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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ rotation plan; Jon Lester’s next step + more Nats links...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait for the start of this weekend’s series with the Marlins.

Washington Nationals v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

As of this morning, all we know about the Nationals’ pitching plan for this weekend’s three-game set with the Miami Marlins is that Max Scherzer is going to start in Washington in the series finale on Sunday.

“I’ll tell you right now Max is going to pitch on Sunday,” Davey Martinez told reporters in his pregame Zoom call on Wednesday.

“We’ve got some things to work out in the next day or two, so Friday/Saturday will be determined by Friday.”

Will Jon Lester start in the majors? How will Martinez line up his starters? We’ll find out soon, we’re sure. Who wants to do things ahead of time and get ahead on our work. That’s no fun.

Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Joe Ross is still his harshest critic, even after three great starts for the Nationals - The Washington Post
Joe Ross has excelled in three of his four starts to begin this season. It’s been a big lift for the Nationals.

Nationals hope Josh Bell's homer breaks him out of slump - (Washington Times)
"So when Bell reached the visitor’s dugout Wednesday in Dunedin, Florida, after his fifth-inning long ball, Martinez was there, ready with a big hug."

Ryan Zimmerman gives theory what led to Bryce Harper’s hit by pitch - (NBC Sports Washington)
“'You’re in the big leagues,' Zimmerman said. 'There’s kind of a thought that if you’re at this level, you should be able to control — especially if you’re throwing 97 mph.'"

Thursday morning Nats Q&A - (MASN)
"What should we make of all this? At 9-12, are the Nats in major trouble?"

Jon Lester may be nearing return to Washington Nationals’ rotation - (WaPost)
Lester, 37, has yet to pitch this season after landing on the coronavirus-related injured list in early April.

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Triple-A Optimization: Ranking Every MLB Organization By Driving Distance To Its Triple-A Affiliate - (Baseball America)
"Six MLB clubs partnered with new Triple-A affiliates. They are listed below, sorted by mileage saved by comparing old with new."

NL East biggest surprises for each team to start 2021 - (MLB.com)
"The Nationals overhauled their roster for depth, but they quickly found themselves shorthanded -- and their season opener postponed -- because of positive COVID-19 tests."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Bryce Harper, Didi Gregorius injury updates - (MLB.com)
"Harper took to Instagram to provide an update, saying he 'felt good' after a 97 mph sinker hit him in the face."

Jacob deGrom continues to put blame on himself for Mets woes - (WFAN)
"The lone run surrendered on Wednesday raised deGrom’s season ERA to 0.51, still the best mark in all of baseball, yet the Mets are 2-3 in his five outings."

Isan Díaz recalled; Jazz Chisholm Jr. on injured list - (MLB.com)
"When the Marlins announced rookie Jazz Chisholm Jr. as their second baseman ahead of the 2021 season, the organization told Isan Díaz to continue getting better, stay positive and be patient."

Braves’ success against Cubs helping them stay afloat early - (AJC.com)
"The Braves are 5-1 against Chicago (they won two of three at Wrigley earlier this month) and 7-11 against everyone else."