Davey Johnson is using this series against the Marlins as a chance to get his bench guys into the mix.
After resting Adam LaRoche yesterday and starting Tyler Moore at first base, Johnson has opted to give Bryce Harper and Denard Span their first days off of the season tonight. Harper has struggled over the last few games, going 0-for-13.
Moore will play left field tonight, while Roger Bernadina will get the start in center.
With Span out, Jayson Werth will return to the leadoff spot in the Nationals batting order.
Danny Espinosa will also get his second straight day off after getting hit by a pitch on the right wrist on Sunday. Espinosa told reporters yesterday that he hopes to return to the lineup by Friday at the latest.
Update: Johnson told reporters in Miami that Harper and Span are both dealing with flu-like symptoms.
With those two and Espinosa all out tonight, the Nats will work with just a two-man bench. Infielder Chad Tracy and catcher Jhonatan Solano are the only position players not starting tonight who will apparently be available.
The Nationals will send Dan Haren to the mound tonight in search of his second straight win, but first quality start of the season.
Haren has gotten off to a rough start through his first two outings as a National, allowing 19 hits and nine runs over nine innings. He has, however, struck out 10 and not walked a batter as of yet.
The Marlins will counter with right-hander Alex Sanabia, a 24-year-old right-hander who is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA this season.
For the Nats:
RF Jayson Werth
CF Roger Bernadina
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
LF Tyler Moore
2B Steve Lombardozzi
C Kurt Suzuki
RHP Dan Haren
For the Marlins:
RF Chris Coghlan
LF Juan Pierre
3B Placido Polanco
1B Greg Dobbs
CF Justin Ruggiano
C Rob Brantly
SS Adeiny Hechavarria
2B Donovan Solano
RHP Alex Sanabia