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Wire Taps: Nationals' skipper not ready to name Opening Day starter... yet

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To the frustration of some, Washington Nationals' manager Matt Williams isn't ready to name his Opening Day starter yet. When will Williams do it? When he's ready. Until then, read some links and catch up on the last 24 hrs of Nats news...

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Second-year Nationals' skipper Matt Williams will name Washington's Opening Day starter when he wants to and not a minute sooner. Okay? ESPN's Jayson Stark wrote yesterday about Williams waiting to name a starter for the Nationals' season opener. "The manager wasn’t saying," Stark wrote, "wasn’t tipping his hand, wasn’t even giving hints. For that matter, he wasn’t even deviating from his oft-told spin on why it’s taking so long.":

"'It’s not a difficult decision," Williams said. "I just know from last year that we had a plan. And Doug pulled a lat muscle last year, and we had to change those plans. And then we had a pitcher [Zimmermann] scheduled to go the third game, and he got the flu. So you just never know.

"'So we’ll evaluate as we get longer down the line here,' he said. 'And we’ll let everybody know when it’s the appropriate time. To jump out there and say something now is probably not appropriate to any of them. And you don’t know how everybody is going to get through the rest of the spring. So a decision will be made. And we’ll announce it when it’s the appropriate time to do so.'"

Former Nats' skipper Davey Johnson, who visited the Nationals at a game yesterday for the first time since he left the bench in D.C., offered his own take on who Williams will name, telling reporters including MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince, "'It's probably lined up how [manager Matt Williams] wants it. Just count the days.'"

Count all you want, Williams will name his Opening Day starter when he wants to, okay? Until then, how about some links to keep you busy?

Davey Johnson visits the Nationals:

• "Until Tuesday, he had not seen a game in person since stepping away — though he watched all 'but one or two' on television last season." - "Davey Johnson attends first Nationals game since retiring as manager" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

• "Johnson, 72, milled around during batting practice, sharing hugs and laughs with a lot of his old players, including Bryce Harper." - "Nationals Pastime: Former manager Davey Johnson visits Nats (Kobernus released)" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com

• "Former Nationals manager Davey Johnson watched almost every Nationals game on television in 2014..." - "Johnson makes special visit to Nationals" - Jamal Collier, nationals.com

Stephen Strasburg brings regular season stuff to 3rd ST outing:

• "Throughout his career, he's taken issue with the outrageous attention that surrounded his arrival to the Major League stage, and now he's in a unit in which his talents blend in more than stand out." - "On star-studded staff, Strasburg has stuff to stand out" - Anthony Castrovince, nationals.com

• "Strasburg, making his second start of the spring, allowed three hits -- one of them a bunt single by backup catcher Bryan Holaday." - "Strasburg sharp in return to mound" - Jason Beck, nationals.com

• "When Strasburg took the mound in the top of the first, there was Tony Gwynn Jr. looking over his shoulder some 200 feet away in center field." - "Nationals Pastime: Stephen Strasburg, Tony Gwynn Jr. recognize a special moment" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com

• "'Two-seamer was working pretty well, changeup got better as the game went on and curveball, I was able to throw it for a strike today,' Strasburg said." - "Nationals Pastime: Strasburg delivers four shutout innings while Harper's bat struggles" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com

• "Strasburg, who has started the last three Opening Days for the Nationals, was in dominant form against the Tigers..." - "Strasburg makes strong case to start opener" - Jamal Collier, nationals.com

• "The story is well-worn by now, though worth a brief retelling: Tony Gwynn Sr. was Strasburg’s beloved coach and mentor at San Diego State..." - "Stephen Strasburg and Tony Gwynn Jr. finally share a field, Nationals knock around Justin Verlander" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

• "This probably isn’t about building suspense. Matt Williams is the type to avoid drama, not create it." - "Matt Williams won’t announce his opening day starter just yet" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

NATS BEAT: Barrett ready; Kobernus released; Injury updates

• "Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon said he was "astonished" that he sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee..." - "Rendon, Werth working their way back" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com

• "As a rookie last year, Aaron Barrett was on the mound in the first and last games of the Nationals’ season." - "Nationals’ Aaron Barrett relishes playoff experience despite his shaky outing" - David Driver, The Washington Post

• "Kobernus spent six seasons in the Nationals’ organization after starring at the University of California-Berkeley." - "Nationals release former second round pick Jeff Kobernus" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider

• "Kobernus, 26, played in eight games this spring, but he was a long shot to make the big league team." - "After being sent down, Kobernus released by Nationals" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com

• "They fixed little in the way of what got them in trouble in the playoffs, but they certainly look like favorites to win more games than anyone else in 2015." - "MLB Power Rankings: Preseason outlook" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider

• "This season's early camp has a pitching roster that Menhart believes is the best he has seen with the Nationals." - "Menhart views early camp pitching roster as most talented in his 10 years with Nats" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

NATIONAL(S) BEAT: 2015 Previews; Rendon's Tool(s); Kurkjian on LaRoche

• "'Somebody’s got to start Opening Day,' Williams said Tuesday, when the matter came up for the first time in the past 30 seconds. 'We’ll make that decision.'" - "Nationals' Opening Day starter will be . . . ?" - Jayson Stark, ESPN

• "Starting pitching and it's not close, even though this whole team is loaded. Consider: There are three legitimate 'aces.'" - "2015 MLB team preview: Washington Nationals" - Matt Snyder, CBSSports.com

• "We know Anthony Rendon has a diverse skill set. You could say, in fact, that he has the prototypical diverse skill set..." - "Anthony Rendon, Finding the Final Tool" - Owen Watson, FanGraphs Baseball

• "According to MiLB.com., the organization saw him as more of an outfielder than an infielder and considered him a long shot to make the team." - "Washington Nationals release Syracuse Chiefs outfielder Jeff Kobernus" - Lindsay Kramer, syracuse.com

• "Later, Kurkjian spoke of a conversation he had with then-Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche before Game 2 of the Nationals’ divisional series last year against the San Francisco Giants." - "Talking baseball at Blue Crabs hot stove banquet" - Andy States, SoMdNews.com

NL EAST UPDATES: Phillies will eat Howard's $$; Braves' TV deal; Haren in MIA

Mets: "In reporting about Zack Wheeler’s elbow over the past few days, we also had questions about the Mets decisions regarding trades, and how they related to what the team knew about Wheeler." - "Here is why NY Mets didn't trade Wheeler, Gee, Syndergaard" - Andy Martino, NY Daily News

Phillies: "Word is, the team would be willing to take on somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million." - "Don't underestimate Ryan Howard's value" - Anthony Castrovince, SportsonEarth.com

Marlins: "The Miami Marlins acquired Dan Haren and the $10 million required to pay his 2015 salary from the Los Angeles Dodgers as part the Dee Gordon - Andrew Heaney trade." - "2015 Miami Marlins Season Preview: Dan Haren" - Michael Jong, Fish Stripes

Braves: "The multiyear deal will allow the Braves to tap into Comcast technology and offer an extremely fast network of Internet capability for their new home, SunTrust Park..." - "Braves finalize multiyear partnership with Comcast" - Jon Cooper, braves.com