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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ first round of roster cuts; Aaron Barrett knee surgery + more Nats links...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait for good news on Stephen Strasburg’s leg...

MLB: Washington Nationals at Houston Astros Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

Davey Martinez provided an update on everyone’s favorite beleaguered reliever on Sunday morning, when a reporter asked about the lack of Aaron Barrett in Grapefruit League action this spring.

“Aaron Barrett — he had knee surgery a couple of days ago,” Martinez said. “So he’ll be joining us — I think he flew in last night, is flying in this morning. So yeah, he had knee surgery.”

Barrett was in West Palm Beach for the start of Spring Training, but quickly realized that something wasn’t right.

“He was here early and he was throwing and he felt something in his knee, went and got an MRI and he had to get it cleaned up.”

Left or right?

“I think it’s his right, yeah, it was his right,” Martinez said. Get better soon, Bear. The rest of you? Go read your links..

NATS BEAT:

Strasburg exits with calf issue:

Stephen Strasburg not expecting to miss much time after calf strain ends spring start - (WaPost)
“The moment that could have derailed Stephen Strasburg’s spring looked like this...”

Stephen Strasburg unconcerned by calf strain in second spring training start - (Washington Times)
"Stephen Strasburg departed the mound with a left calf strain midway through the third inning of Sunday’s spring training game — the pitcher’s second start of the spring."

Calf strain forces Strasburg's early exit in loss to Astros (updated) - (MASN)
“'After the pitch, I saw him kind of a little bit of a hobble,' Martinez said. 'His left calf grabbed him a little bit.'"

Stephen Strasburg: Calf injury minor after exiting Spring Training game - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The 32-year-old said the injury to his left calf was 'nothing major,' and he'll be day-to-day for the time being."

Stephen Strasburg exits early after stumble on mound - (MLB.com)
"The Nationals' right-hander walked off the mound following a visit from manager Dave Martinez and trainer Paul Lessard in the bottom of the third frame."

Other Nats Stories:

Top prospects among Nationals' first round of cuts - (MLB.com)
"The Nationals made their first round of roster moves on Sunday with two weeks remaining in Spring Training."

Ross continues to make his case for final spot in rotation - (MASN)
"Ross’ 1.80 ERA across five total innings this spring is more than solid. He has allowed only three hits..."

Nationals reliever Tanner Rainey yet to play in spring training - (WaPost)
“But it is certain that, as of Saturday, reliever Tanner Rainey had yet to appear in a game. He also is not scheduled to in the immediate future.”

Martinez on Lester and Rainey, first cuts and Barrett's knee surgery - (MASN)
"Davey Martinez’s morning Zoom session with reporters was delayed about 35 minutes so the Nationals manager could watch left-hander Jon Lester throw live batting practice..."

With walk-off single, Tomás throws his hat in the ring - (MASN)
"His name is Yasmany Tomás, and while his chances of making the opening night roster remain slim, they’re not nonexistent, especially when he delivers in the clutch like he did Saturday night."

Yasmany Tomás vying for roster spot with Nationals - (MLB.com)
"This spring, the Nats have been getting looks at Yasmany Tomás at the corner-outfield and infield positions."

Nationals make their first round of spring training cuts - (WaPost)
“But when the Washington Nationals reassigned 20 players Sunday morning, there wasn’t such shuffling through their facility. There weren’t many changes at all.”

Nationals get extra work in with 'B' game - (MLB.com)
"While the “B” games are opportunities for young prospects to get Major League experience, it’s also a chance for veterans to work on aspects of their repertoire."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Spring Training Statcast highlights for 2021 - (MLB.com)
"Cade Cavalli, Nationals - Key Statcast: Strikeout with 89 mph changeup/98 mph fastball combo."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Philadelphia Phillies need bench improvement for 2021 roster - (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"A bad bullpen was the primary reason the Phillies failed to make the playoffs last season, but they also had too few contributions from their bench, another area that was addressed in the offseason."

Carlos Carrasco makes declaration in promising Mets injury update - (New York Post)
"Carlos Carrasco played catch Sunday at the Mets spring training complex, after which he left no ambiguity about his intentions for the start of the season."

JJ Bleday leads Vanderbilt Marlins - (MLB.com)
"Nearly two years later, three members of that national title-winning [Vanderbilt] Commodores squad have participated in Marlins big league camp this spring..."

How Braves’ remaining non-roster invitees are faring this spring - (AJC.com)
"After trimming their roster late last week, the Braves have nine non-roster invitees remaining in camp."