For the Washington Nationals, spring training isn’t about winning games or even necessarily finding competition for the precious few spots that might be available for the last bench of bullpen spot. It’s primarily about getting their starting pitching ready, lined up and healthy for opening day.
Another step in that task was taken Tuesday, as Stephen Strasburg made his spring debut. Strasburg pitched two innings, allowing one hit and no walks, striking out one. He was followed by fifth spot candidate Taylor Jordan, who did not fare as well.
Jordan gave up two earned runs on five hits in two innings, He did not walk a batter and struck out three. A.J. Cole was next, and the prospect threw two perfect frames, striking out two.
Drew Storen, coming off an up-and-down 2013, had a rough go of it in his first appearance, allowing two earned runs on a hit and two walks — to the first two batters he faced.
On the other side of the ball, Ian Desmond went 3-for-3, including his first homer of the spring, with two runs and an RBI.
The Nats host the Mets Wednesday at 1:05 from Space Coast Stadium in Viera.
NATS NOTES: The Nats signed LHP Mike Gonzalez to a minor league deal to compete for a spot in the bullpen.