Apr 29, 2014, 4:19 PM EDT
The Nationals know they’re going to be without Bryce Harper — who had surgery today to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb — for the next two months or so. Tonight, we begin to find out how they deal with the prolonged loss of one of their key regulars.
Who replaces Harper in left field? Well, tonight it’s Kevin Frandsen. But that’s in part due to the fact the Nationals are playing in Houston, now an AL club, and thus need a designated hitter. That will be Jayson Werth, who hasn’t looked great in right field the last week or two, perhaps still dealing with a nagging groin injury. So Nate McLouth gets the start in right field, opening up left field for Frandsen.
Gio Gonzalez, meanwhile, takes the ball for the Nationals. Aside from one wretched start in Atlanta, the left-hander has been fantastic so far this season, posting a 1.50 ERA in four other outings.
I’m not in Houston for this series, but I’ll have a full update on Harper coming shortly, and I’ll have Instant Analysis as soon as the game ends. In the meantime, enjoy the conversation here…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at HOUSTON ASTROS
Where: Minute Maid Park
Gametime: 8:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 869, MLB.com
Weather: Clear, 79 degrees, Wind 12 mph in from CF
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
DH Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
RF Nate McLouth
LF Kevin Frandsen
C Jose Lobaton
(LHP Gio Gonzalez)
2B Jose Altuve
CF Dexter Fowler
C Jason Castro
RF George Springer
1B Jesus Guzman
DH Chris Carter
LF L.J. Hoes
3B Matt Dominguez
SS Jonathan Villar
(RHP Jarred Cosart)
HP Ted Barrett (cc)
1B Paul Schrieber
2B Will Little
3B Mark Carlson
NL EAST STANDINGS
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
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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