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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ prospects debut; Biggest questions facing Nats + more

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news after you read about who cut Davey Martinez’s hair...

MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Mets Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

With the yearly spring tradition of picture day looming, Davey Martinez decided that he did really need a haircut (even though players/managers/coaches always wear their hats in the pics, so, weird), and he called upon 2020 1st Round pick Cade Cavalli, whose rep as a good team barber has followed him from college to the big leagues.

“I actually just cut Davey’s last week,” Cavalli said. “So, that was funny. We had picture day the next day, so he’s like, ‘Hey, let’s get it right.’

“I was like, ‘Alright, I got you.’ So went we went in his office, cut his hair a little bit, it was fun.’”

Is that it? Davey? Your side?

“He gave me a haircut. It took a while,” Martinez said.

“I think he was nervous cutting my hair. It took him a good hour to get done. But we talked a lot. We had some good conversation, but I thought he did a good job.

“He wanted to give me some kind of faux hawk or something like that, and I told him I was a little bit too old for those kind of things.”

Apparently Cavalli did a good enough job. Martinez still let him pitch on Thursday.

“Yeah. I guess I didn’t mess it up too bad.”

Go read your links...


Rutledge and Cavalli:

Nats’ prospects Cade Cavalli and Jackson Rutledge impress in debut - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Cavalli and Rutledge could bolster an already solid-looking pitching rotation for the Nats at some point - even if that's not in 2021."

Cade Cavalli, Nationals prospects make spring debut - (
"Jackson Rutledge, Cade Cavalli and Cole Henry -- the Nationals’ top three prospects per MLB Pipeline, respectively -- made their first Grapefruit League appearances."

Cavalli, Rutledge overcome nerves in spring debuts - (MASN)
"There were nerves, for sure. This was, after all, the first time Cade Cavalli and Jackson Rutledge had pitched in a big league spring training game."

Other Nats Stories:

Josh Harrison brings versatility and offense to Nationals - (WaPost)
“In September, Manager Dave Martinez told Harrison that he would love to hire him as a coach one day. It turns out that, in the meantime, Harrison has some playing left.”

Kyle Finnegan's family at first spring start for Nationals - (
"Kyle Finnegan’s father, Willy, his father’s girlfriend, Kirsten, his aunt, Kathy, and uncle, Eddie, were on hand Thursday afternoon to watch Kyle start against the Mets."

Rainey building arm back up after "minor muscle strain" - (MASN)
"Coming off a breakthrough season in which he posted a 2.66 ERA and microscopic 0.738 WHIP across 20 appearances, Rainey has been viewed as a critical part of a rebuilt and deep Nationals bullpen..."

Nationals’ hitting coach: Carter Kieboom’s LASIK eye surgery is ‘working’ - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Hitting coach Kevin Long revealed Tuesday that Kieboom underwent LASIK eye surgery over the offseason after he hit .202 with no home runs in 33 games last year."

Schwarber's swing fix got a head start, thanks to Long's visit - (MASN)
"Long, now entering his fourth season as Nationals hitting coach, makes a point to do this with as many of his players as he can."

The NL East could be determined by starting pitching, and an unprecedented task - (WaPost)
“This spring, almost everybody who analyzes baseball has identified but is also mystified by one central question: How will starting pitchers cope with full 162-game workloads the year after a dinky 60-game season?”


Biggest questions for NL East teams in 2021 - (
"1) Is Stephen Strasburg healthy? - There may be no pitcher in baseball more important to his team’s hopes, both in the short- and medium-term."

Top Prospects: Antuna - (
"Yasel Antuna hits consistently from both sides of the plate with promising bat speed and developing power."

Brian Dozier learned Spanish to be a better teammate. There’s a lesson for MLB - (WaPost)
“That’s the way baseball treated the issue for years: Players from, say, the Dominican Republic — the largest exporter of talent to MLB — sign at age 16, are in the U.S. by 18 and are asked to learn English.”

‘Nothing was easy’: How a fear of the ball and a father’s push led Orioles catcher Pedro Severino to the big leagues - (Baltimore Sun)
"For Pedro Severino, the choice was simple. Either go back to the baseball field or find somewhere else to live."

How Rochester Red Wings schedule changed with delay to AAA season - (Democrat and Chronicle)
"The Wings are now scheduled to open their 2021 season on May 4 in Allentown, Pennsylvania against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs."

Drafting 2021 World Series favorites - (
"14. Washington Nationals - Petriello: At this point in the draft, I am here for The Stars. The Nationals, clearly, have The Stars. I wrote about how Juan Soto is the next Ted Williams and I meant every word of it."


Phillies plan expanded role for Andrew Knapp, even if J.T. Realmuto is healthy - (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"The Phillies are looking to find J.T. Realmuto more rest this season. He's caught more innings over the last four seasons than any catcher in baseball. Enter Andrew Knapp."

Mets’ Seth Lugo ‘on track’ in rehab from elbow surgery - (NY Post)
"Seth Lugo said Thursday morning that his rehabilitation from right elbow surgery has gone smoothly so far, although the right-hander declined to place a timetable on his return to major-league action."

Defensive versatility key for Marlins prospect Jose Devers - (Miami Herald)
"Miami Marlins prospect Jose Devers, acquired from the Yankees in the Giancarlo Stanton trade, is showcasing his defensive versatility in Spring Training."

Drew Smyly impresses for Braves in spring debut - (
"Drew Smyly, 31, admitted he felt 'out of sync,' but he was happy with how he adjusted in Braves' 8-1 loss to Orioles."