Tag:Ian Desmond
Posted on: September 20, 2010 8:38 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2010 8:50 pm

Desmond stays at short despite Espinosa presence

Danny Espinosa's natural position is shortstop, but Ian Desmond currently occupies the position for the Nationals.

That's not stopping Espinosa from manning short Monday night as Desmond gets a day off.

With Espinosa's .246/.271/.526 line in 59 plate appearances making it more and more likely that he opens 2011 with the major-league team, would Washington return him to short?

"No chance," manager Jim Riggleman told MASN Sports .

That will relegate Espinosa to second base permanently, which he started playing regularly six weeks ago in anticipation of a September call-up.

Desmond has 33 errors in the game, but scouts believe that number will eventually drop. Couple that with some of the best range in the game, and it's understandable why the Nats wouldn't want to move the rookie off short. Desmond, 24, is hitting .279/.316/.416 in 521 PA.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: July 4, 2010 10:46 am

Nationals to go back to middle-infield rotation

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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Posted on: June 23, 2010 7:06 pm

Bad call gives Strasburg his first L

Stephen Strasburg Stephen Strasburg suffered the first loss of his career on Wednesday, losing to the Royals 1-0. However, the game wasn't without controversy as home plate Hunter Wendelstedt killed a sixth-inning Nationals rally with a bad call at the plate.

With runners on first and second in the sixth, Adam Dunn singled to right and Roger Bernadina tried to score on Kansas City right fielder Jose Guillen. Guillen's throw was to the first-base side of home, Royals catcher Jason Kendall wheeled and placed the tag on Bernadina, apparently late, but Wendelstedt called him out.

With the naked eye, the play wasn't even close. Bernadina looked like his left leg slid past the plate by the time Kendall tagged him on the right knee. Replays showed Kendall tagged Bernadina on the left foot, but not before he touched the plate.

That was the second out of the inning and then Ian Desmond struck out against Brian Bannister to end the inning.

Bannister outpitched Strasburg, allowing five hits and no runs, while striking out four and walking two in six innings. Strasburg was no slouch, though, also going six, striking out nine and allowing nine hits, while walking none and giving up a run in the fifth. Strasburg is now 2-1 with a 1.78 ERA and 41 strikeouts in his his first four starts -- a major league record.

Guillen's two-out RBI single in the fifth inning off of Strasburg plated the only run of the game.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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