Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Stephen Strasburg Ready For Atlanta Braves At 1:05 PM Today

USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals welcome the Atlanta Braves into Space Coast Stadium this afternoon, but that's where the niceties end, because they're throwing Stephen Strasburg against them and the Nats' 24-year-old right-hander is going to rack up some Ks today... What? It's just a prediction? How about some links?

It's a relatively slow news morning for the nation's capital's Nats, but things are about to pick up. The Washington Nationals and right-hander Stephen Strasburg are taking on the Atlanta Braves this afternoon (on the radio at 1:05 pm EDT in D.C.) and the Nats are backing their 24-year-old starter up with an Opening Day-ish lineup: Span, Werth, Harper, Zim, LaRoche, Desmond, Espi, Zuk and DH Chad Tracy. Word? Oh, word. The Shark and his fellow Honkballin' Netherlanders are heading to the next round of the WBC. Gio Gonzalez is going home to Miami to pitch in the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday night. Ross Detwiler dominated on the hill Saturday night. And D.C. GM Mike Rizzo and Nats' skipper Davey Johnson talked about the state of the Nationals on MLB Network Radio on Saturday (more on that after today's game -- it's taking me forever to transcribe, now things will be outdated... [insert sad trumpet sound])... Strasburg vs the Braves at 1:05 pm EST and Charlie and Dave are calling the game. What more could you want from a Monday? How's about some links? Not lots, but a whole bunch headed your way... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "The Braves adjusted their roster but with no admitted and specific opponent in mind. But it’s not impossible to believe they noticed that the Nationals, for example, have two power left-handed starters, Ross Detwiler and Gio Gonzalez." - "Braves GM Frank Wren on building with opponents in mind" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "Wilson Ramos caught [Dan] Haren on Sunday and as the two get to know each other, Haren noticed that Ramos likes to call inside fastballs often." - "Nationals notes: Repertoire in mind, Dan Haren works inside" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Dan] Haren admits that he stayed away from the inner half to righties in past years, but in doing some self-evaluation, decided that he was going to work on coming in more during spring training." - "Nationals Pastime: Haren adding to his repertoire against right-handed hitters" - Dan Haren, MASNSports.com

• "'Let's see, I am the oldest starting pitcher, and I am by far the slowest,' [Dan] Haren said. 'I am the second-best hitting pitcher. Other than that, we are a staff and a team that is built for the long run." - "Nationals' Dan Haren happy to take the fifth" - WashingtonExaminer.com

• "[Matt] Skole is hitting .250 on the spring with one homer and four RBI. He made the defensive play of the game on a screaming line drive off the bat of Avisail Garcia." - "Tigers nip Nats, Haren is solid on the mound" - Craig Heist, WTOP.com

• "[Dan] Haren, 32, tossed four effective innings for the Nationals in their 2-1 loss to the Tigers on Sunday. He gave up some hard contact, but he threw strikes and sat around 90 miles per hour." - "Washington perfect place for right-hander Dan Haren to return to form" - Matthew Leach, nationals.com: News

• "With every start, [Dan] Haren can demonstrate for his battery mate the type of pitches he throws and how he wants to work the inside portion of the plate, while building his workload." - "Dan Haren works inside, and with Wilson Ramos" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "[Dan] Haren is incredibly self aware and honest when it comes to his stuff and where he's at in his career. He's clearly a student of the game, loves taking an in-depth look at how he can have more success..." - "Nationals Pastime: Gonzalez gets his shot, Haren gets in-depth about his stuff" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals are intently monitoring the World Baseball Classic -- especially Team USA and two of its own pitchers, Ross Detwiler and Gio Gonzalez." - "Nationals' Ross Detwiler has solid debut at World Baseball Classic" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "The Nationals' bullpen allowed only two hits and a walk in four scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Drew Storen had two of the strikeouts in a 1-2-3 fifth -- his fourth straight scoreless outing." - "Right-hander Dan Haren, Nationals bullpen strong against Tigers" - Jason Beck, nationals.com: News

• "'It’s way better,' [Ryan] Zimmerman said on a quiet morning last week, measuring his strength at close to 90 percent and noticing the return of the natural life on his throws.'" - "Destination is near in Ryan Zimmerman’s path back to normal" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Dan] Haren has made working inside to right-handed hitters a priority this spring, something that hasn't really been part of his repertoire in past years." - "Nationals Pastime: Johnson pleased with Haren, Storen and Skole in 2-1 loss" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "A two-hour, 21-minute game got him on the road earlier than expected so he could return to his home in Winter Park -- not far from here -- to scout World Baseball Classic telecasts." - "Johnson rushes home to scout Classic" - Marty Noble, nationals.com: News

• "At one point this spring, the Washington Nationals’ clubhouse featured an unusual collection of players with educations from an impressive list of high-achieving universities." - "Washington Nationals’ spring training roster has more than its share of college achievers" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "This promises to be a major event for [Gio] Gonzalez, who grew up 15 minutes from Marlins Park and surely will have a large cheering section of family and friends in attendance." - "Nats making their mark in WBC" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "The Washington Nationals received a much larger contribution from uber-prospect Bryce Harper than expected last season." - "Nationals Outfield: Depth Chart Discussions" - Chris Cwik, FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

• "'It was nice to see Harp hit the left-hander,' remarked [Davey] Johnson of the 20-year-old, whose second roundtripper of the spring left him with a line of .462/.481/.846 at the end of the day." - "Displays of Power" - Curly W Live

• "'We had long men setting up, set up men closing, long men closing,' [Davey] Johnson said Sunday. "At times we had problems. But it helps us now.'" - "Washington has proven talent in its stable of relievers, writes Marty Noble" - Marty Noble, nationals.com: News

• "With left-hander Ross Detwiler throwing not one, but four scoreless innings this week for Team USA, you have to admire how far the 26-year-old has come in a year and a half..." - "Detwiler's Team USA performance forecasts well for Nationals' rotation" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "'I’m coming home Hialeah /Miami,' [Gio] Gonzalez tweeted shortly after the U.S. team’s victory. "Let’s go, USA, USA, USA!!!'" - "Team USA advances in WBC, Gio Gonzalez will start for them Tuesday" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "While [Ross] Detwiler notched his first save, Ryan Zimmerman recorded his first homer of the spring yesterday in the Nationals' win over the Marlins." - "Nationals Pastime: Detwiler dominates, Zimmerman pleased with spring progress" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Nate Karns' scheduled bullpen throwing on Sunday didn't happen because he developed what the club characterized as tightness in his upper right leg." - "Karns' scheduled bullpen session scrapped" - Marty Noble, nationals.com: News

• Today's Nationals' lineup vs Braves:

• NATSTOWN:

• HONKBALLIN'!!!:

"They say nothing captures the excitement of Spring Training like a swarm of bees. Actually, nobody says that." - "Video: A swarm of bees at Space Coast Stadium" - Nats Enquirer

• "A Sneak Peak into Spring Training- A Not So Great Day & The Last Day" - Kevin Eaton, Red Porch Report (Nationals Podcast and Blog)

• "The Nats are probably the best team in the major leagues. They had a great starting pitching staff last year. They arguably improved it." - "Optimism is the new reality" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "March 11: Senators Birthdays - Jack Russell Spring B Mar. 11, 1933 Still Living" - "This Date in Washington Senators History" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "WBC First Round Review" - Todd Boss, Nationals Arm Race

• "Dan Haren allowed both of the Tigers’ only runs in the second of his four innings pitched, although the first could have arguably been ruled unearned." - "Washington Nationals Spring Training: Rick Porcello out-pitches Haren in Nats’ 2-1 loss" - Alyssa Wolice, District Sports Page

• "Manny Acta and Alex Cora on Baseball Tonight" - Nats Enquirer

• "Get To Know A Nat: Jordan Zimmermann" - Nationals 101

• "The real offensive D.C. team name — Senators?" - William F. Yurasko, William World News

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "'I’m not happy,' [Zack] Wheeler said after receiving the news from Terry Collins, pitching coach Dan Warthen and general manager Sandy Alderson." - "Zack Wheeler of New York Mets sent to minor league camp to rehab his injured oblique muscle, but may make it to the major leagues during regular season" - Dan Martin, NYPOST.com

Braves: "Conventional wisdom in baseball says a prospect without much experience isn’t well-suited for a pinch-hitting role or bench job where he might go several days at a time without getting in a game." - "Despite inexperience, slugger Gattis could fit Braves roster" - David O'Brien, www.ajc.com

Marlins: "One gets the feeling that if it were up to Marlins manager Mike Redmond or hitting coach Tino Martinez, outfielder Christian Yelich would be making his major-league debut sooner rather than later." - "LAKE BUENA VISTA: Top Miami Marlins prospect Christian Yelich makes his case to stay in the majors" - Tom D'Angelo, MiamiHerald.com

Phillies: "'I saw him coming,' [Charlie] Manuel said. 'I thought, 'We better get over.' He got me. Big ol' three-wheeler.'" - "Watch those tricycles, Charlie!" - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer

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