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Washington Nationals at St. Louis Cardinals: Grapefruit League GameThread

Jon Lester takes on the Cardinals in this afternoon’s 1:05 PM matchup in Jupiter, FL’s Roger Dean Stadium. FOLLOW: TV - MLBN; Radio - MLB.com.

MLB: Spring Training-Houston Astros at St. Louis Cardinals Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Davey Martinez talked after Sunday’s Grapefruit League game against the New York Mets about the value, for hitters, of seeing someone like Jacob deGrom on the mound as they prepare for the regular season.

“I just wanted to see them get ready, work on their timing, see the pitches, see the shape of his pitches,” Martinez explained.

“Trea [Turner] had some good at bats off him. Josh Bell wanted to face him down here. He got to face him, got to see pitches. Mixed in a walk. It’s just about watching him, like I said.

“He’s going to open up, and try to see as many pitches as we possibly could, and they did that.”

He also talked about not putting too much stock in what you see from opposing pitchers, who are often working on things or ticking off things on the Spring Training checklist.

“Treat it as any other day, any other pitcher,” Martinez said.

“Go out there and just try to see pitches and when you get a ball you think you can hit, try to hit it hard somewhere. I mean, that’s what you’ve got to do.

“Come Opening Day, definitely things are going to change, but it was nice to go out there and face Jacob and see him once before we open up.”

Today, the Nationals get to see Adam Wainwright. Not a divisional rival. But a pitcher that will surely provide a good test as they build towards Opening Day. Jon Lester starts for the Nationals.

LINEUP NOTES: Hard not to notice that for the first time in Grapefruit League action, Starlin Castro is going to get the start at third today, with Luis García at second base in a “what if it’s not Carter Kieboom at third base to start the season” lineup that Davey Martinez said this morning we shouldn’t read too much into. He’s just covering all the bases and making sure that Castro gets some reps at third in case they were to use him there.

Martinez also stressed that there is a competition over there, and Carter still has to prove himself, but the manager said he wants Kieboom to be the guy at third base.

“We know what Carter can do when Carter is Carter Kieboom,” Martinez said. They just want to see signs of progress from the 23-year-old infielder, and want to make sure, apparently, to cover all their bases and prepare for any contingency. Much more on this later since it was, for obvious reasons, the main topic of discussion on Martinez’s pregame presser with reporters...

HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR TODAY’S GAME WITH THE CARDS: