Results tagged ‘ Nationals ’
Nationals closer Rafael Soriano arrived in camp Saturday morning and was greeted in the clubhouse by teammate Gio Gonzalez and general manager Mike Rizzo. Soriano would later get reacquainted with left-hander Will Ohman. The two played together when they were with the Braves in 2008.
Soriano had visa issues, but was able to obtain one Friday morning in the Dominican Republic. Pitchers and catchers were scheduled to report this past Wednesday. While waiting to get his visa, Soriano was still able to find time to work out. In fact, Soriano was working out at the beach when he received word that he able to obtain his passport.
“I’m so happy to be here. I wanted to be here a little bit early and be with my new team” Soriano said.
Soriano, who joins a bullpen that already includes Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard, has a 2.78 career ERA in 11 seasons spent with the Mariners, Braves, Rays and Yankees. The Nats signed Soriano after their bullpen struggled during last year’s National League Division Series against the Cardinals, allowing 16 earned runs in five games.
Soriano felt he made a good decision by signing a two-year, 28 million contract with the Nationals. It marks the second time in his career that Soriano goes into a season as the closer. The last time he went into a season as the closer was in 2010 when he was with the Rays. That year, Soriano had his best season, saving 45 games with a 1.73 ERA.
“I think I made a good decision with my [agent] to come here,” Soriano said. “Everybody is young. We have a good team. I come here and see what happens the next two weeks. I want to be comfortable with everybody here and win this year.
“Now I’m given the opportunity to be the closer. I’m happy with that. I want to win. That’s all I’m here for.”
Soriano had one of his best seasons in 2012, posting a 2.26 ERA with 42 saves for the Yankees, taking over closer duties after Mariano Rivera tore his right anterior cruciate ligament in early May. Soriano opted out of his contract with New York after he learned that Rivera was going to come back for the 2013 season. Soriano did not want to be a setup man.
Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann avoided arbitration Friday evening by agreeing to a one-year, $5.35 million deal with the Nationals.
Zimmermann filed for arbitration at $5.8 million, while the Nationals wanted to pay $4.6 million. The two parties were scheduled to go to arbitration on Tuesday, but Zimmermann hinted early in the week that progress was made regarding a new contract.
“I was happy to get it done. Obviously, if we had to go [to arbitration], we were ready to go. We got the deal we wanted. We are definitely happy it’s over with,” Zimmermann said.
At the moment, Zimmermann and the Nationals are not talking about a contract extension. Since last summer, there has been talk about Zimmermann getting a multi-year deal.
“We are going to take it easy for a few days and just focus on baseball,” Zimmermann said. “As the time comes, we’ll be there to listen. We are just happy that the one-year deal is done and we are going to focus getting ready for the season.”
Zimmermann had his best season to date in 2012, winning 12 games with a 2.94 ERA in 195 2/3 innings. He is considered the third starter in a formidable rotation that includes Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez.
The Nationals plan to use left-hander Ross Detwiler for Game 4 of the National League Division Series against the Cardinals. The last time Detwiler faced the Cardinals was on Sept. 30. He allowed seven runs – three earned – in 2 1/3 innings.
“I don’t think we are at a disadvantage. We have a great pitching. We got here on what we have been doing and we are going to stick to it,” shortstop Ian Desmond said. “I’m 100 percent confident in Det. I have no worries whatsoever. I think he is due.”
Infielder Mark DeRosa was with the Braves in the early 2000s and he watched them be eliminated in the early rounds of the playoffs. He said the Nationals can’t afford to play the game like it was any other series.
“I like to put the finality of it, the football mentality of it,” said DeRosa, who is off the playoff roster. “That will be my little speech to the guys tomorrow. There is no tomorrow. That’s stating the obvious. If you approach each pitch like that … you can’t do it for 162 games, but you can do it for a short series. You can do it when [the game] is on the line.
“We got beat, we got beat pretty handily. We move on to the next day. Thank goodness we have another game. We need to draw on the fact that we have been the best baseball team for 162 games and just have to win one game tomorrow. Ross will give his best effort. I would like to give Gio [Gonzalez] one more opportunity to pretty much cement the season that he already has.”
Adam Berry here at Busch Stadium, pinch-hitting for Bill Ladson. For more news and notes and in-game updates, check out Nationals.com and follow me on Twitter @adamdberry.
Just a reminder this game begins at 3:07 p.m. ET and will be televised on TBS. Head over to Nationals.com for a bunch of stories and columns from the MLB.com staff here in St. Louis.
No surprises on either side, but here’s who will be taking the field for the Nationals’ first playoff game on this chilly St. Louis afternoon…
Gio Gonzalez LHP
The Nationals today announced their 25-man roster for the National League Division Series against the Cardinals. Manager Davey Johnson’s roster includes 12 pitchers, two catchers, six infielders and five outfielders
LHP Sean Burnett
LHP Ross Detwiler
LHP Gio Gonzalez
LHP Michael Gonzalez
LHP Tom Gorzelanny
RHP Tyler Clippard
RHP Christian Garcia
RHP Edwin Jackson
RHP Ryan Mattheus
RHP Craig Stammen
RHP Drew Storen
RHP Jordan Zimmermann
C Jesus Flores
C Kurt Suzuki
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa (S)
1B Adam LaRoche (L)
INF Steve Lombardozzi (S)
INF Chad Tracy (L)
3B Ryan Zimmerman
OF Roger Bernadina (L)
OF Bryce Harper (L)
OF Tyler Moore
OF Michael Morse
OF Jayson Werth
DAY DATE SERIES TIME NETWORK
Sat. Oct. 6th ALDS Game 1, OAK @ DET 6:07 p.m. (ET) TBS
Sat. Oct. 6th NLDS Game 1, CIN @ SF 9:37 p.m. (ET) TBS
Sun. Oct. 7th ALDS Game 2, OAK @ DET 12:07 p.m. (ET) MLBN
Sun. Oct. 7th NLDS Game 1, WSH @ STL/ATL 3:07 p.m. (ET) TBS
Sun. Oct. 7th ALDS Game 1, NYY @ BAL/TEX 6:15 p.m. (ET) TBS
Sun. Oct. 7th NLDS Game 2, CIN @ SF 9:37 p.m. (ET) TBS
Mon. Oct. 8th NLDS Game 2, WSH @ STL/ATL 4:37 p.m. (ET) TBS
Mon. Oct. 8th ALDS Game 2, NYY @ BAL/TEX 8 07 p.m. (ET) TBS
Tues. Oct. 9th NLDS Game 3, SF @ CIN 5:37 p.m. (ET) TBS
Tues. Oct. 9th ALDS Game 3, DET @ OAK 9:07 p.m. (ET) TBS
Nationals manager Davey Johnson said there is a possibility that reliever Craig Stammen could start Sunday’s game against the Brewers, and Stammen said he willing to take the ball if needed.
Stammen hasn’t started a game since late last year when he was pitching for Triple A Syracuse. When he was returned to the big leagues last September, Stammen worked out of the bullpen and allowed a run in 10 1/3 innings.
The Nationals need a starter because Johnson doesn’t want to use Jordan Zimmermann on short rest. Zimmermann pitched the first game of a doubleheader on Wednesday.
“I’ll do whatever they tell me to do. That’s what I am and what I have to do. If he asked me to start, I definitely take the ball,” Stammen said. “I’ve done it before so it’s not like it’s the first time I’ve started a game. But it’s been a while. So I guess It will be a little exciting for me. It will be fun.”
Stammen has been a valuable reliever for Washington this season. He has appeared in 53 games and has a 2.39 ERA. Johnson has used Stammen in every situation as a reliever except for closing games.
“It has been a good season thus far,” Stammen said. “We really didn’t know coming in how it was going to go. I pitched as well as I could have pitched last September. It kind of carried over this season – a lot of confidence. It has gone well.
“I like pitching as much as possible and Davey has put me in good spots for me to succeed. I’ve done as well as I good. I try to help this bullpen as much as possible.”
Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he was not concerned about the Braves sweeping the Nationals this past weekend. The skipper doesn’t expect any negative carryover into the three-game series against the Dodgers.
“[The Braves] pitched three good ballgames against us. Some of the guys were swinging the bats pretty good. It’s not like we got shellacked,” Johnson said. “A couple of my guys have been under the weather. I like where we are at. I don’t want to change positions with them. We have our own destiny in our own hands. We have been pretty consistent, pretty resilient all year. I think the Braves needed it more. It might have been more emphasis on their side.”
Entering Tuesday’s action, the Nationals were five games ahead of the Braves in the National League East. The magic number for the Nationals to win the N.L. East is 11. The magic number to clinch a playoff spot is three.
The Nationals announced today that tickets for potential Wild Card and National League Division Series games at Nationals Park will go on sale to the general public Friday at 10:00 a.m. ET.
A maximum of four tickets for each game may be purchased online at nationals.com/postseason or by calling 888.632.NATS(6287) on a first come, first served basis.
In addition, the Nationals Park Box Office will sell a limited number of Standing Room Only tickets the day of each postseason game, subject to availability. In the event the Nationals qualify, National League Championship Series and World Series single game tickets will go on sale in the coming weeks, based on availability.
Season ticket holders and Nationals Insiders received information regarding their opportunity to purchase single game postseason tickets earlier this month. Fans only have a few more days to place a deposit on 2013 full season ticket plans and receive 2012 postseason ticket purchase priority before tickets go on sale to the general public.
The Nationals could secure a postseason berth as early as this week, when they host the Los Angeles Dodgers for a three-game series at Nationals Park. Washington’s magic number to clinch a Wild Card spot is currently at three, while its magic number to clinch the National League East is 11. This year marks the first time a Washington baseball team has been in a position to qualify for the postseason since 1933, when the Washington Senators reached the World Series against the New York Giants.
By Mike Fiammetta / MLB.com
WASHINGTON — Before opening a four-game series with the Cubs on Monday, the Nationals announced third baseman Matthew Skole as their Minor League Player of the Year and right-hander Nathan Karns their Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
Skole batted .292 with 27 home runs and 104 RBI in 118 games for Single-A Hagerstown and Advanced-A Potomac. Those 27 home runs led the South Atlantic League, were most among Nationals prospects and third among all of Class-A Minor League Baseball. A native of Woodstock, Georgia, Skole was selected in the fifth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Georgia Tech.
Karns, 24, was 11-4 on the year, posting an organizational-best 2.17 ERA (28 earned runs in 116 innings pitched) in 24 games with Hagerstown and Potomac. A 6-foot-5, 230-pound pitcher, Karns’ 11 wins were second most among Nats farmhands. A native of Arlington, Texas, Karns was selected in the 12th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Texas Tech University.
Both players will be honored for their accomplishments throughout the 2012 season during an on-field ceremony prior to Friday’s 7:05 p.m. game against the Marlins.