VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals have a night game in Port St. Lucie tonight, but there’s still action around Space Coast Stadium early this afternoon.
Right-hander Chien-Ming Wang will take the mound in the Nationals’ intrasquad game at 1 p.m., which will be the veteran’s first time throwing to hitters since last Monday’s live batting practice.
Wang is working through some stiffness in his pitching shoulder, but assuming all goes well today, he’s scheduled to make his first Grapefruit League start Saturday against the Mets in the home half of a split-squad game.
I’ll be out watching Wang’s afternoon session on one of the side fields and will have notes (and hopefully quotes) on the righty’s performance before heading out for Port St. Lucie.
Here’s the Nats’ lineup for tonight’s game against the Mets, which has a 6:10 p.m. first pitch:
LF - Roger Bernadina
2B - Steve Lombardozzi
3B - Mark Teahen
1B - Chad Tracy
CF - Rick Ankiel
RF - Bryce Harper
C - Jesus Flores
DH - Xavier Paul
SS - Andres Blanco
P - John Lannan
Craig Stammen, Waldis Joaquin, Ryan Perry, Atahualpa Severino, Rafael Martin and Austin Bibens-Dirkx are scheduled to follow Lannan to the mound tonight.
For tomorrow’s game against the Braves, Jayson Werth will be back in center field for the second time in three days.
Ian Desmond will lead off with Danny Espinosa in the two hole, which was the same 1-2 combination at the top of the order that manager Davey Johnson sent out yesterday.
Dan Kolko was named MASNsports.com’s Nationals beat writer after spending the last four years covering the Baltimore Ravens for MASN and also serving as the Web site’s deputy managing editor. A University of Delaware graduate originally from Silver Spring, Md., Dan grew up a die-hard baseball fan and is thrilled for the opportunity to cover the Nationals. Before joining MASN, Dan worked in production at Comcast SportsNet in Bethesda, Md., and also interned at the “George Michael Sports Machine” in Washington, D.C.
Follow Dan Kolko on Twitter: @DanKolko