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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ Joe Ross is solid in 2020 debut; Max Scherzer shares his thoughts on things + more Nats links...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the Nats and Astros play again on MLBN tonight (6:05 PM EST).

MLB: Spring Training-Washington Nationals at New York Yankees John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Ross impressed in his 2020 Grapefruit League debut. Max Scherzer was not impressed with the changes to MLB’s playoff format floated last week. Carter Kieboom is still getting a feel for third base. Who’s going to play the most games at first base?

All these questions are answered or at least discussed below. Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Ross thrives vs. Yankees, Robles survives misplay in field - (MASN)
"Joe Ross could be forgiven if he was feeling a bit antsy before taking the mound at Steinbrenner Field this afternoon for his long-awaited spring debut."

Max on WS G7: 'Not gonna lie, it was a grind' - (MLB.com)
“'Not gonna lie, it was a grind,' he said. 'But I’d spent September getting myself ready to throw 100 pitches. And then I had 100 in me that night.'"

Max Scherzer not pleased with new playoff format proposal - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Here is a summation on Max Scherzer’s thoughts about the proposed playoff format changes: No."

Early spring reasons to be encouraged or discouraged - (MASN)
"Encouraging: The Rotation - We knew this was the team’s biggest strength going in, and there’s no reason to believe that’s changed at all."

What, exactly, are the Nationals’ depth relievers pitching for this spring? - (WaPost)
“'Think about it this way,' a member of the Nationals’ front office said. “Once spring training is over, you no longer have a direct audition in front of [General Manager Mike] Rizzo and Davey [Martinez]...'"

Who's on first? Nationals have veteran options - (MLB.com)
"Through the Nationals' first five days of games, Ryan Zimmerman is the only regular yet to make his Spring Training debut. Expect that to change soon."

Turner gets first opportunity to bat third (Nats lose 8-2) - (MASN)
"With no obvious replacement for the departed Anthony Rendon in the No. 3 spot in the lineup, Martinez has been toying with the notion of moving Turner out of the leadoff spot..."

Carter Kieboom’s early defensive struggles at third base aren’t a major concern--yet - (NBC Sports Washington)
"A natural shortstop, Kieboom has started just nine games at third in his professional career but is shifting across the infield because that’s where the Nationals need him."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

The 2020 manager All-Star team - (MLB.com)
"7. Dave Martinez, Nationals -- RF - Before leading the Nationals to their first world championship in franchise history last fall, Martinez spent 16 years in the Majors as a player and a decade as a coach under Joe Maddon with the Rays and Cubs."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Joe Girardi impressed with Jean Segura, smitten with Phillies catching prospect Rafael Marchan - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"Six games into the exhibition schedule, Joe Girardi is really liking what he sees of two players."

Prodding Mets to Spend More, Fans Have a Message: We’ll Venmo You - (The New York Times)
"When Wilton, a lifelong Mets fan, read that his favorite team hadn’t made an offer to re-sign pitcher Zack Wheeler, who instead joined the rival Philadelphia Phillies on a five-year, $118 million deal in December, he opened his cellphone and scrolled to Venmo."

Notes: Praise for Cabrera, other top prospects - (MLB.com)
"Being behind the plate for two innings was all Francisco Cervelli needed to form a quick opinion on prospect Edward Cabrera’s upside."

Braves expect Freddie back in lineup next week - (MLB.com)
"After scratching Freeman from Tuesday’s lineup, the Braves contacted Dr. David Altchek, who removed three fragments and a pair of bone spurs from the first baseman’s elbow on Oct. 16."