Game #4 is the debut of Anibal Sanchez for the #Nats

Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

The Cardinals travel to the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches where Adam Wainwright and Anibal Sanchez will start for their respective teams. For Sanchez, this game will be his Nationals debut. The Nationals team so far with the starters in the games have looked very crisp. Other than the lead-off batter in the Grapefruit opener, the Nats starting pitchers have not yielded a run although the sample size is all of 6 innings in total. Between Max Scherzer, Erick Fedde, and Patrick Corbin, they have looked very good. Even Joe Ross in relief of Scherzer on Saturday looked great as he went 2.0 innings of shutout baseball.

If the process is good and the results are good, manager Dave Martinez will be a happy person. He has only had positives to say so far about his starting pitchers. Overall, the players have looked prepared and the play has been crisp for the position players. The relievers who are not projected to make the team have been underwhelming as a group, and that is the only negative so far. But small sample sizes can distort. James Borque was a foul tip away from a quick inning that turned ugly quickly. His 4 runs given up in 1.0 inning will ruin his ST stats as there just will not be enough innings to soften the blow. The good news for Borque is that the stats do not count as they say, but there are certainly players like Jake Noll who would like to keep his stats as he is 5-for-5 with 4 RBIs and 3 runs scored with a home run and a double.

Each camp there is an early entry into camp stardom, and that is Noll. He came to camp as a non-roster invitee, and so far so good. He turns 25 next week, and the native Floridian just got engaged to a girl from Maryland so great things are happening in his life. He impressed at the Arizona Fall League with his ability to make contact and his offseason work has translated into the guy they are talking about. That is what you want — buzz. It also does not hurt that he is a doppelgänger of Ryan Zimmerman. If you don’t know what that means, look at this photo.

Honorable mention to Chuck Taylor who has the name everyone wants to talk about. He has shown he has some tools out there. The irony with Chuck is that he wears old-school Nikes. Yes, he was sporting some plain white Nike cleats with a big black swoosh. Really Chuck? Yes, Nike now owns Converse, but how’s about some custom Converse cleats? There has to be a great marketing opportunity here.

For those on prospect watch, Victor Robles, Carter Kieboom, and Luis Garcia are the trio to watch, and Davey Martinez is giving them some playing time. Each made the trip to Disney yesterday for the game against the Braves. When you want to know what is right about the Nationals, those three plus Juan Soto make up a very exciting nucleus of the future of the Nationals.

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium:  FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, West Palm Beach, Florida
1st Pitch: 1:05 pm EDT
TV:   N/A
Nats Radio:  Cardinals radio via the MLB app

Line-ups subject to change without notice:

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