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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals have day off; Dan Kolko is back; the Nats’ final roster spot(s) + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait to see who makes the Opening Day roster...

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Detroit Tigers v Washington Nationals Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

After an 0 for 3 (2 strikeout) night at the plate on Tuesday, Carter Kieboom is now 0 for his last 9, and overall on the spring, the 23-year-old third baseman is 4 for 25 (.160/.222/.240), with a triple for his only extra base hit in Grapefruit League action. Is his manager, Davey Martinez, worried that the 2016 1st Round pick is pressing as he tries to prove that he can handle being an everyday player in the majors after struggling in a short stint in 2019 and a short season in 2020.

“For me, I’m not — down in Spring Training I don’t look for results as far as getting hits and stuff,” Martinez said. “I want him to go up there and just relax and hit the ball hard. That’s all I’m asking for him to do down here, and just have good at bats. He might be pressing a little bit, but he needs to go out there and show me that he can put good at bats together.

“I mean that’s what he needs to do.”

Is it okay if the results aren’t there now, but the process is solid? Is it hard for a young player to accept that thought?

“Yeah. Like I said, for him it’s just about having good at bats, getting balls you can hit, and hitting them hard,” Martinez added.

“Trea [Turner], who you think he’s having a bad spring, but before today he lines out once or twice a game. And to me those are good at bats.

“He’s taking his walks. Those are good at bats. I just want to see Carter go out there, and like I said, have good at bats, make the routine plays and have fun.”

Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Corbin labors, Kieboom presses, Bell homers again - (MASN)
"But Corbin’s outing tonight didn’t feature a lot of highlights. The Marlins indeed jumped all over him, at one point putting the first pitch in play in four out of five at-bats."

Lester to debut Thursday, Strasburg still testing calf - (MASN)
"Jon Lester is ready to make his Nationals debut. And that could help give Stephen Strasburg a couple extra days to let his strained calf..."

Gerardo Parra, Jordy Mercer among contenders for Nationals’ final bench spot - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Most of the players that got the ax weren’t expected to begin the season in the majors, but the series of roster moves did provide some clarity as to who’s being considered for the 26th spot on the active roster should it go to a position player."

Jon Lester set for spring debut Thursday - (MLB.com)
"Lester is prepping for his 16th Major League season. Last year, he went 3-3 with a 5.16 ERA for the Cubs."

Why Nationals pitcher Patrick Corbin wants to throw more change-ups - (WaPost)
“Corbin, a lefty starter for the Washington Nationals, said this of his change-up in March of 2019: ‘I just want to get consistent with that pitch, kind of as another weapon.’”

Parra debuts, Zimmerman slugs, Suero dominates - (MASN)
"It was a spring training game, three at-bats and five innings in left field in Jupiter, Fla. Gerardo Parra had done something along those lines hundreds of times in his career. And yet this one felt different."

Ozzie Albies vs. Starlin Castro vs. Jeff McNeil: Who’s the best 2B in the NL East? - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The veteran infielder has a troubling on-base percentage that stems from a lack of walks, so the power production will be an important part of his game if he manages to unlock it."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Letters From Spring: Looking behind the curtain at the Legend of Juan Soto – (The Athletic)
"I like Senators as a name better than Nationals. I just think it rings in a way that Nationals doesn’t."

Meet the Nats fan who starred in MASN’s classic Wil Nieves commercial. (Who? Exactly.) - (WaPost)
“George Margelis feared he had blown his chance. Who?”

Washington Nationals release new health and safety measures for fans returning to Nationals Park - (FOX5DC)
"The Washington Nationals have put into place new health and safety measures for fans returning to the stands at Nationals Park this season."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Matt Moore And Chase Anderson Close To Winning Philadelphia Phillies Rotation Jobs - (Forbes)
"Matt Moore and Chase Anderson appear to have won the battle for the backend of the Philadelphia Phillies’ rotation, even with a couple weeks of spring training still remaining."

The story behind Pete Alonso's favorite baseball term: 'swords' - (SNY - YouTube)
"On this edition of The Cookie Club Crumbs presented by Insomnia Cookies, Alonso explains to Dom Smith, J.D. Davis and Steve Gelbs why he loves using the term 'swords' and the origin story behind the baseball term."

Miami Marlins podcast: Sixto Sanchez and other pitching news - (Miami Herald)
"Miami Marlins’ Sixto Sanchez made his first spring training start. Gio Gonzalez is ramping up. A few relief pitchers have impressed too. The latest Fish Bytes podcast explains."

Ronald Acuña Jr. homers in second straight game - (MLB.com)
"Ronald Acuña Jr. finished three stolen bases shy of a 40-40 season in 2019, then produced the National League’s best at-bats per home run ratio last year."