Wrapping up this one from Port St. Lucie, where the Nationals win 7-5. Here are a few things to chew on:
—Jose Castillo strained his left shoulder diving for a ground ball in the seventh inning. He’ll be re-evaluated tomorrow, but he’s likely to miss a couple days. Definitely a setback for the versatile infielder — though he’s probably a long shot to make the team, he’s had a strong spring so far and could use it to catch on somewhere.
—Scott Olsen wasn’t terribly sharp, though he did earn his second win of the spring. He again was harping on fastball command today, only throwing two sliders among his 50-odd pitches. The rest were fastballs and changeups, many of which Olsen left up in the zone. “We (Olsen and catcher Luke Montz) battled control today,” Olsen said. “Everything in general was up.” Olsen said he’ll probably start throwing more sliders in his next outing, mixing in all three pitches with the goal of tightening up his results by his second-to-last outing of the spring.
—Anderson Hernandez was impressive again, going 1-for-2 with a walk, run and RBI. At this point, it almost appears the second-base job is his to lose, though Manny Acta said Hernandez wouldn’t be considered as an option to hit leadoff right now. That job, he said, would go to Cristian Guzman or Lastings Milledge. So if you’re keeping score at home, we now know the top four hitters (Guzman/Milledge, Milledge/Guzman, Zimmerman, Dunn) and three starters (Lannan, Olsen, Cabrera) penciled into the Opening Day roster. Not exactly top form from a manager who kept much of his lineup secret until the final days of the spring last year. Although, the fact that he has a few more pieces in place this year doesn’t hurt.
—The Dominican Republic’s 3-2 loss to the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic had Acta bummed after the game. He called it the biggest upset in sports since the Miracle on Ice. Acta, remember, managed the Dominican to the semifinals of the 2006 tournament.
The Dominicans’ last two outs were on the basepaths—including Willy Taveras getting thrown out at third with one out in the ninth and Hanley Ramirez on the plate. It’s safe to say Acta, who disdains making outs on the basepaths above almost everything else, wouldn’t have been running in that situation.