VIERA, Fla. - Well, today's the day.
Adam LaRoche finally returns to the Nationals lineup for the home half of today's split-squad games. LaRoche will join the rest of the Nats' veterans in taking on the Braves after missing the last couple weeks with a bone bruise in his left foot.
LaRoche will play first base today and will hit sixth.
Xavier Nady is in the lineup again today, this time playing right field. Mark DeRosa will play left today, with Jayson Werth sliding over to center.
The Nats will send Edwin Jackson to the mound in the home game against Atlanta, while former Orioles pitcher Mitch Atkins will get the ball for the night game at Lakeland against the Tigers.
Steve Lombardozzi, Chad Tracy and Jesus Flores are the only position players on the Nats' major league roster that will make the trip to Lakeland.
Here's the Nats' lineup for today's 1:05 p.m. game against Atlanta:
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Ryan Zimmerman
CF Jayson Werth
LF Mark DeRosa
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Xavier Nady
C Wilson Ramos
P Edwin Jackson
Chad Durbin, Brad Lidge and Sean Burnett are scheduled to pitch in relief in the home game. This will be Burnett's first appearance since suffering back spasms last week.