Reliever Casey Janssen, who pitched in the setup role for the Nationals in 2015, was granted his unconditional release by the San Diego Padres on Thursday in what is another setback for the nine-year MLB veteran.
Janssen waited until Feb. 20 of this offseason, after spring training had started, to sign with the Padres. He was given a minor league deal with an invite to MLB spring training.
It was a steep fall for a guy who just two years before that was the longstanding closer for the Toronto Blue Jays. The Nationals signed him prior to the 2015 season to pitch the eighth inning, but a series of injuries and overall ineffectiveness convinced them to buy out the final year of his contract.
Janssen recorded a 4.95 ERA for the Nationals in 48 appearances in 2015. His last good year was 2013 when he held a 2.56 ERA with 34 saves for Toronto.
Janssen, 34, will now seek a deal with his fourth franchise in a span of about 18 months.
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It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.
It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.
They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training.
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Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.
Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.
Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.
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We are fortunate enough to live in a world where we can watch a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (attempt to) hit against a three-time Cy Young pitcher in a Major League Baseball preseason game.
Max Scherzer took less than a minute to strike out Tim Tebow, who was batting cleanup for the Mets in a spring training game Friday. You can watch the whole at-bat here:
It looks like Tebow and Scherzer are starting to develop a pattern - last year’s matchup between the two went down the exact same way.
Tebow was able to redeem himself later in the game with his first hit of the year against Nats prospect Erick Fedde. He will likely begin the season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes Tebow will eventually see some at-bats in the Majors.