VIERA, Fla. -- On Thursday, Nationals manager Davey Johnson named his starting lineup for Friday's game against Georgetown. It is:
Steve Lombardozzi -- 2B
Xavier Paul -- LF
Bryce Harper -- RF
Tyler Moore -- 1B
Brett Carroll -- DH
Anthony Rendon -- 3B
Corey Brown -- CF
Andres Blanco -- SS
Sandy Leon -- C
Left-hander Matt Purke will get the start for Washington. He is expected to throw 40 pitches in the game. Purke will be followed by Austin Biben-Dirkx, Rafael Martin, Waldis Joaquin, Jeff Fulchino and Atahualpha Severino.
Johnson also announced that outfielders Michael Taylor and Destin Hood, and infielders Justin Bloxom, Jeff Kobernus and Zachary Walters will come off the bench during the game. All five players are participating in the team's accelerated development camp.
Harper will see plenty of action this spring
VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper will start and hit third against Georgetown University on Friday at Space Coast Stadium. He is also expected to see action against the Astros the next day in Kissimmee, Fla.
Manager Davey Johnson has said he will give Harper every chance to make the 25-man roster. That's fine with Harper.
"I'm just going to try go out there, just see pitches," Harper said. "I'm going to see as many pitches as I can, not chase anything, get deep in the count. If I get 0-2, I will just battle, just work some counts. On Saturday, I'll just go out there and get some hits, work on my swing and things like that."
Harper reiterated on Thursday that he is grateful that Johnson is in his corner.
"It's great having him on my side, keeping an open mind and telling everyone to keep an open mind," Harper said. "That is really helping me. It takes a lot of pressure off of me. He just lets me go out there and just play my game, have fun like I do. Hopefully, I can show him a little bit, just keep going every single day, getting better every day and work hard."
Lidge, Clippard in favor of postseason expansion
VIERA, Fla. -- Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have yet to agree on the new playoff system. The new format would likely add two additional Wild Card teams, creating a one-game playoff in each league, starting this postseason.
Nationals relievers Tyler Clippard and Brad Lidge said they are in favor of the new playoff format. The two Wild Card teams in the National and American League would be in a one-game playoff in the first round. The winner of that game would then play in the Division Series.
"I think it's going to be good for the game," Clippard said about the new format. "The playoffs are one of the most important times for us as baseball players, because that is the most exciting time. We are adding another elimination game, and those are the most exciting games for fans to watch. I think that it important for the game."
Lidge believes that the new playoff system now has more meaning for teams that win the division title.
"The Wild Card teams have to go head to head. You are talking about a team in this division [for example] that wins 93, 92 games," Lidge said. "They are the first Wild Card team, and then there is another Wild Card that maybe wins 87 games. That 93-win team could easily be eliminated and the division winner could play a lot weaker team. So there is a huge advantage to winning a division."
LaRoche says ankle is feeling better
VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche said his left ankle is getting better, but he did not participate in organized workouts on Thursday. LaRoche hurt the ankle running the bases in a drill on Tuesday.
"It was just some swelling and a mild sprain. That was the good news," LaRoche said.
LaRoche also said that his left shoulder, which was surgically repaired last year, is still not 100 percent. He recently took a range of motion test, which he passed.
"It's a soreness. It's not painful," LaRoche said.
LaRoche is hoping to play his first exhibition game against the Astros on Sunday at Space Coast Stadium, but manager Davey Johnson is going to leave that decision up to the trainers.
In other news, first baseman Chad Tracy appears to be over his left knee injury. On Wednesday, he was seen practicing at first base without any problems. Tracy, who received a cortisone shot on Tuesday, is trying to make the team as a left-handed hitter off the bench.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.