Mar 1, 2013, 8:50 PM EDT
USA Today Sports Images
The Nats are back at Disney's Wide World of Sports tonight.
Spring training often is a time for experimentation, so we shouldn't be too surprised to see a couple of wrinkles to Davey Johnson's lineup for tonight's exhibition game against the Braves.
First up is Danny Espinosa, who not only will lead off but will start at shortstop. The rationale: Davey looks at Espinosa as his primary fallback option at shortstop if anything were to happen to Ian Desmond (as we saw last summer when Desmond went on the DL with an oblique strain). Espinosa certainly has the arm to play shortstop, but he needs the occasional reps there to stay sharp, so he'll get a chance tonight with Desmond not making the trip to Disney.
You'll also notice Bryce Harper in center field for the first time this spring. Harper obviously is ticketed for left field this season, but you have to think Davey would slide him back over there if Denard Span needed to miss any time. Again, might as well get Harper some reps in center this spring when it doesn't count.
Jordan Zimmermann will get his reps, too, though in his familiar place on the mound. The right-hander is coming off a solid, three-inning spring debut against the Marlins. He'll look to ramp himself up to 60 pitches and perhaps four innings tonight against another NL East rival.
Enjoy the game and the conversation as always…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Disney's Wide World of Sports, Lake Buena Vista
Gametime: 6:05 p.m. EST
Radio: Braves radio via MLB Gameday Audio
Weather: Cloudy, 58 degrees, Wind 11 mph out to LF
SS Danny Espinosa
2B Steve Lombardozzi
CF Bryce Harper
DH Tyler Moore
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com.
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- Bryce Harper's 'nothing but hustle' Nats magazine (PHOTO)
- Espinosa making most of his playing opportunity
- Strasburg, Nats hope to turn page vs. Cardinals
- Harper, Williams and Werth on benching (VIDEO)
- Bryce Harper benched in Nats' loss to Cardinals for 'lack of hustle'
- Anthony Rendon error costs Nationals in loss to Cardinals
- Nats activate Denard Span from 7-day DL, option Steven Souza, Jr.
- Zimmermann, Nats look for two in a row vs. Cardinals
- Drew Storen comes through in Nats' 3-1 win over Cardinals