Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' New Caps; Bryce Harper Sits With Jammed Thumb

USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals' outfielder Bryce Harper's jammed thumb will keep him out of the lineup today. Harper won't be playing in either of the two split-squad games. The Nats welcome the Atlanta Braves to Space Coast Stadium and they travel to Roger Dean Stadium to take on St. Louis. Before those games, links...

What was the biggest story yesterday? Bryce Harper's thumb issues or the Washington Nationals' new caps? Bryce Harper jammed his thumb again on a fastball inside from Miami Marlins' right-hander Henderson Alvarez. The Nats' new home alternate cap is red with a blue bill. Bryce Harper had reached base in ten straight plate appearances before he left yesterday's game. The Nats' alternate cap, "... will be worn when the team wears its (alternate) red uniform tops at home games," as the Washington Post's Dan Steinberg reported Wednesday afternoon. Nationals' trainer Lee Kuntz is concerned enough with Bryce Harper's thumb that the 20-year-old outfielder will see team doctor Wiemi Douoguih. The Nats' new alternate caps have, "... navy blue-lined eyelet holes and a blue button on top," according to Mr. Steinberg. Harper should be fine for Opening Day according to Davey Johnson. The Nats' new alternate caps will be available at the Nationals' team stores on Friday. Bryce Harper's not in the lineup for today's game. This one goes to the caps. Today's big story then links and lots of them... starting RIGHT NOW!!

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "At long last, here’s a look at the Nats’ new home alternate red cap, with a navy blue brim, navy blue-lined eyelet holes and a blue button on top." - "The Nats’ new alternate hat" - Dan Steinberg, Washington Post

via Twitter (@DCSportsBog):

• NATS BEAT:

• "Few players could provide a better insight as to how they compare at this stage of their careers than Nationals right-hander Dan Haren, who played with [Mike] Trout on the Angels last year and now shares a clubhouse with [Bryce] Harper." - "Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, through Dan Haren’s eyes" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "[Dan] Haren himself wasn't much in a mood to dissect his outing." - "The dog days of March" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Some throws skip into the dirt, short-hopping first baseman Adam LaRoche. Some throws are wide, pulling LaRoche off the bag." - "Nationals Pastime: Zimmerman discusses his throwing, Nats craving meaningful games" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The inflammation could require Harper to receive a cortisone shot, 'but I don’t know if it’s at that point,' Johnson said." - "Bryce Harper scorching despite more swelling in left thumb" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "[Bryce] Harper was jammed again on Tuesday in his second at-bat, in which he singled to right field off Henderson Alvarez." - "Bryce Harper sill dealing with left thumb inflammation" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Bryce] Harper is on an absolute tear right now, as evidenced by the fact that he's reached base in 10 straight plate appearances." - "Nationals Pastime: Harper's spring streak continues (Nats lose)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals' second-year outfielder initially hurt himself on Friday when he was jammed by a pitch from Tigers left-hander Drew Smyly." - "Red-hot Harper still has swollen thumb" - Mark Zuckerman, CSN Washington

• "What does concern the Nationals is the left thumb injury that [Bryce] Harper sustained Friday while fighting off a fourth-inning pitch from Tigers starter Drew Smyly." - "Harper continues torrid spring hitting" - Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "[Davey] Johnson said that he would consider resting [Bryce] Harper for the rest of spring training if the medical staff suggests it, but he'd prefer not to do so." - "Nationals Pastime: Sore thumb could lead to a couple of days off for Harper" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Nationals trainer Lee Kuntz is concerned enough with the swelling that [Bryce] Harper will see Nationals medical director Wiemi Douoguih on Wednesday to determine the best course of action." - "Nationals notes: Harper's thumb issue doesn't keep him from getting on base" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nationals wanted to keep [Chris] Young to bolster their starting depth beyond an established starting five." - "Nationals grant Chris Young his release" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "From the Nats' perspective, an ideal scenario would be that [Chris] Young is unable to land a big league contract and returns on another minor league deal..." - "Nationals Pastime: If Young leaves, Duke will step into sixth starter's role (with lineups)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "This is a winning baseball environment. It's a bunch of winners in this clubhouse. The coaching staff, the front office, the ownership, this organization is just great..." - Chris Young - "Nationals release pitcher Chris Young" - Craig Heist, WTOP.com

• "[Chris] Young had filed paperwork to opt out of his minor-league deal last night after pitching against the Astros in Kissimmee." - "Nationals release Young" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "The Nationals have granted [Chris] Young his unconditional release, this after the veteran right-hander chose to opt out of his minor league deal following his start last night in Kissimmee." - "Nationals Pastime: Nats grant Chris Young his unconditional release" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Chris] Young didn't rule out returning to the Nationals. He is going to meet with his agent, Jon Fetterolf on Tuesday and discuss the options he has." - "Nationals grant Young unconditional release" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "[Giancarlo] Stanton's homers, his first since Feb. 26, gave him three in the exhibition season. They were his first since returning from the World Baseball Classic." - "Stanton homers twice, Marlins beat Nationals 8-5" AP/WTOP.com

• "[Dan] Haren said one of his biggest worries this spring was how his body would handle the workload." - "Dan Haren turns his eyes toward the 2013 season" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Dan Haren] only spring ERA below 3.94 came last year, and he followed that with the worst season of his career by far." - "Dan Haren finishes his spring training, ready for the real thing" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "Roger Bernadina connected on a home run for the Nationals, which tied the game at 5 in the seventh inning." - "Dan Haren, Nats sunk by long balls in loss" - Joe Frisaro, nationals.com: News

• "The conditions here at Roger Dean Stadium (where Haren has made two of his last three starts) are less than ideal, with the wind blowing out heavily to right." - "Nationals Pastime: Despite the numbers, Haren says he's ready, confident" - Dan Haren, MASNSports.com

• "Dan Haren is pleased to not have to return to Jupiter again this spring." - "Haren feeling ready for season despite rocky spring" - Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "Bryce Harper singled in each of his first two times up to extend his streak of consecutive at-nats with hits to nine, He walked in the fifth, then left the game." - "Haren Gives Up Four Bombs in Nats 8-5 Loss to Marlins" - Chris Lingebach, CBS DC

• Today's lineup via the Washington Times' Amanda Comak:

GIF: Maybe it was just me, I thought Desmond looked angry at Henderson Alvarez's mini-celebration:

Bloggif_5152680772e40_medium

• "I like the talent level. They did the things last year to prove not only to me, but everybody else, that we are a contending, championship-type team." - Davey Johnson - "In final season, Nationals manager Davey Johnson looks to go out on top" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "In the second inning, [Ryan] Zimmerman fielded a routine groundball and fired a strong throw across the diamond." - "Ryan Zimmerman confident in his throwing, even if others aren’t" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "Nationals left-hander Zach Duke says weight lifting is different for him before the season begins." - "Power arms: Pitchers use weight room to maintain strength throughout season" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

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

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "While he’s still seeking his groove on the mound, [Dan] Haren has fit in comfortably in the clubhouse." - "New Nats starter Haren ready to put spring struggles behind" - Stan McNeal, porting News

• "Not too much was expected out of Washington in 2012, a campaign that figured to serve as seasoning for the returning Stephen Strasburg from Tommy John surgery and rookie Bryce Harper..." - "Washington Nationals 2013 Preview" - Michael Rushton, NewsObserver.com

• "As reported on the Nationals' Curly [W] Live blog, Sports Illustrated has picked the Nationals to win the World Series this season, a year after capturing their first National League East title." - "Washington Nationals are Sports Illustrated pick as World Series champions" - Justin Karp, WJLA.com

• "Washington Nationals stud Bryce Harper is addicted to Pinterest" - Gamedayr

• NATSTOWN:

New Site (filled with some of our favorite Twitterers' work:

• "Friday’s 2:05 p.m. exhibition game against the Yankees will feature a Jordan Zimmermann-Andy Pettitte pitching matchup. And here’s hoping that Derek Jeter’s ankle allows him to play, not only Friday, but all season." - "From the Desk of Mark Lerner: Excitement in the Air" - Mark Lerner, Curly W Live

• "Video: Yes, Ryan Zimmerman can still throw a baseball across the diamond" - Nats Enquirer

• "While the Nats’ bats – namely, Bryce Harper – helped [Dan] Haren walk away with a no-decision, Ryan Mattheus did not step in for the loss until the seventh inning, with the game tied 5-5." - "Washington Nationals Spring Training: Haren gives up four homers in Nats’ 8-5 loss to Marlins" - Alyssa Wolice, District Sports Page

• "March 27 - Senators Birthdays - John Wesley Gill B Mar. 27, 1905 D Dec. 26, 1984" - "This Date in Washington Senators History" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "Pythag Follow Up: What About Last Year?" - Nationals 101

• "Mike Rizzo and Davey Johnson are going for a world series and will not be satisfied with just a division crown this time. Here is a rundown of what the Nats got going on." - "Washington Nationals 2013 Season Preview" - John Manuel, Fanspeak Washington Nats Blog

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Braves: "One pitch later, [Jonny Venters] signaled to the dugout. Gonzalez and a trainer came out, and Venters soon headed to the clubhouse." - "Braves’ Venters injures elbow, could go on disabled list" - David O'Brien, www.ajc.com

Phillies: "Much has been made this spring about [Wally] Joyner's influence on Brown's hitting." - "Phillies' Domonic Brown has kindred spirit in Wally Joyner" - Sam Donnellon, Philadelphia Daily News

Mets: "The already beleaguered team can only hope to have enough healthy arms to form a rotation, after Shaun Marcum and Jeremy Hefner yesterday joined the ranks of those seeking medical attention." - "Jeremy Hefner (elbow), Shaun Marcum (neck) of New York Mets latest players on team to suffer injuries" - Mike Puma, NYPOST.com

Marlins: "The Florida Marlins finalized their pitching rotation for the start of the 2013 MLB season. CineSport's Brian Clark and the Sun Sentinel's Juan Rodriguez discuss this and Jacob Turner's demotion." - "Florida Marlins Set Pitching Rotation" - Florida Sun-Sentinel

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