Apr 22, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros third baseman Brandon Laird (4) reacts after striking out during the fourth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

District Daily: Nats News 3/16


The Nationals reportedly acquired infielder Brandon Laird in a trade with the Kansas City Royals Saturday evening, adding infield depth at first and third base.

Laird, 26, has made 138 major league plate appearance in which he batted .197/.255/.370 with six home runs in 53 games. Since the Nationals already have a surplus of infielders for the opening day roster, Laird will likely start the 2014 season in the minor leagues.

Checkout some great reads from our fellow Washington Nationals writers:

Strasburg keeps leadoff runners stranded

(Andrew Simon, MLB.com)

JUPITER, Fla. — Putting a runner on base to begin an inning is usually something to avoid for any pitcher, but when Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg did so in each of his first three innings on Saturday, it wasn’t such a bad thing.

Strasburg has made holding baserunners a priority this spring after allowing 27 steals in 34 attempts (a 79 percent success rate) over the past two seasons. His start against the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium provided a good deal of practice. Read full article here.

Injuries derailing Mattheus, Ohlendorf’s opening plans

(Andrew Simon, MLB.com)

JUPITER, Fla. — Nationals relieversRyan Mattheus and Ross Ohlendorfboth are making progress in their return from injuries, but their recoveries might not come along fast enough to get them ready for Opening Day.

Mattheus hasn’t pitched in a game this spring, due to inflammation of the cartilage connecting the ribs and sternum. He did throw a bullpen session on Friday, and manager Matt Williams said Saturday that Mattheus should see game action in the next two or three days. Read full article here.

Sammy Solis could break in with Nationals after recovery from Tommy John surgery

(James Wagner, Washington Post)

JUPITER, Fla. — The moment Sammy Solis’s left elbow ligament gave way in November 2011, he was in the midst of his best game of the Arizona Fall League.

He had struck out nine batters. Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo, who believed in Solis’s potential to rise quickly to the majors, was in the stands. Members of Solis’s family, which lives in Phoenix, were watching. The pitch after Solis felt the sensation — “Like a pulled muscle almost,” he said — the catcher called for a fastball. Solis fired one 15 mph slower than normal. The catcher thought it was a change-up.

A pinhole tear had formed in his left arm’s ulnar collateral ligament. The hole was miniscule but it stretched enough to make his throwing arm nearly useless.

“It went from the mountaintop to the valley very quickly,” Solis’s father, Bob, said. Read full article here.

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