VIERA, Fla. - Greetings from Space Coast Stadium, where the Nationals are entertaining Georgetown University in an exhibition game today at noon. If there's such a thing as a pre-preseason game, this is it. The Nationals are taking on the Hoyas in a game that will give manager Davey Johnson and his staff a chance to see some of the younger players in camp.
Johnson has already posted the lineup for tomorrow's Grapefruit League opener in Kissimmee, Fla., against the Astros. So in the interests of keeping you up to date on all things Nationals, here it is:
SS - Ian Desmond
2B - Danny Espinosa
CF - Rick Ankiel
1B - Chad Tracy
DH - Jason Michaels
3B - Mark Teahan
RF - Bryce Harper
LF - Roger Bernadina
C - Jesus Flores
P - Edwin Jackson
As is often the case, only a couple of regulars will make the trip across Route 192, past signs for airboat rides and boiled peanuts, through St. Cloud and past the development where former Nationals manager Manny Acta resides, for the first game with meaning. With ex-Nats right-hander Livan Hernandez starting for the Astros, there's a good bet that first baseman Adam LaRoche would have been in the lineup, but a mild left ankle sprain will keep him out until at least Sunday. Instead, Tracy will get the start.
After Jackson, Johnson will have left-handers Ross Detwiler and Sean Burnett, and right-handers Chad Durbin and Ryan Perry working out of the bullpen.
The lineup for today's game against the Hoyas was posted yesterday and you can find it here. Today's game will be nine innings.