The Nationals have been linked to Orlando Hudson and even Adam Kennedy as possible answers at second base for 2010, but could it be possible the Nats begin the season with Ian Desmond as the starter at second base?
Ian told me “I can play second base and did so last year (with the Nats).” He says he has been taking groundballs at short and second base in his off season preparations.
“I have worked out a lot in the infield and have also taken a lot of fly balls in the outfield, pretty much everything. Wherever they need me to play, I can play and I am ready to play.”
Manager Jim Riggleman is certain Cristian Guzman and Ian Desmond can play each position in the Nats middle infield heading into 2010.
“We feel confident putting Guzman and Desmond in the middle infield, whether it be a shortstop or second base. Cristian and Ian can play both places.”
“As we go in right now if Guzman cannot play second base for whatever reason -- whether it is his foot work or trouble getting acclimated to the spot -- and his arm can handle shortstop, then Ian can start at second base.”
Jim also knows that Mike Rizzo has been looking on the free agent market for a middle infield starter as well.
“If Mike acquires a player who is strictly a second baseman, we would be up in the air at the short stop position. In all likelihood, Guzman would be the short stop if he is able to throw well following the arm operation. We need to see him do that at spring training to be assured he can play short for the season.”
So if the Hudson/Kennedy free agent signing at 2B does not come to fruition, one likely scenario is for the Nats to start the season with Guzman and Desmond in the middle infield, regardless of position. Throw in Desmond’s ability to play in the outfield and his addition to the roster only makes it a more intriguing prospect to fortify the bench.
It is a big week for Ian as he is getting married to his fiance Chelsea and after a honeymoon will report to Viera and spring training. Best Wishes to the Desmonds!