Washington Nationals News: Dusty Baker makes last minute rotation changes

Mar 23, 2016; Melbourne, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) throws a pitch in the third inning against the New York Yankees at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 23, 2016; Melbourne, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) throws a pitch in the third inning against the New York Yankees at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports /
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Today’s District Daily features stories about the Washington Nationals’ starting rotation and Charlie Slowes’ expectations for the team in 2016.

Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson discusses the Nationals’ rotation plans this spring. As Ladson notes, manager Dusty Baker has made some last minute adjustment to the rotation.

Originally, Max Scherzer was supposed to start Monday’s opener in Atlanta. Gio Gonzalez would then start the second game, and Stephen Strasburg would start the team’s home opener on Thursday.

With Baker’s new rotation, Strasburg gets the second game in Atlanta. Gonzalez gets pushed down to the third spot in the order and will start Thursday’s home opener.

Here’s what Baker had to say about the rotation changes, via Ladson’s article:

"“Right now, it’s Scherzer [for the opener], Strasburg [for the second game] in Atlanta. Then, it’s going to roll around,” Baker said. “Then, with the off-days and the extra day in there, [pitching coach] Mike [Maddux] has it all programmed out. After the first go-around or go-around and a half, it will be the way we want. But, right now, we’ve got Scherzer and Strasburg in Atlanta. We changed it around."

Also in today’s Daily, Ladson discusses Nationals’ radio voice Charlie Slowes’ expectations for the team this season. As Ladson writes, Slowes expects big things this year, both from the Nationals and from last season’s NL MVP, Bryce Harper.

Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.

Dusty juggles Nationals’ rotation plans

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

WASHINGTON — Nationals manager Dusty Baker announced the obvious on Saturday. Right-hander Max Scherzer will be the Opening Day starter, but the skipper changed his mind on who would who pitch after Scherzer.

A few weeks ago, Baker said left-hander Gio Gonzalez would pitch the second game in Atlanta, which is Wednesday. But Baker reversed course and said Stephen Strasburg would get the nod instead, after he originally said he would pitch the home opener. Baker did not reveal who would pitch the next three games at Nationals Park between Gonzalez, Tanner Roark and Joe Ross. One thing is certain: Gonzalez and Ross will start the season in the bullpen in Atlanta. Read full article here.

Slowes sees big things for Harper, Nationals heading into season

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

WASHINGTON — Broadcaster Charlie Slowes is never at a loss for words. In fact, he had a lot to say about the 2016 Nationals. The topics ranged from new manager Dusty Baker, MVP Bryce Harper to the National League East race between Washington and the Mets.

It’s interesting what Slowes had to say about Harper in a video put together by MLB.com. Harper can do even better than last season, which was his NL MVP campaign. Read full article here.