• Grapefruit League Update via @NationalsPR: "Tonight's Grapefruit League game at ATL has been cancelled due to rain."
• Nix Over Bernie, Shark Sent Down: Well, this one should start some debate. After D.C. GM Mike Rizzo called Roger Bernadina, "a longer-term piece for us that can play left, center or right," during an interview yesterday with Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler, the Washington Nationals have instead opted to keep veteran outfielder Laynce Nix on the roster to start the season after Bernadina underperformed this Spring with the left and then center field jobs available for the 26-year-old outfielder to claim.
• Rule 5 Pick Makes Good: Brian Broderick has also made the roster after allowing 11 hits, six runs, four earned and 2 walks in 10 games and 14.2 IP this Spring. The Rule 5 pick taken from the Cardinals' organization must remain on the Nats' 25-man roster all seaon, or the Nats have to give him back to St. Louis (or work out a deal). In another move, Collin Balester, who had the misfortune of having options remaining was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.
• Detwiler and Bixler: According to reports this afternoon, the Washington Nationals have optioned both left-hander Ross Detwiler and infielder Brian Bixler to minor league camp.
Neither move is much of a surprise, in spite of the success that both Detwiler and Bixler had this Spring. In five games (three starts) and 17.0 IP, Detwiler, 25, an '07 1st Round pick taken 6th overall by the Nats, allowed 18 hits, seven runs, five earned and three walks, while recording 12 K's. The left-hander arrived in camp with a streamlined, straighter-to-home delivery that seemed to help the starter regain some of what the Nationals saw in hime when they drafted him in 2007.
After his last start of the Spring, Detwiler told reporters that he knew what was coming. CSN Washington and NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) quoted Detwiler on Twitter saying that he knew he had to first, "'prove to myself I could compete here and I belong here. Now the next one is to prove it to everyone else.'"
Bixler, 28, an '04 2nd Round pick by Pittsburgh, who was purchased from the Pirates by the Nats last August, put up a .324/.447/.622 slash line this Spring with three doubles, a triple and two HR's in 25 games and 37 at bats.
• Twitter: MLB.com's Bill Ladson (@washingnats) also noted this morning that the Nats' 2011 Rotation was officialy set:
"The #Nats rotation will be in this order: Livan Hernandez, John Lannan, Jordan Zimmermann, Jason Marquis and Tom Gorzelanny."
• Jerry Hairston, Jr. On MLB Network Radio:
Hairston on Nyjer Morgan trade: "In this game, nothing really surprises me. But I guess just hearing kind of hearing around camp, and hearing what kind of was going on, it didn't really surprise Nyjer either. I think this is going to be a really good move for him. Really, Nyjer is a good guy. Having a chance to [have] my locker right next to him all Spring, really talking to him, kind of picking his brain, he's a young man that loves the game of baseball, is very passionate, sometimes it boils over and that's the biggest thing I've tried to help him to really don't lose that fire towards the baseball field, but continue to have that fire and kind of control it a little bit and hopefully this will be a great move for him.
• Ken Rosenthal On The Nats: FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal just posted his Season Preview in which he does a one-line write-up for each team in the Majors. As for the Nats, Mr. Rosenthal writes that Washington's starting pitching will be their downfall: "Nationals: Weak starting pitching could derail a team that is beginning to turn around."
• Nats on the Family Guy = The Curly N: In case you missed the Family Guy episode where Roger (the Alien) and Steve take a trip to Nats Park, Washington Post writer Dan Steinberg catches you up on what happens when the FOX cartoon characters visit the nation's capital.
(ed. note - "Stupid rainout, well I'm sure I'll put all the Tom Milone info I was gathering to good use in the future...")