Despite apparent injury, Desmond batting fifth (LaRoche rests)

We're under two hours until today's first pitch. Why has the Nationals' lineup still not been posted yet?

Another injury, that's why.

Trainers are currently looking at shortstop Ian Desmond, who has been battling what manager Davey Johnson referred to as "one of those side injuries." Sounds like yet another oblique issue, something which has also plagued Adam LaRoche and Mark DeRosa this season and is becoming one of the more common injuries around baseball.

Johnson was first made aware of Desmond's injury yesterday, although it apparently has been a bit of an issue the last couple days. Johnson said that Desmond felt better before yesterday's game, but he had trouble getting loose today. Even if trainers clear Desmond to play today, Johnson will likely play things carefully with his shortstop and give him at least today off.

"I'd say the chances are pretty good he'd get off, maybe even off tomorrow," Johnson said. "My tendency is always to nip it in the bud. We'll see. I'm still waiting for the report on him."

If Desmond gets the day off, Johnson said he'd likely slide Danny Espinosa over to shortstop, his natural position. Steve Lombardozzi would then play second base.

Desmond has missed just one game this season, suiting up for 61 of the 62 the Nats have played. He's batting .266 with nine homers and 32 RBIs.

While we wait on the Nats lineup, here's the starting nine the Yankees will send out today:

SS Derek Jeter
CF Curtis Granderson
1B Mark Teixeira
2B Robinson Cano
RF Nick Swisher
LF Raul Ibanez
C Russell Martin
3B Eric Chavez
P Andy Pettitte

Update: After all that talk about playing things safe, Johnson's lineup for this afternoon has Desmond playing shortstop and hitting fifth.

Guess Desmond's a persuasive fellow.

One other normal Nationals starter is not in the lineup today, however; Adam LaRoche will get his second day off in the last three games. LaRoche fouled a ball off his right foot during the Toronto series, which caused him to sit out Wednesday's game.

Tyler Moore will get the start at first base today against the left-handed Pettitte.

Here's the Nats' lineup:

2B Danny Espinosa
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Michael Morse
SS Ian Desmond
1B Tyler Moore
LF Xavier Nady
C Jesus Flores
P Jordan Zimmermann

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