April 17, 2014

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...]

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: Don’t Bet on a Bryce Harper Slowdown Just Yet

If you have been checking into the Washington Nationals spring training games for indication of a Bryce Harper sophomore slump to come, now might be the time to consider a new hobby.

In Washington’s 9-5 loss to a team many expect to be the Nats’ strongest opponent in the NL East – the Atlanta Braves – Harper went 3-for-3 with two doubles, a single and two runs scored to bring his batting average this spring to .750.

Sure, spring training numbers mean arguably nothing. That said, why starve a Nats fan of the opportunity to get at least a little excited by the fact that Harper is just three hits away from matching his total of nine hits from last spring? With Harper looking bulkier at the plate than he did last year, for now, Nats fans can dream of what could be if Harper hits for greater power throughout the coming season.

Along with Harper, Ross Detwiler can rest a little easier tonight. In the first inning of Tuesday’s game, he retired the side on 13 total pitches against the Braves’ Reed Johnson, Jason Heyward and Justin Upton, and caught Heyward looking on a 79 MPH curveball.

Detwiler allowed just one hit – by Dan Uggla – in the second inning. He forced Freddie Freeman to fly out to Harper in left before B.J. Upton reached base on a fielding error by Tyler Moore at first. Dan Uggla singled in the next at-bat but Detwiler retired Juan Francisco and Christian Bethancourt to get out of the inning unscathed.

A southpaw for Team USA, Detwiler was likely happy to face many familiar faces on the Braves as he gets ready to play competitive ball. In the third inning of Tuesday’s matchup, however, Atlanta succeeded by playing small ball against the 26-year-old. Ramiro Pena and Johnson hit back-to-back singles and Justin Upton singled to left with one out to bat in Pena. With two outs, B.J. Upton lined to left to bat in Johnson, and the Nats called in Ryan Perry for relief – for which he provided little. Nevertheless, by the end of his stint, Detwiler had thrown 28 strikes out of 41 pitches for a final line of 2.2 IP, 5H, 2ER.

Perry officially earned the loss after allowing six hits, five earned runs and two walks in 1 2/3 innings of play. Lefty Bill Bray allowed the Braves to tack on an additional earned run in the fifth, and the Braves tallied an extra unearned run off right-hander Jeremy Accardo before calling it a day with a 9-5 win over D.C.

The Nationals are now 1-2 in Grapefruit League action this year and will go on to face the Miami Marlins at home tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. ET.

NATS: Happy Birthday, Ryan Perry

Ryan Perry (Photo by Getty Images)

HAPPY 26th BIRTHDAY, RYAN PERRY!

RHP Ryan Perry was born on 02/13/1987 in Pomona, California. Perry was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 1st round (21st pick) of the 2008 amateur draft. Perry made his MLB debut on April 8, 2009 vs. Toronto pitching a scoreless eighth inning. Perry was traded by the Tigers for Collin Balester on Dec. 9, 2011. Perry is on the Nationals 40-man roster.

Washington Nationals 2013 Season Preview: The Bullpen

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.

Monday, we looked at the starting pitchers. Today, it’s the bullpen.

PROJECTED OPENING DAY BULLPEN: Rafael Soriano, Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, Ryan Mattheus, Craig Stammen, Zach Duke, Henry Rodriguez/Christian Garcia [Read more...]

NATS: 2013 NatsFest Details

Washington Nationals fans should check the website for updated information as all player appearances and activities are subject to change.

Ryan Zimmerman and fan at 2010 NatsFest (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Ryan Zimmerman and fan at 2010 NatsFest (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Nationals fan at 2010 NatsFest (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Nationals fan at 2010 NatsFest (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo answering fan questions at 2010 NatsFest (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo answering fan questions at 2010 NatsFest (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

WASHINGTON NATIONALS ANNOUNCE 2013 NATSFEST DETAILS

Event to take place Saturday, January 26 from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. at
Washington Convention Center

The Washington Nationals today released new details about 2013 NatsFest, taking place for the first time at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

More than 25 Nationals players and prospects are expected to attend the fun-filled baseball festival, including but not limited to*: Corey Brown, Tyler Clippard, Ian Desmond, Ross Detwiler, Danny Espinosa, Christian Garcia, Gio Gonzalez, Brian Goodwin, Bryce Harper, Nathan Karns, Steve Lombardozzi, Ryan Mattheus, Tyler Moore, Michael Morse, Ryan Perry, Anthony Rendon, Will Rhymes, Matt Skole, Drew Storen, Kurt Suzuki, Chad Tracy, Jayson Werth and Jordan Zimmermann.

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo and Mark Lerner, one of the team’s Principal Owners, as well as team broadcasters Bob Carpenter, F.P. Santangelo, Charlie Slowes and Phil Wood will also be in attendance. In addition, Nationals fans will have the first opportunity to meet two of the team’s latest additions, Dan Haren and Denard Span. Please note that all autograph vouchers are SOLD OUT; autograph voucher holders are encouraged to visit nationals.com/natsfest for important information.

Open to fans of all ages from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m., NatsFest will offer a variety of activities including:
o Q & A sessions with players and coaches on topics including ‘Preparing for Games’ and ‘Life on the Road’

o Opportunities to take photos with players and team mascots

o A special Jr. Nats Kids Forum featuring Player Story Times and Kids Press Conferences

o The chance to learn about the team’s innovative virtual ticketing system

o Games, interactive events and surprises

The event will also feature:
o Live broadcast by 106.7 The Fan, the team’s official flagship radio station

o Opportunities to purchase the latest Nationals merchandise as well as game-used and autographed memorabilia

o Batting cages, inflatable games and 2012 trophy display

o D.J. Stylus Chris spinning music throughout the day

o Concessions for purchase

NatsFest will also offer fans the first opportunity to purchase individual and group tickets to see the Nationals take on the New York Yankees in a special preseason exhibition game on Friday, March 29 at 2:05 p.m. Tickets for NatsFest are currently on sale for Season Plan Holders at $15 for adults and $5 for children under the age of 12, and for the general public at $20 for adults and $10 for children under the age of 12 and can be purchased at nationals.com/natsfest.

Fans planning to utilize Metro’s Red Line to attend NatsFest are encouraged to add at least 20 minutes to their planned travel time due to scheduled weekend track maintenance. For directions and parking, visit the Convention Center website at www.dcconvention.com.

*All player appearances are subject to change

Washington Nationals Arizona Fall League recruits: Prospects, intriguing older players and head-scratchers

The Washington Nationals will once again be sending some top prospects and high draft picks to the Arizona Fall League. This year, however, they are also sending a couple of intriguing players with a little more experience and a couple of head-scratchers. They also plan to send one more as yet unnamed position player according to MASNSports.com’s Byron Kerr. But one player that won’t be going is top pitching prospect Alex Meyer, who was shut down last week after reaching his innings limit for the season in his first year of pro ball. [Read more...]

NATS/SENATORS: Chien-Ming Wang to Make Rehab Start in Harrisburg on Friday

Chien-Ming Wang

Chien-Ming Wang pitching at Nationals Park (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Wang Slated to Start Game One of the Doubleheader Friday

Washington Nationals’ right handed pitcher Chien-Ming Wang is joining the Senators on a major league rehab and is expected to start game one of the doubleheader on Friday with the Richmond Flying Squirrels at Metro Bank Park. Wang was slated to pitch for the Senators in a rehab start earlier this year but didn’t due to the wet playing surface. He twice pitched for the Senators in rehab games last year.

Wang will become the seventh Washington Nationals’ player to appear for the Senators while on a rehab assignment this season.

Former Detroit Tiger RH Ryan Perry starts game two for the Senators. The doubleheader begins at 6:00 p.m. on Friday night. Both games Friday are scheduled for seven-innings with a 25 minute break between games.

Friday night is a 40” Flatscreen and Fireworks Friday night with nine 40” Flatscreen Televisions being given away once per inning for the first nine innings.

The Senators and Richmond Flying Squirrels play a five-game in four-day series beginning Thursday at 7:00 p.m. The other games are Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets for Senators’ games are available on game days 10:00 a.m. until the end of the game, and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until the end of the game. Box office hours on non-game days are Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tickets are available via telephone during the same hours as the box office hours. Tickets are also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, online at www.senatorsbaseball.com.

NATS: Feb. 13th Birthdays-Perry, Buschmann & Bronson

Ryan Perry (Photo by Getty Images)

HAPPY 25th BIRTHDAY, RYAN PERRY!

RHP Ryan Perry was born on 02/13/1987 in Pomona, California. Perry was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 1st round (21st pick) of the 2008 amateur draft. Perry made his MLB debut on April 8, 2009 vs. Toronto pitching a scoreless eighth inning. Perry was traded by the Tigers for Collin Balester on Dec. 9, 2011. Perry is on the Nationals 40-man roster.

Matt Buschmann (Photo by Ross William Hamilton/The Oregonian)

HAPPY 28th BIRTHDAY, MATT BUSCHMANN!

RHP Matt Buschmann was born on 02/13/1984 in St. Louis, Missouri. Buschmann was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 15th round of the 2006 MLB Amateur Draft. The Nationals Bushmann in the Rule 5 draft from the Padres in December 2011. The right-hander split the 2011 season between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson, posting one of his worst seasons to date (12-6, 6.16 ERA). Buschmann is currently listed on the Senators roster and will most likely provide some depth in the bullpen. Follow Buschmann on Twitter @Busch2142.

Evan Bronson (Photo by Steve Mihelerakis)

HAPPY 25th BIRTHDAY, EVAN BRONSON!

LHP Evan Bronson was born on 02/13/1987 in Midlothian, Virginia. Bronson was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 36th round of the 2008 MLB June Amateur Draft and the Nationals in the 29th round and the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft. Bronson pitched a perfect game on Aug. 13, 2004. Bronson pitched for Potomac, Harrisburg and Syracuse in 2011 and is currently listed on the P-Nats roster.

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