The Washington Times - March 5, 2012, 10:03AM

VIERA, Fla. — Good morning from Space Coast Stadium, where the Washington Nationals’ stay-behind crew is warming up. The rest of the squad heads south to Port St. Lucie for the 6:10 p.m. game against the New York Mets.

Plenty of Nationals coverage in today’s paper, including a recap of Stephen Strasburg’s Grapefruit League debut on Sunday and Marc Lancaster’s fascinating look at the pivotal role backup catchers play in spring training.


Manager Davey Johnson likes to post lineups a day early so players can mentally prepare. So, we have Tuesday’s group that’ll face the Atlanta Braves in Orlando:

Ian Desmond, SS
Danny Espinosa, 2B
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
Michael Morse, LF
Jayson Werth, CF
Mark DeRosa, 1B
Chad Tracy, DH
Wilson Ramos, C
Brett Carroll, RF

Gio Gonzalez, SP

Also scheduled to pitch are Sean Burnett, Chad Durbin, Jeff Fulchino and Yunesky Maya.

The scheduled backups are Andres Blanco (SS), Steve Lombardozzi (2B), Jarrett Hoffpauir (3B), Corey Brown (LF), Eury Perez (CF), Tyler Moore (1B), Anthony Rendon (DH), Sandy Leon (C) and Bryce Harper (RF).

And here is today’s lineup against the Mets, composed largely of backups and minor leaguers:

Roger Bernadina, LF
Steve Lombardozzi, SS
Mark Teahen, 3B
Chad Tracy, 1B
Rick Ankiel, CF
Bryce Harper, RF
Jesus Flores, C
Xavier Paul, DH
Andres Blanco, SS

John Lannan, SP