PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Hey, look at that: It’s a real baseball field! And there will be real baseball played on it this afternoon! OK, so it’s real exhibitionbaseball, but that’s a whole lot better than no baseball at all, so why not get excited for the Nationals’ Grapefruit League opener against the Mets here at Tradition Field.
Matt Williams, in his first game as a big-league manager, brought several regulars here, including Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche, Ian Desmond and Wilson Ramos. Those guys are likely to get two at-bats apiece before calling it a day and turning things over to backups and minor leaguers.
Taylor Jordan, meanwhile, is first up on the mound for the Nationals, with the first opportunity to state his case for the No. 5 spot in the Opening Day rotation. The young right-hander will probably pitch two innings, according to Williams. There will be a host of relievers behind him, including prospect A.J. Cole.