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Today's lineup and the state of Monday's roster

The Nationals are facing the Mets today with a lineup that, if you slot John Lannan in on the mound, will likely be identical to the one you see opening day.

Nationals
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 Rodriguez, C
8. Ian Desmond, SS
9. Jason Marquis, SP

The Nationals also optioned pitcher Luis Atilano to Class AAA Syracuse, giving them 35 players on their active roster. They'll have to trim 10 by Sunday at midnight, but the Nationals are in no hurry.

Every major leaguer still with the Nationals will travel to Washington after they play the Red Sox tomorrow in Fort Myers, Fla. From there, the players cut will report to their minor league assignments. The Nationals will take the cuts to the wire, but they've pretty much mapped out their opening day team.

"I pretty much know what we're going to do," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "We're just not ready to announce anything yet. Things can change. If I say so-and-so is on the club, and all of a sudden there's a waiver clam -- we just have to wait a couple more days before we make it official."

One decision not yet finalized is how many pitchers to carry. Because the Nationals do not need a fifth starter until April 11, they could begin the year with four starters and carry an extra position player. Or they could carry an extra reliever. Or they could even use five starters and six relievers.

Either way, the complexion of the roster is going to change, and probably change sometime quickly. The opening day roster is the most debated and considered version of a team, but it is hardly the only or most significant.

"I know it's huge, this is who made the club and all that," Riggleman said. "But a week later, it could change in two or three different ways. I can promise you right now, myself included, we can't remember who opened up last year for us."

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 1, 2010; 12:22 PM ET
 
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Comments

This better not be the opening day lineup. Desmond should not be batting 8th.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | April 1, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I thought adam kennedy would be #2?

Y'all think Willie's fast enough for a double steal behind Nyjer?

That and more 2B pickoffs would be cool.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 1, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Willie is definitely fast, i like this lineup, all speed at the top, i don't mind Willie going second because his obp over the last 3 seasons has been around .350, Kennedy's obp hovers around .330, so you'd hope Willie can extend the meat of the lineup into more innings than Kennedy, plus putting Desmond at the bottom is like a secret weapon, he'll see more hittable pitches, i'm sure if this order doesn't work out today then we'll see some changes

Posted by: destewar | April 1, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

@destewar: Batting before the pitcher will result in Desmond getting far FEWER pitches to hit, IMO.

Posted by: TimDz | April 1, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

good point, switch him with pudge?

Posted by: destewar | April 1, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Update: Marquis- 6 hits, 3 earned runs thru 4 innings. At least one wild pitch (it says '2' on the box score, but it's vague...could mean two WP's or a WP in the 2nd inning).
Would like to see him pitch into the 7th w/o giving up any more ER's

Posted by: TimDz | April 1, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

If it were me, I'd switch Desmond with Kennedy. Pudge will get some respect with the bat (at least more than a pitcher would get) and that could lead to some better pitches for Ian.
Then again, I work in an office and not on a baseball diamond...

Posted by: TimDz | April 1, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

@destewar: Batting before the pitcher will result in Desmond getting far FEWER pitches to hit, IMO.

Posted by: TimDz | April 1, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse


With Livo pitching this lineup could do some damage.

Posted by: Stu27 | April 1, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

desmond hitting 8th is fine. he has more speed and power than kennedy or pudge. which means he can clean up the bases before the pitcher hits. he can also steal and is actually worth bunting over to second or third to tag up. let him focus on fielding. he's a rookie. he has potential to hit much higher in the order later if he pans out.

i'd like to see desmond batting second but i'd also like to see dukes hitting 6th. willie's obp is fine. it's his batting ave that is the problem.

Posted by: longterm | April 1, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

i think desmond will work at 8th, "cleaning up the guys on base before the hitter, so far today he's 0-1 with two walks...

Posted by: destewar | April 1, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

This may seem dumb, and I'm not advocating it, but this may be the ideal situation for the LaRussa Lineup.

For instance, I'd move Pudge up to 6, Kennedy (or Guzman)down to 7, Pitcher to 8 and Ian D to 9.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | April 1, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

^ that thought crossed my mind too, it's 6-3 now in the top of the 6th, i think we still have two men on and one out

Posted by: destewar | April 1, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

7-3, inning over, Marquis coming out for the bottom of the 6th, i'd like to see him go 6 innings - 3 runs, it would be his first quality start of the spring

Posted by: destewar | April 1, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

7-3, inning over, Marquis coming out for the bottom of the 6th, i'd like to see him go 6 innings - 3 runs, it would be his first quality start of the spring

Posted by: destewar | April 1, 2010 2:03 PM
______________________________

Box Score had Marquis taken out of the game in favor of a pinch hitter (Burgess).

Posted by: TimDz | April 1, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

nevermind, so much for 6 innings from marquis, it's actually bruney that came in

Posted by: destewar | April 1, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Nice stat for Marquis: 10 ground outs to 1 fly out.

Posted by: TimDz | April 1, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

yeah i missed that, my fault, is our lineup this good or is the Mets pitching this bad today?

Posted by: destewar | April 1, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

@destewar: I think there is "pop" in this lineup, but also fear it may be countered by the "poop" in the bullpen...Think we will see a bunch of high scoring affairs.

Posted by: TimDz | April 1, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

"I can promise you right now, myself included, we can't remember who opened up last year for us."

Hmph. I remember.

Posted by: Section506 | April 1, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

if you remember, you are consciously choosing to dwell on the negative - you can choose to hope

Posted by: fpcsteve | April 1, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to Mike Burgess for a double in the big league training camp. Nice reward for a guy who will hopefully solve the RF problem in a few years.

Posted by: hoo93 | April 1, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Bruney allows 1 hit in the bottom of the 6th, no runs, Mets get K's from Morse and A Kennedy in the 7th and no runs, Bergmann pitching bottom 7th...

Posted by: destewar | April 1, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Bergmann went 1-2-3 but all three were flyouts...

Posted by: TimDz | April 1, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I've never really thought of Bergmann as a groundball pitcher, is that because he's a groundball pitcher with bad control?

Posted by: destewar | April 1, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals also optioned pitcher Luis Atilano to Class AAA Syracuse, giving them 35 players on their active roster. They'll have to trim 10 by Sunday at midnight, but the Nationals are in no hurry.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Adam - Can you give us the 35 remaining players at camp? I have lost track of the bullpen guys at this point.

Thanks!

Posted by: dmacman88 | April 1, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Not watching the game and I am no expert, but fly balls would indicate the ball being up in the zone. Not sure if Bergmann is a ground ball pitcher per se', but too many fly balls can't be a good thing.

Posted by: TimDz | April 1, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I think Bryce Harper is gonna solve our Right Field problems for the next decade.

Posted by: longterm | April 1, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"if you remember, you are consciously choosing to dwell on the negative - you can choose to hope"

Steve, you'll hate my boundless optimism sooner or later, just like everyone else. Unless everyone else gets optimistic, in which case I'll end up being the cynic for real.

Posted by: Section506 | April 1, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

i think Bergmann needs a big park to be effective :-) even tho occasionally he flashes dominant stuff

Posted by: destewar | April 1, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Sad as it is, with the decision to play Harris/Tavares the Nats almost have to bat Desmond down now.

They need some kind of bat after Willingham in the worst way to drive in something.

God, Willingham is going to be walked intentionally a bunch...

http://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewforum.php?f=124

Posted by: CJArlington | April 1, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I never understood the reasoning for getting rid of Dukes i mean who did he piss off? the right field situation is a joke(Rizzo get's a big fat F on this one)and if you knew you were going to kick Duke's to the curb why weren't we more prepared to replace him? and there's no chance they bring him back, by the way where is Elijah these day's? and on another note; the closers role is more unstable than the economy.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 1, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

506 being called out for being "negative"

That's funny.

Hey Steve,

Back to back 100 loss seasons and with Willy Taveras platooning in RF and Matt Capps as our closer, 3 in row is a real possibility.

Reality is a b*tch.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 1, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

section 506, I will appreciate your optimism, I really will. For me, baseball is a welcome diversion. There is enough suffering, real suffering in the world without getting all lathered up about whether the Nats will have an acceptable pitching staff or not. Run with your optimism, man. I'm right behind you. Go Nats!

Posted by: fpcsteve | April 1, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

no way Riggleman keeps Capps longer than 3 blown saves, he will have a short leash, I think Bruney at least would be serviceable the same way MacDougal was last year as an inseason replacement, can we trade Scott olsen for Ryan Church to at least get a 16 hr 70 RBI 40 doubles kind of hitter out there?

Posted by: destewar | April 1, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

sec505, Capps isn't our closer, Storen is. He'll be here by June.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | April 1, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Storen is the closer of the future. He should not be closing in 2010 other than a bone her or there. I'd go Capps, Bruney, Clippard as the top 3 closer candidates or just by cmte. The entire Nats bullepn isn't good enough to have a 7th inning a guy or whatever like Acta liked.

Posted by: hoo93 | April 1, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

According to the box score, our right fielder, Christian Guzman, knocked in a run in the eighth inning.

Posted by: jonb5 | April 1, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

no errors today, everyone lowered their ERA even Marquis, and we got production out of our starters and our bench players... good game today

Posted by: destewar | April 1, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Trying to figure out the 35 guys.

If there is indeed 35, it's got to include Coste (headed for AAA), Wang (headed for DL), Detwiler (headed for DL) and Flores (headed for DL) (That's 5).

20 guys we're led to believe have made it.
Pudge
Nieves
Dunn
Kennedy
Desmond
Zimmerman
Guzman

Willingham
Myjer
Harris
Taveras

Lannan
Marquis
Livo
Stammen

Capps
Burnett
Bruney
Walker
Bergman

9 guys fighting for 5 spots
Bruntlett
Morse
Gonzalez
Bernadina

Olsen
Mock

Clippard
English
Batista

This all totals 34.
I may have missed one. Did I?

If not, I'd guess Jordan Zimmermann is technically still in camp and is #35.

Posted by: Sunderland | April 1, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@Sunderland
you're missing 2, not 1. (the top list is 4, not 5)

NatsFarm says the other two are MacDougal and Mench

Posted by: swang30 | April 1, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Burgess played today (pinch hit double for J. Marquis). Is he one that you missed?

Posted by: TimDz | April 1, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I'll sit corrected. Thanks.

Posted by: Sunderland | April 1, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Section505203, 10,000 children will die from hunger and hunger-related diseases before the end of the day. That is reality. That is what keeps me up at night, not who is playing right field for the Nats. Peace.

Posted by: fpcsteve | April 1, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Bergmann is most definitely a fly ball pitcher.

I'm still reeling from the news that Harris/Taveras is our RF platoon. Ugh. Can we still resign Dukes?

Posted by: Section222 | April 1, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

For those who wondered why we released Dukes...No one else has picked him up, even with a minor league offer, and teams are starting to break camp.

As I said, earlier, he needs to play Indy ball for a year and try and get his act together.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | April 1, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Scooby, scooby dooo! Austin Kearns - where are you?

Posted by: lowcountry | April 1, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

No way we can replace Dukes .250 avg and 8 homers last year. Chalk that one up to the impossible and give it up. I was perplexed when we released him as well but this platoon right now with Willy and Willie gives you the same productions, just zero upside. Am i happy about the set up no not really, is it still going to be this same set up in a couple months? I dont think so, but enough already with the Dukes remorse.

Posted by: Stu27 | April 1, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Re: the Dukes release...

maybe the upside will do with attitude and clubhouse chemistry as opposed to "on the field" upside.

Stu27 has a valid point...the ship has sailed and we need to let it go.

Posted by: TimDz | April 1, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

What are the odds that MacDougal is our closer within 10 days? I know the front office here (and everywhere in MLB, not a knock) will spin positive and try to speak confidently, but Capps has just been a train wreck. For all of MacDougal's failings, he did pretty well last year. Any reason to expect Capps will do better? Not really.

This is much scarier than the right field situation.

Posted by: Sunderland | April 1, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Do I have this right?

2 Pudge
3 Dunn
4 Kennedy
6 Desmond
5 Zimmerman

7 Willingham
8 Nyjer
9 Harris

B Guzman
B Nieves
B Taveras
B Morse

SP Lannan
SP Marquis
SP Livo
SP Stammen
SP Olsen or Mock

BP Capps
BP Burnett
BP Bruney
BP Clippard
BP Bergmann
BP Batista

3 guys on the bubble and maybe 2 get on the 25 man:
Bruntlett
Gonzalez
Bernadina

1 bullpen pitcher on the bubble if they keep 7
English


Posted by: GoingGoingGone | April 1, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

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