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Washington Nationals vs New York Yankees: Saturday Gamethread.

• "'Just put Mike over there.'" - NatsTown to Jim Riggleman Winter Year '10/11.

It's hard not to notice as reports out of this morning's meeting with Nats' Skipper Jim Riggleman have Michael Morse "winning" (in a non-pop-culture-reference-way) the left field job so far this Spring, that Roger Bernadina is in the lineup, leading off and playing center field for the Washington Nationals as they take on the New York Yankees this afternoon in Viera, Florida's Space Coast Stadium. [ed. note: I know, I know, don't read into Spring lineups."]  Game time 1:00 pm EST on MASN and Nyjer Morgan had a nice line drive single late in last night's game that hinted at Nationals' hitting coach Rick Eckstein's influence on the 30-year-old outfielder's under-construction approach at the plate, but some questionable plays in center last night once again shed light on the former Pirates' prospect's struggles on both sides of his game. Morgan's hit 5 of 26 Spring at bats, with a double, three walks and three K's. Bernadina is 7 for 23 with a HR, a walk and 6 K's. Michael Morse, who's sending everyone scrambling for playing time behind him, is 12 for 25 with two doubles, four HR's and an impressive-even-in-twenty-five AB's in Spring: .480/.500/1.040 slash line thus far. The problem with Morse has never been his bat, however, so one has to wonder how concerned the Nats are about his defense if it's taken til now for them to finally concede that they have to see what he can do with a season full of at bats?

Meanwhile...Rick Ankiel, who's the DH today against NY, has hit in just 3 of 23 at bats, but managed to connect for two HR's. Laynce Nix, though mentioned in trade rumors, is still in camp, with four hits and two doubles in 17 AB's. Will the season still start with Bernadina and Morse splitting time in left? Will Morgan be given regular season games to prove what he's capable of providing the Nats in center and at the top of the order? Does anyone else get the sense that Ankiel's going to be on the roster no matter who wins the starting jobs? Could the Nats send Morgan to Triple-A to sort out his issues? NatsTown, or at least a very vocal part of it Jim Riggleman once told him was yelling for Michael Morse in left, is now screaming, "Morse-Bernadina-Werth" left-to-right across the outfield to anyone who will listen. Study that option list floating around...

• Today's Washington Nationals' Starting LIneup: 

  1. The Shark - CF
  2. Ian "Franking" Desmond - SS
  3. THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! - 3B (Word.)
  4. Adam LaRoche - 1B
  5. The People's Champion Michael Morse - LF
  6. Wilson "Duke of Lizards" Ramos - 
  7. Rick Ankiel - DH
  8. Laynce Nix - RF
  9. Danny "Glover" - 2B
  10. John "Cool Hand" Lannan - Eating 40 Eggs.
• Yankees' lineup via Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore
  1. Brett Gardner - CF
  2. Eduardo Nunez - SS
  3. Russell Martin - C
  4. Robinson Cano - 2B
  5. Jesus Montero - DH
  6. Jorge Vazquez 1B
  7. Ramiro Pena - 3B
  8. Justin Maxwell - LF
  9. Melky Mesa - RF
  10. A. J. Burnett - SP
• ?'s: After John Lannan today, Yunesky Maya is expected to get in work like Ross Detwiler did last night after Livan Hernandez was through on the mound. Can Maya and Detwiler force their way into the rotation, or will option status decide the battle for the last one or two spots in the Nats' Opening Day rotation? Does it matter in this "we're-going-to-need-seven-or-eight-starters-anyway" age? Will this be our last look at Bryce Harper this Spring? The 18-year-old seems to have hung on a little longer than expected.'s Bill Ladson (@washingnats) just tweeted that the Nats, "...may go through their third round of cuts today. If not today, they will do it in the next couple of days." Did last night's HR wake the sleeping Jesus? What will the Shark bite today?