Traveling to the wonderful world of Disney, the Nats meet Atlanta at their Magic Kingdom-adjacent Lake Buena Vista, Florida complex.
Despite his chomping at the bit, the Nats will play without Adam LaRoche and will do so until Thursday as he’s hampered by ankle and shoulder injuries. LaRoche was expected to make his Spring debut Wednesday but Johnson said he’s not gonna play him tomorrow. When pressed, Johnson conceded that he may give him an at bat or two or even put him in in a DH role.
Johnson’s very much of the don’t rush him approach saying that it’s a long Spring and that they have plenty of time. As for how he treats injured players in general, Davey prefers to see them go through a workout and then get into a game.
The the only other tweak on the team is that of Zach Walters with a banged up hand that happened about a week ago on a check swing. Per Johnson, he’s been playing through it sans complaint. Walters even approached Davey about working on his footwork and getting extra work at second base. There’ll be a classroom session for three or four of his second basemen once they get home according to the manager.
New addition Gio Gonzalez takes the mound for the first time. Regarding any impression he has thus far of Gio, Johnson joked that they’ve been introduced to each other about 10 times. Johnson said that he won’t really feel whole about his pitchers until he’s gone through and seen the rotation for a second time. He did however set it up so that Gio would see this club specifically and face this line-up in particular.