To get this out of the way at the start: Yes, Blake Treinen is starting today's Grapefruit League matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals in Jupiter, Florida's Roger Dean Stadium.
But, "No," Washington Nationals' skipper Dusty Baker said, that does not mean that Treinen is necessarily under consideration for a starting role.
"It don't matter when you pitch," Baker said before Saturday's game.
"Sometimes you go with a guy starting a game just to make sure he'll face the best part of the lineup and try to get him some work."
So when the Nationals take on the Cardinals today, in the Nats' first Spring Training game of the season that is being televised, it will be Treinen on the hill at the start against 2010 1st Round pick Deck McGuire, who was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays and then traded to the Oakland A's in 2014, released by the Athletics in 2015 and signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers before signing with St. Louis this winter.
Treinen, 27, worked exclusively in relief for the Nats last season, posting a 3.86 ERA, a 3.49 FIP, 32 walks (4.26 BB/9) and 65 Ks (8.65 K/9) in 67 ⅔ innings pitched, over which he held opposing hitters to a combined .252/.344/.348 line.
Joining the sinker-balling right-hander on the road in the Cardinals' Spring home are left-handed pitchers Matt Grace, Aaron Laffey and Nick Lee and righties Burke Badenhop, Trevor Gott, Nick Masset, Michael Brady, Taylor Jordan, Paolo Espino, Abel De Los Santos and Erik Davis.
Here's the Nationals' lineup (via MLB.com's Jamal Collier) for this afternoon's game against the Cardinals, which is available on the MLB Network and MLB.tv at 1:05 PM EST:
Nats lineup today in STL. Blake Treinen scheduled to start. Grace, Gott among pitchers scheduled to throw pic.twitter.com/0s84PYerQ8— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) March 6, 2016