(Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

The Nationals’ lineup today against the Tigers may be a partial preview for how the Nationals will look on opening day, with six everyday players stacked at the top. Most notable in that arrangement, Ryan Zimmerman is batting fifth. If Matt Williams decides to give Zimmerman some time in the fifth spot in the regular season, it would be a significant departure for Zimmerman.

In 1,114 career starts, Zimmerman has batted fifth 53 times. The last time he hit lower than fourth was 2009, and that was for only one game. Before that, Zimmerman did not bat fifth or lower since 2006, when he batted fifth on 47 occasions. (One amazing fact recalled during this quick research: Zimmerman hit third and played third base in all 162 games in 2007.) While Zimmerman learns a new position, he may also have a new spot in the order.

The Nationals are playing two split-squad games today, and there’s no question the marquee game is back in Viera, where James Wagner is stationed. I’m here in Kissimmee, where Gio Gonzalez and a lineup with a couple regulars will face the Astros.  In Viera, that Nationals lineup lousy with everyday players will take on Justin Verlander and the Tigers. Both games start at 1 p.m., and you can watch the Verlander-Jordan Zimmermann matchup live on MASN.

Here are those lineups:

Nationals vs. Tigers

1. Denard Span, CF

2. Ian Desmond, SS

3. Jayson Werth, RF

4. Bryce Harper, LF

5. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

6. Adam LaRoche, 1B

7. Jose Lobaton, C

8. Jeff Kobernus, 2B

9. Jordan Zimmermann, SP


Nationals vs. Astros

1. Anthony Rendon, 2B

2. Danny Espinosa, SS

3. Scott Hairston, DH

4. Tyler Moore, LF

5. Zach Walters, 3B

6. Brock Peterson, 1B

7. Sandy Leon, C

8. Steven Souza Jr., RF

9. Brian Goodwin, CF