Wire Taps: Nationals' Skipper Says Stephen Strasburg Could Get Late Start This Spring

Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

Stephen Strasburg's rehab "is going fine" according to Washington Nationals' manager Matt Williams, but Strasburg could start Spring Training a few days late. The Nats have expressed interest in another left-handed reliever and their potential fifth starter just learned he'll have competition...

So what was the biggest story in NatsTown on Thursday? Was it the report from new Washington Nationals' skipper Matt Williams, who told MASN's Mel Antonen that though Stephen Strasburg's rehab is going well he could start Spring Training a few days late? Was it the fact that the Nats, at least according to one of Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore's sources, are interested in free agent lefty Eric O'Flaherty, who dominated the Nationals in his time pitching out of the Atlanta Braves' bullpen. O'Flaherty's coming back from Tommy John and would start the season late, but dealing with injury issues is kind of the Nationals' thing. Was the big story on Thursday Ross Detwiler's reaction to the fact that he will be competing for the fifth spot in the 2014 rotation? The WaPost's Mr. Kilgore had that report too. It was a relatively slow news day in D.C., especially after the way the week started, but there is some news and there are some links, and lots of them, starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• NATS BEAT:

• "And still, Rizzo mentioned Taylor Jordan, Tanner Roark, Ross Ohlendorf, Nate Karns and Sammy Solis as pitchers who would enter spring on equal footing as Detwiler." - "Ross Detwiler wants to start, feeling ’100 percent’ healthy" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "This week's debate, by season's end, where will Doug Fister rank within the Nationals' rotation?" - "Point/Counterpoint: How good will Doug Fister be with the Nationals?" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "Espinosa, on the other hand, was a talented yet frustratingly inconsistent infielder, a guy with loads of potential but one coming off a massively disappointing 2013 season." - "Nationals Pastime: On Espinosa's chances at cracking the Nats' roster" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Doug Fister should fit right in with the Washington Nationals. Not only is he a quality starting pitcher — coming off a 14-9 season with the Detroit Tigers — but he is dripping in clubhouse character." - "Squeaky clean Doug Fister latest piece in Nats' personality shift" - Thom Loverro, Washington Times

• "The latest name to add to the list of southpaws the Nationals have expressed interest in, a person familiar with the situation said, is Eric O’Flaherty..." - "Nationals still looking for a lefty, interested in Eric O’Flaherty" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "Former MLB player and current baseball analyst Sean Casey joined Brian Mitchell on SportsTalk Live Thursday night to discuss the offseason." - "Sean Casey: Doug Fister is 'huge for the Nationals'" - Chase Hughes, Comcast SportsNet Washington

• "Major League Baseball’s offseason often crests with its annual winter meetings, held this year in Orlando, Fla., next Monday-Thursday." - "2013 MLB winter meetings: What to watch for in Orlando" - Brian McNally, Washington Times


• "The Nationals felt so confident in the left-handed pitching they have available in their organization that they were will to part with Robbie Ray." - "With Ray gone, Solis and Purke are Nats' top lefty prospects" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "Bolstering an already strong starting staff, the Washington Nationals acquired right-hander Doug Fister from the Detroit Tigers on Dec. 2." - "Washington Nationals" - Reuters, TeamReport - chicagotribune.com

• "Three prospect aficionados answer some of my Doug Fister trade related questions." - "Prospect Experts Weigh in on Fister Trade" - jgorosh, Bless You Boys

•"The not-for-profit organization that manages the Auburn Doubledays called on the city to pinch-hit." - "'Please keep baseball in Auburn': City council approves Doubledays loan request" - Greg Mason, The Auburn Citizen

• "Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg underwent surgery on October 23 to remove bone chips and other loose bodies from his pitching elbow." - "Nationals rumors: Stephen Strasburg could miss start of Spring Training" - Raymond Bureau, ports Injury Alert

• "These articles and the Doug Fister trade to the Nationals caused me to have the urge to update my rankings." - "Updated Top 50 Starting Pitcher Rankings for 2014" - Ray Guilfoyle, Fake Teams

• "Strasburg falls a few spots from last year, since there's now at least a little doubt over his ability to take over the world." - "MLB Trade Value Rankings, Part 2" - Jonah Keri, Grantland

• "Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos is crushing the ball in the Venezuelan Winter League." - "Wilson Ramos Looking Healthy in Venezuelan Winter League" - Richard Migliorisi, Sports Injury Alert

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Phillies: "Is there a record this season that gets Amaro fired? If so, can he get the Phillies there?" - "Crash Bag, Vol. 83: I Am Easily Shamed" - Michael Baumann, Crashburn Alley

Mets: "The Mets are in no hurry to bid against themselves for Curtis Granderson’s services." - "Mets in no hurry to offer Granderson 4th year" - Mike Puma, New York Post

Marlins: "A league source confirmed a Fox Sports report that Rafael Furcal has agreed to a one-year deal to be the club's starting second baseman." - "Miami Marlins, Rafael Furcal agree to one-year deal" - Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun Sentinel

Braves: "The Braves certainly could make a big move for a Chase Headley, David Price, or something 'ground shaking.' But they certainly do not have to." - "The Braves Have Been Quiet So Far, and That is Perfectly Fine" - Ben Duronio, Talking Chop

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