• Space Coast Stadium in sunny Viera, Florida will be the scene of the first meeting of the 2010 campaign between the Washington Nationals and the (cursed) New York Mets this afternoon at 1:05 pm EST. The Nationals are looking for their first W of the Spring (though I know they don't count) in this afternoon's game, and they're sending left-hander John Lannan to the mound to get things done against the Mets' right-hander Mike Pelfrey. Lannan was named the Opening Day starter earlier this weekend, (though Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore tweeted this morning that the decision on the 4/5 starter is, "not finalized."), after the 25-year-old right-hander went (9-13) in 2009 with a 3.88 ERA (108 ERA+, 4.70 FIP) and a 1.35 WHIP over 33 starts and 206.1 IP in which he walked 68 (2.97 BB/9) and struck out 89 (3.88 K/9). The Mets' Mike Pelfrey's looking to rebound from a rough (10-12) '09 campaign during which the (now)-26-year-old right-hander posted a 5.03 ERA (82 ERA+, 4.39 FIP) with 66 walks (3.2 BB/9), 107 K's (5.2 K/9) and a 1.51 WHIP in 31 GS and 184.1 IP.
DC Starting Lineup...After the JUMP.
• DC Starting Lineup...
- Nyjer Morgan - CF
- Cristian Guzman - DH
- Ryan Zimmerman - 3B
- Adam Dunn - 1B
- Mike Morse - RF
- Willie Harris - LF
- Wil Nieves - C
- Alberto Gonzalez - SS
- Eric Bruntlett - 2B
- John Lannan - LHP
• NOTES: SS's
- Cristian Guzman gets his first start of the Spring this afternoon after remaining at home for the birth of his baby girl. The soon-to-be 32-year-old infielder is coming off arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder this winter, after an '09 season which saw the 10-year-veteran hit .284/.306/.390 in 135 games and 531 AB's in which he collected 24 doubles, 7 triples, 6 HR's and 55 RBI's. Asked by MLB.com's Bill Ladson
in an article entitled, "Q&A with Mike Rizzo", DC GM Mike Rizzo listed Guzman's ability to return to the field as an everyday SS as one of his biggest concerns about the upcoming season. NY SS Jose Reyes
, who was limited to just 36 games played last season, is out of the lineup again after doctors reportedly discovered that the 26-year-old infielder had a hyperactive thyroid and sent him back to NY.
• AL - After Lannan - Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore
reported this morning in an article entitled, "Today's Lineup", that after the Nationals' Opening Day starter gets in his two innings of work, it will be pitchers Shawn Estes, Aaron Thompson, Tyler Walker, Atahualpa Severino, Andrew Kown and Sean Burnett trying to provide the Nationals with their first positive signs out of the bullpen this Spring. Kown? Andrew Kown, an '04 5th Round pick by the Detroit Tigers, is a 27-year-old, 6'7'' right-hander who pitched at all three levels of the Nationals' system last season, posting a combined (9-4) record with a 3.86 ERA in 9 starts, 29 relief appearances and 100.1 IP in which the former Georgia Tech starter walked 25 (2.2 BB/9), K'd 58 (5.2 K/9) and put up a 1.22 WHIP.
• Game Time: 1:05 pm EST. Who's Listening to the Nationals?