Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Beat Miami Marlins; Take On Atlanta Braves Tonight At 6:05

USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins on Wednesday afternoon with Chris Young putting together his best start of the Spring right before he and the Nats have to decide what the future holds for the veteran right-hander. Tonight, the Nationals take on the Atlanta Braves with Dan Haren on the mound against Tim Hudson.

Denard Span was 1 for 2 with a walk and two runs scored. Jayson Werth was 2 for 2. Bryce Harper went 2 for 3 with a double and 4 RBIs, leaving the 20-year-old outfielder 20 for 50 with four doubles, a triple and three home runs in 18 Spring Training games. Kurt Suzuki was 2 for 4 with a HR and he played all nine innings of Wednesday's game with the Miami Marlins in Jupiter, Florida's Roger Dean Stadium. Rafael Soriano's wisdom tooth was a topic of discussion before the Nats' 7-5 Grapefruit League win over the Fish. After the game, the talked turned to what the future held for veteran right-hander Chris Young, who can opt out of his minor league deal with the Nationals on March 24th.

Can he get a major league deal somewhere? Young told reporters yesterday if he was going to go to Triple-A he would want to do that with the Nats. Young left Wednesday's game after 5.0 innings with a 6-0 lead. Zach Duke gave up five hits, a walk and four earned runs in 2.0 innings and after a scoreless frame by Tyler Clippard, the Nationals' fourth closer Henry Rodriguez took over on the mound...

... And just as he did in his last outing against Detroit on Monday, Rodriguez walked the first two batters he faced. On Monday, Rodriguez hit the third batter he faced, loaded the bases and gave up a sac fly by the Tigers. On Wednesday, Rodriguez got three straight groundouts following the back-to-back walks, with one of the three driving in a run to get Miami within two, but that was it. Rodriguez earned his first save of the Spring. In 5.2 IP, the flame throwing right-hander has given up just one hit... but he's walked five, K'd three and given up three runs.

Rodriguez, 26, has no options remaining. When Nats' skipper Davey Johnson talks about the Nats having "four closers" in the bullpen, he's including Henry Rodriguez along with Clippard, Storen and Soriano. Some fans in the nation's capital may be frustrated, but it doesn't sound like the right-hander's going anywhere but the bullpen to start the 2013 campaign. As Johnson told reporters, including the Washington Post's James Wagner, after today's outing, Rodriguez is still getting comfortable on the mound after last season's surgery on his elbow delayed the start of his Spring. Johnson said Rodriguez had the best control on the staff last Spring. He's finally pitching without pain in his elbow this time around. Will this be the year Rodriguez finally... [see last five year's worth of preseason comments about Rodriguez]...

The Nationals have time to decide what to do with Rodriguez. You have to move on to the links. And lots of them. RIGHT NOW!!!!

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "[Stephen Strasburg] is working hard this spring on inducing groundouts, quick innings, throwing his curveball to both sides of the plate. He is sweating over refining his sinker." - "Nationals camp report: Stephen Strasburg, unleashed" - Scott Miller, CBSSports.com

• NATS BEAT:

• "Nationals right-hander Chris Young kept Miami off-stride for five innings, yielding two hits and no runs. The right-hander, throwing in the mid-80s, struck out two. He threw 64 pitches, with 42 strikes." - "Bryce Harper drives in four to back Chris Young's strong start" - Joe Frisaro, nationals.com: News

• "Washington's Kurt Suzuki had two hits, including a solo homer off Tom Koehler in the ninth. [Jayson] Werth had two hits and a sacrifice fly." - "Harper has 4 RBIs, Nationals beat Marlins 7-5" - AP/WTOP.com

• "Given his druthers, Jayson Werth would probably prefer to have remained back at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, done his work early and called it a day." - "Nationals Buzz: Werth, Harper making trek to Jupiter worthwhile (Nats win 7-5)" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "When a team this young also has the game’s best record and plays above .600, their potential is universally acknowledged." - "Washington Nationals: A-students still working toward graduation" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• "[Chris Young] can activate the out clause in his minor league deal with the Washington Nationals on Sunday. His next start is scheduled for Monday." - "Nationals notes: Chris Young faces decision about his future" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Chris] Young's most effective of three starts this spring lowered his Grapefruit League ERA to 3.00 and set the stage for some serious decision-making." - "Nationals Buzz: With opt-out looming, Young's strong effort will force decisions" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "Free to opt out of his deal with the Nationals on Sunday, the 33-year-old must wait and see if another organization offers him a chance to pitch in the majors come Opening Day." - "After strong start, decision time for Young" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Chris Young has loved playing for the Nationals since he signed one month ago, but he may not stay with them much longer if he keeps pitching like he did Wednesday afternoon." - "Chris Young throws five shutout innings as opt-out date looms" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman each had sacrifice flies and Kurt Suzuki homered in the ninth off Tom Koehler." - "Young and Harper lead Nationals over Marlins" - Craig Heist, WTOP.com

• VIDEO: via MLB.com Chris Young on Wednesday's start vs Marlins:


• "[Rafael] Soriano was in his native Dominican Republic yesterday (an off-day for the Nationals) dealing with a family issue, but he was scheduled to return to Viera today." - "Soriano dealing with tooth issue" - Mark Zuckerman, CSN Washington

• "Manager Davey Johnson said [Rafael] Soriano has been bothered by a wisdom tooth problem, and it's something that could require surgery in the near future." - "Tooth problem may be setback for Soriano" Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "'We’ll play it by tooth,' manager Davey Johnson said Wednesday morning before the Nationals game against the Marlins." - "Rafael Soriano will have procedure on infected tooth on Thursday" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nationals still have [Rafael] Soriano scheduled to pitch Friday, but could alter his schedule depending on the dental work he requires." - "Nats closer Rafael Soriano dealing with tooth infection, still ramping up" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

VIDEO: via MLB.com Richard Justice on Rafael Soriano's tooth:


via Twitter:

• "Fernando Abad remains in Major League camp, and Johnson mentioned veteran Bill Bray -- reassigned to Minor League camp on March 3 -- as a possible piece." - "Bray may be possible lefty for 'pen" - Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "The Nationals' group of late-inning specialists, consisting of Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen and Rafael Soriano, could be that 1-2-3 punch at the end of games that manager Davey Johnson envisions." - "If Nats starters can go long, bullpen is set up to close deal" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• “'I’ll be picking and creating, in my mind, which is the best right-hander to go against certain left-handers. I’m comfortable with what we have now.'" - Davey Johnson - "Do the Nationals need a lefty reliever?" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "[Ian] Krol is a 21-year-old left-hander who has toggled between starting and relieving in the minor leagues for the A’s." - "Nationals acquire LHP Ian Krol from A's to complete Michael Morse trade" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nationals today acquired left-handed pitcher Ian Krol from the Oakland A's, completing the Jan. 16 deal for outfielder/first baseman Michael Morse." - "Nationals Buzz: Nats acquire pitcher Ian Krol to complete Morse deal" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "A seventh-round pick in the 2009 draft out of Naperville, Ill., [Ian] Krol was named the Athletics' minor-league pitcher of the year in 2010..." - "Krol is final piece of Morse trade" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Ian] Krol, 21, was the player to be named later in the deal that sent Morse to Seattle, A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen from Oakland to Washington and John Jaso from Seattle to Oakland." - "Nats get Krol as last piece of Morse trade" - Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "[Davey] Johnson said he will play [Wilson] Ramos longer than seven innings, the deepest he has played into a game since his May knee injury." - "Kurt Suzuki plays nine, Bryce Harper raking, Henry Rodriguez’s workload" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "[Roger] Bernadina will start the regular season as a fourth outfielder and is ready to help the Nationals win another division title." - "‘Shark’ returns to Nats camp" - Bill Ladson, All Nats All the Time

• "[Roger] Bernadina now has to get back up to speed with his teammates. Before he left camp on Feb. 24, he hadn’t yet appeared in a spring training game." - "Roger Bernadina returns to Nationals camp" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Who's favored to win the NL Cy Young Award in 2013? Why, none other than Stephen Strasburg, who gets 11-to-2 odds (just ahead of Clayton Kershaw at 6-to-1)." - "Harper and Strasburg: MVP and Cy Young?" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Henry Rodriguez will be given every opportunity to work through his command issues, manager Davey Johnson said yesterday after another rough outing from the hard-throwing right-hander." - "Nationals Buzz: Johnson willing to give Rodriguez chances to overcome command issues" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

Your Daily Message from The Dalai Lama on Twitter (@DalaiLama):

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "Denard Span gives the Nationals the centerfielder for which they’ve been long searching." - "Offseason winners and losers: National League" - Ken Davidoff, New York Post

• "[Ian] Krol, 21, was Oakland's seventh-round pick in the 2009 draft and their organizational pitcher of the year in 2010." - "Nationals acquire Ian Krol from A's to complete Mike Morse trade" - Mike Axisa, CBSSports.com

• "Bryce Harper had two hits and drove in four runs to help the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 7-5 Wednesday." - "Harper’s 4 RBIs Lead Nationals Past Marlins" - Dan Morrison, CBS DC

• "[Chien-Ming] Wang, 32, made a comeback with the Washington Nationals in 2010 after recovering from shoulder surgery." - "Former ace to throw for Yankees scouts" - Scott Boeck, USA Today Sports

• "There are more than 20 Chipotle locations in the immediate Washington, D.C. area, and more than 1400 nationwide (but none in Montana — sorry, Montana)." - "A delicious perk of being Bryce Harper" - Nick Schwarz, USA Today Sports

• "There are at least 90 baseball players, including [Ryan] Braun, whose names appear in the infamous Biogenesis Clinic records, according to one baseball official with direct knowledge of the investigation." - "Nightengale: MLB sets sights on Braun, A-Rod" - Bob Nightengale, USA Today Sports

• NATSTOWN:

• "March 21 - Senators Birthdays: James Francis (Shanty) Hogan B Mar. 21, 1906 D Apr. 7, 1967" - "This Date in Washington Senators History" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "13 Things We’re Excited About for 2013" - Curly W Live

• "The other shoe has dropped on the Michael Morse trade, as the Nationals announced that LHP Ian Krol is the infamous player to be named later. Krol was drafted in the 7th round out." - "The PTBNL: Ian Krol" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• "Worth noting: odds of Stephen Strasburg winning MVP are 15/1; and Ryan Zimmerman at 25/1." - "Odds of Bryce Harper winning 2013 NL MVP 10/1, says Vegas sportsbook" - Nats Enquirer

• "Nats: Is there a baseball player with a better mindset than Strasburg?" - William F. Yurasko, William World News

• "Why does MLB want to damage its sport with an International Draft??" - Todd Boss, Nationals Arm Race

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Braves: "[Freddie] Freeman is 9-for-20 with five home runs in his past six games, raising his average to .373 with a team-high seven homers in 59 at-bats." - "Braves notes: Big bats stir again Wednesday" - David O'Brien, www.ajc.com

Mets: "Travis d’Arnaud has impressed the Mets this spring, but just as importantly he’s impressed himself." - "Mets, d’Arnaud confident he’ll be starter by season’s end" - Mike Puma, NYPOST.com

Phillies: "'Roy [Halladay] threw very well,' pitching coach Rich Dubee said through a team spokesman. 'He lost almost 10 pounds, so he's just got to gain some weight back and get his strength.'" - "Roy Halladay will pitch in minor-league game Saturday" - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer

Marlins: "For most pitchers counted on to help anchor a major league starting rotation, spring training is a time to build pitch counts and refine their repertoire." - "Miami Marlins: Turner regains control, can't contain Cardinals" - Craig Davis, South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

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