WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Capital Weather Gang warned fans of both the Nationals and Red Sox to bring their rain gear to Nationals Park for Friday’s 4 p.m. exhibition game A couple hours before the scheduled first pitch, the game was cancelled due to the inclement weather, so fans didn’t get the chance to walk through the gates.
Since the game won’t be rescheduled, Saturday’s exhibition between the two clubs at the Naval Academy will be the Nationals’ final tune-up before Opening Day on Monday. At 2 p.m., the contest will start at Bishop Park in Annapolis. MASN will televise the contest.
Tanner Roark was supposed to start Friday for Washington and Max Scherzer is Saturday’s probable starter. On Friday, manager Dusty Baker said any exhibition rainouts wouldn’t affect the regular-season rotation, beginning with Stephen Strasburg on Monday against the Marlins, according to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post.
Baker wouldn’t disclose the remainder of Washington’s rotation. It’s possible that Joe Ross could start the season with Class AAA Syracuse since the Nationals don’t need a fifth starter until mid-April. This would grant the Nationals an extra roster spot for the bullpen and wouldn’t register as an option year for Ross if he spends fewer than 20 days in the minors, the Washington Post said. Chelsea Janes’s post from this morning has more information.
Every starter is planned to be in the lineup except third baseman Anthony Rendon, who after fouling a ball off it earlier this week in Florida is still dealing with a bruised calf. Baker said Rendon was feeling “so-so.” Rendon said he didn’t know if he would be ready to play on Opening Day when asked. In Rendon’s place, batting eighth is Grant Green in the lineup.