- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 28, 2010

VIERA, Fla. | Rookie Ian Desmond will be the opening day shortstop for the Washington Nationals, beating out incumbent Cristian Guzman.

Nationals manager Jim Riggleman says Sunday that Desmond is having an “exceptional spring” and the decision will “help the club this year and in the future.” Desmond was a third-round draft pick in 2004 and made his major league debut in September.

The 32-year-old Guzman is a two-time All-Star with a .271 career average in 10 seasons.

Guzman will get playing time at shortstop and second base, where he will take some at-bats from free-agent signing Adam Kennedy. Guzman never has played second base.

Also Sunday, Washington optioned outfielder Justin Maxwell to Triple-A Syracuse. Maxwell hit .102 this spring — 5 for 49, with 20 strikeouts.

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