With all the injured guys the Nationals have had return to the lineup lately, Davey Johnson is getting a little greedy.
“Where the heck is Willy Ramos? Let’s get him up here, too,” Johnson joked today. “Everybody seems to healing well. Might as well get him.”
Johnson won’t get his top catcher back until spring training at the earliest, but he does have the seven position players in his lineup tonight all in there for the first time together this season.
After a host of injuries prevented Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse, Adam LaRoche, Jayson Werth, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa and Bryce Harper from all teaming up until tonight, but those guys are all in the lineup at the same time against Johan Santana and the Mets this evening.
That’s something which brings a smile to Johnson’s face.
“To be able to basically put our lineup out there for the first time was really fun,” Johnson said. “I had it written out last two or three days. And I like now that I’m able to put them all together, I really like from top to bottom our lineup. It’s going to create some matchup problems for the opposing manager.
“During this spell, we were predominately left-handed, whereas last year, through the whole thing, we were predominately right-handed. Now, we have weapons from both sides of the dish that really create matchup problems for the opposing clubs and that’s very comforting for me.”
Now that Ian Desmond is back, Johnson’s decision when it comes to the leadoff spot gets a bit more complicated.
Johnson said today that he’s going to stick Desmond in the No. 6 spot and won’t entertain the thought of hitting him up in the order, as he did at the beginning of the season. That leaves either Jayson Werth or Danny Espinosa hitting leadoff most days.
Entering tonight, Werth has started 35 games out of the leadoff spot over the course of his career, but when he hits out of the top spot, his batting average (.230) and on-base percentage (.331) are the lowest of any spot in the batting order.
Another possibility in the leadoff spot is Steve Lombardozzi, who Johnson still intends to get playing time even with Desmond returning. Over his last seven games, Lombardozzi went 15-for-30.
“I have variable options,” Johnson said. “I could do a lot of things.