Riggleman says “no chance” of swapping Desmond and Espinosa

The Nationals will give Danny Espinosa a game at shortstop tonight, resting Ian Desmond one more time before the season’s final push.

But the chances of flipping the two players, should they both end up on the 2011 Opening Day roster, is nonexistent.

Asked today if he would consider moving Espinosa to shortstop - his natural position until the Nationals asked him to start playing second about six weeks ago - and playing Desmond at second, Riggleman simply said, “No chance.”

Desmond is finishing up a solid rookie season; he has a .279 average, .316 on-base percentage, 10 homers, 60 RBI and 16 steals in 20 attempts.

He’s got 33 errors at shortstop, but his range at the position is one of the best in baseball. Espinosa isn’t far behind, but most scouts see Desmond as having a shade more athleticism at the position, and believe he will be less erratic as he grows.