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Wire Taps: Stephen Strasburg gets his groove back; Victor Robles leads off; Carter Kieboom rises in prospect rankings

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of the series with the Braves.

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MLB: All Star Game-Futures Game Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Well, there goes the 16-win streak.

Here’s the news from Atlanta:

Victor Robles will lead off for the Nationals against the Cubs. For real this time. (WaPo)
“I’m very excited to see him lead off and hopefully he jump-starts us and gets things going,” Nationals Manager Dave Martinez said Thursday afternoon. “He’s an exciting player and if he gets on base things happen, so I’m looking forward to him going out there and playing.”

NL East storylines by the numbers (
"But if you want to know why the Nats aren't a serious contender this year, start by looking at the rotation. Max Scherzer has been his usual brilliant self, but beyond Scherzer, it's been rough. The ERA by all starters other than Scherzer is 4.59."

Nats players initiate auction to help Doug Harris (MASN)
The Nationals are fighting to get Harris a new treatment — CAR-T — that could present a breakthrough.

Velocity still down, but Strasburg pitching better (MASN)
Stephen Strasburg is in the lower-90s, but he's getting Strasburgian results, which is all Davey Martinez has wanted to see all year.

MLB Pipeline's hitting prospects on the rise (
"[Carter] Kieboom made the biggest leap of any player on the preseason list, going from 90 to 34 in a year that saw him go to the Futures Game and reach Double-A at age 20, all while setting career highs in home runs, RBIs and total bases."

Audacity of Joe and changeups you can believe in: A speechwriter moonlights as a ballwriter for a day (The Athletic)
Cody Keenan, President Obama's speechwriter, took an assignment to cover the Cubs in Washington D.C. It's fun, it's witty, it's not quite normal.

Three P-Nats Make Carolina League Postseason All-Star Team (
Wil Crowe, Ian Sagdal, and Rhett Wiseman all made splashes in the Mills Cup playoffs.