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Campana aims to make mark as bench option

MLB.com @ladsonbill24

VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals are looking for speed off the bench and outfielder Tony Campana is one guy who is trying to impress manager Dusty Baker.

"[Baker] likes speed and wants me to show what I can do, show that I'm healthy and hopefully compete for a spot and try to make the team," Campana said. "If not, I'll do my thing in Triple-A and try to get a callup."

VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals are looking for speed off the bench and outfielder Tony Campana is one guy who is trying to impress manager Dusty Baker.

"[Baker] likes speed and wants me to show what I can do, show that I'm healthy and hopefully compete for a spot and try to make the team," Campana said. "If not, I'll do my thing in Triple-A and try to get a callup."

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Campana joined the Nationals last August on a Minor League deal even though he was dealing with an ailing right knee, which he hurt while doing box jumps four days before he was going to Spring Training with the White Sox.

After signing with the Nationals, Campana spent the rest of the summer rehabbing the knee at the club's Spring Training complex and later saw live pitching while playing in the instructional league for a month. After that, the 29-year-old was invited to big league Spring Training.

"I'm very humbled and excited to get the opportunity," Campana said. "[After] you miss a full year … it's good to be competitive again. It's nice to have that competitive feeling again."

Campana, who hasn't played in the big leagues since 2014, is a career .249 hitter in 257 games for the D-backs, Cubs and Angels.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

Washington Nationals