Yesterday, the Nationals completed their game against the Marlins in a tie which is allowed in Spring Training. Today, the Nationals once again play the Marlins and must head to their stadium in Jupiter, Florida for a road game. The Nationals play these Marlins again for the third time in the first 6 games on the Grapefruit League schedule. Four days ago, the Nats took batting practice at their home stadium at the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches before driving the 14 miles north to Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium for that day’s game against the Marlins.
Today’s 1:05pm game projects the starting pitchers as Tanner Roark for the Washington Nationals and right-handed pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne for the Marlins. Roark started the second game of the Spring Training schedule just four days ago against the Marlins in this stadium. He is making this start on three days rest.
The schedule makers have set the first 7 games to go with three games against the Braves and one game against the Astros and the other three against the Marlins. The Nationals have not faced the Cardinals yet, and they share Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium with the Marlins. The Nats also have not faced the Mets who are one county north in Port St. Lucie.
This game is part of four straight road games with a trip tomorrow back to the Magic Kingdom against the Braves followed by the Mets on Friday and Saturday against the Astros back in the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
We are now less than 30-days to Opening Day, and the calendar turns to March tomorrow. Days are getting precious as we countdown to March 29th. The Nationals’ manager Dave Martinez must figure out how to get his starting position players enough at-bats while also making sure his injured players are not being rushed back into action.
Matt Adams was scratched from yesterday’s game with a blister on his right foot, and Martinez said he would like to rest him for a few days. Ryan Zimmerman who is recovering from “stiffness” took batting practice yesterday. Adam Eaton is making his way back from ACL knee surgery and must get into games soon to face real “live” pitching as well as run the bases.
“If I get into a game today, is that going to help us get to Opening Day? Probably not,” Eaton said. “We’re going to take it and be methodical. Do it right the first time, and make sure I’m overcooked, so to speak, before I go out there.”
That was the exact quote from Adam Eaton and maybe he meant to say “not overcooked” as overcooking is not good for food or the body. In a similar situation is Daniel Murphy who is rehabbing his knee from microfracture surgery and debridement. The clock is ticking and Murphy is running out of time to get ready for Opening Day. He has not swung a bat yet in the cage for the entire off-season.
“[Murphy] is coming along really well,” Martinez said. “I talked to him this morning and he said he feels great. Once again, we’re going to just take our time and make sure he’s fully ready.”
It is almost a certainty that Murphy will not be on the Opening Day roster which should give Howie Kendrick a chance to start at second base on Opening Day on March 29th. If Murphy starts the season on the DL, it should give Matt Reynolds the inside-track to make the roster and remain there until Murphy is ready to go.
Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins
Stadium: Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, Jupiter Florida
1st Pitch: 1:05 pm EDT
Nats Radio: MLB.com (Marlins radio)
Line-up subject to change (without notice):
Today Nats in Jupiter @ MIA: Turner SS, Kendrick 2B, Harper DH, Rendon 3B, Montero C, Taylor CF, Robles RF, Marmolejos 1B, Sierra LF, Roark RHP
— TALK NATS ⚾ (@TalkNats2) February 28, 2018
- Trea Turner SS
- Wilmer Difo DH
- Howie Kendrick 2B
Bryce Harper DH
- Anthony Rendon 3B
- Miguel Montero C
- Michael Taylor CF
- Victor Robles RF
- José Marmolejos 1B
- Moises Sierra LF
Tanner Roark RHP