The Washington Times - March 8, 2013, 12:32PM

VIERA, Fla. — Plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the mid-70s at Space Coast Stadium this afternoon after unseasonably cool weather in previous days.

Wilson Ramos gets his second start behind the plate for the Washington Nationals. He’ll catch Jordan Zimmernann’s outing, expected to last around four innings, against the St. Louis Cardinals.


Ramos caught three innings Tuesday, his first game action at catcher since tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament last May. That went well. Manager Davey Johnson gave Ramos three at-bats at designated hitter Thursday, but Ramos wants to strap on his catcher’s gear.

“For me, it’s not the same when I (play) designated hitter,” Ramos said. “I feel more excited when I catch. That’s good stuff for me, for my rehab.”

— Henry Rodriguez will face one batter today in his continued rehabilitation. “He wants more than one,” Johnson said.

— After Zimmermann, Rafael Soriano, Nathan Karns, Rodriguez, Tyler Clippard, Patrick McCoy, and Ryan Perry are scheduled to pitch.

— Denard Span is the only regular not in the lineup.

— Ryan Zimmerman will start at designated hitter again with Chad Tracy manning third base. Johnson doesn’t have a schedule to get Zimmerman on the field but, of course, isn’t concerned about his star’s fielding ability.

— Looking ahead, Chris Young will start Saturday and Dan Haren Sunday.

— Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig, who had six hits in the National League Division Series against the Nationals, agreed to a five-year contract extension today.

St. Louis Cardinals
Adron Chambers, LF
Matt Carpenter, 2B
Allen Craig, 1B
David Freese, DH
Shane Robinson, CF
Justin Christian, RF
Rob Johnson, C
Ronny Cedeno, SS
Greg Garcia, 3B

Shelby Miller, RHP

Washington Nationals
Danny Espinosa, 2B
Jayson Werth, RF
Bryce Harper, CF
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
Adam LaRoche, 1B
Ian Desmond, SS
Tyler Moore, LF
Wilson Ramos, C
Chad Tracy, 3B

Jordan Zimmermann, RHP