Mar 5, 2013, 4:27 PM EST
USA Today Sports Images
The Nats face the Astros today at Space Coast Stadium.
There are a couple of notable debuts for the Nationals in their game today against the Astros. First off, look who's starting behind the plate for the first time in 10 months? Yes, Wilson Ramos will catch for the first time since tearing his ACL. He got a couple of at-bats the other day and smoked the ball. Now we'll see how he does calling a game, blocking pitches and throwing to bases.
Not listed in the lineup below but listed among the relievers scheduled to pitch today is Rafael Soriano. This will be the new closer's first appearance of the spring, his Nats debut delayed both by his late arrival to camp and the fact he told Davey Johnson he only needs 8-to-10 innings of work before Opening Day.
Johnson has a full lineup of regulars out there today, and I suspect the batting order we see here is how it will look on April 1 (with Ryan Zimmerman obviously at third base instead of DH and Kurt Suzuki behind the plate instead of Ramos). He'll be going up today against an old friend and protege, Bo Porter, who brings his new, American League Astros to Viera for the first time. It's going to be a challenging season (or two, or three) for Bo, but it sounds like he's got the full support of ownership, which understands it's embarking on a long-term rebuilding program.
Enjoy the game the conversation…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. HOUSTON ASTROS
Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EST
Radio: Astros radio via MLB Gameday Audio
Weather: Mostly sunny, 73 degrees, Wind 10 mph in from RF
CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
DH Ryan Zimmerman
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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. Click here for past audio clips.
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