February 15, 2013; Viera, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) in action during spring training at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Strasburg Takes The Mound As Nationals Take On Mets In Spring Opener

The Nationals are set to play their first Spring Training game of the season against the New York Metsi n just ten minutes, and here’s a look at today’s lineup:

1. Denard Span – CF
2. Steve Lombardozzi – 2B
3. Bryce Harper – LF
4. Tyler Moore – RF
5. Chad Tracy – 3B
6. Ian Desmond – SS
7. Chris Marrero – 1B
8. Chris Snyder – C
9. Micah Owings – DH
10. Stephen Strasburg – P

Stephen Strasburg takes the mound for the defending NL East Champions for the first time since September 7, and looks to prepare himself for the first full season of his career. Strasburg will likely see 3-4 innings of work at most as he gets back into game action.

One thing that stands out in today’s lineup is that Micah Owings is listed as the designated hitter, batting ninth behind catcher Chris Snyder. If you recall, the former pitcher was signed earlier this offseason, and the coaching staff will try to turn him into a full-time first baseman. Owings standsat 6’5 and 220 pounds, making him adequate size for first base. Owings is a career .283 hitter with a .505 slugging percentage, so there’s certainly some promise in his bat.

Another thing to watch will be Chad Tracy’s defensive prowess at third base. I wrote earlier this month that the Nationals need to establish defensive depth in the infield, given the team’s injury history all across the diamond, and it appears they’re doing that from the get-go with Tracy at third and Tyler Moore in right field.

Danny Espinosa is out of the lineup today, however MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reports that it’s not an injury-related absence. Espinosa said earlier this offseason that he will play in 2013 with a torn rotator cuff, though the Nationals are confident that he will still be able to be productive.

For a recap of today’s action, be sure to check back here at All Over The Hill!

Tags: Micah Owings New York Mets Spring Training Stephen Strasburg Washington Nationals

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