It’s split-squad action this afternoon in West Palm Beach and Jupiter, Florida with the Washington Nationals taking on the St. Louis Cardinals at home in The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and the Miami Marlins on the road in Roger Dean Stadium.
The home-half of the schedule features the Spring debut of Stephen Strasburg, who has only seen hitters in an intrasquad game to this point.
Strasburg will take the mound against the Cardinals in Grapefruit League action at 1:05 PM EST. It will be his first start against another team since last September, when a tear of the pronator tendon in his right arm ended the now-28-year-old right-hander’s 2016 campaign. He did, however, return to throwing late last season, working his way back in bullpen sessions as he hoped to be available if the Nationals had advanced beyond the NLDS.
The Nats ruled out an NLCS return before they dropped Game 5 of the Division Series to the Dodgers.
Asked earlier this week why the 2009 No. 1 overall pick hadn’t pitched since he faced his teammates last Thursday, Dusty Baker told reporters, including MASNSports.com’s Mark Zuckerman there was no need for concern. “Don’t worry,” Baker said. “He’s doing fine.”
Strasburg, who finished last season (15-4) with a 3.60 ERA, a 2.92 FIP, 44 walks (2.68 BB/9) and 183 Ks (11.15 K/9) in 24 starts and 147 2⁄3 innings pitched, will face the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:05 PM EST in West Palm Beach, in a game that is available on MLB.com via the Cards’ radio feed.
Here’s the Nationals’ lineup behind Strasburg in The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches:
Meanwhile, in Jupiter, A.J. Cole and the split-squad Nats will take on the Nationals’ NL East rivals from Miami in a game that is being broadcast on MLB.com as well, via the Marlins’ feed.
Here’s the Nationals’ other lineup for the game in Roger Dean Stadium: