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11/12/09 6:58 PM EST

Riggleman: Guzman a second baseman

Manager interested in Desmond filling hole at shortstop

WASHINGTON -- Now that he is the full-time manager of the Nationals, Jim Riggleman has come to the conclusion that shortstop Cristian Guzman should be a second baseman for the team.

The team has been thinking about making the switch since last summer. The Nationals have been concerned about Guzman's range, especially when he goes to his left. Now that Guzman had right shoulder surgery after the season, it behooves the Nationals to play him at a new position.

"He got his [shoulder] operated on -- it's a move that players have to make sometimes, reluctantly," Riggleman said. "I was probably the last one to see that it was a move we need to make. We were talking to our staff -- [general manager] Mike Rizzo and everybody -- and we all came to the conclusion that [Guzman's] future is going to be at second base. If a person on the ballclub doesn't allow us to do that, then put him at short."

The big question is, who will play shortstop for the Nationals in 2010? Riggleman said he wouldn't mind going into the season with Ian Desmond at the position. Desmond was impressive after his September callup this past season, hitting .280 with four home runs and 12 RBIs. He even made some spectacular plays at short.

"I don't know if Desmond will be the shortstop, but as I stand here right now, I would be happy with it, because I know what kind of effort I'm going to get," Riggleman said. "I know the energy that he brings to the team. I know how athletic he is. I'm excited about Desmond's future. He has a future somewhere. It might be this year."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.