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Nationals announce playoff roster for NLDS vs. Dodgers

Nationals announce playoff roster for NLDS vs. Dodgers

The Nationals announced their 25-man playoff roster for their NL Division Series against the Dodgers on Friday morning and on it are a few surprises. Michael Taylor has earned the final outfielder spot, while Oliver Perez made it as the final reliever, while Matt Belisle was left off the roster entirely.

The Nationals will carry 14 position players and 11 pitchers. They need extra man power due to injuries in their lineup. By keeping Taylor and rookie infielder Wilmer Difo, they were well-positioned if Daniel Murphy (buttock) or Jayson Werth (back) aggravate their injuries or need to be replaced on defense or on base late in games.

Taylor is definitely the biggest shocker, as many had focused on Ben Revere and Brian Goodwin for the last outfield spot. Revere has the track record and Goodwin flashed promise down the stretch. But in Taylor, they have a guy who is decent vs. lefties - he had a .755 OPS - and the Dodgers feature some pretty good ones in their rotation. He can also play multiple outfield positions and brings speed as a pinch-runner. 

Belisle was excluded just over a week after manager Dusty Baker hinted he was a safe bet for the roster. Baker spoke of Belisle in terms of getting him ready for the postseason and how much guys like him can be used in the playoffs. Belisle posted a 1.76 ERA in 40 appearances this season.

Here's the full roster:





RHP Shawn Kelley

C Jose Lobaton

INF Stephen Drew

OF Bryce Harper

RHP Reynaldo Lopez

C Pedro Severino

INF Wilmer Difo

OF Chris Heisey

RHP Mark Melancon


INF Danny Espinosa

OF Michael A. Taylor

RHP Tanner Roark


INF Daniel Murphy

OF Trea Turner

RHP Joe Ross


INF Anthony Rendon

OF Jayson Werth

RHP Max Scherzer


1B/OF Clint Robinson


RHP Blake Treinen


1B Ryan Zimmerman


LHP Gio Gonzalez




LHP Marc Rzepczynski




LHP Oliver Perez




LHP Sammy Solis



[RELATED: Murphy looking good for Game 1 vs. Dodgers: 'I feel confident']

The Dodgers, by the way, are also going with an 11-14 split. Here is their playoff roster:

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The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful


The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful

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. 


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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Per usual, Max Scherzer strikes out Tim Tebow on three pitches


Per usual, Max Scherzer strikes out Tim Tebow on three pitches

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.