2/18/2014 10:07 P.M. ET
Carroll reflects on time in game at age 40
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals infielder Jamey Carroll celebrated his 40th birthday on Tuesday. He spent most of the day practicing with the position players at Space Coast Stadium.
After signing a Minor League contract last month, Carroll wants to show that he has something left in the tank. As far as Carroll is concerned, last season -- when he hit a combined .211 with 11 RBIs for the Twins and Royals --was a fluke.
"I want to show the team and myself that last year was just last year," Carroll said. "But I can still play and feel I can contribute. I want to help the ballclub out."
It seemed like yesterday when Carroll entered the Major Leagues as a member of the Montreal Expos. It was Sept. 11, 2002, when then-general manager Omar Minaya and then-manager Frank Robinson decided that Carroll would be a September callup. Before that day, it seemed Carroll would be a career Minor Leaguer. They decided to promote Carroll because he lived close to Chicago and they needed his services that day. The other player, Ron Calloway, was living in California and he wouldn't have been in Chicago in time.
In total, Carroll has played for the Expos/Nationals, Rockies, Indians, Dodgers, Twins and Royals. In 12 big league seasons, Carroll has a .272 career batting average with 13 home runs and 265 RBIs in 1,276 games.
"I was given a chance at 28, thinking, 'Man, if I play 10 years, I will be 38,'" Carroll said. "Getting a chance to put a uniform on at 40, it's fun. It became a goal the last few years. I wanted to keep going if I could. I feel good enough."
Williams: Harper 'looks good' at outset of camp
VIERA, Fla. -- All Nationals players have reported to Florida, including outfielder Bryce Harper, according to manager Matt Williams.
Harper took batting practice without any problems on Tuesday. Last October, Harper underwent successful surgery to repair the bursa in his left knee. Harper hurt the knee on May 13, when he slammed into the right-field wall at Dodger Stadium.
Williams reiterated that Harper will be full-go when the team has its full workouts on Thursday.
"He looks good. He participated with everything today," Williams said. "We'll monitor him, of course. We'll see how he is tomorrow. He looks good, he is ready to go."
Williams isn't concerned that Harper came to camp bulked up. Harper explained to his new boss that he will gradually lose weight by the end of the season.
"I will never be worried about Bryce being in shape. That's for sure," Williams said.
Nats, Astros said to be talking about new spring home
VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals are in talks with the Astros about sharing a Spring Training facility, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.
Giles Kibbe, the Astros' general counsel, said he recently had talks with the Nationals. The Astros would like to leave Kissimmee, Fla., after the 2016 season, while the Nationals would like to move their facility closer to other teams. Washington's lease at Space Coast Stadium expires at the end of 2017.
Kibbe told McTaggart that he met with Palm Beach County representatives last week. The Nationals declined to comment on the talks.
"As a policy, the Washington Nationals do not publicly comment on pending or ongoing business discussions," the team said through a spokesman. "We are in the process of finding the best long-term options for a Spring Training and player-development facility, and public comment would be premature and unfair to that process."
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.