It's no shock that Ian Desmond will be the opening day shortstop.
Desmond has followed up his impressive big league September with some solid hitting this spring. His 12 RBI in exhibition play lead the club.
That said, it's safe to say that Cristian Guzman will still get a lot of starts at short, and should Desmond hit the wall, could end up back with the starting gig. As manager Jim Riggleman pointed out, neither man will be 600 at-bat players.
Defensively, there are still some questions about both players. Desmond has committed five errors in 64 total chances, while Guzman has made all of the routine plays. Guzman is still not throwing at 100%, following off-season shoulder surgery.
Overall, it's a positive sign that the ballclub believes as much in Desmond as to begin the transition process on opening day. Look for Guzman to play elsewhere around the infield, as well as pinch-hit, in what is the final year of his contract.
Make no mistake about it, Cristian Guzman is a team player. He's not happy about this change in his playing status, but he won't let it impact his play.
In another move, outfielder Justin Maxwell was assigned to Syracuse. Maxwell was given every opportunity to excel this spring, and spit the bit, dropped the ball, call it what you will. Twenty strikeouts in 49 AB's seemed to indicate that the progress he showed last fall was only temporary. The Nationals really want Maxwell to succeed, hoping he tears up the IL in April and forces his way back to DC.