Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Spring Training 2013 ?'s - Chris Young? Henry Rodriguez? SI Jinx?

Stephen Strasburg is on one of several regional covers for the Sports Illustrated Baseball Preview - Sports Ilustrated via @NationalsPR

Will Chris Young sign with another team after making the start for the Washington Nationals last night and then opting out of his deal? Will Henry Rodriguez start the year on the DL? Concerns about Ryan Zimmerman's arm? Stephen Strasburg on the cover of SI? It's time for the links and the time is RIGHT NOW!!!

Chris Young started for the Nationals last night, then opted out of his minor league deal with the Nats, and though he's reportedly in camp again today he might have a new home soon. Henry Rodriguez started out wild (again) but then settled in and set the Houston Astros he faced last night down. Davey Johnson didn't quite say Rodriguez would make the Opening Day roster, with reporters in unison saying he "danced" around the question. J.C. Romero was initially informed upon signing with Washington that he wouldn't likely make the Nats' OD roster, but with Rodriguez's issues persisting some are starting to wonder. The Nationals' Opening Day starter is on SI's cover. Opening Day is less than a week away and business is really picking up. There are links and lots of them, so let's get to it. Starting... RIGHT NOW!!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!!:

• "Like the '86 Mets, the Nationals are coming off a 98-win season, are loaded with young pitching, star players and a deep bullpen and expect to win. Washington has no obvious flaw." - Tom Verducci - "SI.com 2013 Experts' Picks" - SI.com

• NATS BEAT:

• "Of the seven Sports Illustrated writers polled on their predictions for the 2013 MLB season, five have the Nationals reaching the World Series and four picked the Nationals to win it all." - "Nationals Pastime: What's left to accomplish in Florida?" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "As everyone knows, though, games aren't played on paper. Before the postseason invitations are passed out, there will be countless twists and turns that can't possibly be foreseen." - "National League East preview: Nationals class of the division" - Paul Hagen, nationals.com: News

"'I’m realistic that the roster is full. I understand that,' [Chris] Young said. 'We’ve talked about maybe trying to work something to where I can stay.'" - "Chris Young opts out of Nationals contract" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "The Nationals now have 24 hours to put Young on the active roster and, while that is highly unlikely, Young left the door open that he could work something out to remain with the team." - "Chris Young opts out of contract with Nationals" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Chris] Young, who started tonight against the Astros and allowed one unearned run over four strong innings, will return to Viera after the game and wait to learn tomorrow whether the Nationals will put him on their Opening Day roster." - "Young opts out, hopes to stay with Nationals" - Mark Zuckerman, CSN Washington

• "[Chris] Young said he knows there is interest from other clubs, but he'd like to stay in Washington if something could be worked out." - "Chris Young effective in likely Nationals farewell" - Craig Heist, WTOP.com

• "[Chris] Young is on his way back to Viera, Fla. By Tuesday, he should know which team will acquire his services." - "Young opting out of Minors deal with Nationals" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "The Nats have impressive infield depth in their system with Anthony Rendon, Zach Walters, Matt Skole and others in the upper levels of the minors behind Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa and Steve Lombardozzi at the big league level." - "Nationals Pastime: Some of this, some of that" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Henry] Rodriguez is out of minor league options, which means the Nationals would surely lose him to another team if they tried to send him to the minors." - "J.C. Romero, Henry Rodriguez provide intrigue for the Nationals bullpen" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "But if [Henry] Rodriguez winds up not being ready for the season, [J.C.] Romero could be the Nationals’ choice instead — and would allow them to add a second left-hander to their relief corps." - "Nationals notes: Henry Rodriguez, J.C. Romero and the Nationals' bullpen shuffle" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Henry Rodriguez followed Young to the mound, and his inning of work was similar to the ones we've seen Rodriguez deliver countless times over the last few years." - "Nationals Pastime: Johnson talks Young, Rodriguez's shaky inning, Romero's debut" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Start with [Henry] Rodriguez, who has been all over the map this spring, then was held back on Sunday due to elbow soreness, according to manager Davey Johnson." - "Could Romero take Rodriguez's spot?" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Asked if [Henry] Rodriguez could start the season on the disabled list, [Davey] Johnson said, "We are not to that point yet. But if he has to get some extra work and he has to go back to back, I might do that." - "Rodriguez throws scoreless frame against Astros" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "The Nationals drafted [Steven] Souza in the third round in 2007, and he is one of those players who could be easy to cast aside because he has been in the organization for so long." - "Steven Souza’s emergence and other Nationals minor league notes" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "The truth is, the 2013 Astros may lose a lot. Some are predicting for them to be historically bad." - "Bo Porter takes upbeat approach into his task of remaking the Houston Astros" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "While in D.C., [Christian] Garcia hopes to get the green light to start a throwing program, which would start April 1." - "Garcia to see Nationals team doctors in DC" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Adam LaRoche put the Nats on top 4-1 in the fifth with a solo shot to right-center. It's his third homer of spring and second in as many nights. The notoriously slow starter is heating up." - "Nationals Pastime: Young strong again, LaRoche heating up, Rodriguez being Rodriguez" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Dan] Haren had the choice to pitch in a Minor League game at the team's complex, but he felt he would be motivated by pitching against the Marlins." - "Haren set to pitch against Marlins on Tuesday" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

via Twitter @NationalsPR:

• "Washington starter Chris Young allowed two hits and one unearned run and struck out two batters while throwing 61 pitches over four innings." - "Bryce Harper stays hot with three-hit game against Astros" - Brian McTaggart, nationals.com: News

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

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "[Stephen] Strasburg admitted early in camp that knowing he was going to be shut down in September was on his mind and might have contributed to uneven late-season performances." - "Washington Nationals - PlayerWatch" - Reuters/chicagotribune.com

• "Let's hope the cover jinx doesn't strike on this one." - "Stephen Strasburg On Cover Of This Week's Sports Illustrated, Magazine Predicts Nationals To Win World Series" - Adam Vingan, NBC4 Washington

• "Last season, the Washington Nationals were the best team in baseball. Led by a lights out pitching staff, the Nationals fell just short of 100 wins." - "2013 National League East Preview" - Matthew Tufts, Neon Tommy

• "Major League Baseball investigators will soon sit down with players named in the sport’s Biogenesis scandal, according to the New York Daily News." - "MLB Reportedly Set To Grill A-Rod, Braun & Co. On Biogenesis" - CBS New York

via Twitter (@Ken_Rosenthal):

• NATSTOWN:

• "March 26 - Senators Birthdays: Frank Williard Brower B Mar. 26, 1893 D Nov. 20, 1960" - "This Date in Washington Senators History" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "One of the best-kept secrets this offseason has been which Nats figures would be honored in bobblehead form during the season. After much speculation, we finally have the answer." - "Nats announce Gio Gonzalez, Bryce Harper, Davey Johnson bobbleheads" - Sarah Kogod, D.C. Sports Bog

• "And while Gio Gonzalez and Bryce Harper were popular – and correct – guesses, few saw Davey Johnson on the list until the clues began being revealed in our Bobblehead Trivia Challenge." - "13 Things We’re Excited About for 2013: #8" - Curly W Live

• "Nats Talk On The Go: Episode 47" - The Nats Blog

• "Denard Span forgot his jersey Monday night, had to wear #91" - Nats Enquirer

• "Expectations Illustrated" - Curly W Live

• "Morning Reading" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• "Positional Keyhole : Jayson Werth" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "2013 NL East Rankings Part 2: The Pitchers" - The Nationals Review

• "No takers for Carlos Rivero plus Rule-5 returns" - Nationals Arm Race

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Braves: "Mike Minor never used a sinker as part of his pitch repertoire and based on results of the past two starts, it might be some time before he’s ready to use it in a game that counts." - "Minor remains confident after another rough outing" - David O'Brien, www.ajc.com

Marlins: "Placido Polanco has done a lot of things over the course of his 15-year career in the majors, and after Monday’s 6-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers, he can add 'batting fourth' to the list." - "JUPITER: Miami Marlins’ Placido Polanco used in cleanup spot" - Steph Rogers, MiamiHerald.com

Phillies: "Michael Young will make the All-Star Team." - "2013 Bold Prediction" - Michael Baumann, Crashburn Alley

Mets: "Shaun Marcum is an important piece of the Mets’ starting rotation, but a stalled bullpen session Monday left the team wondering if he will be ready to start the season." - "NY Mets Shaun Marcum unlikely to make next spring training start due to neck pain: sources" - Andy Martino, NY Daily News

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