Jordan Zimmermann makes his third start of the spring this afternoon in a 1:05 pm EDT game against the New York Yankees, who will have CC Sabathia on the hill in Viera, Florida's Space Coast Stadium. This afternoon's game is being broadcast live on MASN and it's available on replay later tonight on the MLB Network. Today's outing will be Zimmermann's first of the spring against a team other than the Atlanta Braves.
In his previous two trips to the mound, the 27-year-old right-hander has given up a total of five hits and one walk in five scoreless innings over which Zimmermann has struck out five batters while holding opposing hitters to a .176 BAA.
Zimmermann was (19-9) on the year in 2013, finishing at +3.6 fWAR with a 3.25 ERA, 3.36 FIP, 40 walks (1.69 BB/9) and 161 Ks (6.79 K/9) in 32 starts and a career-high 213 1/3 IP.
• Here's the lineup Washington will field for today's Grapefruit League game with New York:
Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 11, 2014
Taking the field against the Nationals and behind the 33-year-old Sabathia today will be a mix of veteran and young Yankees:
#Yankees lineup vs. WAS: Ellsbury CF, Gardner LF, Teixeira 1B, McCann C, Sizemore 2B, Nuñez SS, Anna 3B, Romine DH, Almonte RF, Sabathia P— New York Yankees (@Yankees) March 11, 2014
• Nats' Lineup Note: Anthony Rendon is 5 for 16 with a double, home run, two walks and seven Ks in six Grapefruit League games so far this spring. He's leading off this afternoon, but where is he likely to hit in the lineup during the regular season? Matt Williams talked at length this weekend about hitting Ian Desmond second, but said Rendon, 23, brings a similar skill set to the plate. The discussion started with Williams explaining why he likes the idea of Desmond as the Nats' no.2 hitter.
"One, I like [Desmond's] leadership," Williams said. "I like him with the ability to steal bases. He's a smart baserunner. He's let it go a little bit early on here as far as stealing, attempted steals, and he can hit the ball to all fields and he's got thunder. So, in the middle of your lineup, certainly you want that. So that's what he brings as a no.2 hitter goes. But he can also hit five and he can also be somewhere down in the order too if the situation presents itself. But right now, I want to make sure that he gets as many at bats as he can. So that dictates no.2 a little bit. I also like him in the no.2 hole, but that doesn't mean that he's going to be there all the time."
"With that in mind," Williams continued, "if [Desmond] moves down, [Rendon] is there. A guy that brings the same type of tools to the table too, so again, there are all kinds of ways you can think about it."
Rendon spent the majority of his starts last season, in his first major league campaign, hitting second, where he put up a .225/.285/.312 line in 33 games and 151 plate appearances. He also hit seventh in 27 games (.293/.371/.424) in 106 PAs and eighth in 24 games (.275/.344/.425) in 91 PAs.
• Game time: 1:05 pm EDT from Viera, Florida's Space Coast Stadium, and again, this afternoon's game is being shown live on MASN and delayed tonight on the MLB Network. There are no listings for radio coverage for either team, so it looks like MASN (or MLB.tv) might be the only way to watch today.
• Reminder: There are no blackout restrictions with MLB.tv during Spring Training, so the game should be available for viewing in and around the nation's capital.
Who's watching the Nationals?