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Wire Taps: Joe Ross, Jonathan Papelbon and a splitter; Nationals versus Doug Fister; Felipe Rivero the closer?

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We've now reached one of the two toughest points in Spring Training, where the games are no longer novel, and the players in games are typically minor leaguers (the other point: the last week of Spring Training). But on the bright side, there are games, and there's lots of news from said games.

Joe Ross could prove to be even better than promised with a new pitch added to his arsenal.
Joe Ross could prove to be even better than promised with a new pitch added to his arsenal.
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

We're into Spring Training, and the Nationals are winning... a lot, actually. It means absolutely nothing, but it sure looks nice on paper, at least. Although at this point, the Nats have probably learned their lesson about looking good on paper.

Here's the latest from Viera.

The Nationals versus Doug Fister (and incidentally, the Astros).
Watching Jose Lobaton hit against Doug Fister made all of our hearts break. Luckily, Doug Fister was able to "tip his cap" to his former battery-mate.

Joe Ross adds splitter to repertoire
The promising young starter is adding another weapon to his arsenal, a splitter. He made the addition with the help of Jonathan Papelbon (who was taught the pitch by Curt Schilling).

Felipe Rivero now sees himself as a closer
Much to the delight of everyone in the Nationals organization, it seems like Felipe Rivero, the starter-turned-reliever, could see himself as the closer for the Nationals. Which, considering Jonathan Papelbon's inevitable departure after the season, should sound like music to Mike Rizzo's ears.

Citizens of Natstown player previews
The good folks over at Citizens of Natstown are compiling a player-by-player preview of the season, which makes for a good read for the fans who no longer know a single pitcher in the bullpen.

Brendan Ryan is trying to prove himself (once again, at age 33)
Speaking of player previews, after a few injury plagued seasons, Brendan Ryan has found himself fighting for a roster spot that may not be available.

Today's Game: Nationals vs Tigers, 1:05 PM.
Probable Pitchers: Gio Gonzalez (0-0, 0.00 ERA), Justin Verlander (0-0, 0.00 ERA)