Jerry Hairston will make his first start of the season Tuesday at shortstop and replace Ian Desmond for one day, Hairston said this morning. While Desmond went 0 for 9 the first two games of the season and began Sunday’s game with two more outs, the Nationals are sitting Desmond for a game only in order to keep Hairston fresh. Manager Jim Riggeman has not considered anyone other than Desmond as the Nationals’ leadoff hitter.
In the Nationals’ first game, Hairston entered the game as pinch-hitter only to be pulled back without hitting. He received his first at-bat Saturday and drew an intentional walk. Hairston will start in center field against left-handed starting pitchers, so Riggleman has reason to make sure he does not sit for too long.