VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals have posted their lineup for tonight's 6 p.m. game against the Atlanta Braves in Lake Buena Vista. Yunesky Maya gets the start for Washington, as he attempts to remain in the mix to be the club's fifth starter.
Here's the lineup:
SS - Ian Desmond
CF - Rick Ankiel
RF - Jayson Werth
1B - Adam LaRoche
LF - Michael Morse
2B - Jerry Hairston Jr.
C - Wilson Ramos
3B - Brian Bixler
P - Yunesky Maya
Danny Espinosa, who fouled a ball off his right foot Tuesday in Port. St. Lucie, is getting the day off. Nats manager Jim Riggleman had said yesterday that he expected Espinosa to play today, so the second baseman either needs another day to recover from the bruised foot, or the team is just taking a conservative approach and giving him some extra time off. Jerry Hairston Jr. will start at second base tonight.
Espinosa said he will accompany the Nats to the Braves' Disney complex tonight and participate in pregame workouts. He's hoping to play, despite what he called "lingering soreness." However, he seems to be moving around without any discomfort.
"You're always going to have the effects for a few days," he said. "I'm going today, so I got one day off, but if it was the season, I'd figure a way to play. There's no reason, I guess, to really push it yesterday. Today, if I feel like I can play and (Riggleman) thinks I'm all right to play, then I'm going to play."
Note: Ben Goessling is returning to Washington, D.C., for a few days to prepare for a move, so I'll be filling in for him through March 22. I'm looking forward to connecting with NatsTown from spring training, so if you have comments or questions, feel free to leave them and I'll attempt to respond to them.
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