The Minnesota Twins will make their only trip from Ft. Myers to West Palm Beach today to face the Washington Nationals. The Twins were born out of Washington, D.C. after the 1960 Washington Senators relocated to Minneapolis for the 1961 season taking future Hall-of-Famer Harmon Killebrew with them, but also farmhands like Tony Oliva among others.
Minnesota’s lefty starter Hector Santiago will get the start for the Twins, and the Nats have Tanner Roark starting today. This will be Roark’s last start before he joins Team USA for the World Baseball Classic. Roark is scheduled to make his first start in the WBC on March 11th against the Dominican Republic.
“You get to represent your country and that’s one hell of a thing to represent where you’re from and everybody else is doing the same around the world,” Roark said about being part of Team USA. “So it’s a cool thing to go head-to-head against other countries and try to come out on top.”
The good news for the Nationals is that Roark will make that one start for Team USA on March 11th and will return shortly after to make his next start in the Nationals’ Grapefruit League rotation with date “TBD”. The unknown is whether or not Roark’s one appearance for Team USA will have any negative effect on Roark who had to start his off-season throwing program earlier than usual which comes on the heels of Roark’s 2016 workload which added up to 214 1/3 innings with the postseason—the most innings of his career.
As Roark will depart to Team USA with Daniel Murphy after this game, the Washington Nationals have 4 other players who will also depart Nats camp later today for the WBC as Rafael Martin and Oliver Perez will join Team Mexico, Enny Romero heads to Team Dominican Republic, and Jhonatan Solano goes to Team Colombia.
The Nationals move forward with getting their newest pitcher ready, Joe Blanton, and battery mate Matt Wieters. Ace Max Scherzer is scheduled to throw his first live BP of spring training on Tuesday where he will use his three finger fastball grip. Speaking of battery mates, there is no word on catchers Derek Norris and Spencer Kieboom. Norris could be traded, DFA’d or retained. Kieboom is on waivers after his DFA and has not been claimed by any team yet.
- Trea Turner SS
- Jayson Werth DH
- Daniel Murphy 2B
- Bryce Harper RF
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Adam Eaton CF
- Ryan Zimmerman 1B
- Derek Norris C
- Brian Goodwin LF
Tanner Roark RHP
By the way, today’s game will have Charlie and Dave on the radio call on WJFK 106.7 FM and 1500AM WTOP.