Gosh, I hope Don Mattingly filled out his lineup card properly or else he’ll have to answer to Brian McCann:
Carl Crawford LF
Mark Ellis 2B
Hanley Ramirez SS
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Yasiel Puig RF
Juan Uribe 3B
Skip Schumaker CF
A.J. Ellis C
Clayton Kershaw P
Skip Schumaker in center, starting is not how the Dodgers would prefer it, but given that Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are hurt, that’s life.
Jason Heyward CF
Justin Upton RF
Freddie Freeman 1B
Evan Gattis LF
Brian McCann C
Chris Johnson 3B
Andrelton Simmons SS
Eliot Johnson 2B
Kris Medlen P
The offense-first lineup, with Gattis in left and B.J. Upton sent out to go get everyone pizza or something and ordered to stay out unless and until the Braves have a lead in late innings in which he may be allowed to play some defense.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.
Ken Rosenthal has an interesting story up about Sergio Romo as he begins spring training with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There is some fun stuff about his family, all Dodgers fans from southern California, but the more notable stuff is about Romo himself, who has dealt with a lot more than has been reported over the past couple of seasons. The loss of three of his four grandparents is a big one, as it has thrust the mantle of head of the family on Romo in ways that he was not fully prepared for. There are also allusions to personal and psychological problems Romo has experienced — there is a vague suggestion of alcohol or maybe just late nights out and perhaps depression, but he is not specific about it — which he worked on with the help of friends and teammates on the Giants and which he now has overcome.
There’s always more going on the lives of baseball players than we as fans know.