Baseball is officially back; the Washington Nationals take on the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:00 pm eastern.
Today is an exciting day for Nationals fans, as it's their first opportunity to see their team in action in 2023. The batting order for your Nats was released just after 8:00 am this morning.
A pleasant surprise for Nationals fans to see their 10th-ranked prospect, Jeremy De La Rosa batting ninth in left field. Washington selected JLDR to their 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft following his productive 2022 season. Today will be the 21-year-old's first taste of major league pitching.
Shortstop CJ Abrams and second baseman Luis Garcia are slotted first and second in the order, something Nationals fans could get used to hearing. The hope within the organization is those are the middle infielders of the foreseeable future in D.C.
Fan favorite Joey Meneses follows up the young studs at third in the lineup. Joey is looking to build off his magical 2022 rookie campaign of a .324 average, 13 home runs, and 34 RBIs, according to baseball-reference.com. In the cleanup spot is Stone Garrett, a recently acquired outfielder from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Words are a bit tough to describe Garrett's physical tools, so here's a tweet to show you.
Rounding out the lineup for the Nats; 5. DH Yadiel Hernandez, 6. C Riley Adams, 7. CF Alex Call, 8. Illdemaro Vargas, 9. Jeremy De La Rosa
The starting pitcher for the Nats is MacKenzie Gore, who is making his highly-anticipated debut for Washington. Both fans and the front office are eager to see the 24-year-old left-hander toe the slab in a Nationals uniform. Gore suffered an elbow injury while still with the Padres and never made a start for the Nationals in 2022. The former top prospect has many Nationals fans eager to watch him pitch.
Regardless of the predictions of the Nats' record in the 2023 season, the development of young players will be fascinating to watch. At 1:00 pm eastern today, the Nationals officially kick off Spring Training.