December 19, 2014

NATS: Happy Birthday, Chris Marrero

HAPPY 25th BIRTHDAY, CHRIS MARRERO!

Washington Nationals 1B Chris Marrero was born on 07/02/1988 in Miami, Florida. Marrero has been reassigned to AAA Syracuse Chiefs.

Happy Birthday #14!

Chris Marrero during 2011 season (Stock Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Chris Marrero during 2011 season (Stock Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

 

Washington Nationals Games 61 & 62 Review: Nats sweep doubleheader from Twins to get back to .500

In the regularly scheduled 1:35 game Sunday, the Washington Nationals tied their season benchmark for runs in a inning. In the nightcap, a rescheduled affair prompted by the rainout Friday night, the Nats came from behind by three runs to win a game for the first time all season. The result: a sweep of the Minnesota Twins in the day/night doubleheader, which pulls the Nats back up to the .500 mark at 31-31.

The early game was all about two big innings… and Jordan Zimmermann. The leader of the 2013 staff did it again, pacing the Nats with seven innings of two-hit, shutout ball. Rookie Ian Krol and Xavier Cedeno — lefties both — kept the Twins off the scoreboard in the eighth and ninth innings to preserve the shutout.

The late game was a case of chipping away at a deficit, one run at a time, until the Nats overcame the hole they’d dug themselves, with four different players driving in runs and four different players scoring runs. Then a parade of relievers shut the door and kept it that way until the Twins’ last out was exhausted.

In the early game, the Nats exploded for their seven runs in the fourth and fifth innings off Twins starter Scott Diamond. Consecutive singles by Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche set the table for Ian Desmond in the fourth. Desmond singled to center and third base coach Trent Jewett sent Werth, who was cut down at the plate on a great throw by center fielder Clete Thomas. But Anthony Rendon followed with a smash off shortstop Pedro Florimon’s glove, and LaRoche and Desmond both came around to make it 2-0.

In the next inning, Diamond intentionally walked Werth to load the bases after Jeff Kobernus walked and Ryan Zimmerman doubled. LaRoche made him pay, with a single to the left side which plated Kobernus. A visit by the Twins pitching coach did no help, as Desmond followed with a two-run single three pitches later. Rendon put the cap on the inning, doubling off reliever Ryan Pressly to drive in LaRoche and Desmond.

The rest was up to Zimmermann, who was equal to the task yet again.

In the nightcap, Nathan Karns was not very good and put the Nats in a hole early, allowing four earned runs in the first three innings, on five hits and two walks. Washington got a run in the third on three consecutive singles by Roger Bernadina, Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth. But an Adam LaRoche strikeout and Ian Desmond double play ground ball halted the threat there.

Two innings later, LaRoche came though, with a two-out RBI sacrifice fly, which brought home Denard Span to cut the lead to one and moved Bernadina to third. Again, the rally stalled at just one run as Desmond was called out on strikes.

The Nats tied the game finally in the sixth. Anthony Rendon singled off shortstop Pedro Florimon’s glove and scored on Span’s two-out triple. Bernadina walked to give Zimmerman a chance to take the lead, but the Nats No. 3 hitter struck out looking to end the frame.

The very next inning, though, back-to-back doubles by LaRoche and Desmond did the trick, putting the Nats up 5-4.

The entire bullpen were the heroes in the second game. It started with Craig Stammen, who came on for Karns in the fourth and blanked the Twins for two innings. Erik Davis, Fernando Abad, Tyler Clippard (W, 5-1), Drew Storen and Rafael Soriano (S, 16) all did their jobs to earn the Nats 31st win of the season.

THE GOOD: Jordan Zimmerman. We’re out of superlatives for the stoic righty. Two hits, two walks and 8 Ks over seven shutout innings for his ninth win of the season.

In the early game, Desmond went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Rendon went 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs. In the evening game, Roger Bernadina went 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored. Nice game for The Shark.

THE BAD: Kurt Suzuki went 0-for-3 with 4 LOB in the first game.

THE UGLY: Karns. He left everything up in the evening game and paid for it. With Detwiler coming back this week, Karns will probably find himself back in Syracuse for more seasoning.

THE STATS: First Game: 14 hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. 5-for-10 with RISP, 8 LOB. E: Rendon (4, fielding), Zimmerman (11, throw).

Second Game: 10 hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. 3-for-14 with RISP, 9 LOB. E: Rendon (5, fielding); one DP.

NEXT GAME: Tuesday at 8:40 ET in Colorado against the Rockies. Dan Haren (4-7, 5.45) faces Jhoulys Chacin (3-3, 4.59).

NATS NOTES: Before the games, the Nats recalled 1B Chris Marrero from AAA-Syracuse. The right-handed hitter was hitting .306/.355/.502 with 10 homers and 44 RBIs in 55 games for the Chiefs. After the games, the team sent 1B/OF Tyler Moore to Syracuse. Moore has struggled all season and the team hopes that he’ll find his swing playing every day in the minors.

Washington Nationals Minor League Update for the Week of 5/5/13

Welcome back to District Sports Page’s weekly Minor League Update. Throughout the regular season we will continue to post up-to-date stats and brief scouting reports on the hottest and coldest prospects in the Nationals’ minor league system. We also will track the progress of top-rated players in this columb, and give injury and suspension updates.

Here are some of the system’s notable performances from the first week of May:

[Read more…]

Washington Nationals Minor League Update for the Week of 4/28/13

Welcome back to District Sports Page’s weekly Minor League Update. Throughout the regular season we will continue to post up-to-date stats and brief scouting reports on the hottest and coldest prospects in the Nationals’ minor league system. We also will track the progress of top-rated players, and give injury and suspension updates.

With April coming to a close, the Nationals’ organization is looking pretty strong from top to bottom. The big club is off to a decent 13-12 start. But more importantly, they’re looking strong and equipped to perform at a high level for the duration of the season. Their key players are all healthy, and their crop of young stars continues to move forward at a healthy pace.

Bryce Harper not only appears to have avoided (knock on wood) a slumping sophomore season, but he looks to be putting it all together even earlier than anyone could have hoped. The same goes for their young rotation, which is firing on all cylinders. And while Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos are sitting on the DL with minor injuries, the Nats used their system to overcome their temporary absence quite effectively. Luckily though, both players are on their way back anyway.

[Read more…]

Washington Nationals Minor League Update for the Week of 4/21/13

Welcome back to District Sports Page’s weekly Minor League Update. Throughout the regular season we will continue to post up-to-date stats and brief scouting reports on the hottest and coldest prospects in the Nationals’ minor league system. We also will track the progress of top-rated players, and give injury and suspension updates.

So far this season, the Nationals’ minor league system has continued to be one of the most productive and exciting in pro baseball. Flashy young stars like Brian Goodwin and Anthony Rendon are off to loud starts, while an arms race of young pitchers has torn-through opposing lineups, resulting in heaps of strikeouts.

Things got even more interesting on Saturday though. The Nationals announced that they had promoted Rendon, who is widely considered one of the premier prospects in minors, to Washington to make his highly anticipated MLB debut. While the former  Dick Howser Award winner was originally slated to spend at least the first few months of the regular season in the minors at double-A Harrisburg, Ryan Zimmerman’s recent injury and Rendon’s hot-hitting apparently forced the front office’s hand. Regardless, this is yet another exciting development in a system full of exciting developments. Rendon follows a long line of homegrown stars on the Nats big-league roster, graduating after the likes of Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Ian Desmond, Jordan Zimmermann, Drew Storen, Bryce Harper and others.

Though Rendon’s promotion has grabbed the attention of the Nats faithful, the club has plenty of other thrilling minor-league storylines. Here are a few of them–hot off the presses:

[Read more…]

NATS/CHIEFS: Syracuse Chiefs Opening Day Roster, April 4

Today, April 4 is the opening day for the Syracuse Chiefs, Washington Nationals Triple-A Affiliate.

Syracuse Chiefs Press Release HeaderCHIEFS ANNOUNCE PRELIMINARY 2013 OPENING DAY ROSTER
12 players from last year’s team to return

Syracuse, NY—The Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, are pleased to announce their preliminary roster for the 2013 season. Syracuse, led by second-year manager Tony Beasley, will begin its season on Thursday, April 4, at 7:05 at Lehigh Valley, with its home opener on Friday, April 12 at 2:05 vs. the IronPigs.

Syracuse’s active Opening Day roster features 16 former major leaguers and seven players on the Nationals’ 40-man roster. The Chiefs also return 12 players from last year’s Syracuse squad and 15 former Chiefs in total.

The Chiefs’ opening day staff will consist of 13 pitchers, five of whom spent time in Syracuse last season. Yunesky Maya (11-10, 3.88 ERA in 28 starts with the Chiefs in 2012), Tanner Roark (6-17, 4.39 ERA in 26 starts) and Ryan Perry (1-1, 4.50 ERA in 11 relief appearances) are slated to hold three of the spots in Syracuse’s rotation. Maya returns for his fourth season with Syracuse, with Roark and Perry as second-year Chiefs.

The other two spots in Syracuse’s season-opening rotation will be held by right-hander Ross Ohlendorf and left-hander Danny Rosenbaum. Ohlendorf, a veteran of 108 major league games with the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates and San Diego Padres, is in his first year with the Nationals’ organization. Rosenbaum, recently returned from Colorado after being selected in the 2012 Rule V draft, will begin his fifth professional season in the Nationals’ organization. He sported a 3.94 ERA for Double-A Harrisburg in 26 starts last season.

The bullpen will feature returning right-handers Erik Davis and Jeff Mandel, with Mandel also entering fourth Syracuse season and Davis his second. Right-hander Ryan Tatusko also rejoins the team for the second time after spending the entire 2012 season in Harrisburg, where he sported a 3.50 ERA.

Two other former Chiefs join the bullpen – left-hander J.C. Romero and right-hander Jeremy Accardo. Romero, a veteran of 680 major-league games, pitched in five games for the Chiefs in 2011. Accardo, who’s pitched 262 games in the majors, tossed five games for the Chiefs in 2008, the final year of Syracuse’s affiliation with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The remaining three spots in the bullpen are filled out by two former major leaguers – left-hander Fernando Abad (Houston) and right-hander Mike Crotta (Pittsburgh) – and left-hander Patrick McCoy, who finished 7-3 with a 3.70 ERA in 50 games for Double-A Harrisburg last season.

Offensively, both Chiefs catchers return from last year’s squad. Jhonatan Solano rejoins Syracuse for the fourth time after a season in which he made his major league debut (.312 batting average in 12 games with Washington), while veteran Carlos Maldonado also returns to Syracuse for the fourth time. The two have combined to play in 306 career games with Syracuse.

Syracuse’s infield is split between three returning Chiefs and three newcomers. First baseman Chris Marrero, shortstop Zach Walters, and third baseman Carlos Rivero – a postseason International League All-Star last season – will rejoin the Chiefs after spending time in Washington’s major league camp this spring. Infielder Jeff Kobernus, who led stole 42 bases for Double-A Harrisburg to lead the 2012 Eastern League, will join them for his Triple-A debut. Former major leaguers Mike Costanzo (Cincinnati) and Will Rhymes (Detroit, Tampa Bay) round out the six-man group.

In the outfield, postseason International League All-Star Corey Brown will return to Syracuse for the third time. Brown led all Chiefs players in 2012 with 25 home runs and also appeared in 19 major league games for Washington. He’ll be joined by 22-year-old Eury Perez, the youngest Chief on the Opening Day roster. Converted pitcher Micah Owings, who’s appeared in 174 major league games, and former Canadian Olympic outfielder Jimmy Van Ostrand will both join the Chiefs for the first time.

Tickets for all Syracuse Chiefs home games are on sale now and can be purchased online at SyracuseChiefs.com, by calling 315-474-7833, or in person at the Chiefs ticket office. Full- and partial-season ticket plans are also available through each of the same three methods.

Washington Nationals trim spring roster to 33

With Opening Day just two weeks away, and manager Davey Johnson’s preference to play his starters heavily in the next-to-last week of Spring Training, the Washington Nationals sent out much of their Major League-ready backup talent to the minors before taking on the Detroit Tigers at Space Coast Stadium Monday morning.

The Nats today optioned right-handed pitchers Erik Davis, Yunesky Maya and Ryan Perry, catcher Jhonatan Solano, infielder Chris Marrero and outfielder Corey Brown to Syracuse of the Triple-A International League. Additionally, the Nationals re-assigned right-handed pitcher Ross Ohlendorf and infielder Zach Walters to minor league camp.

Along with sending these players down, the Nats also granted catcher Chris Snyder his unconditional release. Snyder had an opt-out in his contract and is expected to sign a contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

The Snyder move signals that the team is comfortable with Wilson Ramos to open the season on the active roster. Ramos missed much of last season with two surgeries to his knee.

Washington Nationals Spring Training: Homers lead the way over Cardinals

The stakes were not nearly as high as their last meeting, but this time the Washington Nationals got a lead over the St. Louis Cardinals and held it, beating the Cards 6-2 at their home spring training park at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, FL.

In their first spring training matchup since the NLDS last season, the Nats sent Gio Gonzalez out to face the Cards’ Adam Wainright, the same matchup of the deciding NLDS Game 5 which ended in bitter disappointment. But the relaxed atmosphere at spring training mitigated any hard feelings resultant of the hotly-contested series — at least on the part of the players.

For fans, though, maybe the hard feelings will still take a while to sort out.

Gonzalez is ramping his way up in order to participate in the WBC second round, should Team USA advance in the qualifying round. He worked three innings, throwing 52 pitches. In a departure for the nasty left-hander, Gonzalez did not strike out a batter. He gave up two earned runs on five hits and a walk.

In the first inning, Cards prospect Oscar Tavares walked, took second on Matt Holliday’s single and scored on Allen Craig’s double to left. The damage could have been worse, but a Tyler Moore to Ian Desmond to Kurt Suzuki relay gunned down Holliday at the plate.

The Cards got to Gonzalez for another run in the third inning. Jon Jay reached on a one-out single, went to third on Tavares’ single and came home on Craig’s infield single. But that’s all the offense the Cardinals could muster on the day.

The Nats took advantage of the heavy breeze to right field, hitting three opposite field home runs to pace an 11-hit attack. Anthony Rendon hit his second of the year in a four-run second inning. Chris Marrero added his first of the spring the next inning. And Ian Desmond added to the homer parade with a solo shot in the sixth, his first as well.

Rendon added a double later to finish the day 2-for-3, upping his spring average to .438.

The rest was up to the Nats bullpen and they came through with flying colors. Nathan Karns threw a scoreless inning, despite allowing a hit and two walks. Ryan Perry was stellar, tossing three scoreless while allowing just two hits and no walks. Drew Storen struck out the first two batters he saw — looking — but then gave up back-to-back singles and a walk before getting the Cards ninth-place hitter to pop out to end the eighth. Erik Davis finished things up with a perfect ninth, striking out one.

The Nationals host the Cardinals Sunday at 1:05 pm from Space Coast Stadium in Viera, FL.

Washington Nationals Spring Training: Nats fall to Mets 5-3 in spring opener

nats st opener

Denard Span steps into the box against the Mets in the Nats Spring Training opener. (photo courtesy L. Albisu)

Even as much as a perfectionist that Stephen Strasburg is, even he can’t be too upset with the first performance of the season. Strasburg gave up three hits and two runs on mostly fastballs in two innings in the Washington Nationals Grapefruit League opener and the Nats fell to the New York Mets, 5-3, at Legends Field in Port St. Lucie, FL. (More photos).

The first start of spring training is meant to get the rust off and adjust to pitching with adrenaline for the first time of the year, and Strasburg looked like he had plenty of rust and was a little too amped up. He did not have the fine fastball control on his 42 pitches and gave up a two-run home run in the first inning to slap-hitting shortstop Ruben Tejada. Granted, the ball carries well to left center at Tradition Field, but the 3-2 pitch was a belt-high fastball that Tejada just squared up against Strasburg.

But the Nats ace didn’t walk a batter, coaxed three groundouts and struck out his final hitter to end the second inning.

Craig Stammen took over and threw two innings himself. He gave up a run on three hits and struck out one.

Cole Kimball, returning from rotator cuff surgery, threw a scoreless inning as the last Nats pitcher of the day.

Washington combined for eight hits, including two from non-roster invitee catcher Chris Snyder, who homered in his first at bat against Mets starter Shawn Marcum. Ian Desmond singled and scored a run while Chris Marrero doubled and scored for the visiting Nats.

The Nats turned two double plays, both by Zach Walters and Will Rhymes, most likely the middle infield for AAA-Syracuse this season.

The Nationals host the Miami Marlins Sunday at 1:05 pm in their home opener from Space Coast Stadium in Viera, FL.

Washington Nationals 2013 Season Preview: The Infield

This week, District Sports Page will take a look at the players that should comprise the 2013 roster of the Washington Nationals. Following a record-setting season last year that saw the Nats finish first in the N.L. East and advance to the playoffs for the first time since the relocation, GM Mike Rizzo has tweaked the roster a bit and expectations have never been higher for the organization, which is expected to be a legitimate World Series contender this season.

On Monday we broke down Nationals’ starters, Tuesday we evaluated the bullpen and Wednesday we looked at the outfielders. Here now is a preview of the infield.

PROJECTED OPENING DAY INFIELD: 1B–Adam LaRoche, 2B–Danny Espinosa, SS–Ian Desmond, 3B–Ryan Zimmerman. Bench: 2B/SS Steve Lombardozzi, 1B/3B Chad Tracy. First callups: 3B Carlos Rivero, 1B Chris Marrero, 2B Will Rhymes. On the Farm: 3B Anthony Rendon, 1B/3B Matt Skole, SS Zach Walters [Read more…]

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