Earlier today, we wondered if Ian Desmond might be the leadoff hitter on a Nationals team without Nyjer Morgan as the center fielder, and now we have the answer.

“Desmond would be a strong candidate to do that,” Manager Jim Riggleman said. “That’s one of the considerations we’d have to make if anybody other Nyjer is the center fielder.”

The fact that the Nationals’ center field position remains effectively open means their leadoff spot is undecided, too. If Morgan beats out Rick Ankiel and Roger Bernadina in center field, he would bat lead off. If not, then Riggleman would have another decision to make.

Bernadina, should he win the center field position, would be a candidate. Danny Espinosa would also be a possibility. With Morgan not on tonight’s trip and Ankiel starting in center, Desmond is leading off, a clue as to who could hit leadoff should Ankiel win the center field job. Riggleman believes Desmond would not have to change his approach, and in fact would urge him not to.

“If he’s hitting leadoff, we won’t ask him to change his game,” Riggleman said. “We’re not looking for him to go out and take pitches or get info and give to guys on the club after that first at-bat. We would just let him play and see what happens.”