VIERA FL - FEBRUARY 25: Adam LaRoche #25 of the Washington Nationals poses for a portrait during Spring Training Photo Day at Space Coast Stadium on February 25 2011 in Viera Florida. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
• Programming Note: Today's 1:05 pm EST Nats game with the Houston Astros, which will feature Yunesky Maya on the mound for the first few innings, is available via MLB.com's Gameday Audio, it's live on WFED 1580 AM in DC and it's also on Sirius/XM ch. 185 for satellite radio subscribers.
• Washington Nationals' Monday Starting Lineup:
- The Shark - CF
- Danny "Spinner" Espinosa - 2B
- Jayson Werth - DH
- THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! - 3B
- The People's Champion Michael Morse - RF
- Adam LaRoche - 1B
- Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez - C
- Jeff Frazier - LF
- Alberto "The General" Gonzalez - SS
- DWL Legend Yunesky "The Cuban Kid" Maya - SP
• As noted earlier, and as reported this weekend by some of the beat writers, Adam LaRoche, who's been DH'ing so far this Spring, is set to finally make his debut in the field this afternoon with 3/4's of the infield in place against the Astros. Ian Desmond's sitting this one out. The presence of Roger "The Shark" Bernadina in CF and leading off will no doubt stoke the debate about Nyjer Morgan's place in the field and the lineup a little more, and Yunesky Maya gets a second chance to impress this Spring after promising, as he did in Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore's
article entitled, "Yunesky Maya impresses in first appearance at Washington Nationals spring training", after his last outing (through a translator) that, "'The Cuban kid...is gonna win 20 games.'"
• There's no mention of the Nationals or Jesus Flores
in the Houston Chronicle article
on Drew Storen's Stanford teammate Jason Castro
going down for the season with a knee injury that MLBTraderumors.com
linked to this morning, but I had the same thought as MASNSports.com's Ben Goessling
(and probably anyone following the Nats closely) did when I read it. Wonder if they're interested in a Nats' catcher. In an article this morning entitled, "Nationals lineup for Monday vs. Astros and a catching note", the Nats beat writer says that, "according to a source familiar with the situation, Houston will absolutely be in the market for a catcher. The source said they could take a look at Jesus Flores." This is, of course, something that's been discussed before, but trading Flores now, when his ability to stay healthy is still a big question mark, would probably lessen the return Washington's able to get for him should be prove that he can become an everyday players after two years on the sidelines recovering from shoulder woes. If Houston's desperate though, which they apparently are...could be something to keep an eye on."
• Pregame Reading: Replacing Adam Dunn is a daunting challenge, but new Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche understands he can't try to duplicate his predecessor's game. - "LaRoche just wants to be himself." - CSN Washington, Mark Zuckerman
• Who's Following the Nationals?