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Desmond, Espinosa to swap lineup spots

Apr 5, 2011, 10:27 PM EDT

MIAMI — Ian Desmond is out of the Nationals’ lineup tonight, not so much because of his 0-for-13 start to the season but because manager Jim Riggleman wanted to make sure some of his reserves didn’t go ice cold sitting on the bench.

When Desmond returns to the lineup tomorrow, though, he won’t be back in the leadoff role. After struggling in that top spot through the season’s first three games, he’s getting bumped down to the 7-hole, swapping spots with rookie second baseman Danny Espinosa.

How Riggleman decides to arrange his lineup after that depends on how each young infielder responds at the plate.

“We’re just going to see how it plays out,” the manager said. “Whichever one is getting the job [done], he’ll hit first and the other will hit seventh.”
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  1. Stranded_in_Philly - Apr 5, 2011 at 10:41 PM

    I like this idea, although if Espinosa hits well in the leadoff spot and Desmond's bat picks up, I'd like to see them hit 1-2, bumping everyone down the order and taking a bit of pressure off of Morse and Laroche. Desmond had success batting second last year, so if Espinosa seizes the job, this could work.I'd also like to see them switch positions in the field, but thats a different story…..

  2. joemktg - Apr 5, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    Backup plan in action. What's backup plan #2

  3. Anonymous - Apr 6, 2011 at 1:22 AM

    Backup plan? Backup plan? Sigh …1. Hairston2. Cora3. Ankiel4. NixRiggleman probably would prefer this and these in the lineup instead of Espinosa and Desmond.For further corroboration please see Giggleman 2010: "Cristian Guzman is my starting utility man" and "got to get Willie Harris going" and "Willy Taveres" and need we go on?

  4. Anonymous - Apr 6, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    Tuesday night: 1500 AM is broadcasting the Caps. 106.7 FM has the Wizards. And 1580 AM suddenly turned to a pumpkin (that is totally faded out) at sundown, about 7:40. What gives if one (who lives right in DC) wants to listen to Charlie and Dave call the Nats game? This whole radio debacle has me pretty aggravated!

  5. Bote Man - Apr 6, 2011 at 4:42 AM

    MLB Gameday Audio is cheap for what you get at $20 for the whole season, every team, every game, home and away broadcasts.I have XM in my car for home team radio calls.It's fun to listen to 1500AM on skywave down here in south Florida, but if you're not a radio geek just go modern and enjoy.

  6. Anonymous - Apr 6, 2011 at 5:06 AM

    Did anyone ask Riggleman why he sat Desmond AND Espinosa in Game 1? It's completely inexplicable.

  7. Jimmy - Apr 6, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    Rigggeman would make a very good Little League Manager, where they have the mandatory playing rule. What other ML Manager would bench his middle infield after three games. That's why they are utility players and only play in emergencies. It's too early to bench your starters.

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