The Washington Times - March 13, 2013, 11:12AM

VIERA, Fla. — The Washington Nationals play their first split-squad games on Wednesday with most of the regulars staying home in Viera to take on the New York Mets and the other half of the roster traveling to Kissimee to take on the Houston Astros. 

Jordan Zimmermann starts at home while Ross Ohlendorf will pitch in Kissimmee. 


A few morning notes:

– Manager Davey Johnson said the folks from Team USA told him that should it make it that far, Nationals’ left-hander Gio Gonzalez will pitch in the potential World Baseball Classic championship game in San Francisco on March 19. 

Gonzalez was superb in five innings of work on Tuesday night, helping lead USA to a victory over Puerto Rico and setting up a date with the Dominican Republic for Thursday night. Ross Detwiler will be available to pitch in that game. 

Both pitchers will remain with Team USA until it is eliminated from the tournament. Roger Bernadina and his team, the Netherlands, have already advanced to the final round of the tournament.

– The Nationals are planning to cut down the roster in camp soon, likely reassigning several position players. Chances are the cuts will not come Wednesday with many players traveling back from Kissimmee, but could be as early as Thursday morning.

– Nate Karns was cleared to resume throwing after dealing with some upper leg tightness and he will throw a bullpen session on Thursday. He was originally a candidate to take Gio Gonzalez’s spot in the rotation on March 17 but because he won’t throw until Thursday he is no longer in consideration for that start.

– Christian Garcia (partially torn wrist tendon) will have to get clearance from a hand/wrist specialist in Baltimore before he can return to baseball activities but the right-hander has been feeling very good of late and is scheduled to try and play catch on March 17.

– Stephen Strasburg was named the Opening Day starter.

Here are the full lineups:


Denard Span CF
Jayson Werth RF
Bryce Harper LF
Ryan Zimmerman DH
Adam LaRoche 1B
Ian Desmond SS
Danny Espinosa 2B
Wilson Ramos C
Chad Tracy 3B
— Jordan Zimmermann P


Collin Cowgill CF
Justin Turner 3B
Ike Davis 1B
Marlon Byrd RF
Lucas Duda LF
Travis d’Arnaud C
Omar Quintanilla SS
Brian Bixler 2B
— Matt Harvey P