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Posted at 09:02 AM ET, 03/27/2011

Nationals’ plan spells out Nyjer Morgan’s status

The Nationals have just three more games left in spring training, with tomorrow at Orlando against the Braves as their final road trip. The travel roster includes a significant omission. Nyjer Morgan and Ryan Zimmerman are the only two position players who will not travel with the team. Zimmerman had planned on missing one game to rest his groin. Morgan’s absence leads to its own conclusion.

Morgan did not travel with the Nats yesterday, either, and he is also not in the Nationals lineup today. It’s been clear for a while that Rick Ankiel will be the center fielder. This just about cements that. The Nationals need to give Ankiel and Jayson Werth time together in the outfield to play with one another. Here’s today’s lineup:

Nationals

1. Ian Desmond, SS

2. Jayson Werth, RF

3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

4. Rick Ankiel, CF

5. Michael Morse, LF

6. Wilson Ramos, C

7. Danny Espinosa, 2B

8. Alex Cora, 1B

9. Ross Detwiler, SP

The Nationals will not bring a major league starting pitcher with them to Orlando. Instead, 2010 minor league pitcher of the year Tom Milone will start. Since they’ll play the Braves three days later when it counts, Manager Jim Riggleman does not want to give the Braves a look at a starter they will face during that series. These relievers will make the trip:

Collin Balester

Brian Broderick

Sean Burnett

Tyler Clippard

Todd Coffey

Chad Gaudin

Doug Slaten

Drew Storen

That looks a lot like the Nats’ opening day bullpen, plus one.

Today, the Nationals will face the Marlins with Detwiler on the mound. The Nationals chose Detwiler for the same reason – they don’t want the Marlins, an early-season, intra-division opponent, to get a look at one of their rotation starters. John Lannan will throw a minor league game today.

By  |  09:02 AM ET, 03/27/2011

 
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