In return, Nyjer Morgan looks like his old self
Nyjer Morgan had last played in a major league game March 14, when he felt a tweak in his right hamstring while running to first base. He was 3 for 21 at the time, and it seemed like his slow start to spring would be exacerbated by time away.
Instead, Morgan's break from big league games served as a spark. In his return tonight, Morgan went 2 for 3 with two stolen bases. Even at 80 percent, which is what he said he was, Morgan was the most exciting player on the field.
"I didn't have it cranked up," Morgan said. "I didn't really want to push it too hard. But I wanted to still push it just to show the boys that even though I was injured, it's good now."
And so is his swing: One of his hits came on a line drive. Morgan slumped to begin the spring, but during his time playing in minor leagues, he overloaded on seeing live pitching. He took 10 at-bats per day, not running out of the box but just taking at-bat after at-bat. Last year, he played in a heavy dose of minor league games with the Pirates so he could increase his at-bats.
"It's one of the things I really like about spring training," Morgan said. "That's what got me going last year, too. I wouldn't say I got my groove back, but it's starting to come."
Morgan also reached once by beating out a bunt. He stole second base, and once "I got on second, I wanted to steal third," Morgan said. He didn't get much of a jump, he said afterward. But he still stole third base for the first time this spring.
"He kind of looked his typical self," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "Creating a little havoc out there."
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