Washington Nationals vs Houston Astros: Spring Training GameThread.

• Though MLB Network correspondent Trenni Kusnierek clearly stated during last night's "30 Clubs in 30 Days" Washington Nationals' profile that DC GM Mike Rizzo, "...has said that he will not start Strasburg in the majors in April," and in spite of the fact that former DC GM Jim Bowden tweeted yesterday that, "M. Rizzo just told me on XM 175 that he is leaning on sending Strasburg to minor leagues," to, "...work on stretch, bat & time to plate," according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson's article entitled, "No decision on Strasburg regarding minors", which was published before the MLB program aired and after the DC GM's interview on Sirius/XM, Mr. Rizzo checked in via text to tell the MLB.com writer that although, "'In all probability, Stephen would benefit from going to the Minor Leagues...the official decision has not been made.'"

• You can ask Strasburg where he thinks he'll start in today's MLB.com Chat with the Nationals' '09 no.1 overall pick, which will take place at 12:30 pm EST this afternoon before the game starts.

• Game Notes and DC Starting Lineup After The JUMP...

• Game Time: 1:05 pm EST from Kissimmee. Jason Marquis vs Wandy Rodriguez. MLB Gameday Audio has the Houston feed. Who's Listening to the Nationals?

• DC Starting Lineup (as of 8:27 am 3/17 acc to @NatsTownNews): 

  1. Willy Taveras - RF
  2. Cristian Guzman - SS
  3. Justin Maxwell - CF
  4. Adam Dunn - 1B
  5. Josh Willingham - LF
  6. Danny Espinosa - 2B
  7. Eric Bruntlett - 3B
  8. Wil Nieves - C
  9. Jason Marquis - SP

• Barring any unforseen developments this Spring, today's starter Jason Marquis will be part of the Nationals' twenty-ten starting rotation. The 31-year-old right-hander allowed 3 hits, 3 walks, 1 HR and 5 ER overall in 2.0 IP of his only competitive outing this Spring. The veteran starter's second start was washed out, though he pitched a simulated game instead. Marquis makes his second start this afternoon against the Houston Astros in Kissimmee, Florida's Osceola County Stadium, where the Nationals will face 'Stros left-hander Wandy Rodriguez.

• The Nationals will be looking for their third-straight win after yesterday's split-squad sweep of the Marlins and Cardinals. 2-11 so far this Spring, the Nationals got 3 RBI's from Pudge Rodriguez in Washington's 4-2 win over St. Louis, and 4 HR's from Kevin Mench, Cristian Guzman, Ryan Zimmerman and Willie Harris in their 12-3 drubbing of the Marlins. The bad news out of yesterday's games? Nyjer Morgan went down with a hamstring issue that will keep the Nats' center fielder on the sidelines for now, while Adam Dunn suffered back spasms that forced him to remove himself from the game. Dunn reportedly thinks he'll be fine for today's game...Will Cristian Guzman start at short as rumored? When will Nyjer Morgan be back?

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