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Wire Taps: Nationals' Denard Span's surgery, Michael Taylor stories and more

On Monday morning, the Washington Nationals announced that Denard Span underwent his second surgery of the winter. How long will he be out? Can Michael Taylor step up? Nationals links, tweets, quotes and more...

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

The good news this morning? The Washington Nationals haven't announced any player surgeries or injuries as of 11:04 AM EDT. Phew. Yesterday, Nationals fans woke up to the news that Denard Span would be undergoing the second medical procedure of the winter to repair a right core muscle injury. That followed the news of Jayson Werth's shoulder surgery in January and the news of Yunel Escobar's oblique issue last week. Both Matt Williams and Nats' GM Mike Rizzo talked yesterday about having Michael Taylor around to fill in while Span recovers, and there are options like Tyler Moore and Nate McLouth (still working back from labrum surgery) for left field until Werth is back to full strength. If Escobar's recovery takes longer than expected, the Nationals can, of course, turn to "Right Side" Danny Espinosa, but the expectation is that Escobar will be back in more than enough time to prepare for his first campaign in D.C. So what other Washington Nationals-related news was out there in the last 24 hrs? Let's catch up together, shall we? Links and lots of them, starting... RIGHT NOW!!:

Denard Span surgery stories:

• "There’s no sugar coating the loss of Denard Span for, optimistically, the next month or so." - "The impact of Denard Span’s injury" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "Several random, yet somewhat connected, thoughts that have come to mind in the 24 hours since we learned Denard Span had surgery to repair a core muscle injury…" - "On Denard Span’s surgery, the Nats’ outfield and what happens now" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "Gwynn reiterated that he had a bad year last year with the Phillies because his father, Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn Sr., was ill and eventually passed away..." - "With Span out, Gwynn has shot to make Nationals" - Bill Ladson,

• "It was the second surgery in three months for the team’s leadoff man, who led the National League with 184 hits last season." - "Nationals to be without center fielder Denard Span for several weeks" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

Michael Taylor: Opening Day CF

• "Now, barely a week into the Grapefruit League season, Rizzo faces the predicament of replacing Denard Span, the team's offensive catalyst and best defensive outfielder." - "Nationals Pastime: Rizzo: 'It's Michael Taylor time right now'" - Chris Johnson,

• "'I don't want to see anyone go down. Denard is a great guy and he has been awesome to me. I'll be praying for his recovery,' said Taylor..." - "Taylor ready to take over center field for Nationals" - Bill Ladson,

NATS BEAT: Bell and Uggla; Gwynn, Jr; tests for Nationals

• "Span had sports-hernia surgery this offseason, and any ballplayer who has had one of those will tell you that the return-to-play timetable is much different than the return-to-form timetable." - "Season's tests will come early for Nationals" - Anthony Castrovince,

• "Gwynn started in center field and had two hits Monday. He has played in four games this spring and has three hits in five at-bats, including that double." - "Tony Gwynn Jr. comes out swinging as Gio Gonzalez comes out firing" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

• "Gonzalez is coming off a frustrating season in which he landed on the disabled list for the first time in his career." - "Nationals Pastime: Williams pleased as Gonzalez completes one round through the rotation" - Chris Johnson,

• "Heath Bell and Dan Uggla are three-time All-Stars. But this spring with the Nationals, they are just hoping to make the opening day roster." - "Former All-Stars Heath Bell and Dan Uggla hoping just to make the Nationals’ roster" - David Driver, The Washington Post

Make Good Decisions:

• "If the Nationals fall short, Pete Johnson can always cross out the 2015." - "Nats fan gets ‘Nationals World Series Champs 2015′ tattoo" - Scott Allen, The Washington Post


• "The 6-foot, 21-year-old starter from the Dominican Republic made a key mechanical adjustment at short-season Single-A Auburn that changed the momentum of his whole campaign..." - "Nationals early camp prospect capsule: Reynaldo Lopez" - Byron Kerr,

• "As always, the Nationals' top prospects list has undergone some changes in the past year, but the name at the top remains the same." - "Breaking down the Nationals' 2015 Top 30 Prospects" - Teddy Cahill,

• "Turner is here thanks to an old, outdated rule that disallows drafted players from being dealt within a year of their draft." - "Turner dealing with strange situation -- Nats prospect in Padres camp" - Jon Heyman,

NATIONAL(S) BEAT: Harper's heights? Neyer on Nats + mores

• "It may feel like Bryce Harper has been a famous baseball player forever, but Harper only turned 22 in October and was the youngest National League player to appear in at least 100 games in 2014." - "How good can Bryce Harper be in 2015?" - Ted Berg, For The Win

• "The good news for the Nationals? Bryce Harper doesn’t have to be an MVP candidate for them to win 95 games and destroy the rest of the National League East." - "Three reasons to watch the Nationals in 2015" - Rob Neyer, FOX Sports

• "Last season Fister finished in the top 10 in the National League in both wins with 16 and earned run average with a 2.41 in 164 innings pitched." - "Most Underrated National League Baseball Players 2015" - Peter Tebin, Movie TV Tech Geeks

• "Adam LaRoche showed up at the Chicago White Sox's home clubhouse at Camelback Ranch in February to the ultimate tribute..." - "Spring training a family affair for LaRoches" - Jerry Crasnick, ESPN

• "The Nationals’ talented but underachieving roster reached a crossroads this winter, with a slew of critical players heading into their walk years in 2015." - "Washington Nationals 2015 Preview and Prediction" -

• "Zach Walters, 25, has played shortstop all his life. He was interrupted during his stay with the Washington Nationals by the slick play of Ian Desmond..." - "Shortstop watching better than people watching when it comes to Cleveland Indians" - Paul Hoynes,

• "Souza, a 25-year-old coming off of an International League most valuable player award and who is now trying to make the Tampa Bay Rays' opening day roster..." - "MLB Outfielder Who Lived Hard-Partying Lifestyle Becomes Born-Again, Daily Bible Reading Christian; Credits God for New-Found Success" - Samuel Smith, Christian Post

NL EAST UPDATES: Lee's elbow, Wheeler knocked about; Fish prospects; Braves on Olivera?

Phillies: "Lee, 36, was also aware that one scenario - surgery - might mean the end of his career." - "Phillies Notebook: Phillies' Lee: Surgery would end season, possibly career" - Ryan Lawrence, Philadelphia Daily News

Mets: "Last spring, an outing like this would have upset Zack Wheeler." - "Mets Insider: Zack Wheeler has bad spring training outing" - Kristie Ackert, NY Daily News

Marlins: "A flurry of trades that began in July and continued into the offseason has given the Marlins' top prospects list a new look." - "Breaking down the Marlins' 2015 Top 30 Prospects" - Teddy Cahill,

Braves: "While teams are intrigued by Olivera's talent, they are also concerned about his medical history..." - "Braves waiting, watching on Olivera" - Mark Bowman,