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Nats postponed, doubleheader Wednesday

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Nats postponed, doubleheader Wednesday

Tonight's series opener between the Nationals and Dodgers has been postponed due to the heavy storms sweeping through the area this afternoon and evening.

The two teams will play a single-admission doubleheader Wednesday, beginning at 4:05 p.m., with the nightcap starting at 7:05 p.m. or 30 minutes after completion of the first game, whichever is later.

Fans holding tickets for Wednesday's originally scheduled 7:05 p.m. can use those tickets for admissions to both games of the doubleheader. Fans holding tickets for tonight's rained out game must exchange them at the Nationals Park box office for seats of equal or lesser value to the doubleheader or any future 2012 home game (excluding Saturday's 1:05 p.m. against the Brewers or any potential playoff tiebreaker home game).

Tonight's postponement won't have much of an immediate effect on the Nationals' rotation; manager Davey Johnson said Jordan Zimmermann (who was supposed to start tonight) will now pitch the doubleheader opener, with John Lannan starting the nightcap as originally scheduled.

The Nationals will, however, need someone to make a spot start on Sunday against Milwaukee, because Johnson does not want to have to bring either Zimmermann or Lannan back on short rest.

"I just don't want any of my good, young pitchers to pitch on short rest at this point," the manager said. "I don't think Zim has done it, and he's had a little bit of that inflammation there in his right shoulder. I think he could do it, and have no problem, but it's not something I'd like to do to any of those in the rotation, at this point."

Johnson named several potential candidates to make that spot start, including September call-up Zach Duke, the recently activated Chien-Ming Wang and long reliever Craig Stammen. He sounded as though he's leaning toward using a right-hander against the Brewers, whose lineup is heavy with right-handed hitters.

"I haven't done my research on that match-up, but knowing what I know about Milwaukee, it could be I start somebody out of my 'pen," Johnson said. "I'll want a right-hander. Craig Stammen, he could be a candidate. Chien-Ming. I won't start anybody on three days' rest. So I will definitely go to the 'pen."

There is, of course, a healthy right-handed starter still on the Nationals' active roster named Stephen Strasburg.

"I'm sure Stras would volunteer," Johnson said with a laugh. "He is right-handed. He has been chomping."

Don't count on a surprise like that.

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Nationals sign former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters

Nationals sign former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters

The Washington Nationals have signed former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters to a one-year deal with a player option for a second year, according to multiple reports. 

Wieters spent the first eight years in the Majors with the Baltimore Orioles, being named to the AL All-Star team four times and winning two gold glove awards. Last season the switch-hitting catcher posted a .243 average with 17 homers and 66 RBI.  

The Nationals have been in the market for catchers all offseason after Wilson Ramos left for Tampa Bay in free agency. The team traded for former Padres catcher Derek Norris, whose role is now in question. The Nationals still have Jose Lobaton on the roster as a strong defensive backup catcher who has a proven rapport with many of the pitchers in the Nationals rotation. Wieters had been linked to the Nationals all offseason because of the team's need a the position and because of the Nationals close relationship with Wieters' agent Scott Boras. 

The only significant time that Wieters has missed due to injury in his career came in 2014-15 when he had Tommy John surgury. Prior to that surgury, however, Wieters had played in at least 130 games for four straight seasons and became a large part of the Orioles' identity. 

The 30-year-old backstop will give the Nationals lineup more depth and power. Wieters had three consecutive 20-homer seasons from 2011-13 and since 2009 when his career began, he ranks fifth among catchers in all of baseball in home runs with 117. 

Related: Nationals 2017 promotional schedule includes snow globes and fedoras

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Nationals 2017 promotional giveaways include snow globes and fedoras

Nationals 2017 promotional giveaways include snow globes and fedoras

The Washington Nationals recently released the dates of their promotional days and giveaways this season, and there are some real gems in this schedule.

Among the standard bobblehead giveaways — Daniel Murphy on April 14, Trea Turner on May 12 and Tanner Roark on June 9 — and the highly recommended Pups in the Park days — April 29, May 13, June 10, June 25, September 7 and September 30 — pick the right game and you could get a snow globe, an American flag shirt or even a fedora. Seriously.

On May 24’s game against the Mariners, the first 25,000 fans will get a Max Scherzer snow globe, which has the potential to be the coolest knickknack in your house. Or on June 14 against the Braves — oddly not closer to the Fourth of July — Budweiser is behind the first 15,000 21-and-up fans getting an American flag tank top.

But truly the most unique item on this list is the Nationals-themed fedora, which will go to the first 25,000 fans at the Brewers’ July 26 matchup. How the Nats landed on this promotional item remains a mystery, but if you like hats beyond a traditional baseball cap, this is the game to attend.

Other cool or oddball promotions include the Nats Magic 8-Ball game April 3, the Chewbacca Koozie day May 27, Bryce Harper action figure day August 29 and Oktoberfest beer stein day Sept. 29.

Here's the complete list of the team's promotional days and giveaways

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