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Posted at 10:25 AM ET, 03/02/2012

Nationals set lineup for spring opener, to face Georgetown today

(Julio Cortez - AP)
The Nationals are out in the Space Coast Stadium outfield, warming up by playing catch while the Georgetown Hoyas take batting practice. This does not rise to the level of even a Grapefruit League game, but there’ll be a game of baseball played today. We’ll get to see Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon and Matt Purke. Not bad.

The Nationals have their lineup settled for Saturday against the Astros, their first actual spring game. Davey Johnson is batting Danny Espinosa second, which is telling. He’s leaning toward batting Espinosa second behind Ian Desmond this year, which would likely mean Jayson Werth hits sixth against right-handed starters. Anyway, here’s tomorrow’s lineup:


1. Ian Desmond, SS

2. Danny Espinosa, 2B

3. Rick Ankiel, CF

4. Chad Tracy, 1B

5. Jason Michaels, DH

6. Mark Teahen, 3B

7. Bryce Harper, RF

8. Roger Bernadina, LF

9. Jesus Flores, C

- Edwin Jackson, SP

Behind Jackson, the Nationals will bring pitchers Ross Detwiler, Chad Durbin, Sean Burnett and Ryan Perry.

As for Sunday, when the Astros come to Viera, the Nationals have to navigate the injury to Adam LaRoche. He will likely not play Sunday, giving his sprained ankle at least one more day to rest “unless he’s miraculously 100 percent,” Johnson said. LaRoche has been hitting and playing catch on his own the past two days, but he has not participated in the Nationals’ full-squad workout. LaRoche had said yesterday he expects to play today.

Johnson will determine whether or not Werth will make his spring debut Sunday after speaking with him. Werth missed sat out a Nationals’ full-squad workout earlier this week with back spasms, but he participated fully yesterday. His back spasms, particularly because they flared on the last day of February, are a dead issue.

One more injury to report: Johnson was “feeling frisky” this morning and on the treadmill, “I overloaded my little hummingbird rear end.” No clue what that means, but Johnson clarified that he had pulled hamstring. That doesn’t bode well for his showing the Nationals he still has some game.

The Nationals’ lineup for today can be found here.

For any Georgetown fans, here’s the Hoyas lineup:

1. Justin Lesson, CF

2. Paul Bello, LF

3. Mike Garza, SS

4. Danny Poplawski, 1B

5. Kevin Johnson, C

6. Corbin Blakey, 3B

7. Christian Venditti, RF

8. Jim Laufer, DH

9. Andy Lentz, 2B

By  |  10:25 AM ET, 03/02/2012

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