02/23/11 6:37 PM ET
Harper to come off the bench on Monday
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
It will be Harper's first professional game since he played in the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .343 with a home run and seven RBIs in nine games for the Scottsdale Scorpions.
Harper, who was recently named Baseball America's top prospect and is No. 3 on MLB.com's list of top prospects, made it clear Tuesday afternoon that he is trying to make the Opening Day roster. However, he will most likely start the season with Class A Hagerstown.
2010 Spring Training - Washington Nationals
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"I want to make that decision harder," Harper said. "I'm trying to stay up here as long as I can. [Outfielder Jayson] Werth and several of the guys came up to me and asked, 'Are you going to make the team or what?' I'm trying to make this club. ... If it doesn't happen, it's going to be a great experience being up here with all the veteran guys."
Harper continued to show what he can do in the batter's box on Wednesday, as he hit two home runs against reliever Cole Kimball during live batting practice.
Storen gets good-natured revenge on Werth
VIERA, Fla. -- Facing the Phillies last Sept. 19, Nationals right-hander Drew Storen entered the game in the bottom of the ninth inning with Washington holding a 6-3 lead.
However, Storen didn't record an out. After Placido Polanco singled and Chase Utley doubled, Ryan Howard singled to center field to drive in two runs and pull the Phils within one.
Jayson Werth was the next hitter, and he battled Storen for seven pitches before taking a 3-2 fastball and hitting the ball over the wall for a walk-off homer. Entering the game, Werth was hitting .239 with runners on base, and .172 with runners in scoring position.
On Wednesday, Werth, now with the Nationals, faced Storen during live batting practice. On the first pitch, Storen jokingly buzzed Werth, who said to Storen afterward, "I wouldn't respect you if you didn't."
"That shows you what kind of guy he is. He is an old-school kind of guy. That's cool. That's the type of personality that we need," Storen said about Werth.
According Storen, he and Werth talked about the game in Philadelphia. Werth wondered why Storen threw a fastball; he thought Storen should have thrown the slider.
"It was interesting to hear his perspective on it, because I played it out in my head and wondered what he was looking for," Storen said. "I thought I could get a fastball by him. That's why he is a good hitter.
"I was telling him that our scouting reports were a little bit different on what he likes to do late in the count. He ended up giving me more confidence in my slider. He said, 'You should have thrown a slider.' Instead, I just tried to pump one past him."
Riggleman wants Nats to police themselves
VIERA, Fla. -- Before workouts on Wednesday, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman had a meeting with some of his players, which included third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, right fielder Jayson Werth and shortstop Ian Desmond.
Riggleman wants the players to start policing themselves in the clubhouse. Riggleman wants to see the players police themselves on the field, too. For example, if a player doesn't hustle during a certain play, a teammate should go to that player and chew him out.
"We have some standards, and I want to get their input on it. It's their clubhouse. I want them to police each other and come up with some standards they will be comfortable with in their clubhouse -- things that pertain to music, card playing, family and friends in the clubhouse. They will come up with those rules.
"I'll look it over with the coaching staff and [general manager] Mike Rizzo, and see how comfortable we are with those standards. We'll come up with a finite set of rules."
Werth, Zimmerman won't play on Monday
VIERA, Fla. -- Roger Bernadina, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Mike Morse are set to play against the Mets on Monday, while Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, Ivan Rodriguez and Adam LaRoche will be left behind and work out at Space Coast Stadium.
The quartet is expected to play in Tuesday's home game against the Mets.
Ramirez, Rodriguez expected at camp soon
VIERA, Fla. -- Right-hander Elvin Ramirez is expected to report to Space Coast Stadium sometime Wednesday, while right-hander Henry Rodriguez is expected to report on Thursday. Visa issues have kept them out of spring camp.
The pair are not expected to be behind the eight-ball after they arrive, because they have been working out in their native countries.
Of the two, Rodriguez is the most interesting, because he is expected to battle Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Sean Burnett for the closer's role.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.