According to reports out of Florida this week, including one by Palm Beach Post writer Joe Cappozzi, the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros, who are teaming up to build a shared Spring Training facility in West Palm Beach, asked for and had approved an advance of $5M so that they can begin, "... preliminary design and site evaluation work," on the 160-acre site where the planned $135M complex is set to be built. The two teams hope to move to the new facility in 2017, though there are still more hurdles that need to be cleared before construction can begin. For now, however, the Nationals remain in Viera, FL's Space Coast Stadium and the Astros remain in Kissimmee, Florida's Osceola County Stadium where the two teams meet this afternoon in Grapefruit League action.
On the mound for the Nationals at the start will be Max Scherzer, the 30-year-old right-hander who signed a seven-year/$210M free agent deal with Washington this winter. Scherzer will be making his third start of the Spring today.
In his first two outings in a Nats uniform, Scherzer allowed eight hits and two earned runs in five innings pitched.
Last time out, the seven-year veteran faced the Miami Marlins, giving up six hits and one earned run in three innings of work in which he struck out three batters and threw a total of 47 pitches.
Scherzer talked to reporters after his last start about being careful to avoid showing Miami's hitters much since he'll face the Marlins so often now that he's in the NL East.
"'I'm using the whole arsenal, but I'm trying to pick my spots,'" Scherzer told reporters, including MASNSports.com's Chris Johnson.
"'That's a team you're going to face during the year, so you've got to be careful on not to try to overexpose certain pitches.'"
The Nationals don't face the Astros in the regular season, so will Scherzer have a different approach or be working on different things today? We can listen along and find out and hear what he has to say afterwards.
The Nats and Astros get started at 1:05 PM EDT this afternoon in Kissimmee.
Here's the Nationals' lineup for today's game:
• Game Time: 1:05 PM EDT; Coverage: MLB.com's Gameday audio (Astros feed).