Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson announced on Friday that right-handed reliever Henry Rodriguez would make the Nats' Opening Day roster, effectively finalizing the defending NL East Champions' 25-Man Roster. The decision had come down to the at-times control-challenged 26-year-old reliever and 36-year-old left-hander J.C. Romero. Though there has been chatter all winter about whether or not the Nats would add a second lefty to the pen, Johnson said it was really an easy decision to keep Rodriguez around. When he's healthy, the Nats' 70-year-old skipper explained, "... he's got three off-the-chart big league pitches." The Nationals made it official this afternoon when they announced that Romero had been re-assigned to minor league camp, leaving the team with 25 players less than twenty-four hours before the first pitch of the Nationals' 2013 season is thrown tomorrow at 1:05 pm EST.
• Here's the Nats' 25-Man Roster:
Johnson also announced after the final exhibition game that it would be 25-year-old Wilson Ramos behind the plate catching Stephen Strasburg on Opening Day against the Miami Marlins.
• Here's the Nationals' Opening Day lineup:
- Denard Span - CF
- Jayson Werth - RF
- Bryce Harper - LF
- Ryan Zimmerman - 3B
- Adam LaRoche - 1B
- Ian Desmond - SS
- Danny Espinosa - 2B
- Wilson Ramos - C
- Stephen Strasburg - RHP
#Marlins Opening Day lineup: Pierre 7, Coghlan 8, Stanton 9, Polanco 5, Brantly 2, Solano 4, Kotchman 3, Hechavarria 6, Nolasco 1— Juan C. Rodriguez (@JCRMarlinsbeat) March 31, 2013
Game time 1:05 pm EST live from Nationals Park. Stephen Strasburg vs Ricky Nolasco live from the nation's capital. The Nationals begin the defense of their NL East crown with the first of three games against their divisional rivals from Miami.