The Washington Times - April 28, 2011, 05:17PM

New dad Ian Desmond was out on the field taking batting practice and collecting handshakes and hugs from his teammates after the birth of his first child, son Grayson Wesley, on Tuesday.

Desmond is in the lineup tonight playing shortstop and batting sixth.

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To make room for Desmond on the roster, the Nationals have optioned outfielder Roger Bernadina back to Triple-A Sryacuse, opting to keep infielder Brian Bixler with the club in the roster spot that would normally be held by Zimmerman.

Bernadina was 2-for-3 with a double in two games with the Nationals but the Nationals opted for Bixler because he’s a right-handed bat off the bench (much like Jesus Flores was when they called him up initially when Zimmerman went on the DL) and the Nationals also want Bernadina to be able to play every day. 

Nationals manager Jim Riggleman likened the situation to that of Collin Balester who, despite performing well each time asked at both the major league and Triple-A level, was sent back down because of his option.

“We were again really impressed by his play and his athleticism,” Riggleman said of Bernadina. “Sometimes you’ve got to wait it out a little bit before you really get a chance to utilize the talents of somebody. We’re just trying to keep everybody on board.

“This way, when we do get to a point where we bring up Roger, it’ll be more of an everyday basis than a little playing time now and then. We know he’s going to be a big contributor once we get him up here full time.”

I’ll be back with an update on third baseman Ryan Zimmerman before gametime but for now, here are the full lineups:

 

Nationals:

Danny Espinosa 2B
Rick Ankiel CF
Jayson Werth RF
Adam LaRoche 1B
Michael Morse LF
Ian Desmond SS
Jerry Hairston Jr. 3B
Ivan Rodriguez C
Livan Hernandez P 

Mets:

Jose Reyes SS
David Murphy 2B
David Wright 3B
Carlos Beltran RF
Jason Bay LF
Ike Davis 1B
Josh Thole C
Willie Harris CF
Chris Capuano P