Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Weekend Notes - Jesus Flores On Fire, Bryce Harper Coloring.

• Hey, I hear Jesus Flores has mad power in the VWL. Hey, I hear Bryce Harper is a Dora The Explorer fan. Hey, I hear Matt Purke made his AFL debut this weekend. Hey...enough of that. In case you missed it, we started the weekend by taking a look at whether or not the Nationals will make a run at the big free agents this winter, like Prince Fielder? We also looked at what the future holds for '06 1st Round pick Chris Marrero. We looked at Matt Purke's path to his Arizona Fall League debut and we wondered about Jesus Flores and whether or not he'll be back as a backup with the Nats or headed somewhere where he'll find more playing time. Here's what the rest of the folks around NatsTown were discussing this weekend, starting with a big ICYMI interview from MLB.com's Bill Ladson...

• THE BIG STORY: 

• "Nyjer Morgan: 'It was a learning year in Washington last year. It’s unfortunate that the Nationals gave up on me. Now they feel they need a center fielder/leadoff hitter. That’s what they are looking for now. I guess they didn’t feel like I was a right part of the chemistry there, so they let me go.'" - "Q&A with Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan" - Bill Ladson, All Nats All the Time

• NATS BEAT: 

• "As brilliant as Stephen Strasburg was in his return from Tommy John surgery, he's still going to be on a strict innings limit in 2012. And Jordan Zimmermann probably isn't going to be a 220-inning starter." - "In returning to World Series, Rangers provide pitching blueprint for Nationals" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "Former Nationals manager Jim Riggleman will not be a familiar face in the National League East next season (at least not yet.)" - "Riggleman will not be Mets next bench coach, his agent confirms" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "After he was unable to acquire a center fielder before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, general manager Mike Rizzo said that the Nationals have a player who will be their center fielder of the future." - "Michael Taylor on path to be Nationals' center fielder of future" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Take Nationals' face of the franchise Ryan Zimmerman, for instance. The top three similar batters, career-wise, are Corey Koskie, Whitey Kurowski and Chris Sabo." - "Baseball fun on the Web" - Phil Wood, MASNSports.com

• "In Arizona and across the Caribbean, more than a dozen members of the Nationals organization are getting in some extra work." - "Winter ball update" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Outfielder Michael Morse and left-hander Ross Detwiler will represent the Nationals at the 2011 Taiwan All-Star Series." - "Michael Morse, Ross Detwiler to represent Nats in Taiwan" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com

• "Nationals catcher Jesus Flores is playing for the Navagantes del Magallanes in the Venezuelan Winter League this year, as he's done the past several seasons." - "Jesus Flores off to great start in winter ball" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "Major league clubs are still drafting closers like Huston Street (40th overall from the University of Texas Longhorns by the Oakland A’s) now with the Colorado Rockies; Chris Sale (13th overall, Chicago White Sox, Florida Gulf Coast College, 2010); Drew Storen..." - "Finding closers is tough" - Bob Elliott, Toronto Sun

• "The Nationals and representatives for right-hander Chien-Ming Wang continue to talk about a contract extension, but they are not close to a deal, according to a baseball source." - "Washington Nationals discussing contract extension with pitcher Chien-Ming Wang" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com

• "Baseball officials are increasingly convinced that the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters will post righthander Yu Darvish to the major leagues, and industry folks wonder: How much will teams pay for the right to negotiate with Darvish?" - "Ken Davidoff's baseball insider" - Ken Davidoff, New York Newsday

• "After hitting 31 homers in back-to-back seasons, first baseman Tyler Moore is the hottest young power hitter in the Nationals organization." - "Outfield an 'option' for Nationals' power-hitting prospect Tyler Moore" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Davey Johnson will be 69 years old in January. If that concerns you as a Nationals fan, be aware that it's really of little consequence to most baseball professionals." - "Age doesn't matter for Nats, Johnson" - Phil Wood, Washington Examiner

• "Wally Backman, now a Minor League manager with the Mets, was never offered a Major League position with the Nationals, according to three sources." - "Sources: Nationals never offered Major League position to Backman" - Bill Ladson, All Nats All the Time

• "The Nationals announced this morning they will play host to the Red Sox in an April 3 exhibition at Nationals Park, tuning up for the season against Boston for the second time in three years." - "Nationals to host Red Sox in April 3 exhibition" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Each major religion has its own spirit and character. There is no one religion appropriate for every type of people." - 

• AFL Updates: 

• "'Matt [Purke] understands who he is as a pitcher,' [Doug] Harris said. 'He has a great drive to be the best. Matt is mature and focused. This is big because he already has the ability.'" - "Prospect Purke in Arizona, to work out of bullpen with Scottsdale" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Scottsdale Scorpions left-hander Matt Purke pitched two innings following Red Sox prospect Brock Huntzinger in Saturday's 8-7 loss to the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League." - "Purke goes two innings in Arizona debut; Scottsdale drops 8-7 decision" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "AFL Update: October 17, 2011" - NationalsProspects.com

• NATSTOWN: 

• "The Washington Nationals will host the Boston Red Sox in an exhibition game at Nationals Park on Tuesday, April 3, 2012. Game time has yet to be determined." - "Nats to Host Red Sox in Exhibition Game" - Cheryl Nichols, District Sports Page

• "Community Top Prospect List: #20" - Sean Hogan, DC is for Baseball

• "We haven’t had a special guest come in a long while to answer Bill Ladson’s Nats Mailbag and today I think we will remedy this. Today’s guest is Garth Algar from Aurora, Illinois." - "Garth Algar Answers The Nats Mailbag" - DangerNat, Nationals Inquisition

• "To help celebrate this occasion, Bryce’s brother, Bryan (who is also in the Nats organization as of the 2011 draft) decided to share this gem via twitter..." - "Happy Birthday Nats Bryce Harper!" - Keara Dowd, Win for Teddy

• "Collin Balester 'Bally*' - Age 25 - @ballystar40 - How he became a Nat: Drafted by the Expos in the 4th round of the 2004 MLB First Year Player draft." - "A Few Good Men: 5 - Balester" - Mac, Capitol Baseball

• "And so, for the second year in a row, the team formerly known as the Washington Senators is heading to the World Series." - "Somewhere, Bob Short is chortling" - Nats Enquirer

• "With today's edition of roster predictions, we're going to talk about the position players on the Washington Nationals' 40-man roster that will end up on a minor league roster next year." - "Next Season's Roster: To The Minors - Position Players Edition" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• NL EAST UPDATES: 

Braves"The season wasn't without its usual growing pains, however. Kimbrel suffered five blown saves in his first 32 games, but then he embarked on an incredible streak." - "2011 Atlanta Braves Player Review: Craig Kimbrel" - Tony Almeyda, Talking Chop

Mets: "As bad as the Mets' bullpen was this season, there were a few pitchers who shined while working in relief. Sandy Alderson has indicated that the bullpen is an area upon which he intends to focus this winter..." - "The Dickeys: Amazin' Avenue 2011 Mets Awards, Best Relief Pitcher" - Chris McShane, Amazin' Avenue

Marlins: "Major League Baseball today announced a partial roster for team headed to Taiwain next month for a series of games against the Chinese Taipei national team. Representing the Marlins: Logan Morrison (@LoMoMarlins) and Emilio Bonifacio (@Elboni_1)." - "Logan Morrison, Emilio Bonifacio to get international exposure" - Juan C. Rodriguez, Florida Sun-Sentinel

Phillies: "With the off-season comes a plethora of unsolicited advice from fans and media types alike. The focus has mostly been on the shortstop position, and rightly so, but the Phillies have a bullpen in flux that cannot be ignored." - "Phillies Should Utilize A Thrift Store Bullpen" - Bill Baer, Crashburn Alley

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