Spring Training Game #22 MacKenzie and Patrick on St. Paddy’s Day

Time flies when you’re having fun. The Washington Nationals wrap-up their Grapefruit League play a week from today. It’s St. Patrick’s Day so who else would you want pitching today than someone named Patrick and MacKenzie. The Nats will probably be donning their green hats today.

The Nats will have two starters on the same schedule as both MacKenzie Gore and Patrick Corbin will both pitch today, and Josiah Gray was named by manager Dave Martinez as his choice for Opening Day in 11-days in Cincinnati.

The fourth starter in the rotation will get to pitch Opening Day in Washington, D.C. on April 1 against Pittsburgh. While the rotation has question marks for the fifth starter, the Nats could skip their fifth starter until April 7 against Philadelphia if they so choose. These are always the unanswered strategies at this point in time. The biggest question is do the Nats choose Zach Davies or Trevor Williams as their fifth starter?

The Nats have been giving infielder Trey Lipscomb extra looks in the starting lineup, and not a good time for him to start to fade offensively. The only real position battle seems to be between Jacob Young and Victor Robles for starting in center field right now. The bench could still have surprises — but it sure is looking like catcher Riley Adams, infielder Ildemaro Vargas, and the backup DH of Jesse Winker/Joey Meneses, have three of the four bench spots leaving Nasim Nunez to compete with a fourth outfielder, Juan Yepez, Lewin Diaz, or someone like Lipscomb. The corner outfielders should be Eddie Rosario and Lane Thomas. The infield of Nick Senzel at third base, CJ Abrams at shortstop, and for now Joey Gallo at first base. And most expect second base to go to Luis Garcia Jr. who has had a shaky camp.

The bullpen’s question marks are really on whether Dylan Floro will be ready to go for the start to the season or heading to the 15-day IL, and whether or not Davies is the fifth starter as that would push Williams into the bullpen. That might leave only one open spot.

More cuts are coming most likely after today’s game as Martinez tries to get his starters on a regular schedule in this final week of camp in Florida. The team is dealing with some bumps and bruises. The good news is that Floro was the last expected regular to make it back to play, and he appeared in yesterday’s game. Top prospect James Wood sat for Saturday’s game with a minor ache on his wrist from a check swing in Friday’s game.

“It was a weird swing, so I didn’t want to take any chances. [Wood] feels totally fine. He said he could play today, but I said: ‘You’ve been playing a lot. Let’s just give you a day, and we’ll get you back out there.’”

— Martinez said yesterday

Today’s game is televised on MASN as well as the game will also have a radio broadcast from CACTI Park of the Palm Beaches. First pitch is 1:05 pm EDT.

This entry was posted in InGame. Bookmark the permalink.