Kudos to Bill Ladson of MLB.com for making the early Saturday morning trek to Space Coast Stadium on the way to Kissimmee to pick up the Nationals’ lineup for tomorrow’s spring home opener. Notably, Jayson Werth, bothered by minor back spasms earlier this week, will be in the lineup; that back issue clearly turned out to be nothing. Also notable, he’ll be playing center field.
Even though Bryce Harper will get a day out of the lineup after starting Friday against Georgetown and today against Houston, Werth’s first spring start coming in center may be another way to remind Nationals’ management Johnson wants them to keep an open mind when it comes to putting Harper on the opening day roster. With Harper on the team, of course, Werth would become the Nationals’ starting center fielder.
Adam LaRoche, dealing with a sprained ankle and resting his surgically repaired left shoulder, is not playing Sunday. LaRoche had said he expected to play Sunday, but Johnson wanted to take no chances.
Johnson also put Jason Michaels and Brett Carroll at the two corner spots. Those two right-handed hitters may be in competition for the final bench position, the spot opened up by Mike Cameron’s retirement.
As for today’s lineup, which features Edwin Jackson vs. old friend Livan Hernandez and Bryce Harper hitting seventh, that can be found here. Here’s the full Nats’ lineup for tomorrow:
1.Ian Desmond, SS
2. Danny Espinosa, 2B
3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4. Michael Morse, DH
5. Jayson Werth,CF
6. Mark DeRosa, 1B
7. Wilson Ramos, C
8. Jason Michaels, LF
9. Brett Carroll, RF