Before Stephen Strasburg makes his fourth start of the Spring against the Atlanta Braves this afternoon in Viera, Florida's Space Coast Stadium, Nats' skipper Davey Johnson talked to reporters about some of the injuries his team is dealing with this Spring. Christian Garcia told reporters he was pain free and hoping to start throwing again soon. According to the Nationals' manager, this is what he heard from the Nats' Head Athletic Trainer: "I know they've accelerated the program," Johnson said, "Lee Kuntz told me that he's now got his hand in a bucket of rice. So, whatever that means. I guess he can do that, but he can't throw yet. But, I know [Garcia] is chomping at the bit. We'll see what the medical people... I know that they're going real cautious with him."
Nathan Karns' leg has been a topic of discussion recently, though there's little information on what exactly is bothering the Nats' 2012 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Karns is scheduled to see a specialist. "He has got to get an x-ray," Johnson told reporters this morning, "The specialist wants not only the results from last week's MRI, he also wants an x-ray. We're giving him that as we speak."
Asked if the request was a sign of anything in particular, Johnson said, "I don't know. I wish we had taken the x-ray. We didn't know that he was going to require that to get a true evaluation. So, that will go out today along with the other stuff and we'll wait and see."
As for the today's game, and today's starter, so far in Grapefruit League action, Stephen Strasburg's given up 11 hits, five walks and three runs in 8.2 IP in which he's K'd 13. Strasburg's faced the Marlins and Phillies already this Spring, but this afternoon's game is his first matchup with the Atlanta Braves, and the Nats' NL East rivals have some of their starters (including the Upton brothers) in the lineup for this game, which will be broadcast on WJFK 1580 AM in the nation's capital at 1:05 pm EDT. Strasburg on the mound and Charlie and Dave on the radio. What more could you ask for on a Monday in Spring?
Who's listening to the Nationals? Here's the Nats' starting lineup courtesy of @NationalsPR on Twitter:
Go Stras Go!