The Washington Nationals are finally back to Nats Park after their second west coast road trip in this young season. With a wrap-around 4-game weekend series starting tonight through Monday with the New York Mets, the Nats aren’t here for long as the schedulers send them back out for on the road on Tuesday for a brief road trip in Miami.
The Nationals got good news on some of their players who were hurt. Jeimer Candelario hurt his ankle and came out of Wednesday’s game, and is back in the starting lineup today. Corey Dickerson who played in parts of two games before he injured his calf muscle and has missed 41-days so far, will start a rehab assignment in Triple-A Rochester. Center fielder Victor Robles is eligible to return later this week as he recovers from back spasms, but he still has pain. They won’t bring him back until he is pain-free. Chad Kuhl has been throwing and has said his injured foot is feeling better. It is hard to say what the rotation and roster will look like when these players are ready to return. We also got an update on left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle that he is getting closer to doing a back-to-back relief appearances to show he is near ready. Doolittle is with Jackson Tetreault and others in extended Spring Training as they are actually participating in scrimmages against their Palm Beach County neighbors in controlled games to work back from their injuries.
There was no word of the Mets starting rotation as of yesterday, but they finally announced a few hours ago that RHP Tylor Megill would get the start tonight for them and would face the Nats’ lefty MacKenzie Gore. With Max Scherzer throwing a bullpen session today for the Mets, he would most likely pitch on Sunday if healthy as he deals with some neck and scapula pain that scratched him from his last start. That could mean that the lefty Joey Lucchesi would pitch tomorrow and either David Peterson or Justin Verlander on Monday. All TBA as the Mets have it not made anything official beyond today’s starter.
With the right-hander going tonight, manager Dave Martinez will play lefty Jake Alu in left field to give his lineup an extra lefty bat. The rest of the lineup is what you would expect with Candelario back and playing third base. Those loose rumors floating around that Carter Kieboom was headed to D.C. were not accurate as we reported, after news broke that he was not in the Rochester Triple-A lineup last night.
The Nats starters ERAs are a combined 4.37, and in this round of the starting rotation, the plan is five full days of rest for the starters. The ordering is Josiah Gray to MacKenzie Gore to Trevor Williams to Jake Irvin to Patrick Corbin.
Here is how they rank:
The bullpen got a much needed day-off yesterday and the “A” bullpen all got days-off on Wednesday too, thanks to the blow-out win in San Francisco. Hopefully the Nats’ relievers are more effective in this series.
Here is your Baseball Savant Statcast link for the game.
New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
Radio: 106.7 The Fan radio and via the MLB app
Line-up subject to change (without notice):