The Nationals’ first game of spring training is only two days away, and Davey Johnson gave a pretty good idea of what to expect. With so much extra time in spring this year because of the World Baseball Classic, Johnson will rest many of his established players early.
“Really the first week, the veteran players are going to hardly play,” Johnson said. “Zim. Werth. LaRoche. I’m more concerned with the middle of the diamond.”
Johnson’s focus on the middle of the field centers around Denard Span. Johnson wants Span to get a feel for the other Nationals’ outfielders, and vice versa. He plans to give Harper plenty of time in left, to get used to playing next to Span. And he wants to let Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa get a feel for where they need to line up to catch relay throws from Span.
“That’s my main concern early,” Johnson said. “Since we have a week early in games, we’ll just hit the things I think need to be hit the most important.”
With Werth resting at the start, Tyler Moore will play right field after he only saw outfield action in left last year.
The pitching schedule for the first two games was posted in the clubhouse. Here’s who will throw over the weekend:
Saturday, at Mets:
Sunday, vs. Marlins