Nationals-Braves lineups: Johnson tries out contingency plans

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Nationals’ lineup against the Atlanta Braves features some of the Nationals’ regulars in irregular places. That’s manager Davey Johnson’s way of beginning to test out his contingency plans for the regular season.

Danny Espinosa, the Nationals’ second baseman, is starting at shortstop and will be the team’s contingency plan at that position should Ian Desmond suffer an injury or just need a day off. Steve Lombardozzi would play second base in that case, as he is Friday night.

And Bryce Harper is back in center field after playing exclusively in left to this point in the spring.

Johnson said that Harper would be his first contingency plan in center field should Denard Span suffer an injury or need a day off, and also on days that Johnson wants a little more right-handed presence in his lineup. In that instance, Johnson said he would likely play right-hander Tyler Moore in left with Harper in center.

At any rate, neither position is all that unfamiliar to either player. Espinosa is a natural shortstop and he played there last season when Desmond dealt with an oblique injury and Harper was the Nationals’ primary center fielder for much of the 2012 season.

Here are the full lineups:

Nationals

Danny Espinosa SS
Steve Lombardozzi 2B
Bryce Harper CF
Tyler Moore DH
Chad Tracy 3B
Chris Marrero 1B
Corey Brown LF
Sandy Leon C
Eury Perez RF
— Jordan Zimmermann P

Braves

Reed Johnson DH
Jason Heyward RF
Justin Upton LF
Freddie Freeman 1B
B.J. Upton CF
Dan Uggla 2B
Juan Francisco 3B
Christian Bethancourt C
Ramiro Pena SS 

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About the Author
Amanda Comak

Amanda Comak

Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at acomak@washingtontimes.com and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.

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