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Morgan Out for Season With Broken Left Hand

Nobody on the Washington Nationals can run as fast as Nyjer Morgan, steal as many bases, cover as much ground in the outfield, drop down as many bunt hits, or cause as many headaches for opposing pitchers. But somehow, the Nationals now must replace their leadoff man and center fielder.

Morgan will miss the rest of the season after breaking his left hand in Thursday afternoon's 5-4 win against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Back in the lineup after missing two games with the flu, Morgan -- before the injury -- provided a quick glimpse of his value. He walked to start the first inning, then stole two bases and scored.

The injury, though, occurred when Morgan jammed his left hand during a head-first slide into third base. When the inning ended, Willie Harris replaced Morgan in center.

By the time the game ended, Washington already knew the bleak prognosis. Morgan's injury -- technically a fracture of the second metacarpal -- will keep him out for six weeks. As the Nationals resume their road trip in St. Louis, Morgan will fly back to Washington, D.C., and visit with hand specialist Tim Graham. Morgan, hours after the injury, already had his left hand heavily bandaged. He used his teeth to yank the sleeves of his hooded sweatshirt.

"It's broke, guys," Morgan said to the media, "and I'm done for the year."

"It hurts," General Manager Mike Rizzo said. "It's a stumble for us. But Willie has been out there before Nyjer got here. Willie is gonna be out there again; we'll give him a chance to step up."

After being acquired on June 30 in a four-player trade with Pittsburgh, Morgan quickly became one of Washington's most indispensable players. His outfield range benefited those in left and right, and won the appreciation of the pitching staff. With the Nationals, Morgan compiled a .351 average (67 for 191) and stole 24 bases.

The Nationals are not yet sure of a corresponding roster move. They could consider Class AAA outfielder Justin Maxwell, a smooth fielder who has had two earlier stints with Washington this season.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 27, 2009; 6:23 PM ET
 
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Next: More on Drew Storen

Comments

This is not a bad time for Nyler to have an injury. Better now than next May or June. Get will soon Nyler!

Posted by: thegraneys | August 27, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Not Homeric ... Pyrrhic ... just Pyrrhic ...

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Can I get off the roller coaster now?

Posted by: joemktg1 | August 27, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

NO! I love Nyjer! I missed him for two days when he was sick. This sucks! :(

Posted by: rachel216 | August 27, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

'tis a roller coaster indeed, joemktg.

Take good care of Tony Plush, doc. We want to see him better than ever and back on the field next season.

Glad to see Super Willie get some playing time but sad at what occasioned it.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 27, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Except for the Mets and the Padres from now on its going to be a killer month and a half. Without Morgan it may not be pretty.

Looks like Bryce Harper will be a GCL Nat next year at this time.

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

does padilla play CF in order to spell super willie against the tougher lefties?

Posted by: surly_w | August 27, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Never underestimate the tankability of the Royals, Pirates and AngelO's.

Posted by: leetee1955 | August 27, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

14-11 in August and Morgan was a major portion of that.

I don't know where they will get that "spark"?

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

It would be nice to say out for the regular season and available for the Post-Season.

He will be missed and hopefully he rethinks the head first for the future!

Posted by: dmacman88 | August 27, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievable, we have had such a crappy season and crappy things happening, we finally get someone that you know can help us get to another level and this happens.

Nyler, we will miss you, take your time and heal. We can't wait to see you in Florida in February.

Hope I can talk my son back to watching Nat games, he lost interest in May and was back in the fold thanks to Nyler.

Posted by: Golfersal | August 27, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Revised thoughts from prior string...
----------------------
OK, the Morgan injury is confirmed - the Nationals have two or three options.

Option #1) utilize a Harris/ Dukes/ Padilla/ Morse rotation in CF/RF until the SYR season ends; Option #2) recall Maxwell immediately (SYR does need to "shed" a player once Balester reports), or Option #3) recall Bernardina from the GCL, even though he's probably only 60% effective.

Even though it probably flies against Rizzo's beliefs, I'd say the Nationals' go with option #2 (Maxwell). If they go with option #1 (platoons), it might look like the Nationals are just playing out the string on 2009, and Option #3 is pretty much out of the question, as I think Rizzo has already stated that Bernardina was finished for the year.

Posted by: BinM | August 27, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut: How COULD you???????????????

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I wouldn't complain at all about injuries this year. Compared to last year's injuries, all we've had this year is maybe a hangnail or stubbed toe.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 27, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 27, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

catcher50 raised a good point, I thought, in the previous post (and I'd actually had the same thought). Morgan's injury may help to give a better read on Riggleman's future.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 27, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

To pick up from last thread:

I think they will offer arbitration to Olsen. He's not going to get a lot from the board. Why not arbitrate, and keep control of him? You never know, if he comes back, it might still be good.

Posted by: swang30 | August 27, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

awww, come on, Nats_Lady. We all know it's not on NatsNut. She already feels awful about it, just like the rest of us.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 27, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

1A, I know, I'm sorry. I'm just ready to cry!!! We need to flood 1/2 Street with GET WELL CARDS for Nyjer.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 27, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

@BinM,

"Revised thoughts from prior string...
----------------------
OK, the Morgan injury is confirmed - the Nationals have two or three options."

Maybe its time to make some trades? What do you think? Do you think they have enough leverage, enough "prospects" to make some improvements now? Or should they wait until the offseason?

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

That's an excellent idea, Nats_Lady!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 27, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

To me the Jordan Zimmmermann injury was really bad.

Nyjer will be back and ready for Spring Training!

Posted by: dmacman88 | August 27, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

"NatsNut: How COULD you???????????????

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I wouldn't complain at all about injuries this year. Compared to last year's injuries, all we've had this year is maybe a hangnail or stubbed toe.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 27, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 27, 2009"

NO ONE here should have been smug about Nick the stick going on IR. Right now we could use that guy in the batting order with Morgan going down. And he may be back sooner.

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Man, I hate to see that. Nyjer plays the game the right way. He was one of the reasons to go see the Nats.

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 27, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I was just thinking. Which bone was it that Utley broke when, er, some pitcher plunked him? Seems like it didn't adversely affect him over the long term, and he came back quicker than the docs thought he might. (I know. The last past is wishful thinking.)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 27, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Good point, dmacman. I think it's partly that Morgan became a bright spot in a season without a whole lot of them.

---

To me the Jordan Zimmmermann injury was really bad.

Nyjer will be back and ready for Spring Training!

Posted by: dmacman88 | August 27, 2009 7:33 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 27, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Utley's was the fourth metacarpal according to an article archived on the USA Today site.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 27, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

"I watched because Nyjer gave me a reason to watch now the Nats go back to being predictable, KRAP!

Posted by: dargregmag | August 27, 2009"

The point is he WAS the catalyst. No doubt about it. Now, what do they do? Maxwell? He's better than Milledge ... but he's not a Morgan. Albeit he does have power and speed. Dukes? Asking him to be a "spark plug" at the top of the order? Anyone who believes that is swilling strawberry hill.

They could try Nanita or Plascensia I suppose. With the rosters expanding there would be room. But "spark plugs"?

Perhaps its time to make trades that could benefit next year's roster and continue the process of restocking the farm system? I don't see how they will be able to avoid a long losing streak without Morgan.

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

And he was out for four weeks.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 27, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

On Olsen:

I think Detwiler, Thompson, Lannan and Chico may be better choices.

Hopefully this year's crop of draft pick pitchers will move up the ladder quickly as Storen has. I hope Karn's is everything they think he can be as well.

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

@peri: The Nationals are going nowhere in 2009; Trades at this point in the season would be at best a wash, or a net loss for the team, IMO. Better to go with what's currently "on the shelves" for the remainder of the year, and wait until the off-season to re-set the strategy for 2010; See who gets non-tendered / released / bought-out or declines Arbitration across MLB.

Posted by: BinM | August 27, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, they got 15 runs on Tuesday without Morgan, but it's gonna be a LONG September without him. I love Willieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, really I do, but it's not the same.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 27, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Sucks...

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | August 27, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

*Sigh* And so it goes....

Posted by: leetee1955 | August 27, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Betcha we could get Millege back from Pittsburgh in trade for Morgan, even with a broken hand.

Any takers? Didn't think so.

Posted by: ThatsRich | August 27, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

@BinM,

I thought so ... do you think its worth seeing what Bernardina alternating with Maxwell and Harris?


"or declines Arbitration across MLB." : Lincecum.
There's your veteran starter.
So, I can dream ...

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Guess we'll have to wait and see what Rizzo decides to do.

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

"I love Willieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, really I do, but it's not the same.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 27, 2009"

I'm kind of liking our favorite foil ... Belliard he's picked up the team of late.

Wouldn't trading Willie and/or Belliard to contenders for the future may be worthwhile at this point? Even Guzman? They have Morse, they can bring up Casto to give them a left-handed bat. Padilla is a competent backup for the corner outfield positions. And they can bring up Maxwell and perhaps Bernardina. Ian Desmond as well.

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so no more head first slides Nyjer...

Posted by: bromisky | August 27, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

@peri: I tend to agree with Rizzo regarding Bernardina - he's nowhere near ML-ready right now; He is however worth a solid look in Viera in 2010, as is Maxwell if they're both still on the roster. Harris (or Dukes in platoon) become the "de-facto" CF's until Maxwell gets a recall, IMO. CF is not the immediate issue; finding another "table-setter" at the top of the lineup would be, if the team were truly in contention for a play-off berth.

Lacking research, I think Lincecum is at-best a 3rd-year, ARB-1 player; if SF were to non-tender, that would be suicidal on their part. Nice dream though...

Posted by: BinM | August 27, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

@BinM,

Maxwell appears to look like the closest thing to a "table setter" given his speed. Or Dukes? Another option could be Ian Desmond? Have to assume that both Desmond and Maxwell were due to get the call-up anyway.

Another possibility might be Norris Hopper? He is the lead-off guy for Syracuse now. He has 23 stolen bases, 30 walks against 18 strike outs.
And I think he can field.

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Nats_Lady-

I was thinking much the same as you, and read posts before I asked this. Isn't there a Nationals address we can write to with an expectation of a player receiving the mail? It might be one of the few advantages of a currently small fanbase.WE really care, and coul let Nyjer know.

As for replacements, I will be happy with whatever Mike Rizzo attempts. I stopped attaching hopes and dreams to marginal AAA players when poor larry Broadway injured himself just before he would have earned his one cup of coffee a few years ago (the Nick-Kearns collision).

Nyjer is a hockey player, and tougher than our beloved Nick Johnson. I expect him back in the spring. I will root for wins now, and not for Bryce Harper, but will accept the first pick if they try hard and fail. In any case, I still want Bobby Valentine as manager next spring.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | August 27, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't it a head first slide that caused Zimmerman's shoulder injury?

Many players take off their batting gloves after they get to first base and hold them one in each hand as a reminder to keep their fingers and thumb "in" to prevent this type of injury. I can't remember but I don't think Morgan did.

Posted by: anyone1 | August 27, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Hopper started in CF for Cincinnati in 2007. Played 54 games there. 1 error.

Norris Hopper hits .379 with men on. He hit over .300 the last time he played in the majors. He is 30-ish but he looks to be the best qualified replacement (even over super Willie) for center field right now.

Of course someone (surly_w) will come up with some reason why the guy shouldn't even be considered.

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

One more thing:

We had J. Bergmann on our blog a few years ago, and we all rooted for him. If we can get a letter campaign to T. Plush, why can't we do the same thing for some of the other guys? Don't you think that they could use some support from us most devoted fans during a rough year?

If anyone gets the address, let's take some time and pathetically cheap $0.28 post card stamps to thank and encourage our guys.

+1/2St/

Posted by: kevincostello | August 27, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

@Periculum:

With all due respect, I beg to differ on your opinion that Maxwell could be a "table setter" on a big league team.
Through tonight, he has a whopping 133 strikeouts in 376 at-bats at SYR. That's against AAA pitching. He obviously was even further overmatched at the big league level, as his stint in the spring proved. Defensively, he's fine. But the numbers (and my eyes) say he's not even a good minor league hitter, much less big league ready. A 9th-inning defensive replacement is all Maxwell is at the present. Now, he could improve. But now, that's it. I know he's U-Md., a local kid and all that. But that only gets you so far.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 27, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

So, Hopper, Desmond, Casto (lefty) or Leonard Davis (lefty) and Montz (Bard's injury) for the call-ups. Those would be my choices for bats.

Then lots of pitching.

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

@JDSchultz50

"With all due respect, I beg to differ on your opinion that Maxwell could be a "table setter" on a big league team."

Agreed. I thought better of it. See my post following yours. Me thinks Rizzo may actually be psychic. Hopper looks like the best candidate and he is doing that chore for Syracuse right now. Padilla has also been the lead-off guy. But he cannot play center field while Hopper may actually be a pretty fair one.

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

What. A. Bummer.

I think the team has to demand that Nyjer travel with the team for the rest of the year, even if he can't play. Just for the entertainment value. Make him the official team spokesman. Put him in the booth (move over, Dibble!). The man is just too much fun to send home.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 27, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

@peri:
Maxwell="table-setter"; Um, no. There's a reason he hits lower in the lineup in SYR - Low OBP & a long swing; He can draw the occaisional walk, so has appeared as a #2 hitter every so often.

Desmond - Interesting thought, as I believe he has appeared in CF for SYR at least once this year, but probably not for WSH in 2009. My reasoning being, he's still looked at as a SS/MI by the organization - Also, he would need extensive work in the OF to adjust to the position, and hasn't seemed to be the most "fleet-of-foot" on the basepaths.

Hopper - Purchased by SYR in early August, RH-hitter, turned 30 this year. Not worth a 40-man spot, IMO - he's a career minor-leaguer who is helping SYR toward a possible playoff spot in 2009.

Posted by: BinM | August 27, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Booooo!!!! The Morgan injury is such bad news. I agree with the other posters, finding someone to play CF isn't the issue but rather who bats lead-off. I'm glad I don't have to make that decision. Good luck, Riggleman! I don't think I'm going to enjoy the last month of the season very much.

Posted by: grforbes | August 27, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

God.

Damn.

It.

Posted by: gilbertbp | August 27, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

"Hopper - Purchased by SYR in early August, RH-hitter, turned 30 this year. Not worth a 40-man spot, IMO - he's a career minor-leaguer who is helping SYR toward a possible playoff spot in 2009.

Posted by: BinM | August 27, 2009"

Norris Hopper
2007 age 28: Cincinnati Reds
(Our favorite "farm team".)

121 games 335 at bats 51 runs .329 BA .758 OPS
20 Walks, 33 strike outs, 14 SB's

In 2006 he hit .359 in 21 games with Cincinnati.

He must have been injured. No, he's not a "career minor leaguer". One could have said that about Nyjer Morgan given his age.

I think this guy may be different. He's not a Morgan but he might just do to replace him for a month and a half.

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

My opinion is they bring up Maxwell and play him FT in CF, if not that then play Harris in CF full time and bring up Maxwell as his backup when the Syracuse season ends. Couldn't hurt to carry an 8th reliever in the interim.

As for Olsen, I think they have to offer him arbitration to keep him under team control, but I also think there is a very high likelihood that he gets the Shawn Hill treatment - ie if he isn't 100% and back to the guy he was 2 years ago for FLA (and seemed to be for the two start before heading to the DL) then you cut him and save the 80% or whatever of his salary.

Posted by: estuartj | August 27, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Yep, my guess is that Mr. Rizzo was being pro-active. If you want to talk about guys having a great year ... Mike Rizzo is right up there.

I'll stick with the earlier prediction: Norris Hopper CF, Ian Desmond SS/2B (moving Guz to 2B just to see?), Kory Casto (lefty) or Leonard Davis (lefty) utility guys to go with Morse who probably is backing up Zimmerman. Finally Luke Montz to help shore up the catching.

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

BTW, this was Morgan's first full year in the majors from the looks of things ... he was a "career" minor leaguer ... and so he might have remained even with the year he was having with Pittsburgh were it not for the Nats.

Hopper's stats appear to be better than Morgan's up until this year.

It sure seems like he could fill the role.

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

On that, I agree, periculum. Rizzo is having a fantastic year. He's the anti-Bowden, as somebody here pointed out. No flash, no DUIs, no honey blondes sitting next to him in the box seats. Just a hard-working grunt who's built relationships that count (see Steve Boras) through a lifetime in the game. I expect to see many deals between now and Oct. 1.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 27, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Yes,

Rizzo's intuition about these players borders on "Harry Potter and the Magical Baseball". I suspect he had more to do with getting guys like Dunn, Willingham, etc. than did Mssr. Bowden who went for Willie Mo Pena, Kearns, and FLop.

I wonder what kind of injury Hopper suffered that crippled his career? He hardly played at all in 2008 and the last half of 2007?

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh-oh, bad jersey numerology - #1) Morgan on DL-15, #2) Bernadina on DL-60, #3) Flores on DL-15, #4) Patterson = released, #5) Riggleman = "interim" MGR but still w/team, #6) A.Hernandez = traded, #7) Bard = still w/team, #8) Padilla = still w/team, #9) unissued.
Maybe 2009 wasn't a good year to have a low jersey number for the Nationals?

Posted by: BinM | August 27, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Hah! Another "Tommy Johns" guy? Norris Hopper. That's why he was back in the minors.

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Reds | Hopper has best second-half batting average in NL Wed, 29 Aug 2007 19:30:34 -0700

Hal McCoy, of the Dayton Daily News, reports Cincinnati Reds OF Norris Hopper has hit .385 since the All-Star break, the best average in the majors in that span.

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

"#9) unissued."

#9) Norris Hopper?

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

All I can say is PLEASE Nationals, do not let Dukes play any center field. I will take anyone over him making the easy play look very difficult.

Posted by: JT2009 | August 27, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey, speak for yourself.
*******************
awww, come on, Nats_Lady. We all know it's not on NatsNut.
Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 27, 2009 7:26 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 27, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Peri: Just back away from the computer and take a nap - You've gone over the top in terms of "the next new thing" with Hopper, IMO. He was (and is) AAA insurance - if he gets more than a cursory glance in Viera v.2010, I'll be suprised.

Posted by: BinM | August 27, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

So how is Bernardina's leg doing? That was a pretty nasty looking break, in the first? week of this season. Is he back to 100% yet? Seems kind of soon.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 27, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

"Peri: Just back away from the computer and take a nap - You've gone over the top in terms of "the next new thing" with Hopper, IMO. He was (and is) AAA insurance - if he gets more than a cursory glance in Viera v.2010, I'll be surprised."

Maybe ... but if the Hopper's arm has recovered? He hits over .300 in the majors ... he walks, he steals bases and he can field. I'm not sure but he sure sounds like a better option than Maxwell for the next 3 months and both his minor league and major league records look better than Morgan's?

It looks to me like he could be major league insurance not just AAA insurance. He's not a Padilla.

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Ooop sorry I meant 1.5 months ... til the end of the season.

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Now, if the center field seats were occupied (I started to type "filled" but I'm not that crazy) by enough porkpie-hat-and-dark-glasses-wearing fans, maybe he'll get better.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 27, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and get this: the Nationals just emailed me, asking how my "fan experience" was at the Colo. game.

I'm composing a measured response.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 27, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, Steven at FJB thinks Hopper is a good bet.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 27, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

@peri: Stop it already, willya? Norris costs the Nationals a roster spot (he's not on the 40-man); Maxwell is an option move (he's already on the 40-man). If Riggleman/Rizzo think they need an OF replacement for Morgan, Maxwell is basically it.

Posted by: BinM | August 27, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

"@peri: Stop it already, willya? Norris costs the Nationals a roster spot (he's not on the 40-man); Maxwell is an option move (he's already on the 40-man). If Riggleman/Rizzo think they need an OF replacement for Morgan, Maxwell is basically it."

If Morgan goes on the IR Hopper would just replace him, so it really doesn't does it? He's a good option for 1.5 months. He plus lefty Willie Harris. He seems like he could be another Morgan ... not the "spark plug" ...

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Oooops sorry mixing metaphors ... I meant say Morgan on the 60-day DL?

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it be cool if Maxwell could come up and demonstrate that he is qualified major league outfielder.

Posted by: natbiscuits | August 27, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

"Wouldn't it be cool if Maxwell could come up and demonstrate that he is qualified major league outfielder.

Posted by: natbiscuits | August 27, 2009"

Yes, but he doesn't bat lead off in Syracuse because he strikes out a lot and doesn't walk enough.

Syracuse misses Morse and Padilla ... but actually did better when Maxwell paid his "visits" to the majors. Tonight he batted seventh. That's not saying a lot. He leads the team in strike outs. He is batting a cool .245. He does have 51 walks and 34 stolen bases.

It'll be interesting to see ... I guess I agree with FJB. If you want to win now, you start Hopper and let him lead-off with Willie coming in as before. If you want to watch Maxwell strike out batting, trying to learn to hit major league hitting when he is still struggling in AAA. Hopper mastered AAA pitching a long time ago ...

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

PHS and Nats_Lady, from the team site:

Fan mail should be sent to the following address: [Coach or Player Name]
Washington Nationals Baseball Club
1500 South Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003-1507

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 27, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Don't make me turn this car around, sec3. (shakes finger)

---

Hey, speak for yourself.
*******************
awww, come on, Nats_Lady. We all know it's not on NatsNut.
Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 27, 2009 7:26 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 27, 2009 9:38 PM |

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 27, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I got one of those, too, as well as an informational email just before the recent game for which I had purchased tix. I like the new approach. (And will we get to read your response here?)

---

Oh, and get this: the Nationals just emailed me, asking how my "fan experience" was at the Colo. game.

I'm composing a measured response.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 27, 2009 9:51 PM |

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 27, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

In other news, kinda funny to see the Sox shortstop throw two scoreless innings in mop-up duty at Fenway (he did walk three). Wonder which position player would be our best bet for such a scenario?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 27, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

At least the O's lost. And with that, I bid you good night.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 27, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

"Wonder which position player would be our best bet for such a scenario?"

Padilla perhaps. He has pitched this year.

Posted by: periculum | August 27, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Someone asked whether Nyjer was holding his gloves as some players do to protect their hands. I went back and watched the tape. Early in the at bat as he was drawing throws to first he was holding them, but he put them on before he actually stole second and he had them on for the ill-fated steal of third. I remember earlier in the year when he was picked off because he was fiddling with his gloves and didn't notice the throw over coming quite quickly enough. Something to work on I guess.

What a loss for the Nats. I guess we're back in the hunt for Harper.

Posted by: Section222 | August 27, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Get well soon, Tony Plush!

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | August 27, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the address, 1A. I just emailed it to myself as a reminder--as if I could forget!!

Can we push hard for Nyjer in the broadcast booth? I REALLY go for that idea, and it was previously mentioned when he was at the ESPN event that he needs a talk show.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 27, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

This is no big deal guys, just wait til Sept. 1st when the rosters can be expanded. Bring up Maxwell and let him play out the string. Its not like they're in a pennant race. It will be good to see if Maxwell can do it when there is no pressure. They don't need to make a trade, call up AAAA players, or screw up the 40 man roster. Just relax the season is almost over. Breathe and relax.

Posted by: WashOut | August 27, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

If they don't put Nyger in the broadcast booth for occasional commentary or interviews (please, MASN, NOT with Debbi Taylor!!) I'd get a kick out of hearing him being mike'd up for each week's Wireless Wednesday!

Posted by: MCarroll63 | August 27, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Main thing...get Nyjer healthy, the rest of this season, fahget about it. Welcome to DC Bryce, in about 4 years. Agreed Washout, the callups will fill out the season just fine.

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 27, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

We'll take that #1 pick next year thank you very much. T. Plush, it's been a pleasure. Get that hand well, I can't wait to see you next year. This team could be a force in 2011.

Posted by: tallbaby2121 | August 27, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I would not be so quick to dismiss Maxwell as a possible CF replacement. Aside from batting average his minor league stats are not to dissimilar from those of Grady Sizemore. Max displays more power, hitting and speed than Sizemore. We already lost one Sizemore let's not lose two in our haste.

Posted by: mjames0 | August 27, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

why do the baseball gods hate my hometown team so? i mean, the nats have already sacrificed jim bowden. wasn't that enough?

Posted by: surly_w | August 27, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Thanks for that email addy so I can send Nyjer a card. He's been such a pleasure to watch! Hope he gets well soon and is in the "broadcasters" box to help this team. Go Livan! I miss Nick Johnson. Does anyone know how I can send a thank you card to him with those Marlins? I asked that before, but never heard anything.

Posted by: susandea | August 27, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

I hate to say it, but this is why base stealers shouldn't slide head first.

Posted by: united123 | August 27, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Seconded.

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What. A. Bummer.

I think the team has to demand that Nyjer travel with the team for the rest of the year, even if he can't play. Just for the entertainment value. Make him the official team spokesman. Put him in the booth (move over, Dibble!). The man is just too much fun to send home.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 27, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: beardo1 | August 27, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Ladson sez Orr is being brought up from SYR to be "late-inning defensive replacement" outfielder.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 28, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

I have been out there plugging beers, water and peanuts ever since the Nats came to town. Maybe 75 games a year, and a lot of the time it has been dreadful. The beginning of this season was a nightmare. Then came Nyjer! Absolutely one of the most exciting players I have ever seen, and this includes 28 seasons in Baltimore, and a bushel each spring in Florida. No, I am not saying the greatest player, but, he has an electricity and energy that obviously was transmitted to his teammates. Indispensable to the current team, I am fearful of what will happen. Yet, we shall see if the team responds, and if they do, give creadit to the manager. But, for the moment, I am seriously bummed!

Posted by: howardrhart | August 28, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Oh-oh, bad jersey numerology - #1) Morgan on DL-15, #2) Bernadina on DL-60, #3) Flores on DL-15, #4) Patterson = released, #5) Riggleman = "interim" MGR but still w/team, #6) A.Hernandez = traded, #7) Bard = still w/team, #8) Padilla = still w/team, #9) unissued.
Maybe 2009 wasn't a good year to have a low jersey number for the Nationals?
****************************************

Somebody should warn Pat Listach, because I believe he recently took 4. He gave up 37 for Strasburg.

Posted by: BGinVA | August 28, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Fan mail should be sent to the following address: [Coach or Player Name]
Washington Nationals Baseball Club
1500 South Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003-1507
***************************************

So are the Nats still refusing to recognize the fact that the DC council redesignated South Capitol Street as "Taxation Without Representation Way?" Although I think it's dumb (the new name, that is), it is true - there are new street signs lining the street adjacent to the ballbark. I think this is another pi$$ing match between the team and the city, though it's not getting the press that withholding rent money from the city did.

Posted by: BGinVA | August 28, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse

OK, I'm watching the game on the replay tonight, and I'm convinced, finally. Dukes is never going to stop running into his infielders. Lose this Bowden Special. They will have gotten nothing for Lopez or Kearns, and they'll get little or nothing for Dukes, but keeping him is throwing good innings after bad. I'm done here.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 28, 2009 2:12 AM | Report abuse

The Astros fine their minor league players who slide head-first. Might be something the Nats want to emulate.

Posted by: nats24 | August 28, 2009 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Well, technically it's between Congress and the DIstrict, but OK.
***************
I think this is another pi$$ing match between the team and the city, though it's not getting the press that withholding rent money from the city did.

Posted by: BGinVA | August 28, 2009 12:47 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 28, 2009 2:18 AM | Report abuse

Yanno, while I am a feet-first kind of guy, I'm not sure that's the way to go. It IS faster to go in hands-first; they just have to learn how to do it right.
********
The Astros fine their minor league players who slide head-first. Might be something the Nats want to emulate.

Posted by: nats24 | August 28, 2009 2:14 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 28, 2009 2:21 AM | Report abuse

We're recalling Pete Orr. WHY???

Posted by: big_game_lannan | August 28, 2009 2:39 AM | Report abuse

With Morgan out, it will become even more apparent that the Nats have another serious problem in the outfield: Dukes.
I used to be so high on him, but this year he provides daily evidence that he MUST go. He swings at the first pitch at every at bat even tho' he is struggling at the plate. His fielding is wistful at best, and now he's become a danger to his on-the-field team mates (just ask Belliard) by bullying the call on every "I got it!" fly. His attitude is surly at best...and he has demonstrated time and again that he never learns from past mistakes. He's gotta go, dawg!

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | August 28, 2009 5:45 AM | Report abuse

You're welcome. Re. Nick, I'd check the Marlins site. I found the addy for the Nats on the fan section of the site, in the Fan A to Z Guide. I would guess that they may still be forwarding his mail from Nats Park as well.

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Wow! Thanks for that email addy so I can send Nyjer a card. He's been such a pleasure to watch! Hope he gets well soon and is in the "broadcasters" box to help this team. Go Livan! I miss Nick Johnson. Does anyone know how I can send a thank you card to him with those Marlins? I asked that before, but never heard anything.

Posted by: susandea | August 27, 2009 11:40 PM |

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 28, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

And I vote "yes" for Nyger in the booth, wired up, as a dugout sparkplug, or whatever down the stretch.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 28, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and new post up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 28, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Nothing good ever comes from sliding head first.

Posted by: mherd1 | August 28, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Ugh! This is a mess, poor Nyjer. The problem is now not who will play CF everyday but once again who will leadoff? Without that spark and base stealing threat at the top of the lineup, I believe the 2-6 guys will suffer mightly. :(

Posted by: markfd | August 28, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Or perhaps their site's Fan A-Z guide hasn't been updated lately. Nah, conspiracy theories are so much better...

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So are the Nats still refusing to recognize the fact that the DC council redesignated South Capitol Street as "Taxation Without Representation Way?" Although I think it's dumb (the new name, that is), it is true - there are new street signs lining the street adjacent to the ballbark. I think this is another pi$$ing match between the team and the city, though it's not getting the press that withholding rent money from the city did.

Posted by: BGinVA | August 28, 2009 12:47 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 28, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Losing Morgan will cost the Nats at least 5 wins this season. He is a huge difference maker. Just as important as Zimmerman or Dunn.

Posted by: jboogie1 | August 28, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

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