March 2009

Nationals sign Joe Beimel

Manager Manny Acta finally has the eight inning reliever he was looking for, as the Nationals signed left-hander Joe Beimel to a one-year, $2 million contract on Wednesday afternoon. Beimel is expected to report to camp on Thursday.

Beimel, an eight-year veteran, played for the Dodgers last year, posting a 2.02 ERA in 71 games.

Nationals release Shawn Hill

The Nationals have put right-hander Shawn Hill on waiver for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release.

The Nationals decided to make this move because of the uncertainty of Hill’s health. Hill has yet to play a full season in the big leagues because elbow and forearm problems.

Manager Manny Acta broke the news to Hill on Wednesday morning about 11:30 a.m. ET at Space Coast Stadium.

With Hill off the team, right-handers Collin Balester, Shairon Martis and Jordan Zimmerman will battle for fourth and fifth spots in the rotation.

Lannan to start on Opening Day

The Nationals have decided that left-hander John Lannan will be their Opening Day starter against the Marlins on April 6 at Dolphin Stadium. An official announcement will be made by manager Manny Acta on Wednesday.

Left-hander Scott Olsen will pitch on the night of April 7, while righty Daniel Cabrera will start the next afternoon.

Lannan, who clearly is the Nationals’ best pitcher, is coming off a rookie season in which he was 9-15 with a 3.91 ERA. This spring, Lannan hasn’t given up an earned run in six innings.

An 11th-round pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, Lannan’s rise to the big leagues was rapid. Two years after being drafted, Lannan went from Class A Potomac to the Majors in one season and had a respectable 4.15 ERA in six big-league games. By early last season, Lannan was the team’s No. 1 starter.

Lannan, 24, was not available for comment.

Cristian Guzman is hurt

Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman left Monday’s game in the top of the third inning against the Marlins because of a cut on his left pinky toe. He is listed as day-to-day.  

There will be more on    

The Natinonals' starting lineup against Marlins

Lastings Milledge — CF
Cristain Guzman — SS
Kory Casto — 1B
Austin Kearns — RF
Corey Patterson — LF
Wily Mo Pena — DH
Willie Harris — 3B
Anderson Hernandez — 2B
Wil Nieves — C

Right-hander Shawn Hill will get the start


Nats make second round of cuts

This release came from the Nationals a few minutes ago:

The Washington Nationals today reassigned right-handed pitcher Josh Towers, catcher Gustavo Molina, infielders Freddie Bynum and Joel Guzman, and outfielder Jorge Padilla to minor league camp.

The Nationals also optioned right-handed pitchers Tyler Clippard and Marco Estrada and outfielders Leonard Davis and Justin Maxwell to Triple-A Syracuse, and optioned  right-handed pitcher Luis Atilano and infielder Ian Desmond to Double-A Harrisburg.

After today’s moves, the Nationals’ spring roster stands at 47.


Nationals' starting lineup against Tigers

Lastings Milledge — CF
Cristian Guzman — SS
Ryan Zimmerman — DH
Nick Johnson — 1B
Josh Willingham — LF
Ronnie Belliard — 3B
Javier Valentin — C
Ryan Langerhans — RF
Anderson Hernandez — 2B

Right-hander Collin Balester will pitch for the Nationals 

Lannan pitched in Minor League camp

Nationals left-hander John Lannan pitched five scoreless innings in Saturday’s intrasquad game. He gave up two hits, struck out three batters and walked none. Lannan threw 59 pitches, 43 of which went for strikes.   

Good news for Shawn Hill

Right-hander Shawn Hill’s forearm is doing fine after having a bullpen session on Friday. That means Hill will throw one inning against the Marlins in Jupiter Fla., on Monday.

There will be more on Hill on  

The Natinonals' starting lineup against Mets

Willie Harris — LF
Alberto Gonzalez — SS
Nick Johnson — 1B
Austin Kearns — RF
Kory Casto — 3B
Corey Patterson — CF
Wil Nieves — C
Freddie Bynum — 2B
Shairon Martis — P