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2011 MLB Opening Day, Braves Vs. Nationals: The Jayson Werth Era Begins In Washington

The Washington Nationals will start a new season on Thursday as teams across the country celebrate 2011 MLB Opening Day. It will be the first chance to see some of the newest Nationals, namely Jayson Werth, whom the team signed to a seven-year, $126 million contract in the offseason.

The rest of the Nats' opening day lineup looks like this, via Ben Goessling at MASNSports.com.

Ian Desmond - SS
Jayson Werth - RF
Ryan Zimmerman - 3B
Adam LaRoche - 1B
Michael Morse - LF
Rick Ankiel - CF
Danny Espinosa - 2B
Ivan Rodriguez - C
Livan Hernandez - P

Desmond, Zimmerman and Rodriguez are the only position players that played on a full-time basis last year. We already talked about Werth. LaRoche is (hopefully) the defensive-minded first baseman that Mike Rizzo said the team needed to get in the offseason, despite his shoulder issues. Morse was part of an outfield platoon last year, but has won the starting left field job with a strong showing in the spring. I'm not sure the Nats thought Rick Ankiel would be a starting center fielder when they signed him, but after the trade of Nyjer Morgan, here we are. Danny Espinosa had a very strong September after being called up to the majors, and he looks to build on that with his first full season.

Check out Federal Baseball for more on the Nats.