Nats Beat Reports:
• Pudge No.1: D.C. GM Mike Rizzo confirmed as much earlier this winter in an improptu press conference following the Washington Nationals' jersey unveiling when he was asked about the Nationals' catching depth and said that, "..it's going to be great competition between Wilson [Ramos] and Jesus Flores and couple that with a veteran Pudge Rodriguez and a youngster like Derek Norris behind them, I think we've got a good quality stable of young, good, impact-type catchers," but Nats' Skipper Jim Riggleman made the hierarchy behind the plate explicit this morning when he spoke to reporters at the Nationals' spring training facilities:
• LINK: Washington Post's Adam Kilgore: Nationals Journal - "Ivan Rodriguez will be the Nationals starting catcher"
"Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman declared Ivan Rodriguez the team's starting catcher to begin the season, creating a competition for the backup position between the Nationals' two young catchers, Jesus Flores and Wilson Ramos. "
• Wang Returns:The first reports on Chien-Ming Wang of the Spring weren't as optimistic as those which fans heard heading into Spring Training. CSN and NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman, in an article entitled, "Is Chien-Ming Wang fully recovered?", offers a firsthand account of what he saw yesterday and has video of Wang throwing from the mound yesterday.
• LINK: CSN/NATS INSIDER - Mark Zuckerman: "Is Chien-Ming Wang fully recovered?"
"Wang has been throwing bullpen sessions for several weeks now, but yesterday represented the first time the full Nationals coaching staff (and D.C.-based media) had a chance to see him in months. "
• TWITTER: SI.com's Will Carroll on Twitter (@injuryexpert): "Saw some video of [Chien-Ming] Wang throwing. Lack of pronation, lack of velocity ... not a good sign for his comeback."
• LINK: One Nats blogger wants to take his rotation predictions back after the early reports on Wang. - Mac at Capital Baseball - "The One Where Mac Eats Crow".
• TWITTER: SI.com's Jon Heyman on Twitter (@SI_JonHeyman): "#Nats [Jim] Riggleman just said he doesn't completely rule out bryce harper, 18, reaching majors this [year] if he thrives 'at every level.'"
• LINK: Maybe the Nats should stop talking about betting? Even jokingly? The Nationals Enquirer wraps up the McCatty/Strasburg six-pack bet and links to a CSN interview with Strasburg conducted by CSN Washington's Kelli Johnson. - The Nationals Enquirer, "Stephen Strasburg now $100 richer thanks to six pack abs."
• LINK: MASNSports.com's Nationals Buzz's Kristen Hudak on how MLB and Susan G. Komen are, "teaming up to honor and celebrate extraordinary women across the country who have battled breast cancer." - MASN Kristen Hudak, "A few good women."
• LINK: Washington Post - Thomas Boswell: "Nationals spring training: Sleepless nights yield to giddiness":
"Soon, McCatty is off on a free-association romp, discussing the pitching mechanics of Walter Johnson, 100 years ago. "He didn't finish his delivery. His right leg never came around. How do you throw 100 mph doing that?" he says.
"God said, 'You're going to throw 100.' That's how he did it," says GM Mike Rizzo."
• TWITTER: @NationalsPR: "Yunesky Maya, @JLannan31 and @cstammen35 among those throwing a bullpen session right now."
• LINK: New York Times' baseball writer Tyler Kepner on why Pujols to D.C. might make sense. - New York Times: Tyler Kepner, "Mr. Pujols Goes to Washington? It Makes Sense."
• LINK: Baseball Prospectus' Ben Lindbergh, "Prospectus Preview NL East 2011 Preseason Preview."