The Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves are back it again today in Grapefruit League action. At 1:05 PM EDT, Gio Gonzalez will take the mound in Space Coast Stadium in a game that is being broadcast live on MASN and the MLB Network. Wandy Rodriguez, who signed a minor league deal with the Braves this past January, starts the game for Atlanta this afternoon.
MLB.com's Bill Ladson posted a list on Saturday of the Nationals' pitchers who are scheduled to follow Gonzalez on the mound today:
The #Nats' pitching lineups for Sunday and Monday. #Nationals #MLB pic.twitter.com/tpKsF5XsMV— William Ladson (@washingnats) March 7, 2015
The Nationals this morning posted the starting lineup for their second matchup with the Braves this Spring:
#Nats - #Braves: Rendon3B, UgglaDH, Zimmerman1B, HarperRF, Desmond SS, MooreLF, RamosC, Espinosa2B, GwynnCF, Gio P pic.twitter.com/D6p1FLXkg3— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 9, 2015
The big news of the morning, in case you missed it, was that Denard Span was forced to undergo his second medical procedure of the offseason. The 31-year-old outfielder had surgery to repair a sports hernia earlier this winter, and today underwent surgery to repair a "right core muscle injury.":
Get well soon, @thisisdspan! pic.twitter.com/hF1PqeAuvQ— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 9, 2015
While Tony Gwynn, Jr. will get the start in center field today, the Nationals have reportedly also talked to Michael Taylor about filling in for Span until the veteran outfielder is able to return to the lineup.
Taylor, 23, homered in his first at bat in Sunday's game against the New York Yankees. Through two games this Spring, Taylor, who started late after experiencing a neck issue early this Spring, is 3 for 5 with the HR.
With Jayson Werth still recovering from surgery to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder, Tyler Moore too might get an opportunity to start the season in the lineup when he would otherwise have been battling for a bench spot.
Moore is off to an extremely hot start through the first four Grapefruit League games. [ed. note - "Obligatory 'Small Sample Size' warning."] Moore is 6 for 8 with four doubles, a triple and a home run in three games so far.
The 28-year-old outfielder is out of options, so it's a huge Spring for the slugger who came off the bench for the 2012 NL East Champion Nationals, but has struggled in the role since. Can Taylor and Moore produce while the Nats are waiting for Werth and Span to return?
Can Gio Gonzalez bounce back from a sort-of down season in 2014? Gonzalez's on the mound today at 1:05 PM EDT.
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