Season Preview: Nationals Batting Order

DC Sports Nexus ---- Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Nationals are starting the season two starters short.  Most of the Nats have batted all over the lineup and if they haven't they probably will this season.  This is really hard to predict, and Davy Johnson is sure to do a lot of tweaking:

1.  Ian Desmond:  The Nationals have never really had a leadoff hitter.  They think that Desmond can be the man although last season he batted 2nd a lot as well as at the bottom of the lineup.  He did lead the team with 25 steals, only 26th best in the majors.

2.  Danny Espinosa:  Espy had a surprising rookie year with 21 home runs.  Like Desmond he has moved all over the lineup, often batting in the 6th spot due to his power potential.  This year they are gonna start him in the 2nd slot, but we could see Werth there as well.

3.  Ryan Zimmerman:  This guy is the 3 man.  He is a Nationals staple.  Despite Morse leading the team in almost every batting stat including average, the Nats like Zimmerman in this spot due to his consistency.

4.  Michael Morse/Adam LaRoche:  LaRoche had a terrible offensive year last season before he was injured.  He played 42 games and hit .172.  That is worse than terrible.  With Morse returning to the lineup soon LaRoche will probably move down to 6th to make room for Matt.

5.  Jayson Werth:  While Werth followed up one of his best seasons with an egg for the Nationals he still ended up with 20 home runs.  His numbers were down just about across the board, but if he can at least get a little bit closer to his 2010 form, he will have a good rebound year.  If.

6:  Adam LaRoche/Mark DeRosa:  As discussed already LaRoche may find himself down in the lineup.  DeRosa is just a fill in the blank guy.  He will fill in on different guys off days and probably move all over the lineup.

7:  Rick Ankiel/Roger Bernadina:  Ankiel has lost quite a bit of his power over the last few years and will probably be towards the end of the lineup.  Bernadina is just filling in and he can lead off or bat just about anywhere in the lineup as well.

8:  Wilson Ramos:  WilRam showed a little bit of power in his "rookie" year.  He hit 15 home runs. He found himself up in the lineup at times last season but Davy Johnson pretty much liked him hitting back here.

9:  Pitcher Spot:  Hopefully Gio can figure out how to survive an at bat...

Bryce Harper:  We are going to wait a month to find out where the Nats are at when Bryce comes up.  It's too early right now.

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