How does Dusty Baker put together a line-up? He tries many variations in Spring Training because that is what Spring Training is for. Adam Eaton was off the charts last year as a defensive RF, and today he is in left field and batting in the bottom of the line-up once again with Michael Taylor batting clean-up and playing center field.
We are just a little more than 2 weeks from Opening Day, and we have yet to see one iteration of what MLB’s beat writer to the Nationals, Jamal Collier, predicted as the Opening Day line-up of Turner, Eaton, Harper, Murphy, Rendon, Werth, Zimmerman, Wieters, Pitcher. Of course we won’t see anything near this line-up until Daniel Murphy completes his commitment to Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, but we once again have not felt the continuity in the top of the order in Grapefruit League games.
Speaking of the World Baseball Classic, Enny Romero is still with the Dominican Republic and appears to be the only Nats’ player getting meaningful reps. Romero has appeared in games for the DR as a relief pitcher and is getting the work in that he needs to get ready for the regular season, but the same can not be said for Roark and Murphy. Tanner Roark has not pitched since his 1.1 innings last Saturday, and last night seemed to be the de facto replacement for the bullpen coach who was ill. How can Roark be stretched out to be fully ready for the start of the season which is just 16 days away! Daniel Murphy did get some at-bats last night but was pinch-hit for later in the game. When anyone wonders why some star USA players opt not to play, they can look at the treatment of Roark and Murphy.
In other player news, Jayson Werth was scratched after Dusty Baker unveiled his pre-planned line-up card an hour ago due to a sore knee. Could this be the outfield alignment we see if Jayson Werth has a ‘rest’ day during the 2017 season?
- Trea Turner SS
- Stephen Drew 3B,
- Bryce Harper RF
Michael TaylorCF Brian Goodwin
- Ryan Zimmerman 1B
- Adam Eaton LF
- Matt Wieters C
- Brandon Snyder 2B
- Chris Heisey DH
Joe Ross RHP
The third Nats lineup of the morning has Brian Goodwin replacing Michael Taylor who has to leave due to a family issue.
Meanwhile, right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton starts for the Astros for this 1:05 game which can be heard on Nationals radio.