Though the Nationals have until 10 a.m. on Friday morning to announce their NLDS roster, we’re learning more about what it will look like by the day.
Dusty Baker revealed after Thursday's workout that Game 1 starter Max Scherzer will be paired with 23-year-old catcher Pedro Severino. The rookie backstop, on the roster after All-Star Wilson Ramos was lost for the year with an ACL tear, has only has appeared in 18 regular season games in his career.
"He's pretty good against left-handed pitchers," Baker added. "I don't think he's seen one quite like this in Kershaw before. He's worked with our guys and you know, [Jose] Lobaton is a little bit injured and that's one reason why he's not catching tomorrow."
"In most scenarios, having a rookie catcher behind the plate, you probably have pause for concern," Scherzer added. "But Severino is completely different. First off, he's way more mature and understands the game way further than any rookie catcher I've been around. He gets it."
The other development from Thursday's press conference was Baker's announcement that infielder Wilmer Difo would make the roster. It's a bit of a surprise move, but the speedy 24-year-old could give the Nats a late-game pinch running option.
"Number one, he's a switch-hitter," Baker said. "You know, he has speed. He's very good from the right side and also he can play all three infield positions, and with Daniel Murphy still coming off an injury, he gives us a possibility at second base late in the game and run for Daniel Murphy, as well."
Difo’s addition on the bench means there could be only one reserve spot left to determine. If that’s the case, that means Baker must choose between first baseman Clint Robinson and outfielders Ben Revere, Michael Taylor and Brian Goodwin.