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Nationals' pitcher's mound to feature Black Lives Matter logo during Opening Weekend

Nationals' pitcher's mound to feature Black Lives Matter logo during Opening Weekend

In addition to unveiling their 2019 World Series banner, the Washington Nationals will also pay tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement during the Opening Day ceremony, the team announced in a press release.

"The Nationals, in conjunction with Major League Baseball, stand with the Black Lives Matter movement and will utilize the platform and national stage of Opening Day to express support for the fight against systemic racism and injustice," the release said. "As one element of this effort, a Black Lives Matter | MLB stencil will appear on the pitcher’s mound during Opening Weekend games."

Nationals Park will also feature a black heart with “D.C.” in the middle in the grass of center field throughout the first series of the season to honor the local community. 

There's a chance that Washington and its players could put together other gestures prior to the game, including kneeling for the national anthem. Reliever Sean Doolittle explained on Wednesday that the Nationals are having discussions in the clubhouse about what they may do. 

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler became the first manager to kneel during the anthem on Monday during a scrimmage. He did so alongside outfielder Jaylin Davis and first base coach Antoan Richardson

RELATED: NATS STILL DISCUSSING PLANS FOR NATIONAL ANTHEM

The Nationals will also pay tribute to the "frontline heroes of COVID-19," though the team did not specify how they are planning to do so. Infectious-disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci will throw out the first pitch on Thursday. Fauci, a well-known Nationals fan, has helped lead the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

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Carter Kieboom breaks Ryan Zimmerman's single-game record for assists by a Nats third baseman

Carter Kieboom breaks Ryan Zimmerman's single-game record for assists by a Nats third baseman

Nationals rookie infielder Carter Kieboom set a new team record for the most infield assists by a third baseman in a game when he recorded 10 over the first eight innings against the Orioles on Friday night.

Kieboom passed Ryan Zimmerman’s record of eight assists, set “many times” according to Nationals Director of Communications Kyle Brostowitz.

Though Kieboom was shifted around the infield for most of the night, his new record comes after an offseason full of questions about his defense.

The natural shortstop is Washington’s heir apparent to Anthony Rendon, who departed for the Los Angeles Angels in free agency last offseason after seven seasons with the Nationals. Kieboom had started just nine games at third in the minor leagues before the start of this season.

He still has plenty left to prove as a major-league third baseman, but Kieboom's record did come on an eventful night for the rookie. In addition to his feat (albeit, a bit fluky of one), Kieboom went 2-4 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored.

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Nationals pull Stephen Strasburg after 16 pitches with apparent hand injury

Nationals pull Stephen Strasburg after 16 pitches with apparent hand injury

Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg was pulled just 16 pitches into his start against the Orioles on Friday after visibly shaking his hand and wincing after several pitches.

The reigning World Series MVP missed the start of the season with a nerve issue in his throwing hand. He returned to the mound Sunday, also against Baltimore, and cruised through four innings before things fell apart in the fifth. On Wednesday, Nationals manager Davey Martinez expressed concern with how he was still feeling a tingling sensation in his hand.

“I was a little bit concerned,” Martinez said during a Zoom press conference. “We will see how he feels. Yesterday he threw a little bit. He still felt it, so we will see where he is at. It’s raining right now, so we will see if he can go out there and throw again today. But we will definitely have to keep an eye on it. It’s a weird thing. He doesn’t feel it all the time. I know he’s in the training room working with the staff and trying to get it to go away.”

Strasburg faced only three batters Friday before getting the hook. He recorded two outs around a solo home run off the bat of outfielder Anthony Santander and was replaced by right-hander Erick Fedde.

The news comes on the heels of the Nationals losing second baseman Starlin Castro to a broken wrist and announcing that lefty reliever Sam Freeman was transferred to the 60-Day Injured List.

Strasburg is in the first season of a seven-year, $245 million extension he signed with the Nationals last offseason.

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