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The shortstop, the utiltyman and the phenom

Feb 24, 2010, 3:23 PM EST

VIERA, Fla. — A good portion of Jim Riggleman's media session this morning was spent talking about perhaps the one true question mark concerning his starting lineup: shortstop. Is Cristian Guzman guaranteed the everyday job, or could Ian Desmond leapfrog him? And if Guzman is the guy, could Desmond remain as a utilityman? And in any scenario, who's going to bat second behind Nyjer Morgan?

So let's address each of these issues, one-by-one, based on what Riggleman had to say this morning…

Is Cristian Guzman guaranteed the everyday job at shortstop?

Yes, provided he is healthy. Guzman is coming back from a shoulder injury, but according to Riggleman, he's nearly back to 100 percent and will start at shortstop in one of the Nats' split-squad games to open the Grapefruit League March 4. "As of day one, our plan is thatRead more »

  1. An Briosca Mor - Feb 24, 2010 at 4:10 PM

    Strasburg could also pitch at Nationals Park in the exhibition game on April 3rd and be right on schedule to pitch at Potomac on April 8th. Between Strasburg and the Red Sox, that would result in a huge payday for the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation. I really can't think of a reason that it won't happen.

  2. cadeck13 - Feb 24, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    I hope you are right about SS pitching March 19 (but I won't hold you to it) I have tickets to that game and I would love to get a look at him :)

  3. Bob L. Head - Feb 24, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    Nats signed Livo to a minor league deal.

  4. Todd Boss - Feb 24, 2010 at 6:13 PM

    Kennedy had far better OBP numbers than guzman; seems to me that he's a better #2 hitter.Here's 2009 numbers:Guzman: .284/.306/.390Kennedy: .289/.348/.410

  5. Andrew - Feb 24, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    You already have Mike Morse, Willie Harris, and Pete Orr as potential utility men and IMHO Mike Morse plays more positions well than anyone else and is the best choice as a 1st Baseman to back-up Adam Dunn in the depth chart.

  6. Anonymous8 - Feb 24, 2010 at 9:01 PM

    ABM – The April 3rd exhibition game against Boston is already projected as a potential sell-out. Its not sold out yet, but will be close to it.I do agree that if Strasburg pitches then the remaining tickets will be scooped up quickly.I think the big draw, strategically, is that the opponent is the BOSTON RED SOX and would be close to a sell out if Daniel Cabrera was the starting pitcher.





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