Manager Davey Johnson laid out parts of the Washington Nationals’ initial starting rotation for Grapefruit League games, giving newcomer Edwin Jackson the first start of spring against the Astros on March 3. John Lannan will start March 5 against the Mets, and Jordan Zimmermann will start April 7 against the Cardinals.
That leaves March 4 and March 6 for Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez to make their spring debuts. Chien-Ming Wang, in competition with Lannan for the fifth starter role, will throw a simulated game March 5, complying with the Nationals plan to build him up slowly in the spring.
The Nationals’ first unofficial exhibition game will come March 2 against Georgetown. That game will be started by a pitcher other than one of the Nationals’ primary starters, perhaps left-handed rookie Matt Purke.