Lineups: Nats vs. Marlins in West Palm Beach

Juan Soto, as promised, is making his spring debut today in West Palm Beach, Fla. And Soto, as speculated for a while around here, is going to be batting second as part of a potentially newfangled top of the Nationals lineup.

Manager Davey Martinez is trotting out 1-2-3 of Victor Robles, Soto and Trea Turner, a combination that seemed possible for a while but had not actually been utilized previously. It certainly has potential, if Robles can do his part and get on base at a much higher clip as a leadoff man than he has when batting down in the lineup the last two seasons. It also gets Soto to the plate quicker and more often over the course of a season, and should give Turner loads of opportunities to bat with runners on base.

Martinez-Masked-in-Outfield-with-Bat-Sidebar.jpg“I wouldn’t read into it too much,” Martinez said this morning. “I just want to see what this looks like.”

Martinez did have to shuffle his pitching plans for the next couple days after learning Jon Lester needed to fly to New York to have his thyroid gland removed. (Full article on that coming shortly.) The Nationals initially planned to use only relievers today, with Lester starting Thursday against the Mets. Now it’ll be Erick Fedde making a surprise start today (only three days removed from a 28-pitch start against the Cardinals) and the bullpen pitching all of Thursday’s game (with Kyle Finnegan the first man up).

For those interested in watching and/or listening to today’s game, the Marlins are providing a video livestream on their website to go along with their radio call.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS vs. MIAMI MARLINS
Where: The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, West Palm Beach
Gametime: 1:05 p.m. EST
TV: MLB.com (Marlins livestream)
Radio: MLB.com (Marlins broadcast)
Weather: Partly cloudy, 86 degrees, wind 19 mph out to right field

NATIONALS
CF Victor Robles
RF Juan Soto
SS Trea Turner
1B Josh Bell
LF Kyle Schwarber
2B Starlin Castro
DH Alex Avila
3B Carter Kieboom
C Tres Barrera

RHP Erick Fedde

MARLINS
LF Corey Dickerson
CF Starling Marte
1B Jesús Aguilar
DH Adam Duvall
3B Brian Anderson
SS Miguel Rojas
2B Isan Díaz
C Jorge Alfaro
RF Jesús Sánchez

RHP Elieser Hernandez

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