Tommy Milone on mound for spring training opener Friday
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. | The Nationals will begin their spring training schedule on Friday at 1:05 p.m. in West Palm Beach against the Houston Astros, who share the Fitteam Ballpark of the Palm Beaches with Washington.
But don’t expect a lot of regulars for the World Series champion Astros, according to the lineup posted outside of the Houston clubhouse Thursday. Houston will be the home team Friday against the Nationals, who will start lefty Tommy Milone.
The probable starting pitcher for the Astros is right-hander Rogelio Armenteros, a non-roster invitee in spring training with Houston. He has never pitched in the majors and made 10 starts last year for Triple-A Fresno, where he had a 2.16 ERA with a record of 8-1.
The rest of the Houston lineup Friday is center fielder Jake Marisnick, right fielder Derek Fisher, shortstop Alex Bregman, designated hitter Evan Gattis, first baseman A.J. Reed, third baseman J.D. Davis, second baseman Tyler White, catcher Max Stassi and left fielder Tony Kemp.
Fisher is a former standout at the University of Virginia, a school that also produced Washington first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and lefty closer Sean Doolittle. Fisher scored the winning run for the Astros in Game 5 of the World Series last October.
“It was something I will remember the rest of my life,” Fisher told The Washington Times on Thursday. “That is something we will all remember.”
The Nationals are slated to start veteran Milone on the mound Friday against the Astros. He will be followed by minor leaguer Jaron Long, the son of hitting coach Kevin Long. Milone made his big league debut with the Nationals in 2011 and last year pitched in 11 games, with five starts, for the New York Mets.
Veteran right-hander Tanner Roark is slated to start for the Nationals on Saturday on the road against the Marlins. Veteran Edwin Jackson and lefty reliever Bryan Harper, the older brother of All-Star outfielder Bryce Harper,also are slated to pitch Saturday.
Major League Baseball teams will wear caps to honor the shooting victims of last week’s tragedy in Parkland, Florida, when spring games begin Friday. The Nationals’ spring training site is about 45 north of Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland. The Nationals play the Marlins Saturday in Jupiter, about 55 miles north of Parkland.