Read my updated story, with observations from today's live BP session and quotes from Chien-Ming Wang and Steve McCatty, on CSNwashington.com.
Wang is slated to pitch at least one inning Friday in an intrasquad game featuring members of the Nationals' accelerated minor-league program. It will be his first game appearance since a pair of one-inning outings in the Florida instructional league in October.
The Nationals hope Wang, who had major surgery to repair his right shoulder socket in 2009, will be ready to pitch in official Grapefruit League games soon but didn't want to thrust him into that fire quite yet.
"It's uncharted waters recovering from that operation," manager Jim Riggleman said. "We're just being ultra-conservative and not going to put him out there against somebody in the other uniform yet, where maybe the adrenaline might be flowing a little bit harder and at a little higher level. This is a little more controlled atmosphere to put him in."
Wang, who was re-signed over the winter to a $1 million contract that also includes a number of incentives based on games pitched, has been participating in full so far this spring. He's thrown several times off bullpen mounds and has seen his velocity increase with each appearance. He also faced live hitters earlier this week for the first time.
Though the Taiwanese hurler has expressed a desire to be ready to open the regular season in the majors, it appears he's more likely to begin on the disabled list so he can make rehab appearances in the minor leagues.
Meanwhile, we've got the Nationals' starting lineup for Monday's exhibition opener against the Mets:
CF Nyjer Morgan
SS Ian Desmond
LF Roger Bernadina
RF Michael Morse
DH Matt Stairs
C Wilson Ramos
1B Kevin Barker
2B Danny Espinosa
3B Jerry Hairston
Chad Gaudin is slated to start, followed by Craig Stammen, Brian Broderick, Doug Slaten and Todd Coffey.
Jesus Flores will make the trip to Port St. Lucie and will catch the second half of the game, Riggleman said.
Tuesday's home opener against the Mets at Space Coast Stadium is expected to feature more regular position players, including Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche. Livan Hernandez will start that game, followed by Ross Detwiler, Collin Balester, Cole Kimball, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen.
John Lannan starts Wednesday against the Marlins, followed by Yunesky Maya, J.D. Martin, Atahualpa Severino and Sean Burnett.