Outfielder Nyjer Morgan will have his hearing on Friday to appeal two suspensions that would total 15 games if neither one is shortened.
The Nationals expect Morgan's seven-game suspension for throwing a ball into the stands on Aug. 21 in Philadelphia could be shortened significantly and are hoping he'll also see a reduction in the eight-game punishment he got for his role in last Wednesday's brawl with the Marlins.
But it's almost certain he'll miss some time, which has Nationals manager Jim Riggleman preparing for life without his leadoff hitter.
Riggleman said he has "scratched out a few different lineups" with other hitters batting leadoff. Those options include Adam Kennedy - who hit leadoff for a few days at the end of last month while Morgan was struggling - and Danny Espinosa, who is getting most of the at-bats at second base and surging during his first week in the majors.
Incidentally, the Nationals play the Marlins again on Friday for the first time since the brawl. But Riggleman said he doesn't expect any more hostilities between the two teams.