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Wire Taps: Stephen Strasburg makes 2018 debut; Nationals beat Astros, split squad action today...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Washington Nationals news before the start of today’s split squad action against the Detroit Tigers and New York Mets...

MLB: Spring Training-Washington Nationals at Houston Astros Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Strasburg threw 29 pitches over two innings on the mound against the Houston Astros in the Nationals’ 8-1 win on Saturday afternoon, then went to throw more in a bullpen session after he was done with his first Grapefruit League start of the season.

Washington’s first-year skipper, Dave Martinez, told reporters after the game that he was impressed with what he saw from the Nationals’ 29-year-old righty.

“He threw the ball well,” Martinez said, as quoted on

“He went down to the bullpen and threw another 20 pitches, which I liked a lot, too. For me, it’s about keeping the stress level down, just letting him get his work in. It’s early in camp, [but] it was good to see him go out there and pitch.”

Up next for the Nationals are Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson, who start the home and road halves of today’s split squad action, respectively, with Gonzalez at home in West Palm Beach against the Detroit Tigers, and Jackson on the road against New York’s Mets in Port St. Lucie, FL.

While you wait for today’s games to start, catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news.


Nationals Stephen Strasburg makes spring debut
"Strasburg was the last starter in the Nationals' rotation to appear in a Grapefruit League game this spring."

Stephen Strasburg started this spring much the way he ended last fall
"Results don’t matter much at spring training times like these, but things like velocity and movement can be telling."

Nats' Strasburg has strong 1st spring start
"Strasburg elected to skip what would have been his first spring start, choosing to throw a live bullpen at the Nationals spring training complex rather than make Monday’s three-hour bus ride to Lake Buena Vista to face Atlanta."

Strasburg gets his work in, Doolittle works on his off-speed stuff
"And as Sean Doolittle entered to pitch the bottom of the third, Strasburg made his way back out to the bullpen to throw an additional 20 pitches."

Nats Bryce Harper back after toenail surgery
"Bryce Harper's toe was a go Saturday, and the Nationals' five-time All-Star right fielder showed no ill effects from the surgery he had Wednesday for an ingrown toenail."

At Washington Nationals camp, Kevin Long and son Jaron are hitting coach and pitcher
"Jaron Long, a 26-year-old right-handed pitcher, began his career in the Yankees organization when his father was still the big league club’s hitting coach."

Martinez meets with Torre, learns more about pace of play
"What exactly will happen if someone from one team tries to make a seventh trip to the mound? Martinez doesn’t have an answer for that yet."


Ronald Acuna, Victor Robles homer on Friday
"Robles is already expected to be a plus hitter and plus-plus in the outfield and on the basepaths, but developing power could make him even more scary."

Victor Robles went airborne and lost his hat for a spectacular diving catch
"Robles had to go completely airborne to rob Astros left fielder Alejandro Garcia of what looked to be extra bases..."


Leg kick key for Braves' Tyler Flowers
"What came natural during his childhood days in suburban Atlanta, and the early portion of his Minor League career, proved to be elusive during his oft-frustrating time with the White Sox."

Marlins Jose Urena impresses in spring outing
"Urena compiled a 14-7 record and a 3.82 ERA this past season, his third with the Marlins. The 26-year-old appeared in 34 games, including 28 starts."

Amed Rosario injury doesn’t appear to be serious, but Mets play it safe
"Add shortstop Amed Rosario to the list of Mets who are dealing with mostly minor aches and pains."

Phillies prospect Mickey Moniak 'grateful' for last year's struggles - Philly
"Mickey Moniak spent his first full season of professional baseball as one of the youngest players in the single-A South Atlantic League."