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Washington Nationals’ Opening Day lineup announced: Davey Martinez reveals his first lineup of 2019...

Davey Martinez wants to put out a more consistent lineup in 2019, if the players can stay healthy... Here’s the one he put together for Opening Day.

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

From the start this Spring, Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez said he wanted to change at least one thing this season, in his second campaign on the bench in the nation’s capital. Martinez, as a rookie manager, continually shook things up, with 89 different lineup configurations over the course of his first big league season at the helm.

“[What] I want to do, honestly, this year, is if these guys are healthy, have a constant lineup,” Martinez said, “because I really believe that you get to understand how they’re pitching your guys, and a lot of guys talk about sequences and how they pitch guys in certain situations, and if a guy is hitting behind one guy constantly, you kind of know what kind of pitches you’re going to get, so for the most part I want to kind of keep our lineup the same. Like I said, it all depends on who’s off and who’s not, and which guys are really swinging the bats well and which guys aren’t.”

Martinez seemed to go back and forth this Spring when it comes to the top of the order, but he talked in the past week about leading off with Adam Eaton, who’s posted a .394 OBP as a National in his first two seasons in D.C., with a .392 OBP in the 73 games he led off in 2018, (.356 OBP in his first at bat of the game, and a .364 OBP when he led off an inning overall last season).

“I like the fact that Eaton goes up there and will put [together] an 8-9-10-pitch at bat, you know,” Martinez told reporters earlier this week, “and for a pitcher, that’s kind of frustrating for a pitcher, and if he can do that to lead off the game, that’s kind of what [we want], and then all of a sudden you’ve got to deal with Trea [Turner], and he comes up next and he can go out and get on first base and end up on third base at any given time, so I like that combination.”

Eaton told the reporters he was in favor of the plan to keep things consistent when it comes to the lineup, pointing to the sky in a “please let it happen” gesture when asked about what Martinez had said about running a consistent lineup out there if possible this season.

“You guys all have relationships, right?” he asked rhetorically.

“You want consistency in those relationships. When you go home to your significant other, you want to have consistency. It’s the same thing here. When you can come here and have consistency that whether you’re going to be in the lineup, wherever it may be, and know that you’re going to be in the lineup, there’s a rhythm to it, there’s a sort of confidence to it, and like I said, it just goes like with any other relationships, you can come in every day and have the same type of consistency, it’s nice, and I think everyone really enjoys it.”

“There’s going to be days where things will change, but for the most part I want to keep our lineup the same,” Martinez added.

“If you look at our lineup, we’re very well-balanced,” he added. “We’ve got guys that can hit really anywhere in our lineup, and I say this, and I tell the players this all the time, after the first inning you’re just a hitter. You’re going up there in certain situations, so you’ve got to prepare yourselves every at bat.”

Martinez also talked about hitting rookie outfielder Victor Robles ninth, and why he wants the young outfielder there.

“The reason I wanted Eaton to hit leadoff, because you have Robles hitting ninth,” he said, “... so it gives us an extra kind of leadoff hitter, and also we’ll flip the lineup over, so now you’ve got Robles, Eaton, Turner, but that for me is the only reason why. I think with Robles being so young, hitting him ninth will get better pitches to hit as well.”

Eaton is on top this afternoon, leading off against the New York Mets in Game 1 of 162, and Turner is batting second, with Robles ninth. Who’s ready for Opening Day?