Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 8:51 a.m.
By Mark Zuckerman
NATIONALS PAGE NATIONALS VIDEO
VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals announced this morning they designated right-hander Luis Atilano for assignment, the long-awaited move that reduces their roster to the maximum 40 one day before pitchers and catchers hold their first formal workout.
Atilano was a surprise contributor to the Nationals' rotation early last season, summoned from the minors after a spate of injuries. He went 5-1 over his first eight career starts, then lost six of his next seven decisions to wind up 6-7 with a 5.15 ERA.
The Puerto Rico native went on the disabled list in July with bone chips in his throwing elbow and missed the rest of the season after having surgery to remove them.
Meanwhile, three pitchers and catchers have yet to report to spring training due to visa issues: Dominican right-hander Elvin Ramirez (a Rule 5 draftee) and Venezuelan right-hander Henry Rodriguez (acquired from the A's in the Josh Willingham trade) and catcher Carlos Maldonado (invited to camp as a non-roster player).
Hundreds of Redskins fans waited in line for hours to get a free Su'a Cravens jersey on Saturday morning.
Cravens, who's currently on the Redskins' Reserve/Left Squad list, announced earlier in the week that he'd giveaway all of his jerseys to fans for free.
Here are some of the sights and sounds of the event, courtesy of Redskins Insider JP Finlay:
There was even a surprise (albeit totally coincidental) apperance from Santana Moss:
Cravens also briefly chatted with the media about the day:
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Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Matt Niskanen highlight the Caps’ lineup tonight against the Hurricanes at Capital One Arena.
Here’s how Coach Barry Trotz will have them lineup (based on the morning skate):
Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Chiasson
Smith–Pelly – Beagle – W. Simpson
Vrana – Boyd – Connolly
Walker – Albert – Barber
Orpik – Hobbs
Djoos – Niskanen
Siegenthaler – Orlov
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Some notes and observations from the morning skate:
- Fourth line center Jay Beagle will make his preseason debut tonight. He’s been battling some “tightness” according to Trotz. “Everyone’s tight right now,” Beagle told CSN after the morning skate. “I feel great. I’m ready to play tonight. It’s something the medical staff was really diligent about.”
- Vrana will skate in his third preseason contest…but in a much different role. In his first two appearances, the 2014 first rounder skated in the top-six (on Kuznetsov’s line and Backstrom’s line). Now’s getting a look on the third combo.
- Tom Wilson was originally slated to suit up but he was pulled from the lineup because he’s facing a disciplinary hearing with the NHL for his hit on St. Louis’ Robert Thomas on Friday. Instead, Wilson participated in the intrasquad scrimmage at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
- Matt Niskanen and Dmitry Orlov will also get their first action of the exhibition season. Although Trotz has said they’ll start the regular season as a pair, each will play with a prospect vs. the Canes.
- Chiasson, who is on a PTO, has enjoyed a strong camp to this point. If he can add production tonight (while skating on a line with Ovechkin and Kuznetsov) that could go a long way toward him clinching a spot…if he hasn’t done so already. Chiasson was also on the first power play unit this morning.
- Former Capitals winger Justin Williams will skate on the Hurricanes' first line tonight.
- Another round of cuts is expected to come on Sunday.
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