Nationals' Harper to make spring debut Monday

Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper smiles as he talks with teammates before the start of a spring training baseball workout Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011, in Viera, Fla. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper smiles as he talks with teammates before the start of a spring training baseball workout Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011, in Viera, Fla.

Top draft pick Bryce Harper will make his spring debut Monday when the Washington Nationals visit the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie for their spring training opener.

Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said he expects the 18-year-old Harper will get at least one at-bat in the game.

Jayson Werth, who signed a seven-year, $126 million free agent contract with Washington in the offseason, will not make the trip. Neither will All-Star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and another free agent addition, first baseman Adam LaRoche. Their debuts likely will come Tuesday or Wednesday when Washington hosts the Mets and the Florida Marlins in Viera.

Chad Gaudin will pitch the first game for Washington on Monday. Livan Hernandez throws Tuesday and John Lannan goes Wednesday.