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Nationals to shuffle lineup Sunday

The Nationals have scored three runs in their first two games at Progressive Field, and Manager Jim Riggleman will slightly alter his lineup Sunday in an effort to spark the offense and provide playing time to two seldom-used reserves.

Ryan Zimmerman will start as the designated hitter, Mike Morse will play right field and Alberto Gonzalez will play third base, Riggleman said after the Nationals' 7-1 loss to the Indians tonight.

"Just another opportunity to get some guys some at-bats who haven't been getting a lot of at-bats," Riggleman said. "The last couple days we tried to keep Willie [Harris] and [Adam] Kennedy involved. Tomorrow, we'll try to get Gonzalez involved and Morse."

Morse went 3 for 3 Thursday with a home run in only his fourth start this season, a total lessened by his extended time on the disabled list. In his scant playing time, Morse is 10 for 24 (.417) with a .500 on-base percentage.

Gonzalez will make his eighth start. In just 48 at-bats, he is hitting .292 with a .700 OPS.

In his career, Zimmerman has served as a designated hitter in only two games. He is hitless in eight at-bats as a DH with one walk and two strikeouts.

"I don't mind doing it," Zimmerman said. "It's tough if you don't do it a lot. It's not a day off, but you just hit."

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 12, 2010; 10:50 PM ET
Categories:  Ryan Zimmerman  | Tags: Alberto Gonzalez, Mike Morse, Ryan Zimmerman, lineup changes  
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Next: Today's lineups

Comments

Thanks Jim, love your social engineering! Do us a favor, the Nats still have a chance to play some meaningful baseball in July, August and maybe in Sept could you please stick with the same 8 that got you here!

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Posted by: linda38 | June 12, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Riggle the Retread is a CLUELESS JOKE putting together a DH Line up card....

You have your best defensive player DH'ing for what gawdforsaken reason?

1- SS (DH Morse)
2- Rodriquez
3- Dudd
4- Guzman
5-Zimm
6- Desmond
7- Will'ham
8- Morgan
9-Bernadina

Posted by: FletcherChristian1 | June 13, 2010 3:09 AM | Report abuse

What's the logic behind putting Zimmerman at DH. It seem like Adam Dunn is more of a defensive liability. Zim won a freaking gold glove.

Posted by: mcwop | June 13, 2010 4:01 AM | Report abuse

ZIm DH? Huh?

Posted by: dorseylaw | June 13, 2010 5:15 AM | Report abuse

It's getting more insane by the day. Rizzo needs to set him straight, pronto. And people need to start realizing that besides being a "good baseball man" (whatever that means), Riggleman is a bad manager. He has no clue about how to maximize the chances of success of his team.

Btw, he did the same crap with the DH in Seattle.

http://www.firejoemorgan.com/search?q=riggleman

Still wondering why they did not keep him??

Posted by: amo36 | June 13, 2010 5:36 AM | Report abuse

It's getting more insane by the day. Rizzo needs to set him straight, pronto. And people need to start realizing that besides being a "good baseball man" (whatever that means), Riggleman is a bad manager. He has no clue about how to maximize the chances of success of his team.

Btw, he did the same crap with the DH in Seattle.

http://www.firejoemorgan.com/search?q=riggleman

Still wondering why they did not keep him??

Posted by: amo36 | June 13, 2010 5:42 AM | Report abuse

Yea, Kennedy's been real involved all right, to the tune of four errors in his last five starts and how about putting the lineup back to the way it was and letting these guys work their way out of it?

Posted by: bromisky | June 13, 2010 6:04 AM | Report abuse

losing to the indians is so pathetic.. send jd martin back to the minors.. and KEEP HIM THERE.

and just get rid of kennedy... this guy can't play any defense. he must be daydreaming out there.

doesn't matter what the offense is doing if the starting pitching is absolute CRAP. the last two games the pitcher didn't even give us a chance. but rigs needs to stop messing up the lineup. kennedy shouldn't be playing most nights.

if we're still in it come playoff time, we're gonna look back on these games and say we really messed up here. can't be losing to the indians. i really hope wang and marquis can get back... because i'm really sick of atilano and martin, they are career minor leaguers, they shouldn't be up here.

Posted by: rachel216 | June 13, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

I think they should give Zimmerman the day off. He's in bit of a funk and doesn't have a good history of DH. Gonzalez is solid player who'll want to produce. Roger needs to keep playing. He's been having quality at-bats. Let him play, with Morse as DH.

Posted by: richs91 | June 13, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Riggs has made some questionable decisions about DH and defensive positions, but let's remember that he doesn't set the 25-man roster and that when you look at the depth chart, he doesn't have a lot of options other than the players we're all complaining about.

For example: fine, get rid of Willie Harris and that leaves the Nats 3 real outfielders on their roster (Mike Morse isn't really one). So what do the Nats do...call up Taveras or Maxwell again? What will the boo-birds be singing then?

Ditto at catcher with Nieves--are you really pining for Jamie Burke?

The Nats have a few great pieces but are still a long ways from having a solid roster across the board or a deep farm system. Complain all you want about how Riggs arranges the pieces, but that basic fact isn't going to change anytime soon.

Posted by: HHover | June 13, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

"I don't mind doing it," Zimmerman said. "It's tough if you don't do it a lot. It's not a day off, but you just hit."

thanks for explaining what a DH does, Zim.

Posted by: sect104 | June 13, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how this shuffling affects the players. Dunn, Willingham, Zimm and Pudge seem to have regular spots, rare surprises when they get a day off, and no position shifts. Nieves also has a pretty clearly defined role.

But virtually every other position player does not know if they are playing, and what position.

Like many things, this might *seem* OK when we're winning, because winning masks everything. But Riggleman should also know you can not keep this up for 162 games.

HHover is right on when he notes that a big part of this issue is the roster Riggleman has to work with.

But we need to get a more stable lineup.
We need to decide if Morse can play outfield respectably and if he can hit with some sort of consistency.

We need to move either Guzman or Kennedy and let the other play regularly and let poor Alberto Gonzalez have a sniff of playing time every now and then.

Posted by: Sunderland | June 13, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

There is obviously a mistake, Harris isn't in the lineup.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | June 13, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse


We gotta stay pumped up. We can actually be in the run for a wild-card. Keep the competition going.If Gonzolez and Morse are stepping up thier game, put'em in.
Sit anyone who is playing soft. Shake it up if need be.

These are not great teams we are currently facing. Let's take advantage and get on a win streak. No slouching. If we have some hungry players, then let them replace the slumpers.

Posted by: Gibbs4Pres | June 13, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Now that the experts have given their opinion on the lineup the card should be changed and Riggleman should have a laptop so he get advice during the game. the Nats could call it managing by Know it alls and they will be leading the league by July.

Posted by: vwallen@bellatlantic.net | June 13, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"losing to the indians is so pathetic.. send jd martin back to the minors.. and KEEP HIM THERE."

JD Martin is still A LOT better than most of the others in the rotation so far including Marquis. He was THE BEST pitcher in Syracuse other than Strasburg 2 years in a row. You've seen what happened to Olsen Rachel do you really think Wang will be able to even pitch more than a couple of games. And Detwiler still hasn't proven anything.

He did manage to pitch almost eight innings.

Zimmermann is probably your only hope and he won't be around til late July at the earliest.

Posted by: periculum | June 13, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

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