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Ian Desmond wins starting job for Washington

Shortstop Ian Desmond was announced as the starting shortstop for the Washington Nationals, beating out Cristian Guzman, who will now be utilized as a utility player. Desmond recently did his off-season training at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Read the full article at

Nationals manager Jim Riggleman told reporters Sunday he has chosen rookie Ian Desmond as his starting shortstop over incumbent Cristian Guzman, who will earn $8 million this season.

Guzman will play in a utility role.

Desmond, a third-round draft pick back when the franchise was still in Montreal in 2004, has a .278 spring average and a .463 slugging percentage, plus he leads the club with 12 RBI. He had a breakout season with a .330 average at Class AA and AAA last year, then batted .280 with an .879 OPS in an 82-at-bat audition with the Nationals.

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