May 2, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz (51) tries to stop Washington Nationals center fielder Denard Span (2) from going out to the pitchers mound in the 5th inning at Citizens Bank Park. The Nationals defeated the Phillies, 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

District Daily: Nationals News 5/3


Start off your weekend with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web:

Ramos impresses in first extended spring game

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

PHILADELPHIA — Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos played in his first extended spring game on Friday and hit two home runs and a double in three innings. To manager Matt Williams, he saw this as good news and bad news.

The good news was, after missing most of the season because of a broken left hamate bone, Ramos is able to hit the ball right away. The bad news is, just because Ramos was able to hit right away, Williams doesn’t want Ramos to rush back to the big leagues. The skipper wants to make sure Ramos’ legs are in shape. Read full article here.

Benches clear after Span, Lee exchange words

(Todd Zolecky, MLB.com)

PHILADELPHIA — Benches cleared in the fifth inning Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Nationals center fielder Denard Span objected to an inside fastball on the first pitch of his at-bat with Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee. Span had his head down, when Lee snuck a pitch to the plate, but instead of a strike it came up and in for a ball.

“I made a pitch and he was in the box and wasn’t ready,” Lee said. “I’ll do that every time. If they want to stand there and not look, I’ll take a strike every time. I threw a ball, so maybe he was mad because it was close to him, but if they are going to stand there and not look, I’m going to throw a pitch. I think it’s on the hitter to be in the box and make sure they are ready. I’ll take advantage of that every time I can.”

Span stared at Lee after the pitch. Once Lee looked back, Span shrugged his shoulders and said, “Come on, man.” Read full article here.

 

Loss of Bryce Harper Not Catastrophic for Washington Nationals

(Michael Natelli, Bleacher Report)

It was reported on Monday that Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper will be out until at least July after undergoing surgery on a broken thumb. Harper last played on April 25 in a game against the San Diego Padres, the same game in which he injured the thumb sliding into third base. He was hitting .289 with a home run, nine RBI, four doubles and eight walks.

With starting catcher Wilson Ramos, starting third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Doug Fister already on the shelf, the injury certainly isn’t welcome news to Nationals fans, but the news also shouldn’t come as nearly as much of a scare as some Nats fans are taking it.

Yes, Bryce Harper brings as much energy to a lineup as almost anyone in baseball. However, in terms of “replaceability,” the Nationals aren’t losing as much as it seems at face value.

While Harper’s energy and power potential (key word being “potential”; he’s hit just one home run this year) will be missed, the Nationals aren’t short of potential replacements for the time being.  Read full article here.

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