Nationals proud of 2012, want more in 2013

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 29, 2013 at 5:31 pm •  Published: March 29, 2013
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While Cashman spoke Friday about the challenges of putting this year's team together, Washington's Johnson was pleased to discuss a relatively injury-free spring.

"Nobody got hurt. Everybody's feeling pretty frisky. We've got some minor injuries but nothing major," Johnson said. "That's the thing as far as a manager that I'm most pleased with coming out of spring."

The Nationals added closer Rafael Soriano — a free agent who left the Yankees — along with center fielder Denard Span and fifth starter Dan Haren, but otherwise kept things pretty much the same as last season.

There was very little, if any, true competition during the team's time in Viera, Fla.

Now Johnson wants to see more progress.

"It's fun to know that you're on the right track," said the reigning NL Manager of the Year, who plans to retire after this season. "The challenge is still there. But we haven't done the things that I know we're capable of."

NOTES: Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte ducked to avoid a twirling piece of broken bat during his six-inning, two-run stint, while 3B Kevin Youkilis hit his sixth homer of spring training and had a throwing error that led to an unearned run. "I felt like it was going to hit me right upside the head," Pettitte said. "That's why I bailed out." ... Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed four runs in 3 1-3 innings. ... After the game, Yankees 1B Lyle Overbay emerged from a meeting with Cashman and said he'll be added to the 25-man roster Saturday. Manager Joe Girardi said INF Jayson Nix, OF Ben Francisco and RHP Shawn Kelley have made the team, while RHP David Aardsma has been designated for assignment. ... Johnson announced that Wilson Ramos will start on opening day, less than 11 months after the catcher tore a right knee ligament and needed two operations. Suzuki starts Game 2. ... Johnson indicated RHP Henry Rodriguez will make the roster and LHP J.C. Romero will not. ... It was Washington's first game at Nationals Park since the club blew a ninth-inning lead in the division series finale against St. Louis. The pitcher who let Game 5 get away, Drew Storen, was greeted with applause and cheers when he came on for the ninth Friday. "Of course you notice that," Storen said. "It really means a lot to me."

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Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich



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