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Ian Desmond's day off

Stuck in the first slump of his sometimes-spectacular rookie season, Ian Desmond will receive a day off tonight. Desmond is 2 for his last 24 with a double and a walk, which has lowered his on-base percentage for the season to .290. Manager Jim Riggleman believes Desmond's style can lead to him tiring and that one day off will help him recharge.

"He's just an electric-type player - hard, fast-twitch muscles," Riggleman said. "He's really going hard all the time. He's swinging hard. He's got a great determination about him. He's just going so hard that we'll give him a game here today to step back and watch one. He'll get back in there tomorrow."

Desmond's offensive slump has not affected his defense, which includes perhaps the best range of any shortstop in the major leagues. Desmond's rut at the plate may owe to the league learning his tendencies - "the more information the league gets on you, it travels," Riggleman said. The Nationals remain confident in Desmond.

"I couldn't be happier with the way he's played," Riggleman said. "He's just been a real pleasure, to watch him play and watch some leadership qualities develop out there with his teammates. He's going to be a real special player."

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 22, 2010; 6:13 PM ET
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Next: Game 72 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Royals


Like to see Desmond higher in the order so he would see better pitches

Posted by: swanni | June 22, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

The next step of his development will have him moving off the plate and knowing the outside corner. Because of his inexperience, he crowds the plate, pulls his hands in, and generally gets jammed because he's not in position to hit when he has his arms extended. It comes with experience. He might even want to use a longer bat for awhile just to psychologically cover the outside corner while he backs off the plate. But he has to stay off the plate so he can get his arms extended. Otherwise he's warning track power.

Posted by: Brue | June 22, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

I also think he needs to carve a thicker bat because the one he's swinging right now looks like a toothpick. It doesn't fit his body type or his power. It really is too short for him. imo

Posted by: Brue | June 22, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

He has already demonstrated that he has the physical ability to hit with tremendous power, not only HRs but gap drives.

Right now, he's been unable to fully take advantage of that power, but with experience he will be. He has a bright future and I am glad the team recognizes it.

Posted by: Meridian1 | June 23, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

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