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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals/AFL Links, Tweets, Quotes, Etc.

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• AFL Day One: The Arizona Fall League starts tonight, we'll have a preview up a little later this afternoon. Apparently the Nats' 2011 1st Round pick Anthony Rendon won't be there when the action starts, you can read about that in the links below. '11 3rd Round pick Matt Purke, whose shoulder was a big issue all last season at TCU, is apparently ready to start pitching again and will be on the Scottsdale Scorpions' roster. Bryce Harper's back full-time, the human-OBP-machine Derek Norris is there...While the rest of the baseball world watches these "playoff" things, it's back to prospect action for Nats fans...unless you want to cheer Nyjer Morgan and the Brewers on as they battle the D-Backs. Here's the dwindling assortment of links about the Nats...



• "Rendon, the sixth overall pick, has thrown very little over the past year because of a strain to a muscle in the back of his shoulder. Rendon has healed and the Nationals do not consider the injury an issue moving forward." - "Anthony Rendon’s status and more Nationals Instructional League notes" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "As the Arizona Fall League opens up today for the 2011 season, the Nationals roster is getting a somewhat anticipated tweak." - "As Arizona Fall League begins, Purke in attendance but Rendon absent" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Former Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon, however, will stay at instructional league for now, and the Nationals' future plans for him are not known." - "Purke to join AFL soon, Rendon to stay at instructional league" - Byron Kerr,

• "Though he tailed off dramatically at the plate during the second half, Espinosa did finish strong and he played stellar defense throughout his rookie season." - "Position analysis: Infield" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "There is no question in my mind that Johnson will be back as manager of the Nationals. I had people in the front office tell me they want Johnson back in the same role." - "Nationals Inbox: Will Davey Johnson return in '12?" - Bill Ladson,

• "The 29-year-old had an eye-opening season this year, blasting 31 homers and hitting .303. Morse led the team in almost every offensive category..." - "Michael Morse nominated for Hank Aaron Award" - Ben Goessling,

• "The last time a player led the Nationals franchise in home runs, RBI and batting average in the same season, the team had a different name and played in a different country." - "Finding curtain calling wasn't easy for Nationals' Morse" - Brian McNally, Washington Examiner

• "Nyjer Morgan is making a name - or two - for himself." - "Many faces of Morgan seen in the Brewers' clubhouse" - Colin Fly, Washington Times

• "[Matt] Purke’s participation offers proof that he has recovered from a left shoulder injury that limited him to 52 2 /3 innings this season during his junior year at TCU." - "Arizona Fall League: Washington Nationals pitching prospect Matt Purke will play; top draft pick Anthony Rendon will not" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Nationals left fielder Michael Morse was nicknamed "The Beast" for a good reason. He is Washington's best hitter in 2011." - "Nats' offensive leader Morse up for Aaron award" - Bill Ladson, News

• "If you are a Washington Nationals fan and can extrapolate that fandom to players who once wore the curly 'W' but are now playing for other teams, you have some options to root for in the baseball playoffs." - "It is not hard to find former Nationals to root for in MLB playoffs" - Thom Loverro, Washington Examiner

• "In the end, the net result on defense was far better than what the Nationals had in 2010. They cut their error total by 23, and raised their Defensive Efficiency rating..." - "Pitching and defense improved, but Nationals still need more bats" - Ben Goessling,

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Through thoughtful contemplation, coming to appreciate compassion and love, our mental attitudes can gradually change." 


• "Jayson Werth is essentially the Nationals' version of Alfonso Soriano. [C.J.] Wilson could easily become their Carlos Zambrano." - "A.J. Burnett, John Lackey, C.J. Wilson" - Steven, FJB

• "[Tyler] Clippard is a very good relief pitcher, but dominant seasons like he had this year don't come around often." - "Lucky or Unlucky - 2011 version" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "The Knuckleball Explained" - The Nationals Review

• "One of my pet projects over the years has been to analyze the Roster construction methods that successful teams use, in order to determine if there’s any trends or patterns to be had..." - "Roster Construction of the Playoff teams (and the Nats)" - Nationals Arm Race

• "Here's Ryan Zimmerman cleaning out his locker with help from his dog..." - Nats Enquirer

• "While watching some playoff ball over the past several nights (and dreaming of future possibilities), I noticed that there are a few former Nats players playing in this years postseason." - "Former Nats Greats - Postseason Edition" - Mac, Capitol Baseball


• Mets/Yankees: "'Too Much Moneyball.' A fantastic fake trailer about the unorthodox tactics of the New York..." - Amazin' Avenue

Braves: "Chipper Jones played in 126 games, and in 512 plate appearances, put up a line of .275/.344/.470 (.814 OPS), and hit 33 doubles, 18 home runs, and plated 70 RBI, while scoring 56 times himself." - "Chipper Jones and Alex Gonzalez headline TC’s Atlanta Braves Hitting MVP and LVP" - royhobbs, Talking Chop

Phillies: "Cliff Lee left the seventh inning of Game Two down 5-4 with runners on first and second, no outs. It was quite a disappointing start for the Phillies’ second ace as the lefty allowed 12 hits and forked over a four-run lead." - "Cliff Lee and BABIP" - Bill Baer, Crashburn Alley

Marlins: Marlins stadium construction site - Miami Herald

• Your Daily Message From Joe Posnanski: "On Monday night, the pre-game baseball narrative was that Detroit’s Justin Verlander and New York’s CC Sabathia would lock up in a pitching duel for the ages." - "Posts Verlander and the Power of Narratives" - Joe Posnanski,