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As the Nationals‘ players, coaches and officials have reacted with pleasure to the performances of their young starters this month, there’s another reason they seem to have such an exceptionally positive outlook toward the staff’s future.

“Oh, we’ve got some more down there,” said Triple-A manager Randy Knorr. “I think the biggest thing we’re going to have in spring training for the first time in a lot of years is that we’re actually going to have some positions filled. It’s going to be great going in to spring training with only one or two spots and watching these guys fight it out.”

NOTES: Outfielder Jayson Werth (right elbow contusion) was not in the lineup Wednesday and was not expected to play Thursday. Werth was hit with a snap throw from Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz when he was a runner at third Tuesday night. He is listed as day to day, though manager Davey Johnson said he expects him to be ready for the weekend series against Atlanta.