed here, I’m going to bring back a title to D.C., no matter what. I’m getting chills thinking about it. I absolutely want to do that for this organization, this town. I don’t care how long it takes me, I’m going to stick and do what I need to do to help this organization win.” — Bryce Harper 

From the Desk of Mark D. Lerner: Back in the swing of spring

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Good afternoon!

I am writing to you from my office at Space Coast Stadium on another picturesque day in Viera. Sorry, I know you’re all facing some pretty tough weather back in D.C. We just wrapped up Day 4 of our Pitchers and Catchers workouts and the full squad is just about complete. The position players will all report by this evening, get their physicals tomorrow, and on Thursday we’ll get them all out on the field together for the first time.

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Danny Espinosa’s mustache is something.

— Spring Training is one of my favorite times of year. It’s always so great to see everyone after the long winter. I truly enjoy hearing what our players did in the offseason, how their families have grown – some got married, or had children – or any of the interesting things they did in the time they were away. It’s a little like the first day of school. But way more fun.

I ran into Ryan Zimmerman in the hall outside the clubhouse just this morning. He looks great and is truly enjoying preparing to be our first baseman.

It’s also always fun to see who has worked hard all winter to grow their hair out – Anthony Rendon and Ian Desmond are leading this category right now – or who has been experimenting with a new facial hair look. You’ve all seen Danny Espinosa, right? Yosemite Sam, as we call him — just one of the names they’ve come up with in the clubhouse.

— We’ve now seen the pitchers all go through two rounds of bullpen sessions. And all that’s done for me is solidify how excited I am to see these guys compete this season. To stand in the bullpen and watch Max Scherzer throwing next to Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez throwing next to Doug Fister and Jordan Zimmermann, Drew Storen side-by-side with Matt Thornton – I could go on all day. It’s tantalizing to watch, and to think about what is to come.

2015-WNBC-Heath-Bell-03

It was great to see Heath Bell taking a little family time after a workout this weekend. (Photo by Paul Kim)

It’s also been great to see guys like Dan Uggla and Heath Bell in camp. That these players, with such accomplished resumes, are here in our camp as Non-Roster Invites speaks to our depth. Both players have arrived in tremendous shape – Heath Bell told me he’s lost 40 pounds and participated in two triathlons this winter – and I look forward to seeing what they will do during the Grapefruit League season. You never know how much of an impact their veteran presence can have on a club. We’re happy to welcome them to our team.

— I know I’m not the only one enjoying these workouts. It’s been wonderful to see so many of our fans lining the fences and taking the front-row-seat offered to them at Spring Training. The turnout has been fantastic and there really aren’t many better pro sporting experiences. The access for fans during Spring Training

Photo by Donald Miralle

Photo by Donald Miralle

workouts is really unparalleled. There’s no better opportunity to see these guys up-close-and-personal, and no better opportunity to get that autograph you’ve been seeking. Our guys have been signing each day after the workout. Nothing like the smile on a young fan’s face after they’ve received a prized autograph. There’s still plenty of time to plan a quick trip down here!

— Another part of Spring Training I really enjoy is that it’s a great time for me to catch up on all the movies I’ve missed. I enjoyed watching Aaron Barrett and Jerry Blevins battle it out on Twitter over their Oscars predictions earlier this week, and I got a chance to see American Sniper myself last night. Bradley Cooper was tremendous. I highly recommend it.

I also want to give a shoutout to our great staff at our complex here at Space Coast Stadium. They do a tremendous job, and we’re very lucky to have such wonderful people working for us and working to make the experience for everyone here so positive.

— We are thrilled that we’ll be welcoming ESPN’s SportsCenter here on Sunday morning, and really looking forward to them broadcasting LIVE from our camp all day. I know how eager our fans back in D.C. are to see these guys and for us to get back up north, so hopefully this will help make a cold Sunday morning that much warmer! Be sure to tune in!

Photo by Donald Miralle

Photo by Donald Miralle

— I want to personally congratulate our manager, Matt Williams, on having his option picked up for the 2016 season. Matt has done a tremendous job thus far and we are honored to have him guiding our players. The pride he takes in playing the game the right way and in helping our players reach their full potential is outstanding. I am really looking forward to watching him as he continues to lead.

Well, that’s about all for now. Don’t forget that single-game tickets are already on sale. While I’m already looking forward to the Grapefruit League opener on March 5, Opening Day will be here before we know it!

Until next time,
Mark

Daily Wrap: Denard Span arrives, Matt Williams talks motivation & more

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by Kyle Brostowitz

Welcome to today’s Daily Wrap, a Spring Training feature covering all of the news, information, social media and important quotes.

Today was a perfect February day here on the Space Coast for Day 2 of 2015 Spring Training. The pitchers who did not throw bullpens yesterday took the hill this morning to get their work in. Gio Gonzalez, Doug Fister, Jordan Zimmermann, Craig Stammen and Jerry Blevins were some notable pitchers to throw their first official ‘pens of camp.

News of the Day: Nationals center fielder Denard Span arrived at camp, joining a handful of other Nationals position players heading to Viera in advance of the required report date on February 24.

Span makes his home in Tampa, Fla. and recently capped off his offseason by getting engaged. Congrats to Denard and Shadonna! Span entered the Nationals clubhouse to many rounds of hugs, handshakes and congratulations on the news.

Span is coming off a year in which he sparked the Nationals’ potent lineup from the top spot, hitting .302 with a .355 on-base percentage while posting a career-high 52 extra-base hits and swiping a career-best 31 bases in his second season with the Nationals.

Nationals Manager Matt Williams was asked what Span means to the club and how excited he was to see him back for another year:

“I think he’s valuable in every aspect of the game,” Williams said. “He’s one of the guys that make our team go. He is a Gold Glove-caliber centerfielder, who throws well, understands how to run the bases, steals bases. Last year was a fantastic season offensively and defensively, and he’s a leader for us. He works every day. He certainly makes it comfortable for our pitching staff to go ahead and challenge a guy and know that it will be caught if it’s hit out there. He’s a gamer. He’s a baseball player. I was pleased with his season last year. I was happy for him. He was one of the reasons we got to where we got to.”

Images of the Day:

 

Social Media of the Day:

Hey @giogonzalez47, let's take this S L O W, shall we? #Nats

A video posted by @nationals on

 

Quote of the Day:

“For me, the motivation is enjoying the grind of it all. The work involved, whether you are a player, coach, or manager, it’s all about the work. Ultimately, we love what we do, so you find the joy and motivation in that. If you can get to that point, the results will come.” – Nationals Manager Matt Williams on what motivates him during Spring Training.

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