One day after the Washington Nationals took first baseman Adam LaRoche out of the starting lineup, manager Davey Johnson is at it again. Infielder Steve Lombardozzi will suit up at third base Thursday night against the Cincinnati Reds in place of Anthony Rendon.
The purpose of the lineup changes is to try to get things going offensively. The Nationals have lost four in a row, including getting swept by the St. Louis Cardinals. With the Atlanta Braves still playing at a high level, Washington has to do something to get back above .500 and catch up with the National League East current leader.
“I’m going to have to juggle it up and do a few things [Thursday]. Change the mindset,” Johnson told Nationals.com. “I’m going to get Lombo in the lineup, get him hitting in the top of the order. Move Werth around. He said some things to me after the ballgame. So just shake some things up a little bit. Little different roles.”
Lombardozzi will hit second in the batting order in front of Bryce Harper. Even though Jayson Werth was expected to be moved down to fifth in the order, he will instead hit cleanup with LaRoche batting behind him.
The 24-year-old Lombardozzi has seen most of his at-bats occur as a pinch hitter this season. With that being said, he is batting .273 with three RBI, three doubles, two runs and one walk in 29 at-bats.
The following is Washington’s starting lineup against Cincinnati for Thursday night:
Center Fielder: Denard Span
Third Baseman: Steve Lombardozzi
Left Field: Bryce Harper
Right Field: Jayson Werth
First Baseman: Adam LaRoche
Shortstop: Ian Desmond
Second Baseman: Danny Espinosa
Catcher: Kurt Suzuki
Pitcher: Gio Gonzalez