KISSIMMEE, Fla. — There isn’t a whole lot of pregame news today, mostly updates on a few things, so here you go:
Injuries: The prevailing thought on Danny Espinosa is that he is, and will be, fine after fouling a pitch flush off the top of his right foot on Tuesday night. Espinosa was reportedly walking with a slight limp this morning but was willing and able to play in today’s game.
He did not make the trip to Kissimmee, though, and Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said he will probably be back in the lineup tomorrow when the team travels to Orlando to play the Braves.
Michael Morse is also fine and in the lineup today after suffering some stomach sickness as a side effect to medication he was taking for an abscessed tooth on Tuesday.
Center field update: Riggleman reiterated today that the starting job in center field is “wide open,” with Nyjer Morgan, Roger Bernadina and Rick Ankiel all still in the running for the Opening Day spot.
“It’s three different skill sets that we’re just trying to see which one of them is going to be out there,” Riggleman said. “Opening Day is huge, but 10 days later it could change.”
Handicapping the fifth rotation spot: I wrote earlier this morning that there is a lot of competition for the Nationals fifth rotation spot and Riggleman said today that there was no deadline for when they’d ultimately make the decision.
The Nationals schedule affords them a bit of a luxury when it comes to that particular decision, with two scheduled off-days in the first five days of the regular season.
“We can run (the competition) right up to the end,” Riggleman said. “Unfortunately we have two off days too quick. I don’t like that we have two off days that early, but it does create a situation where we don’t have to make some decisions early.”