Acta announces starting lineup for Opening Day

About an hour after addressing his team, Nationals manager Manny Acta announced his starting lineup for Opening Day against the Marlins.   

1. Lastings Milledge — CF
2. Cristian Guzman — SS
3. Ryan Zimmerman — 3B
4. Adam Dunn — LF
5. Nick Johnson — 1B
6. Austin Kearns — RF
7. Ronnie Belliard — 2B 
8. Jesus Flores — C
9. John Lannan — P

Acta continues to believe he has the best team during his three years as skipper of  the Nationals. For starters, he has enough depth on the bench if players such as first baseman Nick Johnson and right fielder Austin Kearns get hurt. In that case, Acta can switch Adam Dunn from left field to first and put reserves Josh Willingham and Elijah Dukes in left and right, respectively. 

“We have a sense in the last few years that it’s not the team with the highest payroll or the most superstars [that win a championship],” Acta said. “We have very good chemistry going on right now. We, at least, have the depth that gives me the opportunity to have a few unhappy but talented guys on the bench, which I will take any time over a few happy guys with no talent.” 

The Nationals will have a tough schedule to start the season. They will play their National League East rivals from April 6-29. Acta acknowledged that the first month of the season will the biggest test for the team.

“Right off the bat, we’ll see where we stand with those guys,” Acta said. “One month is not going to dictate  the whole season,” Acta said. “It’s 162 games. But it’s very important because we are playing our division. We are going to see them a lot early. We want to have a better start than we had the last couple of years.”                               

7 Comments

Let’s hope the Nationals do well in their opener.

This will look nothing like the lineup come the middle of the year or the end of the year for that matter.

I just listed to that guy who used to be somebody in baseball, Doug Doquette. No respect at all for the Nats or their management. I guess you have to earn it, we will. Anyway, he says that the Nats didn’t improve themselves over the offseason. They did and they aren’t finished yet. Heck by staying out of the MASH tent every week they will have improved. You can’t add Dunn, Willingham, Mr. Healthy (whom ever that player is that day, and a new pitching staff this year that wasn’t part of Obama’s stimulis package. Randy St.Claire is wizard with the staff and he will have it clicking. There is more talent in AAA this year than there was on the big club all year. I for one am pumped up and looking to shut up a lot of haters. Go Nats!

The youth movement in the rotation is teriffic, Martis and Zimmerman will be great. Add in the fact that the Nats will draft Stephen Strasburg as the #1 pick this year, added in with Lannan and Zimmerman, that’s a 1-2-3 punch for next year. If the nats can finish with even a 75 or 80 win season, to improve with 15 wins will be a terrific accomplishment for this team, improving more than that will show that the team will be a playoff contender for a while.

A very very poorly constructed roster, which I believe Rizzo is working on. How you can have a hitter like Willingham sitting on the bench is madness. Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns roaming that outfield will cost this team runs like crazy, and let’s just say it everyone…Lastings Milledge is just not that good. Can’t get on base, defense is shaky on his best day…

I believe Rizzo is the man to fix this ship taking on water, don’t know if it will be soon enough to save Acta’s job. Just a bad bad team.

I’m very optimistic for the team this year and it’s fun to watch the team build. There is something charming in hoping that a team wins 75 games while showing signs of improvement rather than rooting for a team that wins 85 games, but is viewed as a huge dissapointment.
– Toby
http://welcometotheshow.mlblogs.com/

Just to comment on cardwash’s negativity, but this is opening day – where every team’s fans should express at least some optimism. The Nats were awful last year with 102 losses but they’re surely on a better road to improve on that dubious stat. Acta’s job is safe: Management three years ago assured that.
Give Milledge, Dunn, Kearns a chance. Same for the whole team. The Nats have a better bench and a far superior pitching staff. Inexperienced perhaps but superior.
If the Nats suck after 3 months then I’ll congratulate you on your insight, think your comment was very smart and eat my words. Go Nats go.

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