Two of the three starters competing for the fifth spot in the Washington Nationals’ rotation will be in action today with Joe Ross starting at home against the Miami Marlins while right-hander Austin Voth takes on the New York Mets on the road in Port St. Lucie, FL.
That’s right, it’s split-squad Grapefruit League action this afternoon with the Nats and Fish playing at 1:05 PM EDT in West Palm Beach and Nationals and Mets getting underway five minutes later, in a 1:10 PM EST matchup.
It’s radio only for Washington and Miami while the matchup with New York is available on SNY if that’s available from your local cable provider (or on MLB.tv).
Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters yesterday that he wanted to have Ross at home in The FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches so he could get a good look at the 26-year-old right-hander who’s thrown five scoreless over his first two starts, working around one hit and one walk in an impressive start to his Spring.
Voth, 27, has given up three hits, a walk, and one earned run in two games (one start) and four innings of work.
With both pitchers out of options this season, they’re expected to make the Opening Day roster in either the rotation or bullpen, with a final decision to come at some point in the future, though potentially not even come Opening Day since big leagues clubs often don’t have to use a fifth starter early in the season with off days scheduled after the openers.
Erick Fedde is in the rotation mix as well, but his one remaining option makes it easier for him to be sent down to start the season.
Ross currently seems to be in the lead in the race for the final spot behind Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, and Aníbal Sánchez, but there is plenty of baseball to play over the next few weeks before Martinez and Co. have to make a decision.