Let the games begin - almost

Only one more chance to write about live batting practice sessions and defensive drills as the most important on-field news of the day. Excuse me while I take a minute with my emotions.

OK, we’re good.

It’s almost time to start playing baseball, even if it’s still baseball where lineups are dotted with reserves. The Nationals begin their spring slate tomorrow with a pair of split-squad games - against the Astros in Kissimmee, and against the Marlins in Jupiter. I’m headed to Kissimmee, but I’ll have updates from both games on the site tomorrow, so check back during the day (both games start at 1:05).

Garrett Mock pitches for the Nationals in Kissimmee, and J.D. Martin will take on the Marlins. I’ll have a little more on the starters later today, but here are the lineups for both games. The other pitchers aren’t listed in any order, but Shairon Martis (against Houston) and Collin Balester (against Florida) are the other starters who will throw. We’ll get our first look at a few highly-touted Nats prospects including Chirs Marrero, Daniel Espinosa and Michael Burgess:

vs. Astros
Morgan - 8
Kennedy - 4
Dukes - 9
Duncan - 3
Orr - 5
Bernadina - 7
Whitesell - DH
Gonzalez - 6
Nieves - 2
Mock - 1

Bench: Davis, Daniel, Espinosa, Bynum, Burke, Taveras
Other pitchers: Martis, Guardado, Severino, Capps, Storen, Bergmann, Hown

vs. Marlins
Harris - 4
Desmond - 6
Pudge - 2
Dunn - 3
Morse - 7
Maxwell - 8
Bruntlett - 5
Owens - 9
Martin - 1 (The Astros apparently want to use a DH, where the Marlins want their pitchers to hit.)

Bench: Burgess, Lombardozzi, Soriano, Marrero, Norris, Souza, Ivany, Mench
Other pitchers: Balester, Villone, Venafro, Bruney, Kensing, Atilano, Jaime, Wilkie