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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ Davey Martinez on Juan Soto not feeling well; Max Scherzer start No. 2 + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait for Andrew Stevenson to make another nice play in the outfield...

St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Juan Soto stayed home on Wednesday, after reporting to the club that he wasn’t feeling well, but Washington Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez said he wasn’t worried about a bigger problem in West Palm Beach, FL’s FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

“[Soto] saw the doctor, he felt a little ill today, so we kept him at home. So we’ll reevaluate and see how he feels tomorrow,” Martinez explained.

Asked if Soto was the only one to report feeling ill, Martinez said, “Right now he’s the only one, and hopefully it’s nothing. Protocol. If guys feel sick they don’t come in.”

Is there a need for contact tracing or concern it could be COVID related?

“No, I don’t think it’s that kind of situation,” Martinez told reporters. “It could be a multitude of things. I don’t want to speculate on anything. We just know that, hey, when somebody is sick nowadays, or feels any kind of sickness, we keep them away.”

Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Lester already noticing positive effects of parathyroid removal - (MASN)
"Though he didn’t quite know it at the time, Jon Lester does know he wasn’t feeling right at least a year ago."

Jon Lester on thyroid surgery - (MLB.com)
"Nationals pitcher Jon Lester and manager Dave Martinez discuss Lester rejoining the team after undergoing thyroid surgery."

Scherzer ramps up, Soto stays home, Parra plays in B game - (MASN)
"Making his second start of the spring this afternoon in West Palm Beach, Fla., Scherzer looked like a midseason version of himself."

Max Scherzer progresses toward opening day - (MLB.com)
"When manager Dave Martinez hears a specific sound emanating from the mound, he knows his starting pitcher is clicking."

For Harrison, versatility is the name of the game - (MASN)
"But Martinez’s trickiest task will be striking the right balance with Harrison (and others on the Nats bench). How many starts a week should he get?"

Stephen Strasburg appeared back to normal in his spring debut. And that’s a promising sign - (WaPost)
“When Strasburg signed a seven-year, $245 million contract in December of 2019, it was easy to tab his World Series MVP award — and overall playoff dominance — as the reason.”

Juan Soto vs. Ronald Acuña vs. Bryce Harper: Who's the best RF in the NL East? - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Soto is getting Ted Williams comps for his rare blend of power and plate discipline, two traits that have only improved since he broke into the majors in 2018."

Victor Robles working to be Nats' leadoff hitter - (MLB.com)
"The Nationals moved Victor Robles to the top of the batting order during Spring Training to add energy to the lineup."

Washington Nationals fans may soon be able to watch the team play in person - (FOX5DC)
Back in 2019, the phrase 'stay in the fight' became a rallying cry for the Nats and their fans – and if there’s a fighting chance to get some fans back here they’ll take it."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

What The Nationals See In Joe Ross - (MLB Trade Rumors)
"What Ross found, and what the Nats saw in him, wasn’t just a solid stretch of games. It was a return to his roots."

New catcher Kurt Suzuki infuses Angels with zeal - (Los Angeles Times)
"At every stop during his 14-year MLB career, catcher Kurt Suzuki has brought what his new Angels teammates recognize immediately: boundless enthusiasm."

Breaking down every bullpen in NL East - (MLB.com)
"Nationals - The known: The Nationals have an abundance of depth in their bullpen, and what's certain is they have plenty of arms to choose from."

NL EAST UPDATES:

MLB Spring Training Notes: Mickey Moniak Finds His Power In Phillies Camp - (Baseball America)
"Mickey Moniak arrived at Phillies camp visibly bigger and stronger this spring. The desired results have followed."

Mets 'excited' to see Pete Alonso walk three times - (NY Post)
"Pete Alonso’s more disciplined plate approach this spring was evident Tuesday, when he kept Cardinals pitchers working."

Lefty González grew up a Marlins fan, now hopes to fulfill boyhood dream - South Florida Sun Sentinel - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
At 35, Gio Gonzalez's attempt to extend a 13-year career might fail. But the native of Hialeah is closer than ever to pitching for the Marlins, a goal since childhood.

Chris Martin might be Braves’ most valuable reliever - (AJC.com)
"A mind-blowing stat: Braves reliever Chris Martin has struck out 42 and walked only four (one intentional) in 39 games (35-2/3 innings)..."