3/29/2014 6:10 P.M. ET
Roark, Jordan earn final two rotation spots
By Jeff Seidel / Special to MLB.com
WASHINGTON -- Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan will be the final two pitchers in the Nationals' rotation now that Doug Fister has been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Roark and Jordan battled throughout the spring for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, but because of the injury, they both secured a place.
"They're both excited," manager Matt Williams said. "They're both eager. I think they've proved themselves in the spring. We created this competition between the two of them, and they both responded."
Roark will start the team's home opener next Friday. Stephen Strasburg takes the mound for the next game, followed by Jordan.
Roark is thrilled to have made the rotation.
"It feels really, really good," Roark said. "I'm very excited, [I'm] all smiles. I'm fine with the [home opener]. I'll be all right.
Jordan will head to Florida for a few days to get in some extra work before returning to the team in time for his start.
"I'm definitely happy to be here at the end [of Spring Training] this year," Jordan said. "It feels great to be here."
For Strasburg, Opening Day just another day
WASHINGTON -- Though right-hander Stephen Strasburg will take the mound on Opening Day against the Mets, he isn't overly excited simply because it's the season's first game.
"[I] just treat it like another day," Strasburg said on Saturday. "The biggest thing is just working around the extra ceremonies and the guys getting called out to the lines and everything. It's just one start of many, and you've just got to focus on the process, and you've got to focus on the end result -- and that's playing your best baseball at the end of the year."
Strasburg is coming off a good 2013 season that ultimately proved very frustrating. He finished with an 8-9 record despite an impressive 3.00 ERA in a season in which he didn't get a whole lot of breaks.
His numbers were actually better in some ways than in his 15-6 effort in 2012, when the Nationals won the National League East. But he didn't find much luck last season -- nor did the team until the final weeks of the season, when it proved too late for them to rally.
That's why Strasburg is hoping that Opening Day is the start of a much better season for both himself and the team.
"The sky's the limit with this club," he said. "The biggest thing is that we've got to just stick together and focus on what we can control, and that's the effort we put in on a daily basis."
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.