Washington potentially added a starter to the back end of the starting rotation on Friday, when some were expecting the Nationals to add an arm to the top of their rotation (you know, behind Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, in front of Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark). What does signing Jeremy Hellickson mean for the battle for the fifth starter in the rotation in the nation’s capital? Is Hellickson immediately the frontrunner for the fifth spot? Will A.J. Cole (who is out options, you might have heard) start the season in the rotation, or bullpen maybe? Will the work Erick Fedde’s done this Spring earn him a spot in the majors, or will he start the season in Triple-A? So many questions. So many links below...
Does Hellickson signing address Nationals' rotation need?
"What seemed clear from the get-go, though, was that any addition made by general manager Mike Rizzo would be for a top-tier starter, someone who could slot in behind Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg..."
Washington Nationals add Jeremy Hellickson to pitching mix
"Hellickson struggled last season, one he split between Philadelphia and Baltimore while pitching to a 5.43 ERA."
Jeremy Hellickson, Nats agree on Minors deal
"Hellickson, who will turn 31 in April, enters an ongoing competition for the fifth starter job in the Nationals' rotation."
Adam Eaton and Michael A. Taylor scheduled to play Saturday
"For days, Manager Dave Martinez assured reporters that both Eaton and Taylor were fine and that the and the Nationals’ staff were exercising caution."
Adam Eaton, Nationals outfielder, ready for first spring training game
"Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton said Friday he plans to make his first appearance in a spring training game on Saturday against the New York Mets."
Victor Robles gets to the clubhouse early. He might get to the majors the same way
"Anyone who doesn’t call Robles a top-five prospect gets drummed out of the rate-a-phenom industry..."
Nationals' Enny Romero, Matt Grace candidates
"Where the Nationals will have to make key decisions is in their bullpen, especially regarding Romero and Grace."
Nationals hope for postseason success in 2018
"The Nationals are preparing for what will be one of the most important years in their short history."
The Baseball Life: A year removed from beating cancer, Doug Harris trying to approach every day 'the right way'
"Born and raised in Carlisle to parents Ron and Letitia, [Doug] Harris was indoctrinated into the culture of winning at a very early age..."
The Washington Nationals Are on the Brink of Victory and Despair
"Another reason for the Nats to win it all: They have to. Their title window is closing, and it could slam shut even more definitively than it does for most contending teams."
2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: Starting Pitchers
"Why does everyone hate Tanner Roark so much? I really don't understand why he is going so late in drafts this year."
NL EAST UPDATES:
Braves Aaron Blair pleased with camp outing
"In seven combined spring innings, Blair has a 5.14 ERA, allowing four runs on 10 hits with three walks, a hit batter and two strikeouts."
Mets’ Michael Conforto takes real swings against minor-leaguers
"Michael Conforto didn’t have any hits in four at-bats in a minor-league game Friday. He made solid contact once and said his timing was off."
Phillies' Jerad Eickhoff has right lat injury
"Eickhoff, who felt discomfort on one of his final pitches of the outing, was sent back to Philadelphia, where the lat injury was diagnosed. It's in the right lat, just below the armpit."