Washington Nationals' right-hander Dan Haren will make his third Grapefruit League start for the Nats at 1:05 pm EDT this afternoon against the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland, Florida's Joker Marchant Stadium where the 2012 NL East division winners and the defending American League champs meet for the first time this Spring. Traveling with Haren on the road trip is a mix and match lineup that features Tyler Moore in left, Bryce Harper in center and Corey Brown in right around the outfield with Matt Skole, Anthony Rendon, Steve Lombardozzi and Chris Marrero around the infield. Wilson Ramos will be behind the plate again, catching Haren and continuing to build strength in his surgically-repaired knee. The Tigers throw 24-year-old, '07 1st Round pick Rick Porcello this afternoon. In three starts the Spring, Porcello has given up seven hits and three runs while striking out 10 in 8.0 IP.
Dan Haren's faced the Marlins and Astros so far this Spring, giving up four hits, a walk and two run while striking out five in 5.0 innings. Haren threw 50 pitches last time out against Houston, with the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore reporting that scouts told him the right-hander's fastball, which sat around 89-91 the first time out, was down in the 88-89 mph range in his second outing. Haren told the reporter that the velocity was fine with him, and the concern in Spring Training was more about how he bounced back from each start as he builds arm strength and works towards being ready for the start of the 2013 season.
Most importantly, so far this Spring Haren's shown no signs of the back issues which led to the first DL stint of his 10-year-career last season. He makes his third Grapefruit League start for the Nats this afternoon after signing a 1-year/$13M million dollar deal this past Winter. Here's the lineup that will back Haren up as the Nats take on the Tigers (courtesy of @NationalsPR on Twitter):
#Nationals lineup today at DET: Brown 9, Lombardozzi 4, Harper 8, Ramos 2, Moore 7, Tracy DH, Marrero 3, Skole 5, Rendon 6, Haren P.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) March 10, 2013
• Note: Game Time 1:05 pm EDT this afternoon. The Nats and Tigers are on the radio via MLB.com's Gameday audio, but it's the Tigers' feed, so no Charlie and Dave unfortunately, but we'll take it.