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Wire Taps: Max Scherzer "feels back"; Derek Norris disappointed to be released; Wilmer Difo as an outfielder?

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of this afternoon's Grapefruit League matchup with the Miami Marlins.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

If the Nationals could hit the pause button on players and how they're performing, and unpause on Opening Day, there's no doubt that Bryce Harper and Gio Gonzalez would both get that treatment. Here's hoping they can keep it up.

Here's the beat from the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

Max Scherzer pitches with two-fingered grip in minor league game, says he "feels back"
Scherzer threw in a real game against Mets' minor leaguers on Thursday, and finally returned to his two-fingered fastball, a grip he hadn't been able to use for a while after an injury to a knuckle on his right ring finger. Scherzer, however, won't likely get to start his third consecutive Opening Day for the Nats due to the timetable of his rehab.

Derek Norris disappointed after being released by Nationals
Norris was hoping to break camp with the team that originally drafted him, but will find lots of suitors on the open market.

Trea Turner can lead the Nats' offense, finally balanced, to success
The Nats will get the best leadoff hitter they may have ever had for a full season in 2017, Bryce Harper will rebound, and the dynamic duo of Adam Eaton and Matt Wieters is just the icing on the cake.

Gio Gonzalez worked absurdly quickly in Thursday's game
Gio Gonzalez went five innings without allowing a hit, and only threw 49 pitches in a game that lasted 2 hours and 17 minutes. Don't worry, we're confused too. (Also, Koda Glover got an opportunity to close and did pretty well).

Adam Lind, the Nats' Canada-loving, home run hitting bench player, is ready to roll
Lind grew up in Indiana, went to college in Alabama, and then played for the Toronto Blue Jays for nine seasons. Now, he's learning to hit off the bench for the first time in his life.

Nats are experimenting with Wilmer Difo as an outfielder
Difo has made appearances in the outfield in two spring training games this spring, which could prove to be an unorthodox way for the young Dominican to make the club.

Major Leaguers make their bracket picks
Shawn Kelley went with Louisville, and Joe Ross stayed true to his native California.

Dusty Baker talks bats and mind games
Pete Vuckovich, broken bats, light bats, and mind games were all subjects of conversation in Dusty Baker's press conference on Tuesday.

John Lannan finds a familiar home years later
Lannan signed a Minor League deal to come back to his original team, the Nats, last week -- as a sidearm reliever.

A whole lot goes into finding the right bat for the Nats
Marucci? Homewood? Louisville Slugger? For Clint Robinson, the self-proclaimed bat-hoarder, there's no such thing as too many choices.

Jayson Werth's legacy with Nats rests on this season
Jayson Werth certainly considers this ride with the Nationals mildly successful, but he won't consider it a complete success unless the Nats can go deep into October.

Today's Game: Nationals vs Marlins -- 1:05 PM
Probable Pitchers: Erick Fedde (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs Scott Copeland (2-0, 7.50 ERA)
Days Until Opening Day: 17