The Washington Times - April 8, 2012, 01:38PM

CHICAGO — Xavier Nady gets his first start of the season Sunday afternoon, hitting sixth and playing left field as Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson tweaks his lineup for the finale with the Chicago Cubs.

Nady, who was signed to a minor league deal on March 18 and didn’t make an appearance in major league camp until a week later, is admittedly not up to full speed just yet as far as his timing and seeing pitches at the plate. But the Nationals are pleased with what they’ve seen from him so far and Johnson plans to work him into the lineup often to help speed the process along.


Nady was 6-for-22 in his six-game stint in Nationals major league camp.

“He’s not where he needs to be, obviously,” Johnson said. “He swung the bat very good for me the short time he was there and he doesn’t probably need a whole lot of time because he’s one of those, ‘though shalt not pass’ kind of guys. If he sees it and he likes it, he’s going to hack at it. But I didn’t want him to sit too long.”

Nady’s insertion into the lineup is the only change, replacing Mark DeRosa both in the order and in left field, as the Nationals send Jordan Zimmermann to the mound to face the Cubs and Jeff Samardzija.

The Cubs, on the other hand, have stacked all their available left-handers in the starting lineup against Zimmermann. They planned not to have a single left-hander on their bench but Blake DeWitt was scratched with back spasms about an hour before the first pitch (though that would take him out of the game and not put him on their bench, anyway). Darwin Barney, a righty, took his place.

Here are the full lineups:


Ian Desmond SS
Danny Espinosa 2B
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Adam LaRoche 1B
Jayson Werth RF
Xavier Nady LF
Roger Bernadina CF
Wilson Ramos C
Jordan Zimmermann P


David DeJesus RF
Darwin Barney 2B
Starlin Castro SS
Alfonso Soriano LF
Ian Stewart 3B
Bryan LaHair 1B
Marlon Byrd CF
Steve Clevenger C
Jeff Samardzija P