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Today's lineup

Ian Desmond gets a day off for the second day in a row and Michael Morse gets the nod in right field behind John Lannan. In his 80 plate appearances in August, Desmond is hitting .375 with a .423 on-base percentage, a .528 slugging percentage and two homers.

1. Nyjer Morgan, CF
2. Adam Kennedy, 2B
3. Adam Dunn, 1B
4. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
5. Roger Bernadina, LF
6. Ivan Rodriguez, C
7. Michael Morse, RF
8. Alberto Gonzalez, SS
9. John Lannan, SP

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 24, 2010; 3:09 PM ET
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Desmond not starting? There is something more to this story. Please find out. Thank you!

Posted by: LurkerNowPoster | August 24, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I get the day off for Desmond. Did I miss an injury or something for two days in a row off when the guy has been killing it at the plate of late? (and much better in the field of late as well)


Posted by: CJArlington | August 24, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I like this lineup for the Nats against the hard throwing Z.

Posted by: dfh21 | August 24, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Are they benching Desmond in order to showcase Gonzalez hoping for some sort of waiver-deadline deal?

Posted by: SuzNats | August 24, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Has to be some issue with Desmond - maybe just sore? Though both of these games were against righties.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 24, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Dunn has seven career homers against Zambrano, more than he has against any pitcher other than Colorado's Glendon Rusch (Dunn also has seven against Rusch). Maybe today is the start of another power surge for the big guy.

Posted by: VaNat | August 24, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Desmond is just not a MLB SS at this point. He does not glove enough to be a SS and And he does not hit enough to play corner infield or outfield. Maybe he'll get it together and start making all the plays in the field, but at this point he is simply terrible out there. It is good to see his bat coming around nicely, but SS is a glove first postion if ever there was one.

Posted by: dfh21 | August 24, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Desmond is just not a MLB SS at this point. He does not glove enough to be a SS and And he does not hit enough to play corner infield or outfield.

Posted by: dfh21 | August 24, 2010 3:30 PM

Ian Desmond
Aug 1, 2010 to Aug 22, 2010
BA .375 OBP .423 SLG .528 OPS .951
27 hits in 20 games

He's committed 4 errors over that span, but 2 were in his nightmare fielding game against the Phillies on August 1st. So 2 errors in his last 19 starts - which is probably closer to average for a starting MLB shortstop. And that's what we need from him - closer to average errors, with his above average range and arm.

From what I've seen, his defense has been on the uptick recently. Including a terrific game at SS on Saturday in Philly.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 24, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Desmond not a major league shortstop? Offensively, he has better stats than at least 75% of all shortstops in baseball, and this in his first year. Defensively, he makes too many errors like a lot of first year players, but he has excellent range and a cannon for an arm. He enthusiastic and always into the game. With so many players on this team not doing the job, you choose Desmond as the one to put down-wow!

Posted by: jcampbell1 | August 24, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was interesting, yesterday I listened to the beginning of the radio broadcast and they were talking about the young Cub shortstop Starlin Castro, who most folks think is pretty promising young SS... and you know what, he has made 19 errors in the majors this year, and 5 more in the minors before he was called up, for a total of 24 errors... just a handful less then Mr. Desmond... and I would wager that Derrek Lee (a 3 time gold glover) no doubt saved him a few errors on less then perfect throws... something Mr. Dunn rarely does... so, his error total is pretty comparable to Desmond's...

That being said, he is also 4 years younger then Desmond, and duh he has a higher ceiling...

Ah, what am I talking about, Desmond has made some pretty stupid errors out there... made some flashy plays, too, and his hitting is coming on... but, yeah, he needs to get a lot more consistent on defense if this team wants to be competitive...

But if anyone really would rather see Gonzo at SS on a regular basis rather then Desmond, I really have to wonder what their hopes and dreams for the Nats are?

I wouldn't mind seeing Espinosa get some September at-bats at SS, however, to see what he looks like defensively... and a lot of at bats at 2b so we don't have to watch Kennedy every day...

Posted by: Ghost7 | August 24, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Ladson has tweeted "#Nats SS Ian Desmond has a sore right thumb. He is expected to play on Wednesday."

In all fairness, Kilgore probably got the same info as Ladson, but his "drop a random word here or there" writing style must have hit the one-in-a-million shot of killing an entire sentence this time.

Posted by: FeelWood | August 24, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

There has to be something to the Desmond benching. Resting a red hot 24 year old. That is even worse than resting regulars a few days after the All-Star break.

Posted by: JamesFan2 | August 24, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman doesn't want his pet shortstop shown up by a 20-yr-old. Castro is hitting .316 and his UZR/150 is better than Desmond's.

Gonzo is clearly not the answer at short but Desmond isn't either. It's yet another problem position.

Posted by: longhorn64 | August 24, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the Cubs are going to be buyers at this point. Just a guess.
Are they benching Desmond in order to showcase Gonzalez hoping for some sort of waiver-deadline deal?
Posted by: SuzNats | August 24, 2010 3:21 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 24, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Desmond on the bench, Kennedy @2b, batting 2nd, AGonz @SS, batting 8th? The only sense to be made of this is that a RHSP (Zambrano) is starting, and Riggleman thinks that Kennedy & AGonz will look at more pitches. That's a crappy tradeoff, imo; Sesmond should be batting 2nd, and Kennedy should be batting 8th.

Posted by: BinM | August 24, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

My bad - "Desmond should be batting 2nd"...
But if the Ladson tweet proves true ("#Nats SS Ian Desmond has a sore right thumb. He is expected to play on Wednesday."), I understand the lineup; Another hat-tip to FeelWood.

Posted by: BinM | August 24, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't like Dunn in the 3 spot and I don't know why they are sticking with that. It certainly hasn't improved his slump recently. How about switching Dunn to 5 and putting Bernadina in the 3?

Posted by: DavidandDonald | August 24, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

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