Wire Taps Washington Nationals Face New York Mets Tonight On TV; Watch Stephen Strasburg's Second Start Of Spring

Rob Carr

The Washington Nationals face the New York Mets tonight at 6:05 pm EST with Stephen Strasburg on the mound against the Nats' divisional rivals. Dan Haren was the big story yesterday. Davey Johnson also talked about why he's decided to keep an open mind about roster decisions this Spring.

There were not many open spots on the Washington Nationals' roster heading into Spring Training this year, but after one reliever bristled at the idea that the Opening Day roster was all-but set, Nats' skipper Davey Johnson told reporters yesterday he plans to keep an open mind about things going forward. "I'll keep an open mind on [Cole] Kimball," the Nats' 70-year-old skipper said, "Since he was mad at me when I said that barring injury there probably wasn't going to be that many spots open." Kimball, the Nats' hard-throwing 27-year-old right-hander who's working his way back from surgery for a torn rotator cuff, didn't say anything to Johnson, but the manager joked that his "chest started coming out" when he heard there weren't many spots open and Kimball did say something to pitching coach Steve McCatty according to the Nats' skipper.

Johnson said he has been impressed with the progress Kimball has made as he worked his way back. "A lot of people in the organization didn't think he would come back," Johnson admitted, "But he showed a lot of improvement from his first outing to his second outing, looked freer, more relaxed, and the ball was coming out better out of his hand, so that's good news." No one wants to make Kimball angry. Let's hope Cole likes links, because there are links and lots of them coming, starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "VIDEO: Zimmerman on sharing 'FoF' title" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

NATS BEAT:

• "'[Jayson] Werth was tracking,' Manager Davey Johnson said. 'I kind of figured he was going to take it slow. I might have been rushing getting him in there.'" - "Wrapping up a ‘dog day’ afternoon for the Nationals" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "[Dan] Haren, who has won 119 games over 10 years in the Major Leagues, was not afraid to admit that he had butterflies in his stomach." - "Overcoming nerves key for Haren in first start" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "[Dan] Haren was the last of the five starters to throw in a game. Until now, it has been bullpen sessions and live batting practice for him." - "Haren makes Nats debut in loss to the Marlins" - Craig Heist, WTOP.com

• "As a pitcher who possesses one of the 10 best strikeout-to-walk ratios in baseball history, Dan Haren has a game that starts and finishes with impeccable command of his pitches." - "Nationals notes: Dan Haren's command not quite there in spring debut" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Dan] Haren allowed one run in his two innings of work, limiting the damage in the first and then retiring the Marlins in order with two strikeouts in the second." - "Nationals Pastime: Hearing from Haren following his spring debut (Nats lose)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Dan] Haren, who signed a one-year, $13 million contract with the Nationals, threw mostly fastballs and cutters and gave up two hits and one run, while striking out three." - "Marlins spoil Haren's debut in victory over Nats" - AP/WTOP.com

• "When it came to teammates, Garcia had one answer he was sure about: 'Kurt Suzuki is the nicest man I’ve ever met.'" - "Kurt Suzuki keeps Nationals teammates smiling" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Zack] Greinke made clear in an interview with CBSSports.com that, in picking the Dodgers over the Rangers in free agency, as well as voiding a trade to Washington a year earlier..." - "Baseball teaches us that most valuable commodities can’t be purchased" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• "'It's a boring game when we get only three hits. That's a boring game to me,' manager Davey Johnson said." - "Haren solid in first Grapefruit action as Nats fall" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "By the second inning, Haren grew more comfortable. Typical to his style, he kept the hitters off balance by changing locations and speeds." - "Washington Nationals spring training 2013: New starter Dan Haren makes debut"- James Wagner, The Washington Post

• VIDEO: Haren on 1st ST Start:


• "It is possible the World Baseball Classic is slipping right under your radar." - "Is this a Classic mistake for Nationals?" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "The top four guys in the Nationals' order today - Denard Span, Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche - combined to go 0-for-8 with a walk." - "Nationals Pastime: Johnson on Nats' loss, Young and Soriano's mound sessions" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Wednesday morning, manager Davey Johnson was asked if the first few games and a few weeks of workouts had altered his opinion much with regard to the roster." - "Projecting the Nationals' 25-man roster" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Javier Vazquez, the veteran right-handed starter the Nationals and General Manager Mike Rizzo scouted this winter, will not pitch in the major leagues this season..." - "Javier Vazquez won’t pitch in the majors this season" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "As for [Rafael] Soriano, after having a live bullpen session, he talked to pitching coach Steve McCatty and worked out a schedule for the rest of Spring Training." - "Soriano, Young on track to pitch next week" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "[Davey] Johnson passed along positive information on Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos, saying that both guys could be about a week away from getting into a game as the DH." - "Nationals Pastime: Pregame notes on Zimmerman, Ramos, Kimball (plus lineups)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Henry Rodriguez, meanwhile, is scheduled to throw a live BP session tomorrow, his first of spring after recovering from elbow surgery and dealing with some biceps tightness early in spring." - "Nationals Pastime: Young, Soriano throw live BP, Rodriguez is next (with Vasquez note)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Rafael] Soriano came away pleased from his first session facing hitters since the end of the New York Yankees’ playoff run last October." - "Nationals set Rafael Soriano's spring schedule after first live batting practice session" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Rafael Soriano climbed onto the mound on Wednesday to face hitters for the first time this spring in a Nationals uniform." - "Rafael Soriano throws his first live batting practice" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Last year, they battled all season for the NL East title, the Nationals leading most of the way with the Braves in hot pursuit." - "Nats vs Braves has all the makings of long rivalry" - Paul Newberry, AP/WTOP.com

• "[Cole] Kimball, who missed most of the last two years because of a shoulder injury, could make the team if Christian Garcia doesn't recover from his forearm injury." - "Kimball impressing Nats with work on mound" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Bill Bray, Henry Rodriguez, Christian Garcia, Will Ohman and Cole Kimball have been viewed as the guys with the best chance to become that seventh, and final, reliever." - "Nationals Pastime: A name to watch in the race for the final bullpen spot" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Wilson Ramos could get into games as the designated hitter as early as next week, [Davey] Johnson said, but Ramos still has to be cleared by doctors to slide and Nationals medical director Wiemi Douoguih..." - "Nationals notes: Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche, Wilson Ramos, Ryan Zimmerman & more" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nationals signed Chris Young as insurance behind their established starting rotation..." - "Details on Chris Young’s minor league deal" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "[Wilson] Ramos, who is slated to be the backup catcher behind Kurt Suzuki, acknowledged he is in a hurry to get back on the field, but realizes he needs to take his time." - "Ramos hopes to be ready for start of season" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama):

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "You cringe at that 'We're not big on school' line and immediately scroll down to the comments." - "Major league dad Adam LaRoche says ‘we’re not big on school’ — but does he really need to be?" - Mike Oz, Big League Stew - Yahoo! Sports

• "In most quarters, the received wisdom is that the NL East race will come down to the two incumbents: the Nationals of Washington and the Braves of Atlanta." - "Jayson Werth: Phillies, not Braves, are Nationals' biggest threats" - Dayn Perry, CBSSports.com

• "The Washington Nationals’ most famous racing president, Teddy Roosevelt, (sorry Lincoln) is getting his own baseball card, Topps has announced." - "Nationals’ Racing Teddy Roosevelt gets his own Topps baseball card" - Rick Chandler, Off the Bench

• NATSTOWN/MINORS:

"The Nats collapsed last year at the worst possible time: twice within one strike of going to the NLCS." - "Know Your Enemy: Washington Nationals" - Al Yellon, Bleed Cubbie Blue

• "More than two years since his last big league appearance, and seven years since he helped reintroduce Washington to how good baseball can be, Chad Cordero is trying to come back." - "Chad Cordero making a comeback with the Angels" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "Nats: In case you haven’t read the Bryce Harper Sports Illustrated cover story yet…" - William F. Yurasko, William World News

• "[Brian] Goodwin said he was successful with Hagerstown because he had a great supporting cast on the field and great coaches who taught him the right way to play baseball." - "Nationals prospect Brian Goodwin has lofty goals for future" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Each year Baseball America releases their top-10 prospects for each organization." - "Looking Back At Baseball America's Four Year Old 2013 Lineup Projection For The Nationals" - Will Yoder, The Nats Blog

• "Nats Bats Flat In 5-1 Loss To Marlins" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• "Behind-the-scenes look at Harlem Shake video featuring Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche" - Sarah Kogod, D.C. Sports Bog

• "Nats and 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Hurlers' shirts" - Nats Enquirer

• "February 28: Senators Birthdays: Marcus Lucius Filley B Feb. 28, 1912 D Jan. 20, 1995" - "This Date in Washington Senators History – Marc Filley’s bitter Cup of Coffee" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "Those who made the trek to the Washington Nationals’ Space Coast Stadium to witness powerhouse hitting were undoubtedly disappointed as the Nats fell 5-1 to the Miami Marlins." - "Washington Nationals Spring Training: Nats Bats Quiet as Dan Haren Settles In" - Alyssa Wolice, District Sports Page

• "Great article about PED usage from a former player" - Todd Boss, Nationals Arm Race

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Marlins: "A doctor recommended pilates to Justin Ruggiano as a way to prevent further occurrences of the back problems that have caused him to miss the early part of Grapefruit League action." - "Ruggiano looking for pilates instructor" - Clark Spencer, Fish Bytes, Miami Herald

Mets: "Around here, words like 'mild' and 'precautionary' provide no comfort even if accurate, not after years of misery in Metsland, and not when the injury in question is Zack Wheeler’s." - "Zack Wheeler scratched from NY Mets game against Cardinals after straining his oblique during batting practice" - Andy Martino, NY Daily News

Braves: "I believe the 2013 Atlanta Braves will win at least 95 games. I also believe they’ll strike out more than any Braves team ever." - "The 2013 Braves: Many wins but many whiffs" - Mark Bradley, www.ajc.com

Phillies: "Ready to put a forgetful 2012 season in the past, [John] Lannan threw his first two innings in a Phillies uniform in Wednesday's 12-5 loss to the Minnesota Twins. Lannan allowed one run on four hits in two innings." - "Early on, Lannan says he's 'throwing everything'" - Ryan Lawrence, Philadelphia Daily News

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