Nationals excited about spring training opener

KYLE HIGHTOWER Associated Press Published:

VIERA, Fla. (AP) -- The Washington Nationals feel like they are making progress heading into their spring training opener.

Friday brought the arrival of new pitching acquisition Chris Young, who they hope will serve as a strong insurance policy behind the Nationals' already strong starting pitching rotation.

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman also went through his first on-field batting practice session of the spring and reported no setbacks following his offseason shoulder surgery.

Starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez also learned from the players' association that he'd passed a Major League Baseball-administered drug test given days after his name was listed in a newspaper report as receiving performance-enhancing drugs from a now-closed anti-aging clinic.

The Nationals travel to Port St. Lucie to play the New York Mets on Saturday.