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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ Grapefruit League opener over; home opener today + more Nats links...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before they play again today at 1:05 in West Palm Beach...

MLB: Washington Nationals at St. Louis Cardinals Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

“I thought we did well. I really did,” Davey Martinez said of the quality of play he saw during the Nationals’ Grapefruit League opener on Sunday in Jupiter, FL. “I saw some good plays. I saw — things that we’ve got to knock the rust off our cleats a little bit.

“It was fun to watch these guys play. I saw some good at bats too. A lot of deep count at bats for us, putting the ball in play. That was nice.”

It was also nice, Martinez said, to play in front of fans for the first time in a long time.

“It was awesome,” the manager said. “A bit of a crowd today, it was kind of nice. Hopefully this is a good sign and we start getting more and more as we progress, but it was definitely really nice to hear the fans out there.”

Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

A sense of normalcy in Nationals' first spring game with fans - (MASN)
"It wasn’t 100 percent normal. But it was as close to normal as the Nationals have experienced in a long time."

Kyle Schwarber's subtle changes at the plate could reap big rewards for Nationals - (Washington Times)
"When Kevin Long reached out to Kyle Schwarber shortly after the slugger signed with the Washington Nationals, one thing quickly led to the next."

'Ready' Fedde: Righty game for any role - (MLB.com)
"New season, same situation for Erick Fedde: Compete for a starting role, but stay ready for anything."

Fans fire up Nats; Robles, Castro impress - (MLB.com)
"The Nationals took the field in front of fans for the first time in nearly a year, and the energy from the crowd was felt in their Spring Training opener on Sunday."

Robles gets first chance to lead off, starters being eased in - (MASN)
"How does Martinez want the 23-year-old center fielder to approach these leadoff assignments in spring training?"

Washington Nationals' spring training home is also a coronavirus testing site - (WaPost)
“It’s the present clashing with a more hopeful future. For the Nationals, it is hard to ignore.”

Kyle Schwarber's subtle changes at the plate could reap big rewards for Nationals - (Was)hington Times
"When Kevin Long reached out to Kyle Schwarber shortly after the slugger signed with the Washington Nationals, one thing quickly led to the next."

SEE IT: Washington Nationals prospect Drew Mendoza makes unreal grab - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The Washington Nationals have just begun their spring training games, but a candidate for defensive play of the Grapefruit League season has already happened."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Four Top 100 prospects homer in ST openers - (MLB.com)
"While in the field at first base, Mendoza also flashed his defensive acumen with a barehanded play in the ninth inning."

Spring Training 2021: Sunshine, Nationals and Rainbows - (WTOP)
"It’s more than simply tuning up for the regular season, but the chance for the team to get in tune with itself."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Phillies 'amped up' with fans in stands - (MLB.com)
"Mickey Moniak and Adam Haseley walked onto the field together at Joker Marchant Stadium and noticed the differences immediately."

Mets won't waste time starting Francisco Lindor - (NY Post)
"The Mets are wasting no time in getting their first look at Francisco Lindor in a game."

Chisholm, Bleday among Game 1 standouts - (MLB.com)
"Marlins fans in attendance for Sunday's Grapefruit League opener at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches got their taste of in-person baseball for the first time in a year."

First impressions of Braves’ pitching in spring opener - (AJC.com)
"Sean Newcomb is somewhat a forgotten man in the Braves’ pitching mix after a disappointing 2020."