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Nationals get their roster, lineup in order for opening day

As the Nationals worked out at Nationals Park today, the team finalized their roster for Opening Day and Jim Riggleman decided on his maiden 2010 lineup. First, here's what the Nationals will throw at Roy Halladay:

1. Nyjer Morgan, CF
2. Willie Harris, RF
3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4. Adam Dunn, 1B
5. Josh Willingham, LF
6. Adam Kennedy, 2B
7. Ivan Rodrigez, C
8. Ian Desmond, SS
9. John Lannan, SP

The lineup came together pretty easily for Riggleman except for who was going to hit eighth. Desmond has some experience; he hit eighth at Class AAA Syracuse part of last season. "I didn't have anybody I really wanted hitting down there," Riggleman said. "I still don't. I don't want Desmond hitting there. But somebody's got to hit there."

The Nationals also made the final maneuvers to set their roster. They placed Chien-Mien Wang, Ross Detwiler and Jesus Flores on the 60-day disabled list, meaning those three will be eligible to play June 3 at the earliest. (Flores just recently began throwing, General Manager Mike Rizzo said.) The trio cleared space on the 40-man roster for Willy Taveras and Miguel Batista.

Rizzo also addressed the decision to make Garrett Mock the fifth starter over Scott Olsen. Rizzo believes Olsen still has some development left after his recovery from shoulder surgery.

"We go with the entire spring training body of work," Rizzo said. "We see Scott ramping up. His velocity is getting better. We see him improving. The good thing with him is he's pain free. His arm is loose and free. We feel like with time, he's going to build up more arm strength."

On Mock, Rizzo was frank about the urgency his selection to the starting rotation brings.

"Mock, he's a stuff guy," Rizzo said. "We need to see if this guy is a legitimate major league starting pitcher. He's got as good of stuff as anybody we've got on the club. He started off very quickly in spring. Faded a little bit at the end. We felt that his upside is to the point where that was choice we're making at this point."

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 4, 2010; 4:41 PM ET
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Next: John Lannan receives another shot at starting opening day


The Spray Painter missed a spot! How fast does Mock throw? Anyone?

Posted by: Cartaldo | April 4, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Hate to say I'm excited, but I'm excited. Can't go to opening game (grrrr--work). Will be hanging on every pitch, and hoping the pitches aren't hanging.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | April 4, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

via 60ft6in done at the start of last season.

Garrett Mock
Rumor has it that Mock is being groomed by the Nationals to be a closer. His stuff doesn't look dominant, but his fastball is heavy and he owns a good curveball. Mock also throws a standard changeup and slider. His delivery reminds me of Brad Lidge. Mock played collegiately at the University of Houston. 4/6/09 CSJ

*fastball(89-93), changeup(79-82), curve(74-78), slider(80-83)

Posted by: wrw0601 | April 4, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm off Monday so i'll be watching from here in the A-T-L hoping that the POTUS doesn't short arm one and that Willie plays a strong right field until Rizzo comes to his senses and finds this team a legit power hitting RF'er(Jermaine Dye,Elijah Dukes,hell i'd settle for Maxwell) that's how desperate i am at this point but it's opening day tommorow so let's see what happens.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 4, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

we should have seen the Mock choice all along. Remember Rizzo drafted Mock in the 3rd round in 2004. Rizzo needs to see if this guy is going to be a starter or likely to be a reliver/trade candidate. It seems very similar to the Joel Hanrahan situation of two years ago.

Posted by: wrw0601 | April 4, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, agreed, Mock is there because he is one of Rizzo's boys... he can probably notch his fastball up to 94, but probably sits at 90-92... he does have a good curve... and, his numbers at AAA the last two years are pretty darn good... but, man, when I watch him, I don't see it... this is his chance to prove himself, but hopefully they don't keep riding him if he continues to look like he has in his past major league stints... and Olsen or someone else in the minors is pushing him...

Posted by: Ghost7 | April 4, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Mock: placeholder, trade bait. Sore enough?

Posted by: periculum | April 4, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

To whom would you trade a pitcher not good enough to play for the Nationals?

Posted by: markfromark | April 4, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I still would switch Desmond and Kennedy in the lineup. Doesn't Desmond have more power potential -- not to mention the added difficulty for a rookie of hitting in front of the pitcher.

Posted by: Meridian1 | April 4, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

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