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Desmond to Make First Start at SS

Here are the lineups for the Nationals' series finale tonight against the Phillies, with the Nats' lineup featuring shortstop prospect Ian Desmond making his big league debut. (UPDATED WITH PHILLIES' LINEUP AT 3:25)

Nationals
Harris -- 8
Orr -- 4
Zimmerman -- 5
Dunn -- 3
Willingham -- 7
Dukes -- 9
Desmond -- 6
Nieves -- 2
Hernandez -- 1

Phillies
Rollins -- 6
Victorino -- 8
Utley -- 4
Howard -- 3
Ibanez -- 7
Werth -- 9
Felix -- 5
Ruiz -- 2
Blanton -- 1

By Dave Sheinin  |  September 10, 2009; 2:55 PM ET
 
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Comments

About. Damn. Time.

Posted by: yatesc1 | September 10, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

YESSSSSSSSSSSSS! But why is Desmond batting ahead of Wil Nieves? Wil Nieves, that's who. Can't wait to get down to Strasburg on the Anacostia for tonight's game.

Posted by: leetee1955 | September 10, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

YES!! A reason to watch! There really hasn't been a reason to watch since Nyjer went down. ;(

Posted by: rachel216 | September 10, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm Tivo'ing the game so I don't miss his first at-bat, this is great.


The BAD NEWS: this is the state of the "Natinals", when we're all ecstatic that our interim manager will play our top SS prospect in meaningless games in September...

Posted by: ckstevenson | September 10, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

i'm optimistic that desmond' start is the precursor to the GGG movement - Get Guzman Gone!

Posted by: surly_w | September 10, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

rachel, you are a real eeeyore around here. they're playing good ball these days even if they aren't winning.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 10, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Why is Orr batting second? Gonzalez is hot and ought to be there right now ... I still don't get why Riggleman prefers playing AAAA .242 in Syracuse hitting Pete Orr?

Posted by: periculum | September 10, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Guz will get his bunions fixed (hopefully) and return to play second base for another year?

Posted by: periculum | September 10, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Rachel's "other guy" RB Alridge was released in the last cut by the Skins ... back to Nyjer. ;)

Posted by: periculum | September 10, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Rizzo had some different thoughts on last night's Herm Edwards press conference that Riggleman gave?

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | September 10, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Do you think they'll pitch around Desmond to get to Wil Nieves. Who? Wil Nieves.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | September 10, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Guess Riggleman couldn't handle the booooos he received for his edict.

Posted by: periculum | September 10, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut- well last time I checked it only mattered if you WIN. Who cares if they're playing "better" if they aren't winning. 1 win since Morgan went down. Yeah, they are playing better.

periculum- At least I still have Malcolm Kelly!! :)

Posted by: rachel216 | September 10, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

That's one for the NFA web site.

Posted by: periculum | September 10, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

@ckstevenson

Bad teams need to have little points of light like the Desmond unveiling to show that the mostly position-player fallow farm system has produced SOMEONE who might someday be a regular. When we had no ML baseball here, I used to go to several Alexandria Dukes games in the '80s and Bowie Baysox games in the '90s and early aughts to get a look at players who someday may have played for the Pirates and AngelO's respectively.

Posted by: leetee1955 | September 10, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"periculum- At least I still have Malcolm Kelly!! :)

Posted by: rachel216 | September 10, 2009"

Must be one of those "sexy" nurses she seems to go for injured guys ... ;)

Posted by: periculum | September 10, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

BTW - I endorse surly's 3G platform.

Posted by: leetee1955 | September 10, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

At this point they should risk putting Morse at second base. That's a big bat that could put some of what was lost with Nyjer Morgan back.

Posted by: periculum | September 10, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

according to morse's lifetime stats, he's never played 2B in the majors and at 6'5", 230 he might not turn the most graceful pivot.

Posted by: surly_w | September 10, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

then again, ESPN.com's MLB player index lists morse as a "SS."

Posted by: surly_w | September 10, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

@peri: Just stop with your pipe-dream of 6'5" Mike Morse at 2B. He's too tall, he's too slow; Just because some website listed him as a 2B doesn't mean he can be one at the ML level. Get over it & move on already.

@surly_w: ESPN lists him as a SS for fantasy purposes - It's the last position he played 10 games at in the ML.

Posted by: BinM | September 10, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Why is Orr batting second? Gonzalez is hot and ought to be there right now ... I still don't get why Riggleman prefers playing AAAA .242 in Syracuse hitting Pete Orr?

Posted by: periculum | September 10, 2009 3:37 PM
----------------------------------------
You're kidding right? Since Orr has been called up, he's 10-for-29 (.345) with 4 RBI's. Riggs is sticking with his righty-versus-lefty matchups with our second basemen. Now, trotting Orr into the #2-hole, well that's another issue ...

And please, stop with the "Morse at 2B" nonsense. He doesn't play 2B! Now, if you were to say, "Morse for Willingham to give the Hammer a day off because he's scuffling mightily over the past month", then I'll agree with you.

Posted by: erocks33 | September 10, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"according to morse's lifetime stats, he's never played 2B in the majors and at 6'5", 230 he might not turn the most graceful pivot.

Posted by: surly_w | September 10, 2009"

Can't be any worst than putting bunion and bunionette at second and hoping for the best because of his contract and his switch hitting bat.

Guzman's extra base output is decidedly way down from last year. Walks non-existent. But he switch hits? He doesn't field his position all that well, but his slap hitting is flirting with .300.

Alrighty then?

Posted by: periculum | September 10, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I wonder if all the love around here for Desmond will continue when he goes 0-4 with two strikeouts tonight...

Posted by: Section222 | September 10, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"You're kidding right? Since Orr has been called up, he's 10-for-29 (.345) with 4 RBI's. Riggs is sticking with his righty-versus-lefty matchups with our second basemen. Now, trotting Orr into the #2-hole, well that's another issue ..."

After watching Riggleman pinch hit for the guy when he has gone 0 For. So, in the spring in his first at bats Austin Kearns looked good enough to beat out Willingham?

Given the few at bats the guy has had I don't think I would place any stock in his numbers. I place a lot more stock in the .242 average after 412 at bats he had in Syracuse.

Posted by: periculum | September 10, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we'll even see a reliever tonight not named "Bergmann" or "Villone."

Posted by: tboss | September 10, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

So Dunn is back in the 4th spot. Why did Riggleman switch him to 3rd and Zimmerman to 4th yesterday? I didn't hear any explanation.

Posted by: CoachD1 | September 10, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I still like Guzman, I don't care that his walks are down, really, what's the difference between 20 walks and 15 walks? I think he still gives value, and certainly more value than AAAA people. Given what I've heard about Desmond, I'm not too psyched about his ability to perform at the MLB level...

Posted by: swang30 | September 10, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Orr at 2B makes sense (LHH vs RHP), & he's o.k. at #2 in the order as well (who would you replace him with - Dukes?).

Posted by: BinM | September 10, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

@CoachD1: Maybe because of the LH (Lee) starting yesterday, Riggleman threw a "change-up", going L-R-R versus R-L-R through the heart of the order. It worked well early, not so well late in the game yesterday.

Posted by: BinM | September 10, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I've seen Desmond in spring training the last couple of seasons. Don't overexpect.

Why don't they try Guzman at 2b, at least once?

Posted by: raymitten | September 10, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut: A great sportswriter once wrote
"When the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name,
He writes not that you won or lost, but how you played the game."

Rachel: Did he say what happens if you didn't play the game very well?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 10, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

The heck with haiku. Short one-act plays are the way to go.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 10, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

80% chance of rain during tonight's game. Glad I got an early look at the line-up. Not going to sit in the rain to watch minor leaguers play the Philly regulars. Riggleman sure handed out a line of baloney to the OP about his plans to stick with the regulars because the paying fans deserve to see a team and manager who are trying to win.

Posted by: longhorn64 | September 10, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey, enjoy "Deck Chairs, Phase III" while it lasts. Next year they'll have five or six big FA signings on the field, new uniforms, ushers who don't look like they'd rather be *anywhere* else, and no interim nothin'.


Or not.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 10, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

@swang: The minors have shown that Desmond has good range, a great arm, and a 25-cent head on a million-dollar body to date. He does stupid things on seemingly routine plays in the field, but will "pull a rabbit out of his a$$" on a highlight-reel play for the out.

Posted by: BinM | September 10, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Desmond is still young (23). He has shown flashes in the past and been solid this year (.330/.401.477 and 21 SB this year). Sure he may fail miserably, as any prospect could, but he does have a decent ceiling if things work out. If he can tighten up his defense, I think he can be a serviceable SS in MLB, not to mention he'll be cheap for a few more years.

Posted by: goexpos2 | September 10, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Desmond. Yay. I'm putting away my soapbox, at least until the weekend.

It's a mortal lock he goes 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a GIDP. =)

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | September 10, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Admittedly, having a switch hitter in Guzman is nice. As his fielding diminishes would be nice if he continued to hit like he did last year.

Posted by: periculum | September 10, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I heard that the 80% chance of rain applied to after 10:00. Hope we can get this one on the books.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | September 10, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Okay. After just 4 innings and 2 at bats, I've seen enough. Desmond is starting at SS for the Nats in 2010(Guzzie @ 2nd).

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | September 10, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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