Washington Nationals Wiretap

Strasburg Admits Frustration, But He'll 'Keep Grinding'

May 24, 2015 8:39 PM

The Washington Nationals are rolling, but Stephen Strasburg is struggling.

Strasburg has allowed 15 runs in 12 innings over his last three starts.

"Yeah, it's frustrating. I'm not pitching to my ability, but I've got to keep grinding," said the right-hander, who has a 6.50 ERA on the season.

"It's definitely something I've never experienced before," he said. "This is a test for me."

Associated Press

Tags: Washington Nationals, Misc Rumor

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Nationals Get Free Syrup From Hershey's For Celebrations

May 21, 2015 6:49 AM

The Washington Nationals have been celebrating wins by dumping a bottle of chocolate syrup on the head of the player whose bat won the game this season.

After hearing of the tradition, Hershey's sent 24 bottles to the team last week and another 108 will arrive on Thursday, according to a company spokesperson.

Max Scherzer, who signed with Washington during the offseason, is behind the celebration.

"It's just something to top off a good win," Scherzer said. "Chocolate sauce is the perfect topping for ice cream, so might as well top off a game and give that person in the on-the-field camera interview a little something to taste."

Darren Rovell/ESPN

Tags: Washington Nationals, Misc Rumor

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A-Rod Relates To Harper On And Off The Field

May 19, 2015 8:16 AM

Alex Rodriguez says he relates to Bryce Harper, who was on the cover of Sports Illustrated at 16, the No. 1 overall pick at 17 and the Rookie of the Year at 19.

"I can't speak for Bryce, but for myself, the most normal part of the day was from 3 p.m. to midnight when I was at the stadium," Rodriguez told the New York Daily News. "The most challenging is what happens before and after."

Rodriguez was also the top pick at 17. He made his Major League debut three weeks before his 19th birthday. Despite the parallels, Rodriguez says the culture has changed since he won a batting title at age 20.

"The pressure that he's under doesn’t even compare," Rodriguez said. "His is so much harder, so much more challenging than when I came up. We didn't have any of the social media stuff. I give Bryce a lot of credit for how he's handling everything."

Many have labeled Harper as brash or arrogant because of the hype surrounding him and his confidence on the field, but Rodriguez disagrees.

"I love everything about him," Rodriguez said. "I like players that play hard. He wears his emotion on his sleeve, he's a gamer and he's a winner. As a fan of baseball, I would pay big money to watch him play — especially to watch him hit."

Mark Feinsand/New York Daily News

Tags: New York Yankees, Washington Nationals, Misc Rumor

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Fister Placed On DL With Strained Right Forearm

May 17, 2015 1:21 AM

Nationals starting right-hander Doug Fister has been diagnosed with a strained flexor muscle in his right forearm, manager Matt Williams said Saturday.

Fister was placed on the 15-day DL Friday after experiencing right forearm tightness. An MRI revealed the strain.


Tags: Washington Nationals, Injury, Misc Rumor

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Strasburg Has Highest BABIP In Baseball, Inducing Hard Contact

May 14, 2015 5:36 PM

Stephen Strasburg has struggled mightily this season and there are a few indicators as to why.

Strasburg is allowing a batting average on balls in play of more than .400, the highest in baseball. Advanced metrics also indicate that the contact the Washington Nationals right-hander is inducing has been hard.

"His has been a problem of command," writes Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs. "That's why there've been hits, and that's why there've been fewer strikeouts. Now, the dirty little secret is "a problem of command" doesn't really mean anything. If something's going wrong with a pitcher, he's either hurt, or he isn't commanding the ball very well. Out of command comes everything else. But it doesn't seem like Strasburg is hurt."

Maybe believe that Strasburg simply needs to revert back to his old mechanics. He pitched with a minor ankle injury during spring training, which may have caused him to overcompensate.

Jeff Sullivan/FanGraphs

Tags: Washington Nationals, Misc Rumor, Stats

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Harper, Williams Ejected For Arguing Strike Call

May 14, 2015 10:07 AM

Bryce Harper and Matt Williams of the Washington Nationals were ejected Wednesday for arguing a checked swing during a victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Harper began shouting at Rob Drake after the plate umpire said he went around on a third strike to end the seventh inning. Harper argued for Drake to get help on the call and nearly bumped the umpire in the face with the brim of his helmet.

Harper continued to shout at Drake and was ejected before Williams could reach the plate. Williams took his turn arguing with Drake and was ejected a few seconds later.

Associated Press

Tags: Washington Nationals, Misc Rumor

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Bryce Harper's Success Coming From Hitting Outside Pitch

May 9, 2015 2:38 PM

Bryce Harper hit three home runs on Wednesday and two more on Friday, tying a MLB record with five homers in a two-game span.

Harper was in a 1-for-17 slump prior to this two-game run, in which he’s raised his season batting average from .245 to .284. 


The last two days, opponents have been more than willing to give that to him. Nineteen of the 24 pitches he’s seen were outer-half or off the outside corner and he's taken advantage with four out of the five homers coming on pitches to that area. Eight of his 10 homers this season have been on the outside.

In fact, 25 of Harper’s 29 hits this season have come against pitches to the outer half or just off the outside corner.


Tags: Washington Nationals, IQ, Stats

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Keith Law Lists Brendan Rodgers As Top Draft Prospect

May 8, 2015 4:22 PM

Keith Law, who works in scouting for ESPN, has updated his list of the top 100 prospects ahead of next month's MLB Draft.

"This year's draft class is indeed one of the weakest in recent memory, not just at the top of the first round, but also in specific areas that are usually deeper, such as college starting pitching and catchers of any stripe. There is, however, a lot of depth in the middle infield," writes Law.

Brendan Rodgers, a shortstop out of Lake Mary High School (FL), is ranked first on Law's list.

Keith Law/ESPN

Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals, Draft, Draft Misc, Misc Rumor

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Harper Youngest Player In 45 Years To Homer Three Times

May 7, 2015 9:26 AM

Bryce Harper hit a trio of home runs for the Washington Nationals on Wednesday afternoon, becoming the first player in 45 years to accomplish the feat.

Joe Lahoud (22 years, 53 days) hit three home runs on June 11, 1969. Harper is 22 years, 203 days old.

"I was trying to get some good ABs," Harper said. "[Tom Koehler] is a good pitcher. He has a curveball, slider and has a good changeup. We were trying to put some runs on the board for [Max Scherzer]."

It was Harper's sixth multi-homer game of his career.

Harper is hitting .265/.416/.561 with eight home runs and 20 RBI in 125 plate appearances.

Bill Ladson/MLB

Tags: Washington Nationals, Misc Rumor, Stats

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Strasburg Leaves Start With 'Lingering' Issue

May 6, 2015 8:07 AM

Stephen Strasburg was removed from Tuesday's loss to the Miami Marlins after pitching three innings.

"He's got a little issue under his shoulder blade. Had it last start," Matt Williams said after the game. "Could be an alignment issue, but as he finishes pitches, it grabs him every once in a while. Tonight it got a little bit worse. So we'll have to have the chiropractor look at him."

In the second inning, Strasburg winced after throwing a pitch was visited on the mound by Washington Nationals staff. He stayed in the game, but not for long.

"It's something that's just been lingering, and I just felt it more and more," he said. "I felt like it was something that I felt I could have gone through it, but at this point in the season you just want to get it right and not alter your mechanics too much."


Tags: Washington Nationals, Misc Rumor

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Experts Split On Tate, Rodgers As No. 1 Pick
The Diamondbacks will pick first overall when the First-Year Player Draft is held on June 8.

Jim Callis & Jonathan Mayo/MLB

Scherzer Will Start Friday Against Mets
Max Scherzer has recovered from a sprained right thumb and will make his next start on Friday against the Mets.

Associated Press

2015 MLB All-Star Ballot Released
Major League Baseball marked the official start of All-Star Balloting for the 86th All-Star Game, which will be held on Tuesday, July 14th at Great American Ball Park, the home of the Reds on Wednesda

RealGM Staff Report

Nationals Agree To Minor League Deal With Valverde
Jose Valverde spent the spring with the Padres, but he opted out of his deal amid the club's crowded bullpen.

Jon Heyman/CBS Sports

Nationals To Promote A.J. Cole
The Nationals will call up prospect A.J. Cole for a spot start on Tuesday.

Dan Kolko/MASN

Nationals Could Move Rendon To Second Base
It has been assumed that Yunel Escobar will only play third base for the Nationals while Anthony Rendon works back from a knee injury.

Jon Heyman/CBS Sports

Bumgarner Takes Exception To Scherzer's DH Comments
Madison Bumgarner responded to comments made by Max Scherzer, who sustained an injured thumb while batting last week before railing against the NL's long-held tradition of batting pitchers.


Scherzer: It's Time For DH To Be Used In NL
Max Scherzer is likely to miss his next start for the Nationals.


Desmond 'Doesn't Know What To Do' About Errors
Ian Desmond cost the Nationals three unearned runs in an 8-7 loss to the Red Sox with an error on Tuesday night.

Associated Press

Red Sox, Nationals Discussed Jordan Zimmermann
Jordan Zimmermann, who will be a free agent this coming winter, will be on the mound for the Nationals against the Red Sox on Tuesday evening.

Jason Mastrodonato/Boston Herald

Zimmerman: Nationals Built For Long-Term Success
The Nationals could lose Ian Desmond, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister and Denard Span to free agency after this season, but Ryan Zimmerman believes the club will have long-term success.

Bill Ladson/MLB

Harvey Stellar In Return, Draws Praise From Harper
Matt Harvey tossed six shutout innings against the rival Nationals, allowing four hits and striking out nine.

Bill Ladson/MLB

MLB Releases Draft Bonus Slots
Major League Baseball has informed teams of the draft bonus slot allocations that will apply to the 2015 amateur draft.

Jeff Todd/MLB Trade Rumors

Record 115 Players Begin Season On DL
The Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers started with eight players each on the DL.

Associated Press

Nationals Open Season With Six On DL
Jayson Werth, Anthony Rendon, Denard Span, Nate McLouth, Casey Janssen and Erik Davis are all sidelined.

Associated Press

Nationals To Host 2018 All-Star Game
The Nationals would be the fourth consecutive NL team to host the All-Star Game.


Rendon Will Begin Season On Disabled List
Anthony Rendon will begin the season on the disabled list due to his ailing left knee.


Rendon Seeks Third Opinion On Knee
Anthony Rendon was scheduled to meet with Dr. Steven Singleton in Vail, Colorado, for a third opinion on his injured left knee.


Red Sox Get Sandy Leon From Nationals
The Red Sox are in need of a catcher. They placed Christian Vazquez on the 60-day disabled list on Monday with a right elbow sprain.

Gordon Edes/ESPN

Mets Acquire Jerry Blevins, Alex Torres
The Mets have addressed pitching needs on Monday, acquiring Jerry Blevins from the Nationals and Alex Torres from the Padres.

Adam Rubin/ESPN

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