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Nationals return to D.C. for summer camp

Nationals return to D.C. for summer camp

Baseball is finally back, and the Nationals are returning home to the nation’s capital.

With MLB’s summer camp workouts scheduled to begin Friday, the Nationals spent this week returning to the market, and a few documented their journeys along the way.

Max Scherzer’s wife Erica shared an adorable photo of her husband and daughter Brooklyn looking out the plane window on their way back to D.C.

Adam Eaton shared a photo from outside Nationals Park with the caption “Hello old friend…” to document his homecoming. 

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Hello old friend... #nationals #mlb

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Aaron Barrett greeted his teammates by posting a selfie while wearing his stylish bear mask.

The rest of the team is set to return as well as MLB’s spring training 2.0 begins Wednesday with intense coronavirus testing protocol before workouts resume in a matter of days. Fifty-eight players will report to the Nats’ camp, although Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross announced they will sit out the season.

In this second iteration of spring training, players and personnel will return to the ballpark on a staggered schedule due to social distancing protocols as well as the limited field space, bullpens and batting cages at Nats Park. First, essential clubhouse personnel will make their way to the park, then managers and coaches. For the players, pitchers and catchers will arrive first, followed by position players. 

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The training period lasts roughly three weeks until Opening Day on July 23. MLB outlined a three-phase plan for its summer camp. During Phase 1, teams can hold individual and small group workouts. During Phase 2, larger or full-team workouts can begin. Finally, in Phase 3, teams are allowed to compete in three exhibition games.

Throughout this period, players will be tested every other day unless their temperature exceeds 100.4 degrees. In that case, they will be automatically tested and sent home. All players must take their own temperatures before coming to the ballpark.

After receiving approval on Tuesday from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to use Nationals Park for the 2020 season with no fans, the Nats will prepare for their 60-game regular season that begins with a home matchup against the New York Yankees on July 23. 

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Carter Kieboom breaks Ryan Zimmerman's single-game record for assists by a Nats third baseman

Carter Kieboom breaks Ryan Zimmerman's single-game record for assists by a Nats third baseman

Nationals rookie infielder Carter Kieboom set a new team record for the most infield assists by a third baseman in a game when he recorded 10 over the first eight innings against the Orioles on Friday night.

Kieboom passed Ryan Zimmerman’s record of eight assists, set “many times” according to Nationals Director of Communications Kyle Brostowitz.

Though Kieboom was shifted around the infield for most of the night, his new record comes after an offseason full of questions about his defense.

The natural shortstop is Washington’s heir apparent to Anthony Rendon, who departed for the Los Angeles Angels in free agency last offseason after seven seasons with the Nationals. Kieboom had started just nine games at third in the minor leagues before the start of this season.

He still has plenty left to prove as a major-league third baseman, but Kieboom's record did come on an eventful night for the rookie. In addition to his feat (albeit, a bit fluky of one), Kieboom went 2-4 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored.

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Nationals pull Stephen Strasburg after 16 pitches with apparent hand injury

Nationals pull Stephen Strasburg after 16 pitches with apparent hand injury

Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg was pulled just 16 pitches into his start against the Orioles on Friday after visibly shaking his hand and wincing after several pitches.

The reigning World Series MVP missed the start of the season with a nerve issue in his throwing hand. He returned to the mound Sunday, also against Baltimore, and cruised through four innings before things fell apart in the fifth. On Wednesday, Nationals manager Davey Martinez expressed concern with how he was still feeling a tingling sensation in his hand.

“I was a little bit concerned,” Martinez said during a Zoom press conference. “We will see how he feels. Yesterday he threw a little bit. He still felt it, so we will see where he is at. It’s raining right now, so we will see if he can go out there and throw again today. But we will definitely have to keep an eye on it. It’s a weird thing. He doesn’t feel it all the time. I know he’s in the training room working with the staff and trying to get it to go away.”

Strasburg faced only three batters Friday before getting the hook. He recorded two outs around a solo home run off the bat of outfielder Anthony Santander and was replaced by right-hander Erick Fedde.

The news comes on the heels of the Nationals losing second baseman Starlin Castro to a broken wrist and announcing that lefty reliever Sam Freeman was transferred to the 60-Day Injured List.

Strasburg is in the first season of a seven-year, $245 million extension he signed with the Nationals last offseason.

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