The Washington Post

Spring training roundup

After a disappointing season last year, the Nationals have made some big changes, but Thomas Boswell thinks the newfound maturity of the players will keep them from repeating last year's mistakes. (Whitney Leaming/The Washington Post)

Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston has no plans to stop being a two-sport man.

“I’m just 20 years old,” Winston said Tuesday after Florida State lost, 8-3, in the New York Yankees’ spring training opener in Tampa. “This is my life, man. I want to play both as long as I can. I love both of them. I’ve got a strong passion for both.”

Florida State’s quarterback in the fall, Winston went 0 for 2 in the Seminoles’ exhibition game against the Yankees. He grounded out to second base while facing Shane Greene in the sixth and struck out looking on a full-count pitch from Bryan Mitchell two innings later.

“Obviously, he’s a great talent,” Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said. “I guess he had a football injury in the championship game which kept him from hitting for a while. But he’s just starting to pick up the bat again. I guess he had torn a ligament in his left index finger.”

Winston has made three scoreless appearances as a closer this season but didn’t get a chance to pitch against his favorite baseball team. Seminoles Coach Mike Martin said Winston’s arm was a little tender after his outing Saturday.

Last year it was the curse of high expectations that many felt doomed the Nationals to mediocrity, but what is it in 2014? The Post Sports Live crew looks at the major hurdles the Nationals face this season. (Post Sports Live/The Washington Post)

Winston played in the field twice previously this year, getting a hit in his lone at-bat. Against Greene, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound sophomore got a big cheer from the announced crowd of 7,708 at Steinbrenner Field after shattering his bat on foul grounder.

Winston talked with his favorite player, Derek Jeter, calling the meeting “surreal.” . . .

Girardi said Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to make his Yankees debut Saturday. The Japanese pitcher signed a seven-year, $155 million contract in January.

PHILLIES: Cole Hamels is slated to throw off a mound Wednesday for the first time this spring training, still unsure how much of April he will miss. The pitcher, battling sore biceps since November, said two weeks ago he won’t be ready by the season opener.

“I feel really good,” Hamels said Tuesday. “I’ve made tremendous progress.”

The 30-year-old left-hander, who signed to a six-year, $144 million contract through 2018, was 2-11 with a 4.58 ERA in the first three months of last season, then went 6-3 with a 2.68 ERA the rest of the way.

Hamels continued to throw in October but after taking some time off, he felt soreness in his arm when he restarted his offseason throwing program in mid-November. Hamels was told to stop his weightlifting program, too.

The Nationals' pitcher Stephen Strasburg discussed the state of his arm, lessons learned from last season and what's to come for the Washington team during a break from spring training in Viera, Florida. (Whitney Leaming/The Washington Post)

DODGERS: Outfielder Matt Kemp is scheduled for an MRI exam of his surgically repaired left ankle on Friday. Manager Don Mattingly said the scan will help determine whether Kemp can accelerate his rehabilitation from microfracture surgery in October.

ROCKIES: Starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin has no structural damage in his troublesome throwing shoulder, but will remain sidelined for at least another week.

GIANTS: Left-hander Madison Bumgarner will be San Francisco’s opening day starter, March 31 at Arizona. He was the only member of the rotation with a winning record last season at 13-9, with a 2.77 ERA in 31 starts.

RANGERS: Yu Darvish got the official nod that should surprise no one. The ace from Japan will be Texas’s opening day starter. Manager Ron Washington told Darvish he will start March 31 at home against the Phillies.

PADRES: An MRI exam has confirmed a Grade 1 calf strain for third baseman Chase Headley. Manager Bud Black said the exam does not change the expected timeline for his recovery, as Headley is expected to be out two to three weeks.

CARDINALS: Jaime Garcia will seek a second opinion on his surgically repaired shoulder from orthopedist James Andrews before deciding his next course of action, General Manager John Mozeliak said.


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