Wire Taps: Washington Nationals One Week Away From Opening Day - Jayson Werth WaPost Story; Bryce Harper's Thumb, Christian Garcia To DL

USA TODAY Sports

The big story on Sunday afternoon was Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore's story about the changes Jayson Werth has made behind the scenes in the nation's capital since he signed with the Washington Nationals. Bryce Harper's thumb? Christian Garcia's forearm? Carlos Rivero to Triple-A? Monday morning links...

Any concern about Bryce Harper's jammed (severely?) left thumb were erased by the 20-year-old outfielder's 3 for 3 performance in Sunday's win over the Atlanta Braves. Jordan Zimmermann put together another strong start in his final outing before this Friday's exhibition game against the New York Yankees in Nationals Park. Danny Espinosa was 3 for 3 on Sunday too, leaving the Nats' second baseman with the torn rotator cuff 22 for 63 (.349/.379/.460) this Spring and he hit his first home run (a wind-aided line drive). After the game the Nationals placed injured reliever Christian Garcia (right forearm tendon) on the 15-Day DL, (retroactive to March 22nd) and outrighted infielder Carlos Rivero to Triple-A Syracuse, meaning he'd cleared waivers, which some thought unlikely when discussing the 24-year-old infielder's future earlier this winter. The move left the Nationals with 31 players in camp a week before Opening Day. A week away... A week away... just hold on. 6:05 pm EST tonight for Grapefruit League action with the Astros... a week away from Opening Day... till then, LINKS and lots of them, starting RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!! (ICYMI):

• "'I’ve never been one to make a good first impression,' [Jayson] Werth said Friday morning, leaning on a black baseball bat not far from the batting cage at Space Coast Stadium." - "Jayson Werth has made his presence felt throughout Washington Nationals" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "While [Chris] Young says there isn't any news to report, chances are less than 50 percent that he will stay with Washington unless someone in the rotation gets hurt." - "Young likely to opt out of contract" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "But [Wilson] Ramos‘ progress has affected more than just the emotions of an organization." - "Split decision: Wilson Ramos' recovery means shared catching situation for Nats" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Because he's out of options, [Carlos] Rivero was required to pass through waivers before being sent to the minor leagues." - "Garcia to DL, Rivero outrighted to AAA" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Carlos] Rivero had to clear waivers for the Nationals to outright him to Triple-A, and him doing so is a bit of a surprise." - "Nationals Pastime: Garcia lands on DL, Rivero outrighted to Triple-A" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The wind mitigated the effectiveness of [Jordan] Zimmermann’s breaking balls, and so he stuck mostly with his fastball and changeup, the pitch he has gained confidence with all spring." - "Jordan Zimmermann’s hot streak, Bryce Harper’s thumb, Danny Espinosa’s big day, etc." - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "There was a point on Sunday afternoon at which Jordan Zimmermann had gotten 27 outs since he’d last given up a hit." - "Nationals notes: Jordan Zimmermann's 27 outs, Danny Espinosa stays hot & more" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Washington was able to get to right-hander Kris Medlen early and often, starting in the first inning." - "Danny Espinosa, Adam LaRoche and Bryce Harper pace Nationals' win over Braves" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Just then, the tornado warning alarm went off for people to hear in the clubhouse and when [Jordan] Zimmermann was told what it was, he joked, 'We gotta go.'" - "Zimmermann shines, Espinosa and LaRoche homer in win over Braves" - Craig Heist, WTOP.com

• "[Jordan] Zimmermann lasted six innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits, while striking out four and walking three." - "Zimmermann solid against Braves" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "'I’m a little surprised' no team picked up [Carlos] Rivero, one National League scout said." - "Carlos Rivero sent to Syracuse, Christian Garcia placed on disabled list" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "The Washington Nationals made two transactions late on Sunday afternoon, placing Christian Garcia on the disabled list and outrighting Carlos Rivero to Triple-A Syracuse." - "Carlos Rivero clears waivers and is outrighted to Triple-A; Christian Garcia lands on DL" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "During batting practice, [Bryce] Harper was wearing a rubber thumb guard to prevent him from feeling a sting in case he was jammed by a pitch." - "Sore thumb doesn't hold Harper back vs. Braves" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Bryce Harper put to rest any concern about his jammed left thumb." - "Big day for Zimmermann, Espinosa, Harper" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "We also learned that Henry Rodriguez has hit a bit of a snag in his spring throwing progression, and the question now is whether it will at all affect his status for opening day." - "Nationals Pastime: Rodriguez battling elbow soreness, Harper good to play (with lineups)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Manager Davey Johnson announced that reliever Henry Rodriguez is experiencing right elbow soreness..." - "Rodriguez experiencing elbow soreness" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Reliever Henry Rodriguez will rest today and likely tomorrow with soreness in his surgically repaired right elbow..." - "Henry Rodriguez’s sore elbow could impact opening day bullpen" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "A day after manager Davey Johnson scratched him from the lineup with swelling in his left hand, Bryce Harper went 3 for 3 with two singles and a double to raise his spring batting average to .431." - "Nationals notes: Bryce Harper's hand no problem against Braves" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Since 2005, [Dan Haren] has tossed 1,758 innings, second most in the major leagues behind left-hander CC Sabathia." - "Dan Haren aims to return to workhorse ways with Washington Nationals" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "The Nationals must decide today whether to add Young to their 25-man roster, and they don't intend to unless one of their five starting pitchers gets hurt." - "Young will pitch Monday, make opt-out choice" - Mark Zuckerman, CSN Washington

• "The Nationals will likely be quite pleased to get [Danny] Rosenbaum back. They're pretty thin on quality starting pitching depth in the upper levels of their farm system..." - "Nationals Pastime: Rosenbaum returned to Nats, Zimmmermann done after six (game called in eighth)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals have accepted left-hander Daniel Rosenbaum back from the Rockies, per Rule 5 guidelines, the team announced on Twitter on Sunday." - "Rosenbaum back with the Nats" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "A 22nd-round pick in 2009 out of Xavier University, [Daniel] Rosenbaum blossomed into one of the most effective lefties in the Nationals' farm system." - "Nats get Rosenbaum back from Rockies" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Tyler] Clippard knows better than to put stock in his performance during spring training. But in all the areas it is important to put stock into, Clippard has thrived." - "Tyler Clippard’s quietly strong spring" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

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

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "The Washington Nationals today placed right-handed pitcher Christian Garcia on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 22..." - "Washington Nationals move will return infielder Rivero to Syracuse Chiefs" - Lindsay Kramer, syracuse.com

• "Justin and B.J. Upton, sibling teammates with loads of it, were brought in this offseason to make over Atlanta’s outfield and close the gap between the Braves and the Washington Nationals." - "Uptons bring huge upside to the Braves" - John A. Torres, floridatoday.com

• "Major League Baseball likely faces an uphill battle if it hopes to win a lawsuit it filed last week against the owner of a Florida clinic that allegedly provided banned performance-enhancing drugs to the league's players." - "Analysis: In suing clinic over drugs, U.S. baseball may be targeting players" - Joseph Ax, Reuters

• "[Bryce] Harper hit .443, 31 home runs, stole 20 bases, had 98 RBIs and scored 98 runs in 66 games while leading the Coyotes to a third-place finish at the National Junior College World Series in 2010..." - "La Cueva grad adapting at Bryce Harper’s old school" - Kevin Hendricks, ABQJournal Sports

• "Chad Cordero will continue his inspirational comeback in the minor leagues after the 31-year-old right-hander was reassigned to minor league camp Sunday." - "Angels FYI: Back-of-the-bullpen relievers take a backward step" - Mike DiGiovanni, latimes.com

• NATSTOWN:

• "While most of the Nationals’ lineup will look familiar to fans this season, the one area of the team that has undergone major revision is the bullpen." - Nationals Preview: The Bullpen D.C. Baseball History

• "Rivero Outrighted, Garcia To DL" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• "Before Mother Nature kicked up dust, however, the Nats did plenty to bring fans to their feet." - "Washington Nationals Spring Training: With help from Mother Nature, Nats top Braves 9-3" - Alyssa Wolice, District Sports Page

• "#9: A Full Season of the Face of the Franchise." - "13 Things We’re Excited About for 2013: #9" - Curly W Live

• "Sunday’s Post has a fairly long article (Jayson Werth has made his presence felt throughout Washington Nationals) about Jayson Werth, now entering his third season of a massive contract signed in late 2010." - "Nats: Jayson Werth and the role of a 'franchise player contract'" - William F. Yurasko, William World News

• "So Bryce Harper announced his walkup songs for 2013 on Twitter Sunday night." - "Bryce Harper's 2013 walkup songs"

• "So, on paper, there’s so much that should be better this season. The only thing that’s changed is the expectations." - "Nationals Prepare For First Season With Expectations" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "2013 NL East Rankings Part 1: The Position Players" - The Nationals Review

• "How Good Are Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler?!?" - Matt's Bats

• "13 Things We’re Excited About for 2013: #10: New Ballpark Food" - Curly W Live

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "David Wright and Daniel Murphy both had bats in their hands and said they were getting closer to being ready for Opening Day." - "David Wright of New York Mets takes batting practice on Sunday, still hoping to be in lineup on Opening Day" - Dan Martin, NYPOST.com

Phillies: "Chase Utley will log at least 600 plate appearances during the 2013 season and finish with at least 5 WAR." - "2013 Bold Prediction" - Bill Baer, Crashburn Alley

Marlins: "Jacob Turner’s final push to make the Marlins starting rotation looked a lot like his other spring outings — a bit wild and probably not good enough to avoid a trip back to the minors." - "KISSIMMEE: Miami Marlins pitcher Jacob Turner likely headed to minors" - Manny Navarro, MiamiHerald.com

Braves: "In 30 mph winds with gusts considerably stronger, Medlen gave up eight hits and six runs in five innings of a 9-3 loss to Washington at Space Coast Stadium..." - "Braves’ Medlen has another day he’d like to forget" - David O'Brien, www.myajc.com

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