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Spring Training: - Game Thread: Washington Nationals at Detroit Tigers

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The Washington Nationals Do Not Want Adam Dunn Playing First In The WBC?

Washington Post writer Amy Shipley described Adam Dunn's error-filled attempt to play first base for the United States in place of an injured Kevin Youkilis in the WBC the other night in an article Thursday entitled, "Venezuela Races Past Strapped Team USA", where Ms. Shipley wrote that Dunn:

"'...incomprehensibly fielded a ground ball and threw so far out of the reach of catcher Chris Iannetta...that Iannetta didn't even extend his glove for it..." (and on), “...Dunn’s second error -- he threw the ball into center field trying to prevent a stolen base -- [which] did not cost the U.S. team any runs, but it was almost as ugly. His third error came when he mishandled a routine ground ball in the eighth."

Ms. Shipley quoted USA Baseball Executive Director Paul Seiler who admitted that playing Dunn at first, "...is not something the Nationals want me to do with him," but Mr. Seiler says he's sure, "...if we reached out to the Nationals...it wouldn't be an issue." 

New York Times' writer Jack Curry, however, in an article about Rays' third baseman Evan Longoria joining the US Team entitled, "Longoria Joins United States for World Baseball Classic", reports that US Manager Davey Johnson, "...was hoping the United States would add a first baseman because, he said, the Washington Nationals do not want Adam Dunn...playing that position."

"That position"? Does the Nationals' decision that they don't want Dunn, "playing that position" extend beyond the WBC? That would be good news for Nick Johnson, bad news for Josh Willingham, as all three are still under consideration for just two spots in the Nationals' starting lineup...

...The Nationals cut six more players from their roster yesterday, Roger Bernadina, Ryan Langerhans, Pete Orr, Brad Eldred, Luke Montz  and pitcher Gustavo Chacin.

Chacin, Eldred, Langerhans and Orr were sent to Minor League camp according MLB.com's Bill Ladson's article entitled, "Nationals make third round of cuts", while Bernadina and Montz were shipped off to Triple-A Syracuse...where Bernadina will join Justin Maxwell and Leonard Davis in the Chiefs' outfield and Montz will be the starting catcher. 

Recent reports are that Collin Balester, Jordan Zimmermann and Shairon Martis are battling it out for the final two spots in the Nationals' starting rotation. Collin Balester gets another chance to turn his Spring around today when he starts against the Detroit Tigers and Nate Robertson who is listed as Friday's TIgers' starter for the game in Lakeland, Florida's Joker Marchant Stadium, in MLB.com's Mark Bowman's article, "Bonderman strong as Tigers silenced." Balester's (1-0) with a 6.55 ERA in 3 starts, 1 relief appearances and 11.0 total IP this Spring, in which he's allowed 11 hits, 8 ER, 4 HR and 6 walks. Balester's fighting an uphill battle with the way Zimmermann and Martis have been pitching...

STRASBURG FILES...

(4-0), 1.98 ERA, 59 K's in 27.1 IP, 5 walks and only 19 hits surrendered to the 99 batters he's faced...(K'd 59 of 99?)...it's Stephen Strasburg against BYU, who beat Strasburg's San Diego State Aztecs last night, and are in town at Tony Gwynn Stadium to face SDSU two more times today and tomorrow. The game gets underway at 6:00 pm pacific time, with Strasburg's undefeated record on the line...How many will Strasburg K today?

Who's Following Strasburg? Who's Watching The Nationals? 

DC and Detroit get underway at 1:05 pm EST...looks like it's scoreboards only...