Jayson Werth will likely play today following a day off yesterday to rest sore legs, while Ryan Zimmerman will rest his minor abdominal tweak for at least one more day.
Werth came to Space Coast Stadium today and told trainers, “I’m good, I’m ready to go,” according to Manager Jim Riggleman. Still, Riggleman may give Werth a precautionary day off if the condition of the field is poor. It’s been raining all morning in Viera, and while it’s expected to stop some time around noon, it could lead to soggy playing conditions.
Zimmerman will miss his third straight game, but both he and the Nationals have expressed extreme confidence the issue is, in Zimmerman’s words, “a non-factor.” Zimmerman feels there’s no need to risk turning a small tweak into a problem to contend with.
“He’s, again, fine,” Riggleman said. “There’s just no reason to put him in there today.”
Zimmerman, Riggleman said, will take batting practice indoors and workout as he normally would. He just won’t play today.
As for those who will play, the Nationals have a doubleheader today, with one game at 1:05 at home in Viera and another in Kissimmee against the Astros at 6:05. Chad Gaudin will start this afternoon.
Tom Gorzelanny will pitch the night game, an important step for him as he recovers from the illness that laid him low prior to spring training. Riggleman today confirmed the presumed sentiment that Gorzelanny, if he doesn’t have the fifth starter spot sewed up, at least has the inside track.
“We got him over here to start,” Riggleman said. “We’re going into this thing thinking he’s one of our starters. We anticipate him getting stretched out in plenty of time to start whatever slot he takes in the rotation. That’s where we are with it right now. There is competition in the camp, but we brought him in here to be a starter, and that’s what we anticipate.”
There’s not a lineup posted for either game yet, but it seems at least one player will be playing in both games. From Bryce Harper’s @BHarp34 Twitter account:
Gonna be a long day today! Playing in both games today! Lovin the baseball life! :) #lehgo #nats #MLB #winning #SpringTraining
With Harper, here are the major league position players listed as traveling to Kissimmee for the night game:
And extras from minor league camp:
And the pitchers: