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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ 2021 Spring schedule; Nats’ ‘21 rotation + more...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait to see who shows up at Spring Training in the best shape of their lives..

Toronto Blue Jays v Washington Nationals Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

It’s Saturday morning. We are scraping the bottom of the unused quote barrel to bring you this one from Brad Hand, who wore the No. 52 between 2011-18 before switching to No. 33 from 2018-19, and No. 21 in 2020. Now that he’s with the Nationals, what number will Hand have on the back of his jersey? He said he didn’t know when he spoke with reporters shortly after signing with the Nationals last month.

“I do not,” he explained. “The clubhouse manager texted me a little while ago, I have to call him after this, but I was looking through the roster, and if 52 is available, I’m probably going to go back to that. That’s what I had earlier in my career, but I have to speak with him first.”

It was available. And he’s listed as No. 52 on the Nationals’ roster page. Well, that’s settled.

Go read your links..


K's keep coming: Max's strikeout milestones - (
"Take a look at some of the strikeout milestones Scherzer has reached as a member of the Nationals -- with the possibility of more to come."

Spring training tweaked to eliminate long trips - (MASN)
"The Nationals unveiled a revised spring training schedule today, and though it doesn’t feature many changes, it is missing something notable from every previous spring: long road trips."

Nats' schedule revealed, Scherzer - (
"The Nationals' 2021 season schedule has been revealed and Max Scherzer keeps busy this offseason."

Better, worse or the same in 2021: Pitchers - (MASN)
"Max Scherzer regressed last season. He finished with his highest ERA (3.74) since 2012, his highest WHIP (1.381) ever and his highest walk rate (3.1 per nine innings) since 2010."

Why Gerardo Parra should bring back 'Baby Shark' walk-up song in 2021 - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Though Parra remains a free agent and isn't technically guaranteed to have a spot on the Nationals' 2021 roster, imagining the joy in the ballpark during that title-winning season never gets old, especially following a tough 2020."

Braves own best trio of hitters in NL East. How do the other 4 teams rank? - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Bell will look to prove that the first half of his 2019 season (27 homers, 1.024 OPS in 88 games) is more indicative of his potential than what he’s done since (18 homers, .724 OPS in 112 games)."


Jon Lester discusses free-agent process and possibility of retirement after 2021 MLB season - (
"Although he is not ruling out the idea of returning for what would be his 17th season in 2022, [Lester] says he is going to play out the year and reconvene afterwards."

Big-Name Pitchers Top List Of Baseball’s Comeback Candidates - (Forbes)
"The right-handed Strasburg, instrumental in pitching the Nationals to their only world championship two years ago, signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to stay in Washington but delivered almost nothing in 2020 after suffering carpal tunnel neuritis in the wrist of his pitching hand."

Frank Robinson, baseball icon and civil rights activist – (The Observer)
"In 1966, Robinson was traded to the Baltimore Orioles. This trade turned out to be catastrophic for the Reds, as Robinson proceeded to have the greatest season of his career that year."


Earlier start times announced for 2021 - (
"The Marlins will have earlier start times for weekday home games during the first, second and final months of the 2021 campaign."

75 years of Phils history in Clearwater, Fla. - (
"The Phillies will open their 75th Spring Training in Clearwater, Fla., next week. It is a place every Phillies fan should visit at least once."

Trevor May Talks Signing in New York - (SNY YouTube)
"Trevor May was the Mets first big free agent signing of the 2021 offseason and he talks about why he chose the Mets."

Inbox: Will Braves fortify bullpen? - (
"While the Braves could benefit from the addition of another veteran reliever, they may not have the long-term financial flexibility necessary to provide the multiyear deals Melancon and Greene are deservedly seeking."