Willie Harris will be the Nationals' opening day right fielder, but then what?
In the wake of Elijah Dukes's surprising release, the Nationals remain in the process of divvying out playing time right field. They have one answer already: Willie Harris will start on opening day, Manager Jim Riggleman said.
The Nationals chose Harris because he is the only left-handed hitter of the three primary candidates. Because they will face Roy Halladay, the Philadelphia Phillies' overpowering right-hander, Riggleman wants to have Harris's bat in the lineup.
"Roy is a bear to deal with, no matter who the hitter is," Riggleman said. "We would probably, if Willie's comfortable in right field, try to use him there that day."
Harris's designation as the opening day right fielder does not mean he will take ownership of the position. The majority of playing time may still be split between Justin Maxwell and Mike Morse, Riggleman said.
Maxwell, Harris and Morse will receive the bulk of playing time in right field for the remainder of spring training. Morse has been sick for the past few days, but the Nationals plan on starting him tomorrow.
March 19, 2010; 4:21 PM ET
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