1. Nyjer Morgan, CF
2. Ian Desmond, SS
3. Jayson Werth, RF
4. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
5. Michael Morse, LF
6. Adam LaRoche, DH
7. Ivan Rodriguez, C
8. Danny Espinosa, 2B
9. Chris Marrero, 1B
There are a couple things of interest here.
- Ian Desmond is batting 2nd, thank god. He took his most hacks last year at 2nd and at 8th and the differences were stark. 2nd : .326 / .359 / .489 8th : .254 / .304 / .388. He doesn't have to bat 2nd but he's not the type of patient hitter who can work with being pitched around in the 8th position. It's good to see the Nats realize that and not try to bat Pudge 2nd for example.
- Werth 3rd and Zimmerman 4th looks funny, but I think I like it. Both get on base and hit, so really they are interchangeable, but historically Werth does better at taking the walk so putting him before Zimm makes sense. (for however much batting order matters)
- Morse is 5th and LaRoche is 6th, but I just can't believe that Riggleman will go R-R-R-R-L 2 through 6. I'm thinking this is just a temporary thing and LaRoche will settle in at 5 once he's over his little soreness.
- Pudge is 7th and Espinosa 8th. On one hand it makes sense. Espinosa can take a walk, Pudge can't. You need a patient hitter in front of the pitcher. On the other hand, Pudge should get as few at bats as possible.
Personally I'm going to go with Roger Bernadina to be named flat-out starter. Call me crazy but that's who I think the team wants in there and unless he stinks in Spring Training, I think that's where he'll be, even though Spring Training stats are meaningless. I think his leash might be short but he'll be there Opening Day.
(remember - we're waiting on the results from last year's Guess the Opening Day Rotation post. We're all wrong, because we all had Strasburg, but let's see who gets 4 of 5.)