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Posted at 9:10 PM ET, 12/ 5/2010

What's the Nationals lineup with Jayson Werth?

By Adam Kilgore

I'll be throwing up a couple more posts before the night is over, but for now just something to spark some discussion. Manager Jim Riggleman said he hasn't started scribbling out lineups yet, but here's one potential/projected opening day lineup for the Nationals:

1. Nyjer Morgan, CF
2. Ian Desmond, SS
3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4. Jayson Werth, RF
5. Carlos Pena/Adam LaRoche, 1B
6. Josh Willingham, LF
7. Danny Espinosa, 2B
8. Ivan Rodriguez, C
9. Jordan Zimmermann, SP

By Adam Kilgore  | December 5, 2010; 9:10 PM ET
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Where's Carl Crawford in that lineup?? JK.

Posted by: folsomsk | December 5, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

if morgan is still playing, and bernadina and morse aren't, there's something still very wrong with this team

Posted by: DCguy7 | December 5, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

how is bernadina not in the lineup

Posted by: RT99 | December 5, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Can Adrian Beltre play first?

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | December 5, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: peteywheatstraw | December 5, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Looks a lot like last years lineup... except worse.

(I'm talking about an offensive standpoint)

Now, how about this for a lineup:


Now, that is a lineup that could contend.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | December 5, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

In other words, still not very good, and indeed probably worse than last year Everyone here except 3 and 4 are solidly below average for their position and line-up spot.

Posted by: sbiel2 | December 5, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Y'all are missing the point! We have the Smiley Gonzalez credit. Werth is only 27 in Nationals years.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 5, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

But it is a different and better lineup. The team led the major leagues in errors last year. The projected lineup above has improvements in 3 positions - RF, 1B, and 2B - over last year's opening day lineup. Werth is much faster and is perhaps the best all around Right fielder the team has had in DC. I'm not sure I agree that the above is the likely lineup next year. I still think there is more coming. I'd be quite happy with either LaRoche or Pena, but we know the team wants to strengthen the bench significantly too.

I would love a healthy Willingham back, but if he can bring help at another position he could be gone by Spring Training.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 5, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Nice BobL...

I think that Werth ends up in center field and Nyjer is traded or comes off the bench.
Hammer gets packaged with a few prospects (maybe with Desmond) to get a front line pitcher (I am guessing Garza from the Rays).
Just guessing on my part...

Posted by: TimDz | December 5, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

If we get Pena than swap him and Werth in the lineup. We need a lead-off hitter. Morgan has the tools but is inconsistent. Having unproven guys like Espinosa and Desmond as your starting middle infielders is a real concern. Our 1-2 hitters don't get on enough on a consistent basis. And this doesn't even address the SP problems. Rizzo's work is not done by a long shot

Posted by: pwilly | December 5, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

I know it is a heady evening, but AK you are letting the adrenaline fog your mind. Michael Morse will be in the opening lineup and Willingham is almost certainly gone. And who in their right mind would start Jordan Zimmermann on opening day. Based on what, his double-A numbers two seasons ago?

Posted by: Juliasdad | December 5, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

"In other words, still not very good, and indeed probably worse than last year Everyone here except 3 and 4 are solidly below average for their position and line-up spot."

"Posted by: sbiel2"

Pretty surprising from the man who wanted to fire Jim Bowden? And why? Because he featured lineups with Cristian Guzman and guys like Flop at second base? Right?

The LINEUP IS YOUNGER, MORE ATHLETIC and I would remove Pudge and pencil in Ramos/Norris. If Norris were ready he could probably do a decent job batting just behind Zimmerman.
I'll take Desmond, Espinosa, and Lombardozzi over Guzman, Kennedy, and Willie Harris (who thought he should be starting at second base remember?)

I think Portland Maine has mucked you up or you got hit with a pitch from the Cape Cod League. This is real progress NOT a mirage.

Posted by: periculum | December 5, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

You want to throw Morse on the bench? I think Morse is your new 1st baseman and I say save your Carlos Pena money and spend it on Carl Pavano.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | December 5, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

If we get Pena than swap him and Werth in the lineup. We need a lead-off hitter. Morgan has the tools but is inconsistent. Having unproven guys like Espinosa and Desmond as your starting middle infielders is a real concern. Our 1-2 hitters don't get on enough on a consistent basis. And this doesn't even address the SP problems. Rizzo's work is not done by a long shot

Posted by: pwilly | December 5, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Have the press and fans buried Michael Morse. Last year he proved his potential and nobody still appreciates him. Let me tell you something, Morse is getting the same treatment that Jayson Werth got in L.A. five years ago. Back then the Dodgers couldn't care about Werth and did the same thing to him as the Nationals are doing to Morse.

Look what happened. Sorry but Morse is still just 28 and has a lot of good ball ahead of him, get rid of Nyjer Morgan and Willingham and let Mike play

Posted by: Golfersal | December 5, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Willinghams getting traded. He's our most marketable and valulbale trade commodity. Now we can use Bernadina and Morse in left.

So, the Nats gain a pick in the 1st rd from the Sox and have their high 1st rounder. Do they lose any picks by signing Werth? What about Cliff Lee or Crawford?

Posted by: jmurray019 | December 5, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Werth is plain worthless...

Posted by: chiro1623 | December 5, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

I know the tendency is to over-analyze here, but, geez, this is a GOOD GOOD development for the Nats, or at least, us fans. A really big signing, and if the Nats have an in with Boros, so much the better.

More than once, Boz has pointed out persuasively that the Lerners are making money on the team and can afford to spend. Now we have evidence. Thank goodness, at last.

Now, let's get D. Lee or Adam LaRoche, at least. And give ol' NJ an invite to spring, if nobody signs him.

Posted by: nats24 | December 6, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse


Philly gets the Nats second pick and a sandwich pick between the first and second round.

Posted by: RireGrist | December 6, 2010 1:58 AM | Report abuse

Where are the Lerner's are cheap commenters?

Quite a nice upgrade for this team. C'mon Rizzo, go get that #1 SP!!!

Posted by: M20832 | December 6, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

The Lerners were cheap when they should have been spendthrift (Dunn) and imprudent when they should have been thrifty (Werth). The former was one of the top 3 sluggers/run producers over the past 5 years and a great clubhouse presence who protected our best player in the lineup. The latter is a good, not great, RF coming off a great year in a walk year, not the best time to gauge production. Moreover, Werth will still be creakily patrolling RF at 18 mil/year when he's 37-38, whereas Dunn could have been signed for 14-15 mil/year for fewer years while we developed his replacement at 1B and/or used him as AL trade bait a year or two from now as a DH.

All that notwithstanding, if the offseason budget was 126 million (because do we really expect any other FA signings?), why not give Dunn 56-60 of it and then re-direct the remaining 60-70 million to address the teams other myriad needs? To make a "BIG" signing for the sake of making it to me at least, is dumb. This signing reeks of Angelos's misguided signings of the 90s - Bonilla, Belle, etc ... and we all know how that worked out.

Posted by: terrapin31590us | December 6, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Terp315 --


Posted by: BobLHead | December 6, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Werth is a far better option in the #4 hole than Dunn.... Makes more contact for starters.... But he might be a bettet fit at #3..Here's my lineup

Morgan - CF
Desmond - SS
Werth - RF
Zimmerman - 3B
Willingham - LF
Pena - 1B
Espinoza - 2B
Ramos - C

The 3 guys at the top can disrupt the basepaths.... It's a more athletic lineup... And just wait until Harper arrives!

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | December 6, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

If you look at Werth's career, I think he's best off batting 5th behind a legitimate cleanup hitter. I'm pretty sure he had little success batting 3 in Philly, which would probably make him an even greater liability at 4. Putting him at 5th will provide protection for Zim and said clean-up hitter (not sure if the Hammer could be that guy, but maybe?)and can kick start the back end of the line up during those innings that follow the top 4 managing only one hit (Zimmerman) and multiple strike/fly outs.

In a perfect world, the middle of the line up would read:

3. Zim
4. Free Agent TBD
5. Werth
6. Hammer

So Rizzo, thats the next move, find yourself a clean up hitter that doesn't play 3rd, left, or right. Good luck.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | December 6, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse


Sorry but you could not be any more wrong. The Lerners loved and would have happily kept Dunn. Not only was he a good guy, but relatively inexpensive and a power hitter which fills the seats faster than anything else. The Lerners have done what everyone asked for by putting a baseball guy in charge of the baseball decisions. Mike Rizzo is that guy 100% and did not want Adam Dunn on this team period, his defense and performance compared to replacement were just too bad. Keep in mind baseball guys like Rizzo these days care much more about sabermetrics than "locker room presence" and from a stats perspective Dunn is kind of a mess. Is Werth the answer, who knows, but that again could not be more clearly a Rizzo doing when you look at the facts and their relationship. Rizzo seems like a good fit for the job and is being given a lot of leeway so we will see very shortly what kind of success he will have at a GM. This has been his plan all along and why there was no Dunn extension, get power somewhere else in the lineup and get a defensive 1B to help the young infielders and solidify the D.

Posted by: JLR75 | December 6, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Morse should be in the starting lineup.

Posted by: boblas | December 6, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse


I hope Werth works out, but I have to agree with Terp. You hinted at Rizzo's relationship with Werth's family, and sentiment could be clouding his judgment. Sabermetrics don't support Werth's contract or new role on the team (bats in .100's with RISP and only 85 RBI career average). It worries me that they are trying to use intangibles and hunches to justify this contract. Sure he is tall and athletic, but if it really made a difference it would be there in his numbers. Moving him in the batting order and now playing in a pitchers park isn't going to change his short comings. It will help defensively, but we don't have anywhere near the arms to become the SF Giants of the East.

Posted by: Malc | December 6, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Morgan and Desmond have to go. Get solid defense up the middle, these guys stink it up. Teach Morgan how a ball player wears a cap. Come on.

Posted by: kganley626 | December 6, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

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