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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ rotation mix; Tanner Rainey debuts; Yadiel Hernández keeps swinging + more...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait to see which players make the Opening Day roster...

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MLB: New York Mets at Washington Nationals Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

Davey Martinez confirmed Max Scherzer is getting the Opening Day nod, but he said this weekend that they still have to sort out how they’re going to line things up behind that. It will be Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg (assuming he’s healthy), Patrick Corbin, Jon Lester (if he’s ready for the start of the season after surgery to remove one parathyroid gland), then Joe Ross (who appears to have the 5th spot locked down). But in what order?

“We’re going to — I’ll sit down with [pitching coach Jim] Hickey right now. We’re going to have to talk about how we’re going to set up this rotation,” Martinez said on Sunday.

“As you know, we’ve got two lefties in our [rotation], I don’t know if we want to pitch them back-to-back, how we do that.

“So I’m going to sit down with Hick as soon as we get off Zoom, and get a schedule put together for all those guys.

“But like I said, what I do know is Max will pitch Opening Day.

Got it? Go read your links...


Tanner Rainey’s 2021 Debut:

A ragged - but healthy - spring debut for Rainey - (MASN)
"Tanner Rainey would’ve liked to walk off the mound at the end of the sixth inning Sunday and felt nothing but positive vibes about his first game appearance of the spring."

Nationals reliever Tanner Rainey wasn’t too concerned about his rough spring training debut - (WaPost)
“The most important thing, Tanner Rainey explained, was that he faced four batters and was pain-free afterward.”

Other Nats Stories:

Yadiel Hernandez strong spring camp - (
"After making his Major League debut last season at age 32, outfielder Yadiel Hernandez is putting up numbers in Spring Training reflective of a player who has established his place in the bigs."

Max Scherzer vs. Jacob deGrom vs. Aaron Nola: Who’s the best SP in the NL East? - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Scherzer holds onto the No. 2 overall spot of these rankings heading into his age-36 season after his streak of seven-straight years finishing among the top 5 in Cy Young voting was snapped in 2020."

Defensive issues, Carter Kieboom's future, prospect to watch, Brad Hand's velocity and more: Nationals mailbag – (The Athletic)
"Perhaps down the line, the Nationals will consider sliding Kieboom into a timeshare at third base. I don’t see that happening soon."


Mike Trout, Bryce Harper waiting for MLB playoffs win - (Sports Illustrated)
"This is how Bryce Harper begins his 10th major league season: relearning how to throw a baseball."

Fantasy baseball 2021: Nick Pivetta, Joc Pederson and a breakout on each of the 30 MLB teams – (The Athletic)
"The Nationals are trusting Carter Kieboom to hold onto the third base job. They didn’t even entertain the notion of adding a veteran stopgap."


Joe Girardi shares positive injury update on Zach Eflin, names Aaron Nola opening day starter - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Phillies manager Joe Girardi officially named his opening day starter on Monday and there was no surprise who it'll be."

Battle for Mets' last rotation spot coming down to the wire - (NY Post)
"In the home stretch of the competition for the Mets’ fifth rotation spot, Joey Lucchesi had a solid but unspectacular start Monday."

Kim Ng on Marlins second base battle and prospects - (
"As Spring Training's final week began, Marlins general manager Kim Ng noted that final roster decisions will likely go down to the wire, in particular the starting second baseman."

Cristian Pache throws out Twins runner at third - (
"As Braves manager Brian Snitker has repeatedly said, he is not concerned by Cristian Pache’s offensive struggles."