Juan Soto’s got power. Max Scherzer’s got opinions, on the MLB rule changes and the idea of an extension in Washington. We’ve got links. If you need something to do while you’re patiently waiting for the start of the Nationals’ Grapefruit League matchup with the New Yankees (1:05 PM EST; MLB.tv in D.C.), go dig in to today’s selection of the latest Nats new. Go read your links...
Juan Soto hits his first home run of spring training - (NBC Sports Washington)
"After the ball left his bat Tuesday, Soto began his trot around the bases as the ball sailed over the fence in left-center field."
Opposite field remains Soto's best friend - (MASN)
"It was eerily reminiscent of Soto’s blast onto the train tracks at Minute Maid Park last October, albeit with the stakes far reduced this time."
Max Scherzer dislikes new MLB rules, has ideas to fix them - (WaPost)
"First, with the three-batter minimum, Scherzer is worried about clubs gaming the system with dubious injuries."
Juan Soto hits first Spring Training homer of 2020 - (MLB.com)
"There are loud cheers each time Juan Soto steps into the batter’s box. He hears them, including afternoons like Tuesday, when he hit his first home run of Spring Training."
Is a contract extension in Max Scherzer’s future? - (NBC Sports Washington)
“'Obviously, there is a time and place to think about that,' Scherzer told NBC Sports Washington. 'It’s really [for] the team to come to you to drive those conversations. And, so, for me, I’ll cross that bridge when a team wants to pick up the phone.'"
Like aces? Here are the Nationals' spring plans - (MLB.com)
"A broader picture of the Nationals’ arms is expected to take shape this week."
How the Nationals’ Carter Kieboom learned to fail in public - (WaPost)
“When I returned to the minors in May, it was like: ‘Okay, my life is not over. This is okay,’ ” Kieboom said this week."
Max Scherzer vs. Justin Verlander spring training matchup - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Scherzer and Verlander will take the hill for their respective clubs on Thursday as the defending pennant winners gear up for the start of the 2020 season."
After strong finish to 2019, Sánchez seeks fast start to 2020 - (MASN)
"Possessor of a mid-90s fastball when he first came onto the scene with the then-Florida Marlins, he’s now a master of the widest assortment of pitches in baseball."
J.P. Ramirez Joins 'From Phenom To The Farm: Episode 2 - (Baseball America)
"A few hundred miles down the East Coast in Washington, D.C., the Nationals were watching the top prize of their draft class slip through their fingers."
Tim Kurkjian says there’s no replacing Anthony Rendon in the Nationals’ lineup - (NBC Sports Washington)
"ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian sat down with NBC Sports Washington’s Todd Dybas for the Nationals Talk podcast and discussed just how much the team is going to miss Rendon’s bat."
Goold: Spring rematch with Sanchez reminds Cardinals how October troubles remain February focus - (stltoday.com)
"The conversation in the Cardinals’ clubhouse after a maddening loss in the National League Championship Series was one that would echo into the winter."
NL EAST UPDATES:
No jitters for Bryce Harper, just an RBI, a stolen base and a little 'glam' - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"Last year at this time, Harper was still a free agent, mulling offers from the Phillies, Giants and Dodgers. He chose the Phillies on the final day of February and camp exploded with excitement."
J.D. Davis is Mets' first significant injury scare this year - (NY Post)
"J.D. Davis departed Tuesday’s game after jamming his left shoulder on a diving play at third base that kept him on the ground for an extended period as he spoke with the team trainer. Davis is scheduled to have an MRI exam on Wednesday."
More @WBCBaseball news: @Max_Scherzer and @PatrickCorbin46 responded with an enthusiastic yes when I asked them yesterday in @Nationals camp if they are interested in pitching for @USABaseball at the 2021 Classic -- from the nation's capital to the national team. @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) February 25, 2020
Getting the Marlins to 94 Wins - (The Hardball Times)
"That’s it! That’s the gift! Screw 94 wins, let’s just get the Marlins into the playoffs! That shouldn’t be too hard. I mean how bad could they really be? And no one signs free agents until spring training anymore, right? Right?"
Ready to turn corner, Foltynewicz finds form - (MLB.com)
"The Braves know Foltynewicz is capable of getting back to where he was in 2018, when he earned his first All-Star selection. They saw him start to regain that form when he finished strong at the end of last year..."