After a long, long winter, the Washington Nationals' home opener against the New York Mets is finally here.
The first pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. Monday.
The Nats will battle the Mets twice more this week, Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. and Thursday at 1:05 p.m. Tickets are still available for those games.
Opening Day is expected to be a big event with a heavy military presence, courtesy of the United States Coast Guard, United States Army, United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, and the United States Air Force. The first 25,000 fans to enter the ballpark will receive an Opening Day Commemorative Collectors Tin in honor of the team’s 10th anniversary.
However, due to new safety enhancements, the team is encouraging fans to get to the park. Major League Baseball mandated the use of metal detectors at all stadiums, which may slow down entrance into the park.
Everyday players Jayson Werth, Anthony Rendon, Denard Span, fourth outfielder Nate McLouth and eighth-inning setup man Casey Janssen are among six players put on the 15-day disabled list by the Washington Nationals.
Right-hander Erik Davis also heads to the DL. All of the moves announced Sunday by the Nationals are retroactive to March 27.
In setting the 25-man opening-day roster, General Manager Mike Rizzo kept second baseman Dan Uggla and reserve outfielders Reed Johnson, Matt den Dekker and Clint Robinson, all new to the team.
Xavier Cedeno made the club as a second left-handed reliever, joining Matt Thornton. Rich Hill, another candidate, was sent to the minors Saturday.
Commissioner Rob Manfred also intends to announce Monday that Washington's Nationals Park will host the 2018 All-Star Game, a person familiar with Major League Baseball's plans told The Associated Press.
Washington would be the fourth consecutive National League team to host baseball's All-Star Game, following the Cincinnati Reds this year, the San Diego Padres in 2016 and the Miami Marlins in 2017.
The nation's capital has hosted the All-Star Game four times previously - in 1937, 1956, 1962 and 1969. That most recent one was at RFK Stadium, the first ballpark used by the Nationals when they left Montreal and arrived in Washington in 2005.
With Nationals Park, which cost more than $600 million and opened in 2008, getting its first All-Star Game, three existing stadiums have yet to be assigned one by MLB: the homes of the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies. The Atlanta Braves are scheduled to move into a new ballpark in two years.