For General Manager Mike Rizzo, he has to be grinning ear to ear with the showings from his top prospects. We are talking about Victor Robles, Carter Kieboom and the 18 year old Luis Garcia. Last night against the future Hall-of-Famer Justin Verlander, Carter Kieboom clubbed two home runs in two at-bats through a stiff win blowing in. Victor Robles worked two at-bats against Verlander and went 1-2 against him and later added a walk while raising his spring training OBP to .486. Luis Garcia only got one at-bat last night and stung a liner to left field that was caught, and the teenager is batting an even .300.
We only wish some of the pitching prospects were something to brag about. Luckily the Nationals have a veteran staff of pitchers. Today they send the lefty Patrick Corbin to the mound to face the Atlanta Braves who will start Kevin Gausman. The Braves will be making that 2 1/2 hour drive from Orlando to West Palm Beach allowing the Nationals an opportunity to stay home and get their starters into this game.
Manager Dave Martinez indicated that his plan is to have a 4-man outfield rotation where Victor Robles will play all three outfield positions where Juan Soto will start most games and Robles, Michael Taylor and Adam Eaton will split time. Most likely against left-handers you could see Soto LF, Taylor CF, and Robles RF. Of course, all of this is subject to change, but that is what it looks like for now.
The talk of Spring Training changes on a dime depending on who is the flavor of the day and today’s flavor is Kieboom as in Carter Kieboom.
“I think I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know who was on the mound,” Carter Kieboom said of his two home runs off of Verlander. “I know exactly who he is. I have never faced him before. I’d seen him on the TV. That’s about it.”
How old was Carter Kieboom when Justin Verlander was drafted out of Old Dominion University? He was 6-years-old at the time. While Verlander is closing in on retirement and his enshrinement at Cooperstown, Kieboom is dreaming of his chance to become a regular in the Nationals line-up.
Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, West Palm Beach, Florida
1st Pitch: 1:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN; MLB Network out-of-market; MLB App
Nats Radio: Braves radio and via the MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice:
Adam Eaton RF
Trea Turner SS
Juan Soto LF
Anthony Rendon 3B
Ryan Zimmerman 1B
Brian Dozier 2B
Michael A. Taylor CF
Spencer Kieboom C
Patrick Corbin LHP