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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Spring Training Links - Stephen Strasburg's ST Debut, Bryce Harper's Dive.

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Mar. 3, 2012; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) bats against the Houston Astros at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Mar. 3, 2012; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) bats against the Houston Astros at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

Stephen Strasburg made his first Spring Training start on Sunday, giving up a laser of a home run but striking out three in 2.2 IP. Bryce Harper made a diving play in the outfield that almost resulted in a highlight-reel worthy catch, but he missed and instead immediately showed of an arm on the throw in to the infield that earned the 19-year-old a replay on yesterday's telecast. Tom Gorzelanny looked shaky in his first Spring outing, but the Nationals' A-Pen of Brad Lidge, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen looked strong. Strasburg's inning-limit came up again during yesterday's broadcast, starting that whole discussion up again. If you missed the first two ST games of the year, HERE are the RECAPS of the first two games. We also took a look at the Nats-related rumors on Sunday which once again dealt with Washington's search for a center fielder. Here's what the rest of NatsTown was talking about this weekend...


• "With a camouflage Duke cap pulled over his rat-tailed and mohawked head, he looked every bit of 19 years old." - "Spring Swing: Bryce Harper, one game at a time" Kevin Kaduk, Big League Stew - Yahoo! Sports


• "Even with LaRoche’s health still in question, the Nationals will not use Morse at first base this spring." - "Michael Morse won’t play first base this spring, Jayson Werth will play center" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Adam] LaRoche, who has been bothered by left shoulder and ankle injuries this spring, was able to take batting practice and participate in throwing drills on Saturday. " - "LaRoche eyes Wednesday for first action" - Bill Ladson, News

• "Manager Davey Johnson said this morning Morse will remain in left field through the entire camp. Johnson won't use his cleanup man at first base at all." - "Davey: No Morse at 1B this spring" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "The Nats' skipper intended for Gorzelanny to throw about 35 pitches and then give way to Ryan Mattheus, but the miscommunication forced Gorzelanny to keep throwing..." - "Meeting with the manager" - Dan Kolko,

• "It was [Sandy] Leon’s first time catching Burnett, and chances are he won’t be working with the pitcher in a game that counts anytime soon." - "Backup catchers help out in camp by keeping pitchers' arms warm" - Marc Lancaster, Washington Times

• "If [Davey] Johnson had to reduce winning baseball to one word, it might be 'Relax.' Novel concept? You bet." - "Nationals in midst of mental makeover under Davey Johnson" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• "Pitching in relief of Stephen Strasburg, Gorzelanny faced 12 Houston batters over two innings. He retired three of them. Seven wound up crossing the plate..." - "Gorzelanny's disastrous day" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "'My arm felt strong and I think the big thing was going out there and trying to pound the zone,' Strasburg said." - "With Strasburg on the mound, Nats fall to Astros" - Craig Heist,

• Ask Boswell about the Washington Nationals, spring training, the Capitals, the Redskins and all Washington sports - The Washington Post

• "'Stras was too hyped up, too amped up,' manager Davey Johnson said. 'You could tell from the first pitch he threw, too. He was loaded for bear.'" - "Amped-up Strasburg gets through 1st start" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "The American League has featured the DH since 1973. When the rule change was first proposed in 1972, AL owners voted 8-4 to adopt it - but they were coming off of a season where only three teams showed a profit." - "An eye for a rule change? Not likely" - Phil Wood,

• "Twenty-six of Strasburg's 44 pitches were for strikes, a number of which left Astros hitters flailing." - "Strasburg: 'It was pretty much a breeze' (Nats lose 10-2)" - Dan Kolko,

• "[Adam] LaRoche will hit against live pitching tomorrow and Tuesday on the minor league side of camp, but Nationals trainers held him out of running drills yesterday." - "Adam LaRoche will debut Wednesday, plus the Nationals’ next two lineups" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Jayson Werth starts in center today and Johnson professed confidence in Werth's abilities at the position. 'He showed last season he could do it,' Johnson said. 'It's not a tryout.'" - "Today's Nationals-Astros lineups plus wind-whipped notes" - Nathan Fenno, Washington Times

• "This is part of the fun of spring, separating the box score from the performance, the outcome from the process. Strasburg's stuff was sharp." - "Stephen Strasburg's appears ready to reassume his star billing in the Nationals' rotation." - Bill Ladson, News

• "Top pick Anthony Rendon, a third baseman, is completely healthy and thrilled to be in his first spring training with the Washington Nationals." - "Nationals' top pick Rendon out to prove he can stay healthy" - Byron Kerr,

• "Afterward, Manager Davey Johnson blamed himself for the way Gorzelanny’s outing unfolded." - "Tom Gorzelanny’s rough day, the bullpen’s dominance, Bryce Harper’s ‘what the heck’ dive" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Stephen] Strasburg is known for his fastball that averaged 95.8 mph in five September starts last season, not his one-liners with reporters." - "All systems are go for Strasburg" - Nathan Fenno, Washington Times

• "Strasburg said he felt 'amped up,' but came away thinking that he could pitch even further in the game, another strong indication that he has fully recovered from Tommy John surgery." - "Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg is happy with his first spring outing." - Bill Ladson, News

• "[Bryce] Harper has now appeared in right field three straight days (against Georgetown, twice against the Astros) and he's scheduled to be back out there tonight..." - "Monitoring Harper's defense" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "The phrase 'player’s manager' is cliche, but that’s what players most often call [Davey] Johnson." - "Davey Johnson’s effect on Nationals spring training" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Sammy] Solis, a promising left-hander, will undergo Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery in Los Angeles on Tuesday..." - "Shared experience will link Solis, Zimmermann" - Pete Kerzel,

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Compassion is a marvel of human nature, a precious inner resource, and the foundation of our well-being and the harmony of our societies."


• "Rabbit Robinson would start his brief major league career with the Washington Senators in late April of 1903." - "This Date in Washington Senators History" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "Nats (Still) Flat In Viera" -


• "We will have more news tomorrow after The Shark shines in left field and batting lead off." - "Shark Face/Off" - Sharkadina


• "Nicknames play an important role in baseball's rich and storied history: Charlie Hustle. Stan the Man. Big Train. The Rocket. Mr. October. Tinker Bell. Tinker Bell?" - "Introducing Tinker Bell" - Nats Enquirer

• "Washington Nationals Spring Training Postcards: Spring season ticket holder party" - District Sports Page

• "Mattheus, Lidge, Clip and Storen were all good. Mattheus had a tough time getting out of Gorzelanny's mess, but in his own inning he was lights out." - "The Spring Home Opener" - Sean, Capitol Baseball

• "The seventh, eighth, and ninth innings featured what we hope to be the Nats turn-the-lights-out bullpen." - "Stephen Strasburg Gets His First Start, Davey Johnson Sizes Up Bullpen." - Will Yoder, The Nats Blog


Mets: "Ike Davis’ 'working diagnosis' of valley fever may sound fearsome, but Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Sunday it may sound worse than it is." - "New York Mets' Ike Davis 'Under No Real Restriction' Despite Valley Fever, GM Sandy Alderson Says" - CBS New York

Marlins: "[Jose] Reyes was the team's number one priority in the offseason, as the club contacted the player's representatives one minute after the free agency period officially began." - "Miami Marlins Season Preview: Shortstop" - Michael Jong, Fish Stripes

Phillies: "You saw that coming, right? For a team that posted 102 regular season victories, it's doubtful you can find any player on the roster whose performance was more surprising, in a good way, than that of Antonio Bastardo." - "2012 Phillies Player Preview: Antonio Bastardo" - Whole Camels, The Good Phight

Braves: "Julio Teheran will never forget his first appearance of the 2012 Grapefruit League season." - "Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado have stuff to work on" - Mark Bowman, News