VIERA, Fla. - Well, today marks the final game of spring at Space Coast Stadium.
Someone get me a tissue. This might get emotional.
Roger Bernadina was scheduled to be starting in center field and hitting seventh today, but he hasn’t made it back to Viera yet after flying home to Curacao for his father’s funeral.
As a result, Corey Brown will fill in for Bernadina today against the Cardinals.
Danny Espinosa will play shortstop today for the Nationals, with Ian Desmond getting the day off. Steve Lombardozzi will play second base.
Manager Davey Johnson said today that should Desmond need to miss any significant chunk of time during the season, Espinosa would likely slide over to short, which was the position he played coming up through the minors prior to being moved to second base.
Under those circumstances, Johnson said that Lombardozzi would be the Nats’ second baseman, a statement which made reporters laugh, given that Johnson has yet to acknowledge that Lombardozzi has officially made the 25-man roster.
It’s as near a lock as can be, however. Lombardozzi will head north with the Nats.
Meanwhile, outfielder Jason Michaels, who was released by the Nats on Thursday, will likely return to the organization. Michaels had hoped to find a spot on a major league roster elsewhere.
Infielder Andres Blanco, who also was cut on Thursday, will not return, however. Blanco signed a minor league deal with the Phillies today.
Reliever Chad Durbin and his wife Crystal welcomed a healthy baby boy yesterday. The Nats expect Durbin to meet them in Ft. Myers for Monday’s game against the Red Sox.
Here’s today’s Nats lineup against St. Louis:
2B Steve Lombardozzi
SS Danny Espinosa
3B Chad Tracy
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
C Jesus Flores
CF Corey Brown
LF Brett Carroll
P Stephen Strasburg