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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals back for Spring Training 2.0 + Sean Doolittle leaning towards playing in 2020 + more Nats links...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait for updates from the first workouts of Spring Training 2.0...

Ballparks Remain Empty On What Would Have Been Baseball’s Opening Day Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sean Doolittle told ABC7’s Scott Abraham on Wednesday that though he was in D.C. for the start of Spring Training 2.0, he’s still not sure he’s going to play this season.

“You know what, not entirely. I’m here. I’m very much leaning toward playing,” Doolittle said, but health concerns with his family have the veteran reliever contemplating whether or not he’ll commit to competing in the 60-game sprint of a 2020 campaign.

“I’m super-excited to be back,” Doolittle added, “... and I’m really looking forward to seeing my teammates, but you know, just the situation we’re in with the pandemic and how it’s affecting other cities around the country, cities that major league baseball is going to be playing in — there’s still a lot that we kind of have to figure out. We don’t have a lot of time to figure it out in.”

Doolittle said he thinks everyone is cautiously optimistic at this point, awaiting results of the coronavirus tests they all took upon arriving back at Nationals Park.

Doolittle’s full comments are worth watching, so we won’t just quote the whole interview, click on it and watch it yourself:

NATS BEAT:

Nationals granted D.C. approval to open ballpark for spring training reboot - (WaPost)
“The franchise is required to apply for a waiver based on Bowser’s order that temporarily shuttered on-site operation of nonessential businesses in the nation’s capital...”

Updates on Nats pitching prospects Denaburg and Parker - (MASN)
"[Mason] Denaburg pitched in seven games with four starts for the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Nationals in 2019, going 1-1. He had a 7.52 ERA with 19 strikeouts over 20 1/3 innings."

Does the short season change the Nationals’ plans at third base with Carter Kieboom? - (NBC Sports Washington)
"However, there is no minor-league season now. There is no room to play-and-see. So, Kieboom will be on the active 30-man roster, then remain through the 60-game season."

Mayor approves Nats Park for workouts, fan-less games - (MASN)
"With only one field, two bullpens and two underground batting cages at their disposal, the Nationals will probably need to stagger their workout schedule over the course of the day."

Nationals return to D.C. for summer camp - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Adam Eaton shared a photo from outside Nationals Park with the caption 'Hello old friend…' to document his homecoming."

Nationals agree to terms with 9 undrafted FAs - (MLB.com)
"After agreeing to terms with all six of their 2020 MLB Draft picks last week, the Nationals added to their prospect pool by agreeing to terms with nine non-drafted free agents on Wednesday."

Nationals summer training, explained - (WaPost)
“Workouts are beginning again during the novel coronavirus pandemic, while the country experiences another wave of positive tests.”

Nationals will benefit from universal DH in 2020 for these two reasons - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The universal DH enters play in 2020. The Nationals will benefit for two reasons."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

City Lights: Watch Howie Kendrick Talk Photography or Point Teens to a Poetry Workshop - (Washington City Paper)
"Not only is Howie Kendrick a world champion Washington Nationals player, he’s also a pretty damn good photographer."

2020 Rival Season Preview: Washington Nationals - (Fish Stripes)
"Manager Dave Martínez will be challenged to prove his offensive order can stay productive and survive without All-Star third baseman Anthony Rendon, who’s now a member of the Angels."

He Said What Now?:

Signing/Minors News:

Liberty Christian slugger Quade Tomlin turning pro, signs with Nationals - (newsadvance.com)
"[Quade] Tomlin, one of the best sluggers in the Lynchburg area, has decided to turn pro and forgo a college career, signing a contract with the Washington Nationals on Monday night."

Washington Nationals raise Battlefield graduate Nick Wells’ confidence - (insidenova.com)
"On Friday, Nick Wells stood in the Giant check-out line in Dominion Valley ready to pay for his groceries when his phone rang. Wells immediately recognized the number. It belonged to Mark Scialabba, the Washington Nationals assistant general manager in charge of player development."

LCA baseball's Tomlin follows in fathers footsteps and signs with Nationals - (WSET)
"For as long as Quade Tomlin can remember, he has been around the game of baseball."

Local minor-league baseball players absorb the reality of a lost season - (Independent Mail)
"Former Woodruff High and Wofford College pitcher Jacob Condra-Bogan packed up only part of his belongings when COVID-19 began to alter life around the world..."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Why Jean Segura’s move to third base won’t be on Phillies’ list of training-camp worries - (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"The veteran shortstop's desire to tackle a new position represented one of the Phillies’ more pleasing developments from a short-circuited spring training."

Mets hitting coach Chili Davis will be working remotely - (NY Post)
"The Mets' hitting coach, according to sources, will work remotely – at least in the short term – amid COVID-19 concerns."

Mattingly ready for new way of baseball - (MLB.com)
"With three weeks to prepare for a 60-game regular season, Marlins manager Don Mattingly and his staff are planning to have the players ready to hit the ground running."

Could Acuña Jr. go 20-20 in 60 games? Well... - (MLB.com)
"If Ronald Acuña Jr. were to produce a 20-20 season this year, it would mark just the fifth time in the past quarter-century a player has tallied 20 homers and 20 stolen bases in a 60-game span of one season."