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Wire Taps: Anthony Rendon ponders legacy; Rotation questions with Stephen Strasburg; Nats enjoy being baseball’s oldest...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the series opener with the Orioles...

Washington Nationals v Baltimore Orioles

The Nats are playing Camden Yards tonight, and what with the price of tickets and the O’s troubles, this may finally be the series that Nats fans outnumber Orioles fans in Baltimore.

Here’s the chase from the Charm City:

In what might be his final year in Washington, Rendon ponders legacy at YBA, life in baseball (
Anthony Rendon, instead of heading to Cleveland, headed to the Nats' Youth Baseball Academy in Anacostia. Ian Desmond handed him the reins as the point player for the academy ahead of the 2016 season, but he could well leave Washington himself after this year — and he doesn't think baseball is as life-defining as it once was, but still places a heavy premium on being a positive influence on the students.

Lucas Giolito is an all-star and the Nationals need a pitcher, but trading him wasn’t a mistake (WaPo)
It would be nice to have Lucas Giolito right now, no doubt; it would be nice to have him for tonight's game and down the stretch. But Lucas Giolito likely wouldn't be Lucas Giolito had he been stuck in Washington, both in terms of the influence Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer would've exerted upon him, but also in terms of his chances to fail and try again on the South Side. It does illustrate a key question as the Nats head into another deadline as buyers, though: how much time do they have to let guys figure themselves out before becoming All-Stars, and how much do they need help immediately?

The Nationals, baseball’s oldest team, believe there are benefits to bucking a trend (WaPo)
The Nationals are baseball's oldest team (though most of the players would still be considered rookies in their professional fields at this point), and their experience has paid off to this point, especially in the clubhouse. They know their bodies and are improving in many ways, though Victor Robles and Juan Soto do make many of the players feel like grandparents.

With a rotation decision to make, Nationals’ series in Baltimore is more dangerous than it appears (WaPo)
Stephen Strasburg always wants to stay on schedule — but if they bump him back to Thursday, then the Nats will send out Austin Voth and one of Kyle McGowin, Joe Ross, and Erick Fedde to take care of the Orioles in a series this team needs to sweep with minimal effort from the bullpen — and those pitchers, even against a struggling Orioles team, don't inspire tons of confidence.

Tigers Bring Trevor Rosenthal Back To The Majors For Some Reason (Deadspin)
The bad news is that it doesn't look like he got any better since heading to Toledo. The good news is that we'll only have to deal with the sympathetic pain if he struggles again, not the pain of a loss as well.

Who's the next Orioles player to be traded? (MASN)
Mychal Givens has attracted interest from the Phillies, which makes sense — but the Nationals, the *Nats!* sent a scout to Camden to watch him as well. (Any deal would be highly surprising given how much these two sides loathe each other, though.)

Joe Grzenda, who threw the final pitch in Senators history (and kept the ball), dies at 82 (WaPo)
Grzenda never got to save the final game in Senators history, but he was present for the first pitch at RFK after he threw its final pitch in the 20th century.

Monday Quickie - mission accomplished and OH NO (Nationals Baseball —Sweetspot)
If Max Scherzer misses the entire Atlanta series, then there's a serious problem — both for the team's record and for Scherzer's health.