Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is hosting NatsFest today.
There is plenty of stuff planned for the afternoon, from player autographs to Q&A sessions to batting cages and the much-anticipated unveiling of the newest racing president, William Howard Taft.
As many as 25 players are scheduled to appear, and we'll be getting a chance to interview them all. So check back here for plenty of live updates along the way...
UPDATE AT 1:35 P.M. -- The first round of players have trickled through the media area. Among them, Chad Tracy, who had arthroscopic knee surgery after the season. He says he's already fully rehabbed from that injury, and his groin (which was operated on over the summer) is completely healed as well.
UPDATE AT 1:40 P.M. -- Ross Detwiler was full of one-liners, none better than this response to my question about the addition of Dan Haren: "I think Strasburg might have s--- himself because he might lose the batting title." Good stuff. Ross plans to leave for Viera tomorrow, by the way.
UPDATE AT 2:09 P.M. -- Tyler Clippard on last week's signing of Rafael Soriano: "Surprising. But at the end of the day it's going to be a positive thing for everyone."
UPDATE AT 2:11 P.M. -- Jordan Zimmermann says he's interested in a long-term deal with the Nationals, but said he's focused first on getting his one-year, arbitration contract settled.
UPDATE AT 2:30 P.M. -- Say hello to William Howard Taft.
UPDATE AT 2:35 P.M. -- In more significant baseball news, Danny Espinosa just revealed he was diagnosed with a torn left rotator cuff after the season. It bothered him throughout the second half, but he didn't know the extent of the injury at the time, so he played through it. By the time it was diagnosed, it was decided not to have surgery because of the long rehab period, so Espinosa instead rehabbed the muscles around the shoulder. He said he feels strong now and has been swinging since Jan. 1 and believes he'll be fine heading into spring training. Obviously something to keep an eye on, though.
UPDATE AT 3:19 P.M. -- Drew Storen walked onto the stage for his fan Q&A earlier and got a standing ovation. "That's an awesome feeling," he said. Storen has spoken to Mike Rizzo and Steve McCatty and understands why the Nats signed Rafael Soriano. He's comfortable with his role moving forward and sounds determined to put Game 5 behind him for good.
UPDATE AT 3:55 P.M. -- Things are starting to wrap up here, but two last updates. First from Anthony Rendon, who missed most of last season with a fractured ankle: "Ankle's good. That's in the past now." He's really looking forward to starting the season at Class AA Harrisburg (at third base) and making his case for a September call-up. Dan Haren, meanwhile, has already throw three or four bullpen sessions and he feels "great." "I'm going to be 100 percent ready to go from the get-go. There's really no roadblocks I need to cross."
And with that, I'm going to start working on some full articles on the day's biggest news, starting with the Espinosa injury. Check the homepage for that shortly.