Results tagged ‘ Ian Desmond ’

Desmond could be utility man; Lineup all but set

Manager Jim Riggleman reiterated Wednesday that the Nationals are thinking about making Ian Desmond an all-purpose utility man — playing all three outfield positions, shortstop and second base.

Riggleman, however, wants to make sure that shortstop Cristian Guzman is healthy before putting Desmond in a utility role. Guzman is coming off right shoulder surgery and foot problems. 

“If Cristian Guzman is physically moving around good and his arm feels good, we plan on him being at shortstop,” Riggleman said. “Then it just becomes a matter of getting Ian Desmond enough action to warrant keeping him in the big leagues.

“He’s a comforting guy to have on the ballclub because he can play multiple positions; but the multiple positions are going to be tested. “We’ve got to get him time; he hasn’t played in the outfield a lot.”

The Nationals are playing split-squad games against the Astros and Marlins on March 4. Desmond will start at shortstop and then move to the outfield in one of those games. 

* Riggleman indicated that the starting lineup is all but set. If the season were to start Wednesday, Guzman would bat second. While Riggleman never named the entire the Opening Day lineup, the Nationals would look like this barring injuries:

Nyjer Morgan — CF
Guzman — SS
Ryan Zimmerman — 3B
Adam Dunn — 1B
Josh Willingham — LF
Elijah Dukes — RF
Adam Kennedy — 2B
Ivan Rodriguez — C

“The downside of naming names and saying that is, aren’t we just full of ourselves after losing 103 games? It’s kind of, pretty much, 30 teams in baseball know,” Riggleman said. “There’s not many — there’s a spot here and there. I can pretty much tell you who the Yankees and [Phillies] and [Red Sox] will have in their Opening Day lineup.”
      
* Infielder Pete Orr did not go to the Instructional League to learn how to become an emergency catcher last fall. The team felt that Orr would be better off learning how to be an emergency catcher during Spring Training.

Guzman not sure he will play second base

Shortstop Cristian Guzman is still not sure if he wants to play second base in 2010. He has talked to agent, Stanley King, about the situation, but will not talk about his plans until after the season. 

“Right now, I don’t know yet,” Guzman said on Monday.

It was learned on Sept. 10 that general manager Mike Rizzo and interim manager Jim Riggleman had a private meeting with Guzman and asked him to switch to second base for the 2010 season.

Guzman, who did not give Rizzo and Riggleman an answer, was in shock and told them he never played second base in his life. The only other position Guzman has played other than shortstop was in the 2008 All-Star Game when he played third base for the National League team.

The Nationals feel that Guzman will prolong his career if he makes the switch and no longer has the range to play the shortstop.   

If Guzman agrees to the switch, that means the Nationals most likely will look for a shortstop during the offseason. The Nationals are debating if Ian Desmond can get the job done at short. There is a positive feeling that he can.     

Guzman may not have a choice but switch to second because he is expected to have an MRI after the season. He has a ailing right shoulder, which has bothered him for a month. Guzman said the shoulder grew worse when he twice threw to home plate against the Dodgers last Thursday.

Guzman will not the play shortstop for the rest of the season and is regulated to pinch-hitting duties.

“I kept playing and I threw to home plate against the Dodgers and my arm stretched a little bit and I felt it. I had to stop because I knew [something was wrong with the shoulder],” Guzman said. “I went to the doctor and I knew.”

Tidbits from Citi Field

* Shortstop Ian Desmond will play for the Licey Tigers this offseason, joining outfielder Elijah Dukes.  

* Left-hander Ross Detwiler will pitch against the Dodgers on Wednedsay. Interim manager Jim Riggleman didn’t rule out Detwiler getting another start. Detwiler is close to his innings limit.

* Ryan Zimmerman [2006] and Adam Dunn [2009] are the only members of the Nationals to drive in 100 runs in a season.  

Desmond to play right field

Interim Nationals manager Jim Riggleman continues to experiment with the lineup. On Saturday, he decided to start shortstop Ian Desmond in right field, a position Desmond has not played since he was in high school in Sarasota Fla. 

Desmond was given three days noticed that he would play the position. In fact ,he was seen playing right field during batting practice on Saturday. 

Riggleman made the move in order to get Pete Orr in the lineup at second base. Right-hander John Maine is pitching on Sunday and he is tough on left-handers. So Riggleman will have an all-right-handed lineup that day.

As for Desmond, he borrowed a glove from outfielder Justin Maxwell in order to play the right field. Desmond said he was not nervous when he was told about playing a new position. 

“They believe in me and they want me out there. I will go where ever they want,” Desmond said. “I don’t care, as long as I’m on the field and get a chance to play in the big league level. You can’t ask for more than that.”

Riggleman didn’t rule out using Desmond in right field.

“I would say it could [happened again] based on who’s pitching or if someone is banged up,” Riggleman said.  

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