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Nats vs. Braves — 3/5/10

Mar 5, 2010, 3:21 PM EDT


Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Disney-fied spring training home of the Atlanta Braves.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Hello from the "Happiest Place on Earth" (TM), otherwise known as Disney's Wide World of Sports. The spring home of the Braves is a wonderful complex, one of the nicest in the state. But make no mistake, it reeks of the Disney vibe. Before you pull into the parking lot, there's a sign reading "Cast Members Entrance." The music is loud and family-friendly. And the ushers dance in between innings.

Into this caldron of syrup come the Nationals, fresh off two unsightly losses in yesterday's Grapefruit League split-squad openers. Jim Riggleman will be fielding a slightly better lineup today, with more regulars. Veteran Miguel Batista, in the running for either a rotation or bullpen spot, gets the start.

Check back throughout the day for in-game updates, and check the home page for other non-game news…

NATIONALS AT BRAVES
Disney's Wide World of Sports, Lake Buena Vista
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV/Radio: Braves radio (via MLB Gameday Audio)
Weather: Sunny, 60 degrees, Wind 10 mph out to CF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONALS (SS)
LF Roger Bernadina
2B Adam Kennedy
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Chris Duncan

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  1. Anonymous - Mar 5, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    Mark…Kilgore reports Dunn is at first. Late switch?

  2. JayB - Mar 5, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    Mark,Where is Guzman….After all the talk are we about to find out he is still hurt?

  3. natscan reduxit - Mar 5, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    Hello fellow fans, … I hope it will be alright with you, Mark, if I post this request to other fans on this blog. … I would like to ask for some information from you. Besides being a rabid Nats fan (with an impeccable pedigree, stemming from Jarry Park), I also dabble in amateur fiction writing, have done so for most of my adult life but have never published … yet. … my current project is approaching its conclusion, and I am itching to get started on the next one. It will be a novel about a veteran baseball player, in the bigs, who decides in spring training to hang up his spikes. He is never going to the Hall, nor have a career in the coaching ranks. At ST, he rejects an offer from his big-league club to become a part time coach in 'A' ball, so he moves back home to start the next segment of his life. (The plot will probably revolve around his relationship with his wife and non-athletic son, but who knows at this point.) … so here's my request: do any of you know where I might go – online stories on the web, or in newspaper archives, names of players I might Google, that kind of thing – to find real life stories of similar situations, i.e, journeyman players who discuss their decision to leave the game and start something new, outside of pro ball.Go Nats!!

  4. e - Mar 5, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    @JayB — Guz is here in DC with his wife who is about to give birth.

  5. peric - Mar 5, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    Well then, "Who's on first"? There's one for you book nats reduxit.

  6. Nats fan in NJ - Mar 5, 2010 at 4:21 PM

    Peric – dang, you beat me to that line!!

  7. JayB - Mar 5, 2010 at 4:43 PM

    Thanks e,Mark,When will we know if Guzman is "recovered" from his feet and shoulder? What has you seen when he was in camp?

  8. peric - Mar 5, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    Against Florida Desmond looked pretty good … and Espinosa's fielding looked atrocious. Desmond seems to be progressing into the position. Guzman's big advantage is the switch hitting. Desmond brings power. Be interesting to see what they do with the top prospects. But some really are just about ready and they can't afford to have another long April-May losing streak.

  9. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 5, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    No Dunn here today, Duncan is indeed at 1B.As for Guzman, he's perfectly fine health-wise. Jim Riggleman said he's scheduled to start tomorrow in Viera. He's also still on-call to return to D.C. once his wife is ready to give birth, but that hasn't happened yet.

  10. peric - Mar 5, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    BTW,FYI,NationalsProspects.com has some interesting statistical and career comparison analyses of Marerro and Norris. Norris looks like he couldbe one of the top catchers in the game if he can learn to be betterdefensively.

  11. peric - Mar 5, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    Mark, where is Aaron Thompson in spring training? Is he even there? The list said he was invited? Or is he being "Carlos Rogers" about being traded to the Nats? Not one word on this guy and technically he does come up in lists as a top 10 to top 20 prospect?

  12. Fake Reiss - Mar 5, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    Re Guzman's health, at least we know his boys can swim!

  13. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 5, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    Aaron Thompson is indeed in camp, and in fact he's slated to throw in today's game.

  14. peric - Mar 5, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    Thanks mucho Mark! Be nice to find out where he is in Rizzo's plans … if he is considered one of his "top prospects" for whom there is a plan? Compare contrast with Matt Chico?

  15. JayB - Mar 5, 2010 at 7:29 PM

    Mark,The Braves broadcasters say Ian D. is really showing great range. How does he look.

  16. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 5, 2010 at 7:33 PM

    Desmond has made two really nice diving plays to his left, though on the most recent one he didn't have enough time to get up and make a throw. We've always known he can make the spectacular play. The question is whether he can consistently make the routine one as well.

  17. Anonymous - Mar 5, 2010 at 8:01 PM

    Any clue what went wrong w/ Stammen? Location? Not mixing up the pitches? This was not the sort of outing we saw last summer.Sec314

  18. JayB - Mar 5, 2010 at 8:06 PM

    Mark,What are the odds that such a high number of Rizzo's new warms are this bad? I know it is early but when each one gets killed one after another it seems it is possible they suck and Rizzo has fallen into the old trap of over estimating the likelihood that Nas are going to turn journey men arms into serviceable MLB pitchers.

  19. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 5, 2010 at 8:15 PM

    Stammen just said his big problem today was a lack of fastball command. Considering this is the first time he's pitched since having those bone chips removed last September, it's probably understandable. But if it's still an issue the next time or two out … could be a different story.

  20. greg - Mar 5, 2010 at 8:22 PM

    without necessarily trying to be a "glass half full" guy, i won't get overly worried (or overly excited) about anyone's performance the first week of exhibition games.

  21. Doc - Mar 5, 2010 at 8:31 PM

    Apprapos of Desmond's on-going show to-day, maybe we should make Kennedy the utility infielder!

  22. Nervous Nats Fan - Mar 5, 2010 at 8:32 PM

    Not to be anti-Desmond here, but it seems from the box score that he's been picked off AND caught stealing today. Not the best way to show your base-running skills…

  23. Anonymous - Mar 5, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    Mark,What are the odds that such a high number of Rizzo's new arms are among the greatest pitchers in the history of baseball? I know it's early, but these guys are making Gibson and Koufax look like amateurs. J.D. Martin hasn't allowed a baserunner all season! It seems it's possible that Rizzo is the greatest talent evaluator in the history of baseball and we should already be planning his GM of the year party.

  24. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 5, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    Uh, not sure where you're getting that one from.

  25. JayB - Mar 5, 2010 at 9:06 PM

    Good one….I liked that too…..we may well need a good sense of humor yet again this year!

  26. Michael J. Hayde - Mar 5, 2010 at 9:06 PM

    I think Anonymous is yanking JayB's chain… not yours, Mark.

  27. upperdeck4 - Mar 5, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    Who was it that said, "It couldn't get worse"?

  28. Doc - Mar 5, 2010 at 9:30 PM

    I'm d** glad that Rizzo has improved the pitching staff. Think how much worse we'd be if these guys hadn't allowed 36 runs in 3 games!

  29. greg - Mar 5, 2010 at 9:57 PM

    THE SKY IS FALLING AND IT'S TIME TO PANIC!!!seriously, we need to panic right now.

  30. natsfan1a - Mar 5, 2010 at 11:19 PM

    Natscan (assuming that you might look here later), you might look into the Society of American Baseball Research. The interests of members are diverse (history among them), and quite a few are writers. Here's the URL for the Montreal chapter:http://quebec.sabr.org/(and of course you'll let us know when it comes out)

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