Lineups: Nats vs. Cardinals in West Palm Beach

It’s crunch time now, the final week of camp, when big decisions need to be made. And for the Nationals, there may be no bigger decision to make than at third base. All winter and all spring, they have made it clear Carter Kieboom is their guy, so much so that to date they hadn’t had Starlin Castro or Luis García take grounders at third, just in case.

Castro-Swings-White-Bubble-Sidebar.jpgWell, take a look at today’s lineup against the Cardinals and look who’s at third: Castro. We’ll be hearing from manager Davey Martinez shortly, so stay tuned for what hopefully will be a detailed answer to the question. But at minimum, it’s clear they want to at least give Castro some reps there in case he is needed to move from second base, whether immediately or down the road.

The rest of the lineup is fairly normal. Trea Turner is batting second today, in front of Juan Soto. The Nationals have tried out both combinations with their two best hitters, and I’m not sure if they’ve truly settled on either one as the solution for opening night.

Jon Lester makes his second start of the spring. (For those who thought it would be Patrick Corbin on the mound today, I’m told he threw Monday, an off-day for the team.) Lester is going up against a good Cardinals lineup and is scheduled to throw four innings today after pitching two frames in his delayed spring debut. He’ll be piggybacked by Joe Ross, who will come out of the bullpen and throw four or potentially even five innings.

Where: Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, Jupiter
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EDT
TV: (Cardinals broadcast), MLB Network (delayed at 9 a.m. Wednesday)
Weather: Mostly sunny, 74 degrees, wind 6 mph in from center field

CF Victor Robles
SS Trea Turner
RF Juan Soto
1B Josh Bell
3B Starlin Castro
LF Kyle Schwarber
2B Luis García
C Alex Avila
LHP Jon Lester

2B Tommy Edman
1B Paul Goldschmidt
3B Nolan Arenado
SS Paul DeJong
LF Tyler O’Neill
C Yadier Molina
CF Dylan Carlson
RF Lane Thomas
RHP Adam Wainwright

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