JUPITER, Fla. – Anyone interested in playing ball today? Because there’s a ballgame on the schedule this afternoon.
The Nationals open Grapefruit League play with a road game against the Cardinals, and though they aren’t bringing that many regulars on the short trip from West Palm Beach, there are some key names to watch. The top three of Davey Martinez’s lineup, as promised, features CJ Abrams, Luis García and Joey Meneses.
As mentioned earlier, don’t take that as evidence he plans to bat Abrams and García in the top two spots come Opening Day. This is more about getting them two or three at-bats today and getting them out of there. Meneses, of course, probably will be the team’s No. 3 hitter once the season begins.
We’ll also get our first look at Stone Garrett, a hulking outfielder acquired from the Diamondbacks who is trying to make the club coming off the bench. Garrett can produce some big-time power when he makes contact. The trick is actually making contact. We’ll also get a look today at young Jeremy De La Rosa, the 21-year-old prospect who isn’t in the mix for an Opening Day job – he hasn’t even reached Double-A yet – but remains highly touted within the organization.
The most significant person playing today for the Nationals, though, has to be MacKenzie Gore. The left-hander finally makes his team debut after spending the last three months of the 2022 season rehabbing from an elbow injury suffered in San Diego. Gore may only go one inning, but he’ll be facing some big-time St. Louis hitters.
Other pitchers scheduled to appear today include Erasmo Ramirez, Wily Peralta, Alex Colomé, Thaddeus Ward, Andres Machado, Gerardo Carrillo, Jose Ferrer and Matt Cronin. Note: Not all are actually guaranteed to pitch. It’ll depend on how the game goes.
You can listen to this afternoon’s contest on The Team 980 AM, with Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler reunited for their 18th season together in the radio booth. If you subscribe to MLB.tv, you can watch the Cardinals’ television feed of the game, as well.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Where: Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, Jupiter
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EST
TV: MLB.tv (Cardinals broadcast)
Radio: 980 AM, MLB.com
Weather: Sunny, 83 degrees, wind 8 mph in from right field
SS CJ Abrams
2B Luis García
1B Joey Meneses
RF Stone Garrett
DH Yadiel Hernández
C Riley Adams
CF Alex Call
3B Ildemaro Vargas
LF Jeremy De La Rosa
LHP MacKenzie Gore
SS Tommy Edman
CF Tyler O’Neill
1B Paul Goldschmidt
3B Nolan Arenado
C Willson Contreras
RF Dylan Carlson
LF Lars Nootbaar
DH Paul DeJong
2B Brendan Donovan
RHP Adam Wainwright