Washington Nationals' shortstop Ian Desmond decided against participating in his first All-Star Game last week, after he was named to the team by NL skipper Tony La Russa, opting to let the sore oblique that's been bothering him for over a month rest during the break instead. Two games into the second half of the 2012 season, however, Desmond's out of the lineup this afternoon after going 3 for 8 with three K's in the first two of the four games the Nats are in Florida to play this weekend. The Nats' 26-year-old shortstop has played in all but one of the Nats' games so far this season, compiling a .287/.317/.511 line with 24 doubles, a career-high 17 HR's and 13 stolen bases in 84 games and 369 plate appearances.
Before this afternoon's Sunday matinee, Danny Espinosa was spotted by reporters in Marlins Park taking grounders at short, and when the lineups were announced moments ago, Desmond's name was not included. Espinosa was in the six-hole and at short in his place with rookie infielder Steve Lombardozzi penciled in at second. Davey Johnson spoke to reporters about the issue Desmond was dealing with back in mid-June when he momentarily considered sitting his shortstop, who was dealing with what the manager described then as a, "... little nagging [oblique] injury." Johnson explained then that he liked to nip issues like Desmond's in the bud rather than allowing them turn into something bigger.
"I'm kind of gun shy with these injuries," the Nats' manager explained then, "so if I know of something and I don't let someone else play then I'm the idiot." Desmond told reporters last night that oblique wasn't an issue. Speaking to reporters this morning, including the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore, Johnson explained the decision and said that his shortstop could miss a few days:
Davey says Espinosa at short is a sign Desmond could be out a few days. Desmond told Davey that he bunted last night b/c swinging hurt.— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) July 15, 2012
• Here's the lineup for this afternoon's game in Miami:
Today's lineup: Lombardozzi, 2b; Harper, rf; Zim, 3b; LaRoche, 1b; Morse, lf; Espinosa, ss; Bernadina, cf; Solano, c; Strasburg, p— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) July 15, 2012
• More info on Desmond when/if it's available...