Blog Entry

Nationals to go back to middle-infield rotation

Posted on: July 4, 2010 10:46 am
 
Ian Desmond The Washington Nationals' double-play tandem of Ian Desmond (pictured) and Cristian Guzman will be short-lived, as Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports .

Manager Jim Riggleman said he will return the middle infield to a four-man rotation that the team had earlier in the year although Desmond will continue to get the bulk of playing time at shortstop.

This means that Adam Kennedy will start seeing more time at second base in addition to Alberto Gonzalez at the expense of Cristian Guzman.

"I kind of fell into the trap of Cristian Guzman tearing the cover off the ball," Riggleman said. Guzman is hitting .293/.336/.373 on the season and received more playing time in May when Guzman hit .381.

"It became too hard not to put him in there," Riggleman added. "When I did that, I let a little rust get on Kennedy and Gonzalez. I think I have to avoid the temptation of playing the hot hand and keep Kennedy and the others involved. It seems to work better for us."

Kennedy is trade bait, which is one reason he'll start playing more often. However, he's playing poorly enough that his suitors are limited as his OPS is below .450 since the beginning of June which could be attributed to less playing time. Altogether, he's hitting .236/.314/.315.

Gonzalez, a former Yankee farmhand, is at .296/.333/.352 with an ability to play second, short and third. Desmond isn't much better, registering as an average fielder at short and hitting a weak .256/.293/.382, but the Nationals understandably want to get him as many looks as possible to determine his future with the team.

-- Evan Brunell

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Nationals to go back to middle-infield rotation

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