Matt Williams told reporters earlier this week that so far Spring Training has been sort-of routine for him after all his years doing the same things as a player and then a coach.
"I'm used to this part of it," the 48-year-old first-year skipper explained. "Used to the fundamental part of it because I've dealt with all of that and doing all the bunt plays and rundowns and all that stuff, because that's what I generally do as a coach."
He was looking forward to one new aspect, however, filling out the lineup cards and making sure everyone gets the work they need. "The lineup part of it, I've never done," Williams said, "so that's a learning process. Making sure that we get everybody in and looking at the first few days of lineups to make sure we get everybody in the game and monitor from there and move from there."
Williams announced on Tuesday that Taylor Jordan would start the first Grapefruit League on Friday at the New York Mets' Spring Training home, but while acknowledging that the lineup for that game already leaked, he declined to confirm published reports.
"I don't want to get too far ahead," Williams joked. "Call it the 'rookie manager paranoia' but I don't want to give you information that we may have to change something on."
This afternoon, the Nationals made the lineup for Friday's game official:
Washington Nationals (@Nationals) February 26, 2014
• Note: The only difference between the previously reported lineup and this one is the presence of Eury Perez in center and batting eighth after Michael Taylor was penciled in to the leaked lineup...
According to several reports this morning, the Nationals will have Jordan Zimmermann start the second game of the spring on Saturday afternoon when Washington welcomes the Atlanta Braves to Space Coast Stadium for the spring home opener:
Jordan Zimmermann will start for #Nats 3/1 vs. Atlanta. Purke, Roenicke, Hensley, Ayala also scheduled to throw vs. Braves.— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) February 26, 2014