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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman hits two more home runs; Victor Robles leading off + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait to see how many home runs Ryan Zimmerman hits tonight...

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MLB: Houston Astros at Washington Nationals Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Zimmerman homered twice in last night’s game, but that’s not the sort of thing that’s going to impress major leaguers. It’s a tough crowd in that dugout.

“Yeah,” Davey Martinez explained, “it’s actually when anybody hits two home runs in a game, it’s pretty good, but we always tend to say, ‘Anybody can hit two home runs, hit three.’”

Ba dum dum. [crash]

But seriously, folks. Why do we drive on highways and part in driveways, right? Try the fish.

Zimmerman’s homers were his 4th and 5th in seven games this spring, over which the 36-year-old backup first baseman is now 9 for 19 (.474/.524/1.368). Not bad for an old-timer.

Especially coming back from a year off.

“He’s been awesome He’s one of the guys for myself I lean to, I have a lot of conversations with him, he’s a veteran guy that I respect very much,” Martinez said.

“It’s so good to have him back and so good to see him having fun and playing again. He missed the game. That’s the reason why he’s back. He missed the guys in the clubhouse, so having him back means a lot to not only us down here, but the organization, and I know the fans missed him last year as well, so it’s good to see him back, good to see him playing well.”

The Kids Call Him Zim! Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Castro getting MRI on hamstring, Harris to be examined soon - (MASN)
"Davey Martinez originally planned to play Castro tonight against the Astros, his second straight start at third base, but the manager decided not to take a chance until MRI results are known."

Victor Robles could lead off in 2021 - (MLB.com)
"It has been nearly a month since the Nationals began taking a look at Victor Robles as their potential leadoff hitter. So far, so good."

Nats face tough decisions after learning Fedde is out of options - (MASN)
"The Nationals and Fedde recently learned that an independent arbitrator ruled in the pitcher’s favor and he is now out of options, a source familiar with the decision confirmed."

Davey Martinez vs. Joe Girardi vs. Brian Snitker: Who’s the best manager in the NL East? - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Martinez joins Girardi as the only two managers in the NL East to win a World Series."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

The Other Nationals Star In Need of an Extension - (FanGraphs)
"It would be enough if Washington had just one young player’s future to stew upon this spring, but in fact, there are two."

Offseason In Review: Washington Nationals - (MLB Trade Rumors)
"After their first losing season since 2011, the Nationals made several short-term additions to reload the roster for another shot at contention."

MLB Rank 2021 -- Ranking baseball's best players, from 25 to 1 - (ESPN)
"If you're picking the player most likely to be the best hitter in the game in 2021, it's Soto."

MLB finds new way to catch cheating pitchers - (NY Post)
"In an attempt to lessen the use by pitchers of foreign substances on balls, MLB is notifying clubs that it will begin using its Statcast data to analyze increases in spin rate, specifically for pitchers suspected of doctoring baseballs, The Post has learned."

Former Nationals Star's McLean Home Listed With New Price - (McLean, VA Patch)
"Former Nationals star Jayson Werth's home is on the market in McLean for a new price: $6.4 million."

Francisco Lindor extension, Shohei Ohtani breakout, Cubs' moves: Bowden's 21 predictions for the 2021 MLB season – (The Athletic)
"11. Víctor Robles wins the National League Gold Glove Award while batting .290 with 15 home runs and 37 stolen bases, helping the Nationals to their second wild-card berth in three years."

How teams will manage innings in 2021 - (MLB.com)
"The Nationals are likely to attempt one of the more traditional five-man rotations in the game, though the age of this group makes it very unlikely they'll all stay whole..."

NL EAST UPDATES:

MLB rumors: A sign from Phillies camp that J.T. Realmuto will be ready for opener - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"Wednesday morning brings another sign that Realmuto has fully recovered from the broken right thumb he suffered in mid-February."

Braves option Kyle Wright, Jacob Webb to alternate training site - (AJC.com)
"The Braves trimmed their roster by another two players Wednesday, sending right-handers Kyle Wright and Jacob Webb to the alternate training site."

Who will the Mets and Yankees 'X-Factor' be in 2021? - (SNY - YouTube)
"On BNNY, Britt Ghiroli & Sweeny Murti (on the Yankees) and Sal Licata, Anthony Recker & Doug Williams (on the Mets) give their opinions on their respective team's "X-Factor" in the 2021 season."

Marlins bench coach James Rowson believes in lineup - (MLB.com)
"Marlins bench coach and offensive coordinator James Rowson enters his second season in Miami with the luxury of continuity."