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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals One Day Away From Grapefruit League Opener With New York Mets

The Washington Nationals and the New York Mets will start their respective Grapefruit League schedules tomorrow afternoon in Tradition Field where 24-year-old Nats' starter Stephen Strasburg will face the Nationals' NL East rivals with a team full of prospects and some big names behind him."


At 12:10 pm EST tomorrow afternoon [on the MLB Network!!!] the Washington Nationals will kick of the 2013 Grapefruit League schedule with 24-year-old right-hander Stephen Strasburg on the mound against the New York Mets. The Nationals, this morning, announced the names of some of the players who'll make the trip to Port St. Lucie, Florida's Tradition Field. Catchers Sandy Leon and Carlos Maldonado will make the trip, with infielders Ian Desmond, Steve Lombardozzi, Chris Marrero, Anthony Rendon and Matt Skole, outfielders Corey Brown, Bryce Harper and Tyler Moore and more. Actual baseball for the first time since the Nats' season ended abruptly this past October. Until then, it's links and lots of them, starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:


• "I sat down and talked to Strasburg at Nats camp in Viera as he gets set to make his first start of the Grapefruit League season..." - "Nats pitcher Stephen Strasburg is ready for the season" - Craig Heist,


• "'Really the first week, the veteran players are going to hardly play,' [Davey] Johnson said. 'Zim. Werth. LaRoche. I’m more concerned with the middle of the diamond.'" - "Davey Johnson’s plan for the Nationals’ first spring training games" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "Stephen Strasburg has known he’d be pitching in this game for about a week, with manager Davey Johnson setting the spring rotation a bit earlier than he posted the travel roster for Saturday’s game." - "Strasburg, Harper, Desmond, Span headline travel roster for Grapefruit League opener" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "There was some concern that [Christian] Garcia's stomach issue could be his appendix, but he says that possibility has been ruled out." - "Ailing Garcia undergoes MRI for right forearm" - Joey Nowak and Andrew Simon, News

• "'As long as it’s not my elbow or shoulder, it’s something that at minimum we can get it fixed, in a short amount of time, too' [Christian] Garcia said." - "Christian Garcia receives MRI for tightness in forearm" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

AUDIO: D.C. GM Mike Rizzo on 106.7 the FAN In D.C. w/ Danny Rouhier and Bill Rohland

• via Twitter:

• "This time tomorrow, the Nationals’ bus will be fuming down I-95 to Port St. Lucie, headed toward the first game on the Grapefruit League schedule." - "The Nationals’ travel roster for Game 1 of spring training" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "Enjoy baseball’s exhibition season for what it is, a sign the real thing isn’t far away." - "Spring training games for entertainment purposes only" - Mike Harris, Washington Times

• "Making his first appearance of the spring in Viera, [Mark] Lerner said the team is 'very close' to reaching its self-imposed cap of 20,000 season ticket equivalents..." - "Nats have sold nearly 20,000 season tickets" - Mark Zuckerman, CSN Washington

• "The 6-foot-10 righty is tied with three others as the second-tallest player in major league history behind former Nats reliever Jon Rauch, who is 6-foot-11." - "Nationals Pastime: News and notes on the final workout day before spring games" - Dan Kolko,

• "The year was 2009. The Nationals had just come off a season in which they had lost 102 games. The opening day lineup included Lastings Milledge in center field..." - "Nationals have come a long way in four years" - Carl Kotala,

• "Yesterday, Jordan Zimmermann was asked what he wanted to work on this spring. 'Change-up,' he replied." - "Jordan Zimmermann is working on his change-up — again" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "While [Mark] Lerner spoke briefly about last year's success, he spent a lot more time looking ahead to the future of the franchise." - "Nationals owner Mark Lerner arrives at Spring Training" - Joey Nowak, News

• "Enjoying his first full day down from Washington, [Mark] Lerner watched live batting practice, chatted with a few of his players, and spent time with several front office executives." - "Mark Lerner Q&A: Nationals owner talks payroll, spring training site and more" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "A lot going on over at The Yards. … I don’t know how much of it’s going to be ready for Opening Day, but it’s starting to happen again. The economy is getting there." - Mark Lerner - "Mark Lerner on Nats’ spring training future, an All-Star Game in D.C. and more" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

•"For now, general manager Mike Rizzo is just happy to have [Chris] Young in camp, a guy who helps give the Nats the starting pitching depth they've been after." - "Nationals Pastime: Rizzo discusses Young signing (with Saturday's travel roster)" - Dan Kolko,

• "You'd think a 32-year-old former All-Star who has pitched on several contenders wouldn't get nervous pitching in front of team executives..." - "Amped-up Haren working out kinks" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "The newest member of the Nationals' rotation said he intends to slow things down in his upcoming bullpen sessions before he makes his first Spring Training start Feb. 27 against the Marlins." - "After first 'pen session, Haren lists spring goals" - Joey Nowak and Andrew Simon, News

• "[Dan] Haren, who appears to be a very cerebral pitcher and has stressed the importance of talking with the catchers as part of his adjustment to a new team..." - "Dan Haren was amped up for his live batting practice session" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Bill Bray is a name likely familiar to Nationals fans who have been following the franchise since its relocation." - "Getting to Know: Bill Bray" - Curly W Live

• "[Dan] Haren assured Johnson he was taking it easy. Later, though, Haren admitted that throwing in front of Johnson, Mike Rizzo and even Mark Lerner had amped him up." - "Dan Haren talks philosophy, Matt Skole keeps raking" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "'People always ask how bad it was,' [Ryan] Zimmerman said. 'I don’t like to use the word ‘bad’ because we’re in the big leagues, playing baseball, so it’s really not that bad.'" - "Nationals Have Come a Long Way in Four Years" Chris Lingebach, CBS DC

• "Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki said he would love to stay with the Nationals past this season. He feels the team will be successful for years to come." - "Suzuki wants to stay with Nats past this season" - Bill Ladson, All Nats All the Time

• via Twitter:

• "A former All-Star with the Padres, [Chris] Young's career has been saddled in recent years by shoulder injuries." - "Nats add veteran Young on minors deal" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "[Chris] Young, 33, has spent the last two seasons with the Mets, but has also seen time with the Rangers and Padres. The 6-foot-10 righty made the All-Star team with San Diego in 2007." - "Nationals Pastime: Nats sign right-hander Chris Young to minor league deal" - Dan Kolko,

• "The team has been in negotiations with Ft. Myers and Kissimmee but have to receive the financial backing from either town to renovate or build a new facility." - "Nats come to terms with Chris Young" - Craig Heist,

• "Standing 6-foot-10, [Chris] Young was an All-Star for the Padres in 2007, but has been slowed by injury problems, averaging 12 starts per year over that span." - "Nats sign pitcher Young to Minor League deal" - Joey Nowak and Andrew Simon, News

• "The Washington Nationals and general manager Mike Rizzo make no secret about their search for starting pitching depth: it’s constantly ongoing." - "Nationals sign Chris Young, increase starting pitching depth" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nationals will add [Chris] Young to their stable of options behind their projected starting five." - "Nationals add Chris Young, bolster starting pitching depth" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• via Twitter:

• "VIDEO: Harper's high expectations" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "In camp this spring, [Anthony] Rendon will likely get some time at third base (his natural position), shortstop and possibly even second base." - "Nationals Pastime: Now healthy, Rendon confident he can show his stuff" - Dan Kolko,

• "The Netherlands opens pool play on March 2 at Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung, Taiwan, against Korea. The team then plays March 5 against Australia." - "Classic could have Bernadina traveling far and wide" - Joey Nowak and Andrew Simon, News

• via Twitter:

• "Stephen Strasburg headlines the Nationals’ Grapefruit League Opener, starting the first game for the Nationals since his shut down last September." - "Pitching schedules for Saturday and Sunday at Nationals camp" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Ross] Detwiler will use this spring to try to step forward, at 26, as one of the best left-handed starters in baseball." - "Nationals pitcher Ross Detwiler finds his comfort zone" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

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


• "I keep writing about how the Nationals have stockpiled lots of depth for part-time roles and Triple-A, and they keep stockpiling even more depth." - "Nationals sign Chris Young to minor league deal" - Aaron Gleeman, HardballTalk

• "A team that enjoyed a breakout season, followed by a daunting playoff collapse. Spring training expectations that include the phrase World Series." - "Izturis sees Reds-Nationals matchup as a real possibility" - Tim Schmitt,

• "Speaking of fierce forces, all Tyler Clippard needs here is a little blood on his neck and he’s a focused Hanson brother trying to listen to the National Anthem." - "MLB Photo Day is Here, Embrace the Awkwardness" - Tim Ryan, The Big Lead

• "This is kind of a special ICFBN. Sure, the free e-books and old-timey baseball annuals are nice, but did you know that video existed of Walter Johnson pitching?" - "Internet Christmas for baseball nerds, part XXXI" - Grant Brisbee, Baseball Nation

• "Challenge answered: The best memes of Jayson Werth and his beard" - Mike Oz, Big League Stew - Yahoo! Sports


• "Last year the Nats had amazing starting pitcher health." - "Dream a little dream of pitcher health" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "Just five guys on a cart" - Nats Enquirer

• "I think that Washington D.C. could become primarily a baseball town, with the Redskins always being right there in the picture also,' [Mike Rizzo] continued." - "Mike Rizzo: D.C. could become ‘primarily a baseball town’" - Dan Steinberg, Washington Post

• "To celebrate George Washington’s 204th birthday the town of Fredericksburg planned a daylong celebration. To cap off the day the city invited baseball legend Walter Johnson to duplicate George Washington’s legendary throw of a silver dollar across the Rappahannock River." - "Big Train’s Throw Across the Rappahannock River" - Mark Hornbaker, D.C. Baseball History

• "Washington Nationals notes: Nats add P Chris Young to stable of MLB depth" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page


• "Washington is a 'Football' town; what’s yours?" - Todd Boss, Nationals Arm Race

• "Redskins will be #1 team in D.C. for a long time; Nats & Caps currently jockeying for #2" - William F. Yurasko, William World News


Mets: "The head of baseball’s union has a messsage for the Mets: Act like a big market team." - "MLB Players' Association executive director Michael Weiner tells NY Mets, Fred Wilpon to spend like big market team" - Andy Martino, NY Daily News

Phillies: "Roy Halladay wasn't asked if it was a big deal to start on Opening Day, an honor he has held for 10 straight years." - "Phillies Notebook: Halladay: Hamels deserves to be Phillies' Opening Day starter" - Ryan Lawrence, Philadelphia Daily News

Braves: "Jason Heyward and the Upton brothers, newcomers B.J. and Justin, will be in the lineup Friday when the Braves face Detroit in a Grapefruit League opener at Champion Stadium." - "After much fanfare, Braves’ new outfield is unveiled Friday in..." - David O'Brien,

• Marlins: "With two days to go before their spring training opener, the Marlins got the good news they were hoping for regarding Giancarlo Stanton..." - "JUPITER: Miami Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton feels better; Justin Ruggiano out with tight back" - Manny Navarro,