As the Nats bus travels en route to Lakeland Florida, you have to wonder if they pass any Presidential candidates on this road trip. Today, 2 heavyweights duke it out as Verlander and Gio get the mound to start this 1:05 game at Joker Marchant Stadium.
Most people who aren’t from the Lakeland Florida area call it Joker Merchant Stadium and think the naming rights were for a jester character, but it was actually named after a politician of sorts as Marcus “Joker” Marchant was the Director of the Lakeland Parks and Recreation department, and they named the stadium after him.
Dusty is taking 35 players with him on this bus ride. With this many players, it reminds you of a September call-up roster, and as Steve M. wrote, when do you see a travel line-up like this so early in March for a stadium that is over 2 hours away?
As Steve M. noted yesterday, “Of special interest, Dusty has already penciled up and posted tomorrow’s travel roster going to Joker Marchant against Justin Verlander, and almost the entire starting line-up for that game looks to be the projected Opening Day starters with the exception of catcher (Kieboom) and possibly 1st base (Clint Robinson) as Gio starts that game. Batting order for Wednesday’s game stacks 3 lefties at the top, Revere, Murphy, Harper, Rendon, Werth, CRob, Espi, (Solano DH), and Kieboom batting 9th.
When was the last time you can remember a full roster like this traveling a couple of hours for a Spring Training game this early in March?”
Chelsea Janes provides the visual of the line-up card and some notes:
Today, plan is for Gio to go three, Masset, Burnett, Davis, Solis one each. Then Giolito for two. Lineup: pic.twitter.com/UCyD02LD5b
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) March 9, 2016
There appears to be several pitchers on this Lakeland trip who won’t get to pitch based there being not enough innings to get to each of them. Also you will notice Wilson Ramos and Ryan Zimmerman are the two starters that won’t make the trip as Ramos gets his new eyesight focused and Ryan Zimmerman rests his aching left foot with the plantar fasciitis.
We will add photos and updates as we have them. This game unfortunately is not televised and will only be available on radio through the MLB App on the Detroit feed.