Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Fans Study Weather, Wait For Stephen Strasburg's Return.

WASHINGTON - JUNE 08: Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals warms up before the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Nationals Park on June 8, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

• Programming Notes: The Washington Nationals' '09 no.1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg is set to make his return to the majors tonight, weather permitting, but the forecast does not look good. The 23-year-old right-hander's made six rehab starts as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. All of NatsTown will be playing junior weather-person this afternoon or at least until the Nats announce their plans for this evening. Should they play the game, Strasburg will match up with Ted Lilly on the mound in the second game of the four-game series with LA that started yesterday with the Nats' four-dinger win. We'll be tracking the storm all day and providing updates from Nats Park later this afternoon. Stay Tuned. MASN 2 HD, MLB.tv, 106.7 the FAN in D.C., 1500 WFED, Sirius/XM ch. 189. Who's Watching The Nationals?

• LINKS AND LINKS AND...

• STRASBURG BEAT: 

• "'His mound presence, stuff, command, it might be naive for me to say it, but that’s what I think — the best,' Clippard said." - "Excitement about Strasburg’s return cracks ballplayers’ cynical armor" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• "Stephen Strasburg was the rare phenom whose outsized hype didn’t outpace his performance as a rookie, when he became a national sensation with the lowly Washington Nationals." - "SNYDER: Another spiritual awakening for Nats" - Deron Snyder, Washington Times

• "There is some concern about the possibility that the Nationals might be rushing right-hander Stephen Strasburg back for tonight's game." - "Are Nationals rushing Strasburg back too early?" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Having completed six rehab starts at four different levels of the Nationals' farm system, Strasburg firmly believes he's a better pitcher now than he was pre-surgery." - "Strasburg's back, but expectations low" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "Nationals manager Davey Johnson said that catcher Wilson Ramos will be behind the plate when right-hander Stephen Strasburg makes his season debut on Tuesday at Nationals Park." - "Ramos to catch Strasburg for first time" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "While no one can pinpoint the reason for Strasburg’s injury, the 6-foot-4 hurler is noticeably trimmer and spoke about his improved fitness after his first rehabilitation start." - "Strasburg set for first start since having elbow surgery" - Nathan Fenno, Washington Times

• "Strasburg, 23, will face the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night, and we will begin to find the answers to the many questions in our minds..." - "After 12 long months, Stephen Strasburg is back at Nats Park" - Dave Sheinin, The Washington Post

• "The 20 percent model puts Strasburg at 147 innings next season, after he combined for 123 1/3 innings in the minors and big leagues in 2010." - "Strasburg's workload for 2012 remains to be seen" - Amanda Comak, Nathan Fenno, Washington Times

• "Strasburg will offer at least traces of his old brilliance – the hissing fastball, the diving changeup, the biting curveball. It could be an uncontrolled kind of greatness." - "What to expect from Stephen Strasburg?" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'It was my goal [to come back this season]. Besides that, I wanted to go into the offseason healthy. It looks like at this point, both are going to happen.'" - Stephen Strasburg - "Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals: In DC, all eyes on Strasburg in return to Majors" - Joey Nowak, MLB.com Preview

• "The news last season that Strasburg, 23, would require Tommy John surgery to replace a torn ligament in his elbow was perhaps the low point in the Nationals’ seven-year history." - "Nationals fans jazzy for 'Strassy' (Stephen Strasburg)" - Tom Howell, Jr., Washington Times

• NATS BEAT: 

• "As far as I’ve seen, Werth is the only major leaguer who uses the slide-to-stop technique on the bases." - "About Jayson Werth sliding in the middle of the base path" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "With the Triple-A season concluding Monday, the Nationals are expecting their next wave of September call-ups to arrive before Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers." - "Nationals expecting another wave of call-ups Tuesday" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Backed by four homers - including two from Michael Morse - the Nationals rolled to a 7-2 victory over the Dodgers, giving John Lannan his team-high ninth win of the season." - "Nationals cruise to 7-2 win over Dodgers" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "Lombardozzi may be the leadoff hitter the Nationals are looking for. In 134 games, Lombardozzi hit .309 with eight home runs, 52 RBIs and a .360 on-base percentage." - "Stammen, Peacock among Tuesday callups" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "'I wasn’t being defiant or anything,' Lannan said. 'I really just said it like, ‘Can I get one more hitter?’ I said it as nice as possible.'" - "John Lannan’s win and the Nationals’ near-miss triple play" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "... Morse is now hitting .315 with a .369 on-base percentage and .562 slugging percentage. He has 26 homers, 82 RBI and a .931 OPS." - "Labor day leftovers: Morse, Lannan, almost triple plays and a note on Werth's pop up slides" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Morse's two homers in the Nationals' victory on Monday were his 25th and 26th of the season. Since May 2, he's hitting .334 with 25 homers and 73 RBI." - "Michael Morse makes another statement he's here to stay" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "Marrero is happy with his progress in the batter's box, but still feels he can do more. That comes with what he needs: games and at-bats." - "New Nat Marrero eager to improve at top level" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "'I thought I was going to see a triple play. It was close. We had the arm at second base for it. But we'll get [a triple play]. It's a matter of time.'" - Ian Desmond -"Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals: Morse swats pair as Nats pound Dodgers" - MLB.com WSH Recap

• "We all get it that Desmond isn't Derek Jeter. Perhaps he would have been had he come up with the Yankees." - "Too soon for the 'hard decisions'" - Phil Wood, MASNSports.com

 Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "All individuals are equal in that every one of us instinctively seeks happiness and avoids suffering." 

• NATS MINOR LEAGUE UPDATES: 

• Class-A Auburn: "The loss leaves the Doubledays with a 45-30 record as they enter post-season play on Tuesday in Vermont." - "Doubledays Fall in Speedy Season Finale" - Auburn Doubledays News

• Class-A Hagerstown: "Suns RHP Matt Swynenberg pitched 2.1 scoreless innings but was removed from the mound with one in the 3rd inning due to an injury concern." - "BlueClaws are Buried 9-1 in '11 Campaign Finale" - Hagerstown Suns News

• Class-A Potomac: "The Potomac Nationals used a six-run eighth inning to defeat the Kinston Indians 8-4 and secure a tie for the second half title in the Carolina League's Northern Division." - "P-NATS WIN GAME, SECOND HALF CROWN" - Potomac Nationals News

 Double-A Harrisburg: "On Monday afternoon at Metro Bank Park, the Senators beat the Akron Aeros 5-2 to win for the 80th time in 2011." - "Senators Win 5-2 for 80th Win in 2011" - Harrisburg Senators News

• Triple-A Syracuse: "The Syracuse Chiefs (66-74), the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals fell 4-1 to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in a rain-shortened season finale Monday at Alliance Bank Stadium." - "Chiefs fall 4-1 in season finale" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• "Tuesday’s News & Notes" - NationalsProspects.com

• NATSTOWN: 

• "As I see it, the Nats' No. 3 starter in the rotation in April will be John Lannan and if Chien-Ming Wang is still on the roster in 2012, he would most likely be the No. 4 starter." - "Slow and steady with Strasburg" - MASNSports.com, Nationals Buzz: Mark Hornbaker

• "Ian Desmond, Michael Morse and Jayson Werth all crushed first inning home runs, and Morse added a second one later, to defeat the Dodgers." - "GAME 139 REVIEW: Morse, Nats Flex Muscles; Pound Dodgers 7-2" - Dave Nichols, NatsNewsNetwork

• "But with the race barely more than halfway over, the Rough Rider decided to start rubbing it in." - "Video: Teddy taunts the other presidents a little too early" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "The Nats are desperately in need of a true leadoff hitter, and Reyes would provide not only a solid bat at the top of the lineup, but also be a top-notch run producer with star-power..." - "More Jose Reyes Rumors To The Nationals Surface, But Would It Be A Viable Solution For Washington?" - Will Yoder, The Nats Blog

• "Here’s to Livo! Thank you for the slow curve ball, for hitting better than your average pitcher, and most of all for your obvious enthusiasm for baseball and your teammates." - "Here’s to Livan Hernandez!" - Natsfangirl

• "The real miracle will be to see if Baseball Jesus can make the rain stop long enough to get the game in tonight." - "Stras Is Back" - Nats Enquirer

• "It’s incredibly dumb to start a future Hall of Fame pitcher for games that do not matter anymore, especially for a guy coming off Tommy John surgery. Why risk another injury in his arm?" - "Not Wise To Start Strasburg Now" - Leslie Monteiro, District on Deck

• "Relocation is not a threat. It just isn't. Could it ever be? Maybe, but we're a couple decades away from that." - "But not THAT big an 'Uh Oh'" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "The big news this cycle is that the Nationals will be welcoming a new starter for his MLB debut." - "Nats Rotation Cycle #28: good/bad/soso" - Nationals Arm Race

• NL EAST UPDATES: 

Mets: "Johan Santana plans to throw a bullpen session before Tuesday's game and, if he feels capable, make a minor-league rehabilitation start on Friday." - "Johan Santana could make brief major league appearance with Mets as part of rehabilitation" - Andy Martino, NY Daily News

Phillies/Braves"Nobody in baseball has more shutouts than Lee, who needed exactly 100 pitches to blank the Braves on five hits." - "Lee hurls way into Cy Young race" - Bob Brookover, Philadelphia Inquirer

Phillies: "In this post from September 2, you may have learned that opponents are hitting .112 off of Antonio Bastardo. That, of course, would be the lowest BAA in baseball history among pitchers with at least 50 innings of work." - "Antonio Bastardo Is No BABIP Fluke" - Bill Baer, Crashburn Alley

Marlins: "Matt Dominguez, the Marlins' top prospect according to MLB.com, is on his way to the big leagues as part of the organization's September callups." - "Marlins to call up top prospect Dominguez" - Joe Frisaro, marlins.com: News

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