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Nationals release Willy Taveras

The Nationals today unconditionally released outfielder Willy Taveras, who had been designated for assignment Saturday night to make room for Michael Morse on the Nationals' roster.

The Nationals signed Taveras, 28, to a minor league contract this offseason. When the Nationals designated Taveras, he was undecided if he would accept or refuse an assignment to the Nationals' minor leagues if he passed waivers.

"I would have loved to get more opportunity, but it didn't happen that way," Taveras said at the time. "I understand. I believe in myself. I didn't get the chance I thought I was going to get, but it's all good. I'm professional, and I'm going to keep working hard. I'm still pretty young. I think there's a lot of baseball left in me."

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 21, 2010; 1:44 PM ET
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Seems like a good guy. Sounds like the team is dealing more with grown-ups now.

Posted by: Section406 | May 21, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Good luck, Willy...

Posted by: Ghost7 | May 21, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

The Nats really need to identify a RF starter. Willingham, Tavares, Morse, Bernadina, all platoon at that spot. Too many players for 1 slot. I say put Dunn back out there and pick a 1st baseman from this group.

Posted by: movado2 | May 21, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

The team picked a 1B from that group - Adam Dunn.

As to the rest, Willingham is just fine in LF, Taveres is gone, & Morse just came back from the DL. Let's see how he & Bernadina work out in RF for 20-25 games before shuffling players all over creation.

Posted by: BinM | May 21, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Ummm, Willingham plays left. And there is a reason Dunn is at first, where he has been better than expected, and not in the outfield. For now we will have to live with a Morse/Bernadina platoon, spelled on a regular basis by Willie Harris. It's not great, but it's fine. I've always hoped Maxwell would take this spot but he just hasn't been able to hit enough. Burgess is next in line but he's still in Potomac. I believe that releasing Dukes was addition by subtraction but I also agree that this is a hole that needs to get filled, probably from the outside.

Posted by: BobLHead | May 21, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Bon chance, Willie. Just please don't sign with the Marlins and then hit .400 against us.

Posted by: lowcountry | May 21, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Movado2: Dude! with all due respect are you crazy? if you want to see more adventures in the outfield put Dunn back out there please let him stay at first i think he's made strides and is improving but back out in RF naw,it ain't happening.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 21, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

The thought of Adam Dunn back in the outfield makes me shudder. He's better suited to first base. Bernadina and Morse may not end up being the all-star solution in right, but they're worth a shot for now.

Posted by: elijah383 | May 21, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone update me on the status of Bruney? I think his 10 days are about up.

I guess some people forget when Dunn was at LF. RF is less of a probelm these days than CF. Hope Riggs can work his magic on Nyjer.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | May 21, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing movado2 must be a Phillies/Fish/Mutts/Braves fan, because no Nats fan in his right mind would EVER want Dunn back in the outfield. I don't even want him chasing pop ups out there. Remember the Nick Johnson/Austin Kearns incident? Imagine Dunn colliding with Bernadina. They'd be picking Bernadinabits (copyright 2010 RGPJR) out of the turf for weeks.

Posted by: RPrecupjr | May 21, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Bruney was DFA'd on Sunday, May 16, I believe. I'd think it would be first of next week before we know anything.

Posted by: Jeff_Jackson | May 21, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Guzman also plays right field? And he is a far better hitter from the right side especially against lefties. He, and not Morse, would more likely be out there at this point ... after Bernadina and the Willie Harris. That's how Riggleman will more than likely play it. So, its pretty crowded out there.

I think Morse has pretty much been consigned to mostly first base and perhaps third coming off the bench in a double switch ... or pinch hitting.

Posted by: periculum | May 21, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

While everyone ponders RF, what in the heck has happened to Morgan in center--at the plate--on the bases? Don't think it's a coincidence that he was an integral part of the triple play and the inside the park HR. That ball should have been caught. It dropped below his leap. He was completely lost. And as far as the triple play, that fly was right in front of him. He looks completely lost both offensively and defensively. His throws last night were atrocious. Dibble was about to split a gut. Is anyone working with this guy?

Posted by: dovelevine | May 21, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse


I'm still laughing about Bernadinabits. That's beautiful...and oh, so true. (Thinking about the Johnson-Kearns collision still makes me cringe.)

It ought to be a gorgeous night for baseball, but boy, I HATE interleague play. The only thing worse is the DH. (At least we'll be spared that tonight.)


Posted by: wocoliz | May 21, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

And quick question about Riggs, is he aware you can remove a pitcher without doing a double shift? Just wondering. We get it you're smart. Doesn't mean you have to take an outfielder out of the game every time you come to the mound. Removing Bernadina in the fith or 4th the other night was plain silly.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 21, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Guzman is hitting .435 vs left-handers, .277 vs right-handers.

W'ham is hitting .194 vs left-handers, .289 vs right-handers.

I think that might be a good platoon in LF.

Posted by: zadok1 | May 21, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

@periculum: Excellent point about Guzman. I'm amazed and impressed by how well he's adjusted to being a utility player--he can't play SS anymore, but I thought he'd kick up a lot more of a fuss about losing the job to Desi.

@dovelevine: I've been wondering the same thing about Nyjer. Misjudging fly balls, botching throws, bad decisions on the bases... I think he'll turn it around soon. He's sure exciting to watch when he's playing well.

Posted by: wocoliz | May 21, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

>>W'ham is hitting .194 vs left-handers, .289 vs right-handers.

Where is this stat listed?

Posted by: dovelevine | May 21, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

It’s “double switch” but I get your meaning. I have seen quite a few this season by Riggs. Wonder if somebody tracks these? Would be interesting to see whether he’s on the high/low/average side.

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | May 21, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"And as far as the triple play, that fly was right in front of him."

That triple play was not Morgan's fault. Or Livo's either. They were in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. If they didn't advance and Pagan had not caught the ball, two quick throws would have forced them out at third and second. Double play. If they played it safe and only went halfway, one of them probably would have been caught in a rundown. Also, nobody asked the question but I wouldn't be surprised if Riggleman didn't have the runners going on that pitch. He likes to do that a lot. In fact, several of Morgan's caught stealings have probably been botched hit and runs rather than straight attempted steals - even though it goes in the books as a CS if that's the case.

Posted by: nunof1 | May 21, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

RE: Bruney question.

He just cleared waivers a couple of hours ago. It's his call now (report to AAA or not?).

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | May 21, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

dovelevine: periculum is using fangraphs number. Looking a little deeper, you'll see that Willingham's OBP split (.383 v LH, .425 v RH) is reasonable. Guzman is also on a tear at the plate right now - he's hitting .438 in May.

Posted by: BinM | May 21, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

dovey: another good place for stats is (Josh is Click on "Split stats" and you'll see his stats for lefty/righty this year. Click on the "career" link and you'll see he's .260 vs. lefties and .266 vs. righties for his career, with similar OPS and slugging -- i.e., not really someone you need or want to platoon for.

Posted by: joebleux | May 21, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Apparently Morgan is riding the pine tonight - Bernardina starting in CF.

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | May 21, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

>>dovelevine: periculum is using fangraphs number.
dovey: another good place for stats is (Josh is Click on "Split stats" and you'll see his stats for lefty/righty this year.

Ask and ye shall receive. Thanks Dudes.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 21, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I too say thanks for the Bruney info. Let us hope for a sweep.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | May 21, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

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