VIERA, Fla. - Good morning from Space Coast Stadium - and thanks to those of you who chimed in with movie suggestions last night. I wound up seeing "The King's Speech," and enjoyed it thoroughly. Great performances from Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, who had a wonderful rapport, and it did a nice job of opening up the themes of Firth's character without beating you over the head. And the little kid playing the eventual Queen Elizabeth II was good, too - but I don't know why they couldn't get Helen Mirren for this one.
Speaking of good stuff that's worth checking out, take a look at Dave Sheinin's piece on the 9-6-5 relay Bryce Harper started in Saturday's game against the Yankees. It's a good nuts-and-bolts look at a routine play that can border on chaos, especially when it's executed by young players that haven't played together. Dave is one of the best in the business, and he brings it here.
Here is the Nationals' lineup for today's 1:05 p.m. start against the Astros. We'll get a look at Adam LaRoche at first base for the first time, and Yunesky Maya gets the start against J.A. Happ.:
Bernadina - CF
Espinosa - 2B
Werth - DH
Zimmerman - 3B
Morse - RF
LaRoche - 1B
Rodriguez - C
Frazier - LF
Gonzalez - SS
Maya - P
Finally, a quick note on catching and the Astros: They lost top catching prospect Jason Castro to a knee injury on Friday, and he could miss the season with knee surgery. And according to a source familiar with the situation, Houston will absolutely be in the market for a catcher. The source said they have asked their scouts to take a look this week at Jesus Flores, who might be available since the Nationals have Ivan Rodriguez and Wilson Ramos.
Catcher is a tricky position for the Nationals - they don't know yet if Ramos is the real deal or if Flores is healthy, and the 39-year-old Rodriguez isn't in the team's long-term plans. But they also have Derek Norris, who might end up being the permanent solution at the position in the end, and if they got an offer for Flores they couldn't pass up, they'd probably move him.
It's something to keep an eye on, since there could be a possible match and the Astros might get a chance to see Flores today.