After an off day yesterday, the Washington Nationals are back at it, and finally are facing an American League team – even if it doesn’t feel like it as the Astros are making their American League debut this year. Former Nationals coach Bo Porter returns to Viera as manager of the Astros and Davey Johnson welcomed him with what is very close to a regular season lineup. Only Ryan Zimmerman at designated hitter and Chad Tracy at third base is a little different. The batting order has Jayson Werth second and Bryce Harper third once again so it looks like Harper will not have his wish of batting second at least based on the times he is in the lineup with the regulars.
Dan Haren goes out for his second start of the Spring and hopes to have his new found velocity again as he gets ready for the regular season. He will be pitching to Wilson Ramos who makes his Spring debut at catcher as he tests himself to see if he will be ready for the regular season.
Game time is 1:05 and there is no television today but the next three days will have the Nationals on TV – or at least MLB.tv for subscribers. One interesting note is that the Nationals and Miami Marlins are currently the only two teams over .500 in the National League this Spring. All other NL teams are .500 or below.